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Your Guide to Networking Like a Pro

Your Guide to Networking Like A Pro

They say that your network is your networth.

We’re not too sure who ‘they’ are exactly, but whoever they are they’ve definitely nailed it.

A big part of the success you achieve (or don’t) in life can be directly attributed to the calibre of the company you choose to keep. It’s your responsibility as a business owner to surround yourself with people who will inspire and encourage you to grow, instead of those who hold you back.

A strong network will act as an invaluable source to bounce ideas off of, build strategic partnerships, pick you up when you’re questioning if it’s all worth it, celebrate in your wins, get tactical advice, hold you accountable to your goals and inspire you to dream bigger.

That’s the ideal right?

But making meaningful connections isn’t always easy, especially if you’re new to the networking game. The key to building a strong network is simply getting started. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your network starts to grow when you start putting effort into  building new relationships.

We chatted to networking pros about the value of connecting with like-minded people, and got some tips on how you can get the most out of any networking event:


Petar Lackovic
Head of Training and Development at The Entourage

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How has networking helped you?
Networking is a way to communicate your brand, message, vision, mission and values. It lets you create strategic partnerships, open doors and can be an accelerator to get you from where you are, to where you want to be. There is no substitute for being liked by a bunch of people.

Can you give us your best networking tips?
Tip 1: Remember the TED vs TING law
People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care, so be interesTED before you try and be interesTING. Be more engaged in the people you are talking to than you are in yourself.

Tip 2: Prepare your 5 second commercial
You’ve got to know your own 5 second commercial – Americans call this an ‘elevator pitch’. Introduce yourself using this 5 second pitch at all networking events. Here are the ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ of a strong elevator pitch:

DON’T
1. Don’t just tell others what you do. People don’t care about your business name, industry or job title.


DO
1. Write down what you do.
2. Write down the outcome of what you do.
3. Write down the outcome and effect this has in the eyes of your customer.
4. When networking feed this back to the person you are meeting in reverse order.

For example if you are a social media coordinator you would write this down:

1. What I do? Social media coordinator
2. What is the outcome? Build community and generate leads.
3. What is the effect in the eyes of customers? Produce inspirational and educational content.

Your 5-second elevator pitch would be:

“I create inspirational and educational content for our audience to build community and generate more leads.”

Tip 3: Use the Law of Reciprocity
This law states if you do something to somebody than they feel indebted to do the same back. Always introduce yourself by name first and then ask theirs.

 

Jack Delosa
Founder & CEO of The Entourage

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How has networking helped you?
Not for how I’ve grown The Entourage, but rather how I’ve navigated my career. Entrepreneurship is often founded in being able to unite people around a purpose. The strength of an entrepreneur’s path is often a direct reflection of the people they surround themselves with – mentors, advisors, friends, team members, investors, partners – everyone you need to actualise your vision will be carried through by relationships.

Do you have any networking tips?
To network effectively put yourself in the right environment. Free networking often ends up costing you more in time wasted. Get around the people that will help lift you higher, that means getting in the right circles and often we need to invest to do this.

 

Jess Wilson
Founder of Stashd

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How has networking helped you?
Networking when you’re starting out is pinnacle as it helps you meet people you wouldn’t normally come across. I met my contact from Forbes in a girls bathroom who has helped me with PR coverage! People like to go to people they know, so I’ve had multiple PR opportunities from people who automatically approach me as we have connected before.

Do you have any networking tips?
Don’t treat networking like a business transaction. Instead just be real with people, start up a genuine conversation, don’t make it sound too forced. You can then lead into a business conversation. Make sure you exchange details with them before you leave and then send a follow up email afterwards. I always include something from the conversation we had at the event to make it more personalised.

 

Now you know how to effectively network, you just need to find where. Here’s our top 5 recommendations for building up your personal network: 

1: Go to industry networking event
If you want to use networking to build strategic business partnerships and expand your business’s reach, then attending industry networking events is a must. You’ll meet people who operate within the same space as you, and as long as they’re not a direct competitor, they could be perfect for your next partnership.

2: Join Meet Up groups
You might be surprised by just how many Meet Ups exist solely for business owners. Some are focused on networking, other are focused on education. Try out a few and find one that suits your needs.

3: Find a mentor
Leverage off people with been there done that experience by finding a mentor, or multiple mentors, who can give you advice and direction.

4: Join a coworking space
Being an entrepreneur can be lonely, especially if you work from home or have a small team. Joining a coworking space enables you to work alongside other entrepreneurs who are in similar position to you. Most coworking spaces have quite a vibrant atmosphere and host regular networking events.

5: Educational courses
Signing up to educational workshops and courses is an easy way to meet people who are as committed to their personal and business growth as you. At The Entourage we offer a range of courses for entrepreneurs at various stages of business. We find that while people generally come to us for the content, they end up staying with us for the community.

 

Inspired to start building your personal network after reading this? Soon we’ll be releasing a new Entourage Membership, to give you the opportunity to connect with an exclusive group of entrepreneurs who will lift you up as you build your business.

About The Entourage


The Entourage is Australia’s largest educator and community of entrepreneurs with over 100,000 members around the world.

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