Networking is about creating connections who become advocates for your brand. Everybody has had the “I know someone who can help!” conversation. When a friend, coworker or family member is looking for someone to help them solve a problem, you’ll know just the person they should talk to. Networking is a great way to both promote how you can help, and who to recommend when someone you know needs help.

So, how do you make the most out of a networking event? Use these five tips for success at your next networking event.

  1. Arrive early: Arriving early for a networking event is a great way to have a one-on-one conversation with someone new as everyone else arrives.
  2. Be authentic: You can’t fake authenticity. Be honest about yourself, your business, and your products or services. Authenticity leads to building connections that last.
  3. Don’t be sales-y: A well-crafted elevator pitch is far more effective than a sales pitch. Talk about who your ideal customer is and how you help them.
  4. Build your reputation: Building a reputation takes time. It requires hearing a consistent message about yourself and your business over a period of time.
  5. Always follow-up: Make sure that you reach out to every new connection you make at a networking event. Great follow-up tools include sending an email or connecting on social media.

Don’t forget to bring your business cards! For more networking tips, or to find an INSPIREsmall.biz Networking event here.

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