Your full calendar of holiday events throughout December and January means tons of opportunity for making new connections, discovering new learning opportunities and upping your social media game. But don’t think these chances are limited to work-specific gatherings; you can include family gathering, friends’ parties and even bar gatherings. You never know when you may meet someone important to your business.
Running a healthy business is all about gaining exposure for your brand, and creating new connections. The best way to build new relationships is to attend networking events. With the holiday season loaded with networking events, this is the prime opportunity to capitalize on expanding your brand and connections. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
Tip: Bring a wing-person, it can help take some of the pressure and nerves off of you, and the other person can talk you up to potential connections. This keeps you from sounding egotistical about your achievements.
How to Find Networking Opportunities
Networking opportunities are abundant if you know where to look. Perhaps the best ones are events orchestrated by the local chamber of commerce and small business councils. Visit their websites and learn how you can become a member to gain access to their events. Some Chambers of Commerce will allow you to attend events if you are not a member but for a raised price. A few other places to look would be to search through Meetup.com and Eventbrite, or simply google searching for networking events in your industry and city.
Tip: Follow your local chamber of commerce on social media as they will begin promoting their events well in advance. This way you can also see who may be there ahead of time allowing you to do research on them and their business.
This should already be a regular habit, but make sure you take a lot of photos at these networking events, and that they are good quality. If you only acquire low-quality pictures, then you should not post them on your social media channels. Taking quality photos opens the opportunity for you to jump in on relevant hashtags to join engaging conversations and increase your brand’s exposure. As an added bonus, it is always enjoyable for others to see business owners involved in other organizations.
Tip: Hold your phone sideways to make sure the photos are the highest quality. Try to make sure the photo has good lighting, is focused and taken in landscape format.
Networking is a skill you need to practice to grow your business. You want to sell yourself to others while simultaneously impressing them and sounding modest. It is a tricky balancing act, but once it is mastered can prove to be extremely rewarding to the success of your business. The holiday season gives you ample opportunity to meet people who could potentially connect you to a new client or business partner.