How to improve your networking skills as a business owner

 Well hello to you my reader chums! As an introvert and someone who deals with social anxiety, networking is something I've struggled with since launching my own business. On the flip side, networking has been crucial in growing my business, building my confidence and connecting with others in the business world.

How to improve your networking skills as a business owner

If you're new to networking or trying to put yourself out there, here are my tips on how to be better at networking as a business owner.

Go to your first event

The first step to improving anything in life is simply doing it in the first place. You can't improve at networking until you make the move to go to your first networking event. I'd suggest choosing a smaller event initially to warm you up to networking events in a place you're comfortable with as it can ease you in. Getting the first one out of the way will give you the boost you need.

Bring someone along you're comfortable with

It may seem daunting to go to a networking event alone, especially if it's your first one. However, if you have another business friend or a partner, bringing them along can soothe your anxiety and give you the confidence to go. When with someone, it can be easier to walk up to someone new for a conversation.

Practice what you're going to say

I'm not saying you need to rehearse a whole speech, however, having a few opening lines can make walking up to someone and starting a conversation a lot easier and give you some confidence too. It can be anything, like asking them how they are, if it's their first networking event, where they're from or what industry they work in. 

Research and book in regular events

Having regular events booked in the calendar will push you to go to more events. I'd suggest creating a spreadsheet and listing all the networking events over the next few months, booking the most relevant and accessible ones for you. This will give you a regular schedule of events, improving your confidence. 

Do calming exercises before the event

If you're feeling overwhelmed about an event, mindfulness exercises can help calm you down. From breathing exercises, and yoga to meditation. These exercises can calm your body and mind, giving you the boost you need before going into a situation that can cause anxiety. Feeling calm can help you breeze through the networking.

Push yourself to speak to new people at events

Networking is all about meeting and connecting with others and that means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to speak with new people. Try your best to walk up to others and greet them. I'm not saying you need to speak with everyone in the room, but a couple of them can be beneficial to boost your confidence and build new connections.

Set a goal for every event you go to

Goals help you in every way, including networking events. Setting a goal for every event you go to, can encourage you to work towards it. For example, it could be to meet and chat with three new people or give your contact details to two people.

I hope you enjoyed this post. When did you start your business?

Thank you for reading <3

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Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful in anyway. I'd love to hear any feedback you may have.