Skill that can be easily learned.Mothers Groups, BBQ’s, friends parties, industry eventsNerve wracking – shy – when entering a room full of unknown people.There are tips and tricks to give you some confidence.You are not alone, most people feel anxious or nervous- remember that- the other people you can be looking at could be as nervous as you!
What is networking? It is far more than just meeting people.Establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people or potential clients or customers.What makes networking worthwhile?You get know by those who count, you get more prospects, you make more contacts, you make more sales you build relationships, you make a career advancement you build your reputation.If you are like most people, you enjoy your work and dread going to business related events. You are not alone.Sometimes starting a conversation with”This is my first time at one of these events, have you been before:?” can be a good conversation starter.So 1st impressions: what you wear? If not sure ask! If you have asked, overdress.The handshake- examplesWalking into the room….groups to look for.
Examples of bad networking habits include, finding the one person you know and hanging with them the entire event.Making the food table or bar your permanent homeWandering the room saying hello to lots of people but never engaging in a full conversation. Or handing our business cards to everyone you meet.So lets talk about effective networking.
Tip no. 1 Set a goal, a highly effective networker will have a realistic goal in mind before heading off to the event eg: you could set a goal to meet and learn more about 3 people at the next networking event., this will give you time to establish a connection with a few individuals.. To make the goal realistic, measure the goals against what you accomplished against the goal you set & modify your goals over time.Tip 2 : Professional visitors get the least out of a networking event, cause they visit with friends. Rather than establish conversations with other people and potential customers. Avoid being a professional visitor. Instead use the next event to meet new people..Tip 3 When you meet someone for the first time, instead of immediately selling them on your services use it as an opportunity to get to know the person, people will be interested in you when you show interest in them. Look directly at the person when you are speaking to them, give them full attention with your eyes or encourage them to share more but remember it’s not a stare down contest!Tip 4 – Ask them a question and then ask them a question about what they just said. It shows you are paying attention and that you care about what they are telling you. You can encourage others to talk by asking open ended questions.Asking questions and listening intently is one of the highest compliments you can pay someone and you’ll be amazed by how much you will learn.
Explain Elevator Pitch….Have a well rehearsed description of your company if you have one, most people will ask you about your occupation, so it’s important to have a well rehearsed answer to the question “what do you do?”. It should be brief, about 10-15 secs your description will let the person know who you are, what you do, and what you offer.At best people will remember a few key things about you..Your name, your company name your business or industry in 3 words or less, your product, your location. So find ways to talk about these things in your conversation.Eg: if there is a story behind the name of your company have it ready, anything you say that can reinforce one of these 5 key things, helps make you more memorable. If they can remember just 3 of them such as Maria the interior designer from Chatswood, or George the garden designer from Mosman, you are doing great!Many effective networkers will ask what they can do to help you, be prepared and be specific. Know in advance what you are looking for and how someone can help you and you can ask the very same question to people you meet if you are in a position to assist them
The goal of a networking event is not to collect as many business cards as possible instead it’s a chance to develop a few relationships that may have potential to lead to business or other contacts. Follow up with the person within 48 hours, that way there’s a greater chance of them will still remember you and how they met you, you can send a simple note, referencing the topic discussed. Or an article they would find interesting, or even a business lead. If you let those business cards just languish on your desk the reason why you ended up at the even maybe wasted.Discuss notes on cards; card scanners on smart phonesFinally remember the golden rule of Networking.With these tips you are on your way of becoming known, liked and trusted,
Linked inMake sure your profile is set up properly, most recruiters of small and large companies now check you out on Linked In. must keep your CV up to date on there. A good photo head and shoulders, no holiday snaps,You can connect with people you meet at networking events and keep your name in front of them with occasional post about what you are doing, expos you are visiting and join discussion groups on design topics.Pinterest Boards are a great way of collecting images you love, collating them, great if you are going to start a business or just for inspiration!
Networking for Sydney Designers
It’s a skill that can
Starting a Conversation
Staying in Touch
Building a networking plan
Networking Groups & events
Using Social Media for networking
Staying at the
• Tip 1 : Set a Goal
(set a realistic goal before attending an event)
• Tip 2 : Avoid being a professional visitor
(a person who attends a networking event and
immediately gravitates to the same group of friends)
• Tip 3 : Be genuinely interested in people
(get to know people, look them in the eye) but don’t
• Tip 4 : Ask open ended questions
(tell me about the work you do, how did you get
the industry, what do you like best about what
• Have a well rehearsed explanation of who
you are and what you do.
• Only 10-15 seconds to start with…
• Your name, what you do, what you offer.
• You want them remember your name,
business or industry, product and location.
• Know how others can help you. Know what
you are looking for.
• Follow up quickly (usually within 48
Send a simple note, article or business
Whoever connects first becomes the
power source of that relationship.
Golden Rule of Networking
All things being equal, people will do
business with and refer business to,
those people they know, like & trust
Start identifying opportunities in the Design/Decoration
Check out networking groups and events relevant to your
• Sydney Indesign - http://www.sydneyindesign.com.au/
• DesignEx Melbourne/ Sydney http://www.designex.info/
• Grand Designs Live http://www.granddesignslive.com.au/
• Design Institute of Australia http://www.dia.org.au/
• Inhouse Group 3 http://www.alainhchazelles.com.au/
• Sydney Design
• Alumni events by Sydney Design School
• Life Instyle http://www.lifeinstyle.com.au/
• Sydney Home Show http://www.sydneyhomeshow.com.au/
Social Media provides
great networking tools.
Most career recruiters
check out your Linked In
profile, keep it up to date!
Visual social media is
great for portfolios.
• Pinterest boards
• Linked In provides
• Get out
• Get Known and get Connected!