Mastering the Art of Networking From an LMF Network Team Perspective
Networking, networking, networking.
Everyone talks about it, is apparently doing it, and gives bits of advice, tips, and tricks. But the truth is, you won’t hack it unless you try it.
So I did exactly that. I did try a few times. I was nervous as I had the big task of representing LMF Network, not myself. If it was me — it would be easier. Even if I messed up, it’s me. Not a big deal. I’ll deal with it. But representing someone else is scary and anything else but easy.
So, I am sharing with you want I did, and what helped me successfully represent LMF Network at not one, but two big events.
Know who you are.
It all starts with an introduction. It’s said that it takes seven seconds to make a first impression, and you definitely want to make a good one. What helped me was writing down some introduction lines — who I am and what or who WE are, and what our goals are. Then, practice saying it in front of a mirror or to a friend.
Breath and remember that just like you, the someone you are talking to is also nervous and probably overthinking everything.
Key tip: Do not rush when talking.
Know what the event is about.
It is crucial to know what the central theme of the event is.
Look up the agenda, the people who are attending, and the guest speakers. Who knows, you might be standing in a line next to a recruiting entrepreneur while you are waiting to enter the building. And a quick chat with them might lead to something big and even a job opportunity.
Something as simple as: ‘How are you finding the event’ or ‘What do you think about what a speaker X said’ can be a great starter to a conversation.
Key tip: Prepare some questions and lines/phrases you can use.
And now the big question…when to approach.
Networking events can be overwhelming, and people need time to recharge their social batteries. Scan the room, look who is also wandering around, and ‘attack’. Smile at that person, walk to them and ask some of the questions you have prepared beforehand.
People are there to increase their social connections and meet more like-minded people. You don’t want to spend too much time just talking to one person. Have a quick chat, and remember you can’t build a connection with everyone, sometimes you have nothing in common, and that’s ok.
Key tip: Keep the conversation short and sweet.
What you wear is also important.
As you may know, our colours are pink and white. So, Sonya and I were wearing exactly that. Marketing at its finest. It makes people remember you and your business.
Make sure you have an online presence.
People will look you up, so having your profile up to date is of great importance, especially on LinkedIn. Put your most recent jobs and the current projects you are working on. A professional picture of you with a background photo representing your business is a must.
Scroll through all the connections you made that day and choose five people to message. Say ‘Hi’, express how nice it was to meet them, and ask about something they shared with you. It might be a project they are working on or how their new job is going.
Key tip: Message the people you connected with.
Practice makes perfect.
We all have heard it, but it is true. It takes time to master the art of networking. Don’t be hard on yourself and enjoy it.
This blog contribution was made by Dayana Hristova.
Dayana is originally from Bulgaria but moved to London in September 2020 for university. She is passionate about the latest digital marketing and social media trends. You can find her producing content in her free time, and she is keen on growing her social media followers.
In 2022, Dayana started her internship at LMF Network, and since then, she has worked in different departments, from PR and Communications to Marketing and Social Media.
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What is LMF Network?
The LMF Network is a global social enterprise (not for profit) focused on empowering, enabling & educating women and marginalised groups into tech, entrepreneurship & digital. We specialise in designing and delivering accessible programmes and supporting a global community. We’ve gone from a brunch club to a social good brand based on what the community wanted. We are a real community run by real people.