Networking is Easy, Fun and Incredibly Effective
By nature, many web developers are not overly social creatures. One of the benefits in working with computers, networking and web design is that interpersonal interaction is minimized, and often the forms of contact that do occur are through unconventional means (email, phone). For those who wish to expand their business’ profile beyond traditional venues, though, human interaction is vital and simple interactions with other businesspeople can make a significant difference. If you have been holding back on networking with others to grow your business, then it is time to change your attitude and follow this forthcoming advice.
Be The Icebreaker
Whenever you are presented with an opportunity to be sociable, take the high road and do so. One of the best opportunities for this is to attend conventions with like-minded individuals who have all converged upon the same location for similar reasons. You may notice that some people are sitting alone or otherwise not engaging in conversation; perhaps they are uncomfortable in doing so. By striking up a conversation with these people, you can break the ice and demonstrate your value to them simultaneously. Every connection is a potential opportunity for success and profit later down the road.
Don’t Expect Anything
When you are striking up conversation with other people, you cannot expect there to be a reward for each conversation in which you engage. Much like pinging networks for information about latency and status, you are “pinging” people with ideas in the hopes of sparking a relationship or simple awareness of yourself and the services/products you offer. Maybe you can provide help to an individual – such as advice or some pointers on a specific tactic – which could translate into a returned favour down the road. Even if the conversation and connection goes nowhere, it can be viewed as practice for honing your networking skills for future interactions.
Use Contact Sparingly
Once you have made a new acquaintance, it is vital that you do not bombard them with emails or phone calls. By keeping a respectable distance, you avoid violating their privacy while also demonstrating your value; if someone were to call you up every day in regards to a particular subject, you would inference that they must not have better things to do. It is perfectly acceptable to send a follow-up email to a newly-met acquaintance, but please avoid making yourself appear to be stalker-esque in your networking approach – or else lose any credibility in the eyes of your newly-made contact.
Pay Them Compliments
While in the process of engaging in conversation, be sure to find ways to compliment and reassure the individual that you find their field of study or interest important. By demonstrating that you are inherently interested in what they have to say, you likewise will gain their attention. Even more so, by showing them that you find their skills and talents in high regard, you will be pinging networks of people as you bounce from convention to convention. It never hurts to be nice – even when you may have nothing to gain. People remember positivity, and will associate that with you and your brand.