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Networking: A How To Guide



For many of us the idea of networking can be a bit anxiety-inducing and it might take us out of our comfort zone. To help you prepare for your next networking event, we have listed our top tips below on how to make the most out of networking and support you in effectively expanding your professional network.


Make it genuine:

Networking can be transactional, but if done genuinely it could open up opportunities or experiences that might otherwise have been less possible. Approach conversations with an open attitude; get excited about who you might meet and what you might learn.


Listen:

In the words of Celeste Headlee ‘enter every conversation, assuming there is something to learn.’ Networking really is as much about others as it is about you. Don’t use every opportunity to speak or sell yourself. Listen to what others have to say – you never know what nuggets you might pick up that will be valuable in the long run.


Be goal oriented:

If you don’t like the idea of standing in a room full of strangers and making small talk, then work out your motivations and try and use networking to achieve goals you might have. Also, it’s important to remember that networking can also happen successfully online. LinkedIn is a fantastic way to connect with peers, and more senior professionals. If appropriate, reach out, ask if you can meet for a coffee, and always try to maintain connections with those you may not have seen or spoken to in a while. They are your ready-made network, so don’t forget them!


No one can do it alone:

A network is not just crucial to finding opportunities and experiences, but it’s also a support mechanism. If you invest in relationships, people will be there for you along the way to offer advice and mentorship, and the skills you will be developing through your conversations with them will be beneficial in things like interviews and meetings.


We will leave you with these final thoughts from Andrew Vest at Forbes: ‘start networking before you need it, have a plan, forget your personal agenda, never dismiss anyone as unimportant, connect the dots.’


We offer a range of networking opportunities at SEO London; from in-person events to an online community via our Connect platform.

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