I hate the word networking because it sounds SOOOO greasy. It sounds like a bunch of people in a room all looking for their next customer and trying to take whatever they can get.
Networking is about building relationships. Relationships take time. TAKE YOUR TIME.
1. Be a host: When you attend an event, act like you are hosting a party. Make people feel comfortable and welcome and never leave someone standing by themselves, alone
2. Be a connector: While you are at an event or at anytime, connect people with other people that are in compatible businesses, with services they they need, or where synergies exist
3. Follow up: Always follow up with people you meet. Add them to your social media platforms and like, share, and comment on their posts. Invite them for coffee and get to know them better. Send them articles that apply to their life or business. Engage and interact.
The more you give to others by adding value to their business or any area of their life you are strengthening your relationship with that person.
You are building trust, your are building respect, and you are creating a positive image for yourself.
Networking is a lifestyle, it is a mindset. You shouldn't have to go to an event that contains the word “networking” in order to network. You should be networking all day every day. Be open and friendly, help people. Don't be shy, by all means don't be intrusive, but keep your eyes and ears open for a chance to help or connect someone with something they need. If you are open, thoughtful, and giving, the abundance will flow.
And remember, it is not about quantity, it is about quality!