Networking can be tough, especially in the world of entrepreneurship and startups. Altough, there are networking events arranged by big companies or organizations, participants find it hard to indentify the wannabe entrepreneurs from those who are building awesome things or have the right contacts. So, in most cases you end up leaving an event hours later exhausted having nothing to show.
The startup world is an ecosystem where connections and introductions can be critical. Right people can help you raise money or find a key partner. Without doubt, networking is just part of the game.
Heading big events are important, but you need to do something more efficient to save time and energy while you are building your company.
There are some certain ways to expand and improve your network:
1. Network with the right person. Do not wait for the right event that will bring by chance to you the right person that will help you promote your product. Make a list with the right people that you would like to meet and communicate your idea.
Do some research first in networking platforms (LinkedIn, Pitchstor, Facebook, etc). Now, instead of spending time with random people, you can spend it chatting with the key person who you know you can learn from. This type of one-on-one connection will create a much closer business relationship, which may lead to future collaborations.
2. Create your own networking events. Make a list of founders, business professionals, key partners, that are in the same industry and that you would like to meet in person. Organize an event and in one day you will have made your connections.
3. Maintain your network. You’ve done all the hard work to connect with the right people. Now, you must keep in touch and maintain your business relationships. No matter how busy you are, try not to be that person that only reaches out when you need something. Keep an agenda and every month arrange to meet up with startup friends and aquaintances. Catch each other up on the latest and see if there are ways for collaborations or ways to help each other.
Furthermore, those strategic networking tips can be applied online as well. Many entrepreneurs, through their networks, communicate with key people from all over the world and build strong meaningful relationships that help them to promote ideas or products beyond borders.