Networking is a huge part of growing your business, even more so during start-up. If you don’t get out and network you could lose potential opportunities with clients, peers, and mentors to help you grow your business.
Whether you are networking at a conference, trade show or event, it is important to present yourself and your business professionally and confidently. Here are some mistakes to avoid when networking.
Not having a business card – Although we are in a technology era, physical business cards are still expected and can be a powerful touch point to boost your first impression in a professional setting.
Using DIY business cards – While not having business cards is a major networking mistake, making your own cards is even worse. Business cards are very affordable and there are many services that provide templates and custom design.
Forgetting about your elevator pitch – Often times when networking the time you spend meeting people is brief therefore it is important to have an elevator pitch to provide an overview of your business that is engaging and memorable.
Only taking to people you know – You miss out on the value that comes from networking when you stick around people you already know. Be ready and willing to get out there and introduce yourself to new people.
Neglecting to follow up – If you don’t follow up with new contacts you meet your business will probably be quickly forgotten. Whether you follow up by phone, email or social media, an appropriate follow up after networking is vital.
Being open to networking opportunities can make the difference between sustained business growth and stagnation.