Networking locally is a great way to improve your business by becoming known as a local area expert in your niche. But, if you want to be successful when networking locally, it’s imperative that you know how to do it effectively. Otherwise, you might accomplish the opposite and it could backfire.
1. Attend the Right Events
Check out many events in your local area and pick the ones that will help you reach your goals. You may have a goal to meet other people in your industry or you may have a goal to meet people who may qualify to become your customer. Each event goal will depend on who is attending as much as who is hosting the event.
2. Dress the Part
Depending on the event you go to, you may need to dress a certain way. For example, if you’re going to a networking event with a lot of lawyers, you probably should wear business attire. But, if you’re going to an event full of coders or people who work from home, you can probably dress more casually. You should in every case dress how you feel most comfortable but also in a way that makes your audience more comfortable.
3. Introduce Yourself First
In most cases, the person who puts their hand out first and introduces themselves demonstrates that they have more confidence and power than the person who waited. When you introduce yourself first, you get that awkwardness out of the way and can get on with getting to know people.
4. Know Your Plan
Before you show up at any event, you should have a plan. Each event will call for different plans to help you network more effectively. When you know the audience and how to appeal to them, you’ll do a lot better at each event.
5. Introduce People to Others
A really great way to stand out at events is to be a resource to people and conduct introductions between people that you think can help each other. When you are good at connecting people, the expertise of others rubs off onto you.
6. Be Positive
When you’re in public at an event, the worst thing you can do is start complaining about other people or things. Instead, be focused, positive, and helpful. Let your confidence shine through on your face by smiling and looking at people with poise.
7. Follow Up
Never forget to follow up with people you talked to, especially if you promised to give them some information about anything. A great tip for following up is to send people information, books, and articles about things you discussed at the event.
Networking locally will pay off when you pick the right events, know how to be yourself, let people know who you are and become a resource for everyone. If they know they can call on you to connect them to what they need, they’re going to remember you.