First of all, networking isn’t advertising. Make it clear. It has nothing to do with advertising at all. However, networking does share few similarities to advertising.
But, what is networking?
Networking basically means to interact and build authentic relationships. Making trustworthy connections and sharing insights. It also includes collaborating and coordinating with each other over multiple tasks and meetings.
HOW TO NETWORK WITHOUT ADVERTISING YOURSELF
A good networking doesn’t involve sending one-sided elevator pitches in a salesy manner or dominating the conversation. But, you can inevitably talk about your products, services and other skills.
You don’t have to announce yourself.
In fact, you’ve to;
1- Make A Compliment
The intent of networking isn’t to dive into self-promotional techniques or any sales pitch. You won’t need to do that.
Instead, make a compliment to strike up a conversation. By making a truthful compliment about the specific product or service, you appreciate them for what they are doing. Maybe, you’d like to network with other DIY bloggers. How about complimenting the products and the ideas they create?
Let them know how amazing work they’re doing. Believe it or not, everybody loves getting appreciated.
2- Ask A Question
Why not ask for something to make a new connection today?
First, study and research about your ideal prospect or the one with whom you’d like to connect. You can visit their websites and blogs to know more about their products and services.
Then, ask a relevant question. Maybe, something you didn’t understand. Or, ask for a helpful resource.
Ask questions about a specific topic.
But, don’t make it weird. Ask something that is important enough to get a reply from the expert, customer, or the blogger. You can even ask for some guidance or help. Stick with the underlying goal of networking and that’s our next point.
3- Strike up a natural conversation with zero expectations
While holding a conversation with another blogger, or entrepreneur, don’t expect anything in return. Just be natural like you usually talk with a new person.
Have a natural and authentic tone in your voice. You don’t have to prepare a conversation. But, it’s always a good idea if you note down what are you going to talk about.
Have zero space for expectations in your conversation. The lesser, the better.
4- Give a mention
Of course, you would be wondering how to do networking without advertising? Because, it’s all about promoting yourself only. Look at the other side.
In blogging, we all feel appreciated when someone gives us a mention. Whether it’s a Twitter mention or a webinar recommendation it always feels amazing.
Maybe, you are recording a Facebook Live or Youtube video and you talk about a topic that’s relevant to another fellow. Give him/her a mention while talking to your audience. You can give an example of how he/she does on her blog etc.
Maybe, you are planning on writing a next blog post. Give mention to your new blogging fellow and shoot an email to let her know.
Or, you both can talk and introduce each other in your email newsletter.
Maybe, just a few lines about her and the business she runs.
This way, you both can get new audiences.
Here’s another post about connecting with bloggers. It’s about 7 ways to build a successful relationship with like-minded bloggers.
5- Always follow up, Stay in touch
The last but most important step in networking is the follow-up. Without a check-in, you may just be forgotten. You may even forget the people you met or interacted.
Maybe, you had a physical connection with a new blogger or influencer in an event or meeting. Shoot them a message.
Have someone, you know, sharing your posts on social media? Follow up and say thanks.
Have someone gave you a mention in a webinar, or blog posts? Send them an email and say thanks.
What you can do is to keep your clients, peers, and contacts in order so that you can always stay in touch with them.
A simple spreadsheet will suffice to record the data.
To get you on the right track, I’ve just talked about few ideas to do networking.
Take these as the starters.
You can go beyond and make the most of it. Inviting someone to write a guest post, or sharing an advice is also sort of networking. Giving a shout out on social media to someone is also a trick to the network. Using twitter mention can also be helpful for networking.
Enjoy reading: How to Use Quora To Increase Engagement And Blog Growth
What are you going to do?
As I said, there are tons of things you can do. But, don’t make it weird.
Don’t just do approach the same person every day or week.
Networking is all about making trustworthy relationships. Present positivity and authenticity when you hold a conversation with someone. Remember, not every single interaction lead to a job or contract. That’s not what networking is all about. The intent is to meet new people and interact. A simple chat that’s more organic and natural will work.
Keep your main focus to meet new people in your field of work, without expecting anything. The purpose is to meet and listen to new bloggers and what they’ve to say.
There’s nothing complicated about it.
Just be natural.