Post By: Breanna Aponte
Anyone who knows me knows ya girl LOVES to network. I will talk to anyone about who I am and what I offer, resulting in leaving with potential clients, new friends, or new opportunities. So today, I want to share with you my top 3 tips for networking like a pro.
1. Practice Your Elevator Pitch
If you wing it when you network, chances are you don’t feel super confident in what your saying. Having an elevator pitch allows you to hit specific points that are key with networking quickly.
Sometimes your pitch changes based on where you are, who you're talking to, and what your goal is. For example, if I’m at an all-female event, I might introduce myself as a Youtuber who’s waiting for marriage (girls like that type of stuff) or as CEO of Shameless Ladies. These two things relate to the kind of crowd.
But if I were at a business event with creatives, entrepreneurs, and professionals, I would introduce myself as the owner of a social media and branding business. Why? Because that business relates better to the type of crowd.
When creating your elevator pitch, be specific to your niche and your audience. Make sure your comfortable communicating who you are, what you do, and what your mission is. Practice talking in front of the mirror or with a friend and ask for tips.
Remember what mama says, “practice makes perfect”.
2. Choose The Right Events
Choosing the right type of event is important for a couple of reasons. You want to make sure the event you are attending has a crowd that makes sense for you; otherwise it could end up being a waste of time (unless the drinks are free of course haha).
You also know yourself and the settings you feel most comfortable in. If you like more intimate crowds where you could talk to the same couple of people the whole time, attend smaller events.
Maybe you want to talk to a lot of people, but you’re bad at ending conversations without being awkward, you could try speed networking (like speed dating but for professionals looking to network).
If you are more comfortable in large groups of people, attend larger events.
Need some liquid courage? Try happy hours and after-hour mixers.
Super shy and uncomfortable with speaking in public? Good thing there’s social media! Networking doesn’t have to be done in person. Do your research and slide in them DM’s, the worst that could happen is nothing!
3. Be BOLD
Networking is all about connecting with like-minded individuals and putting yourself out there to open new doors. If your not bold, you may miss out on opportunities that could help your brand or business.
Remember, if you don’t believe in yourself, neither will anyone else. Being bold comes naturally to some, and for others, it takes years of experience and practice. What type of person are you? Are you willing to put in the work to be a better professional?
The hardest part is the first part, actually walking up to someone and saying, “Hi, my name is….”. And I get it; it can be so weird at times. I know that you know that, and so does the person you're talking to? You're doing them a favor by making the first move. So technically, to them, YOU’RE THE PRO!
I hope these tips help you and I encourage you to practice. Choose the right event and BE BOLD!