If you would have said to me five years ago: “Mariam, networking is the best thing for your career and personal life”, I would have laughed and then used by “but I’m an introvert, so no” excuse.
When I was 20, I thought networking was so silly. Like it was only for business men, only for people in sales, and also for those in marketing.
But after 5 years I know the truth about getting opportunities in your life, you know, the ones that completely change your life. The secret? Networking.
Life is about selling yourself to others – selling your personality, your trust, your skill set.
And if you’re not consistently showing up, you’re missing out on opportunities you might never get. So today I want to share all I know with you about networking – how you can show up, do more than just submit resumes online, and get opportunities just by being you!
DO’s of Networking
DO pitch instead of catch
What does this mean? Well waiting for opportunities to come to you is a lot like being a catcher in baseball. Going after those opportunities is a lot like pitching. You need to stop waiting for the perfect time, the perfect job, or waiting to meet the perfect people. You need to go out there and pitch – pitch your skills, your personality, and create opportunities.
DO go in for the ask
Why is it that we are all afraid of asking for things? When asking could lead to so many potential opportunities. I didn’t apply to my first job as a social media manager, I pitched and asked for it! I walked into a museum, told them I could help them with their socials, and straight out asked for the job.
Was it scary? very much so. But if I never asked, I wouldn’t be where I am today – running my own social media business and blogging.
DO carry business cards
It’s always a good idea to have a handful of business cards on you. You never know who you might meet that will require a quick exchange of information. I love using Vistaprint for business cards and carrying them in this cute Kate Spade card holder.
DO practice your elevator pitch
Can you tell someone who you are in the span it takes to ride an elevator to floor 3? That’s precisely what an elevator pitch is and depending on what message I try to convey, my elevator pitch changes. In 30 seconds you have to tell them who you are and what purpose that explanation serves. Mt elevator pitch is as follows
“I’m a social media and brand strategist that serves high profile influencers and lifestyle experts. I also manage an online publication for creative women”
I don’t want to get too complicated with teaching you how to come up with your elevator pitch, as that is a whole blog pos in itself, but do remember to keep it short, simple, and relevant to the conversation. Listing out all your bobbies, education, and accomplishments is for your resume, not an elevator pitch.
DONT’s of Networking
DON’T hate on the opposite
Introverts vs. Extroverts. Both should respect one another. If you are talking to someone who in an introvert, please understand that they may need space and you have to network on a deeper and more prolonged level. If you are an introvert who is networking with an extrovert, allow them space to chat and don’t make fun of their enthusiasm. We should also be respectful and understanding. After all, if you know how to communicate, read expressions, and know when to lead or not lead conversations, you’ll be an expert at this.
DON’T be salesy or too insistent
I know I said you need to stop playing catch and start pitching, but there’s a fine line to walk if you are being too salesy or too insistent. Make it known you are interested, but don’t ever push someone for contacts, job leads, or introductions. The art of being a great networker is being a great listener! Ask questions, get to know the person before you ask for something for your gain.
DON’T network at the wrong place and wrong time
Basically, avoid networking at functions such as funerals, while class is in session, or even worse, during a presentation or someone else’s meeting. There’s a time and place for getting to know people – but this goes with the tip above, don’t be too insistent. Quite frankly, I applaud those who can just walk right up to someone, but feel it’s very rude whilst a party is engaged in conversation or doing something quite personal. Just wait.
About My Outfit
I love business chic! I wear this blazer sooo much and I can’t stop. Everything is linked below but I wanted to share this cute off the shoulder blazer top. Yes, top! It’s made to resemble a blazer but it’s just a beautiful stretchable top with double breasted buttons. Check it out here and the rest of my outfit on my shop page.
What do’s or don’ts do you most strongly agree with? Would you like me to write another post about networking? What about? Leave your comments below and let’s chat!