How to network effectively at startup events

Though I'm all about frugality, sometimes the best way to improve your financial situation is by doing what you can to bring in more money, in addition to doing whatever possible to cut expenses, even if its not the "ideal job". One of the most important skills in the job search or in building up your own business if you're an entrepreneur is networking. I hope you appreciate these tips from a reader on how to network effectively, applicable everywhere, not just at startup events.

Most good startups have one thing in common – a very social entrepreneur. In today’s world, it is extremely important to showcase your wares and ideas in front of the right people, at the right time. Due to the growing popularity of startups and the need for a place for entrepreneurs to come together, many startup events are being organized in order to give such interested people a platform to socialize. This has led to the need for networking with the correct group of people – from investors to future employees.

Planning on a start-up?

Since there are so many different platforms for people to initiate a startup, it is becoming a common thing. But, this also means that the system is becoming saturated in terms of resources. So if you are planning to initiate a startup, you need to make sure that you are putting a certain edge to the idea, to get the attention you need to make your startup a success.

In this context, one of the most important terms that come up is networking. What is networking? Networking is essentially communication – communicating with the right set of people who can help you to give your startup al the elements it needs to become a success. Each startup requires a lot of different types of resources to make it a success.

For example, if you want to rent out books to customers like that on booksrun you will be required to have a substantial amount of investment to buy some books and get an online forum running. Along with that, you will need people to work as employees as well. The right amount of networking will help you to get the investors and at the same time you will also

Why do you need to network?

Building a startup is a long process that includes a lot of intricacies. Handling a startup on your own or with your team of professionals might seem easy, but in reality, you will need a lot of support from numerous groups of people if you want to accomplish in the task and establish yourself as a success. Among these groups of people, the most important sets of people whose support will take you a long way are the investors and the network people.

Networking involves talking and building people’s interest in your startup. This group of people includes investors, customers, and even future employees. Proper networking plays a pivotal role in the success of your startup. The right people interested can make or break your startup. Now that the importance of networking has been established, here are a few tips and hacks to help you network effectively in startup events.

5 ways to network efficiently

While networking, it is important to get the attention of the person who you are trying to engage in conversation. Here are five tried and tested ways in which you can network efficiently.

  • Introduce and get introduced

In most of the different networking events, you will find different groups of people huddled together on their own. This shows that people often like to stick to their own group of peers. They create sub groups that include people they are comfortable with. But, you need to step out of your comfort zone if you want to meet new people.

If you have the option to meet new people and get them to talk to you, you need to introduce yourself well. If you do not find the option to do the introductions yourself, you can ask your peers who know people in the group to do the introductions. This will take you a long way.

  • Have a pitch plan in mind

When you are done being introduced, the other person will want some kind of pitch from you. In these event meets, you will be required to pitch the ideas for your startup if you want to get investors and customers. The pitch needs to include the details of your startup along with any kind of information that the other person might want. It is a very important step to keep the different information ready in the form of a pitch.

  • Place your questions well

The best way to understand the people who you are trying to network with is by asking a lot of questions. Asking questions will help you to know the person and at the same time, they will feel that you are interested in them. This helps build the relationship, which is a very important part of networking. While asking question, make sure to sound genuinely interested and ask relevant questions. Since a startup networking event is a professional event, make sure you stick to your professional etiquettes.

  • Offer to help

Staying selfish during such events will get you nowhere. If you want a piece of the pie, you need to offer others a piece of that pie as well. Networking is not only about getting things or resources for yourself, you are essentially expected to talk to a lot of people and get them to show interest in your startup. It is important to help out others with the same cause, as this helps you to get their attention. If you are able to help these people, they will gladly return the favour.

  • Diligently follow up post event

The networking never ends with the event. You need to make sure to continuously follow up with the people with whom you have spoken to if you want to keep them interested in your work. While you are networking during the startup networking event, make sure that you take some kind of contact information that will help you to stay connected to them post-event. This ensures that you are able to follow up on the work and keep their interest intact.

5 hacks for positive networking

If you are able to keep the above tips in mind you should be able to network efficiently. But a lot of different entrepreneurs are networking at the same time. How do you stand out among such competition? Here are a few hacks that you can follow in order to stay ahead of competition and create a strong impression on the mind of the people.

  • Prepare a battle plan

When you are heading to one of these events, consider this to be a battle. You need a proper battle plan in place. You need to strategize on the different things you need to talk about, in such a way that it is very informative and not boring. You will have to plan on how you can introduce yourself and get the attention of the people.

  • Try to get behind the scenes

Getting behind the scenes can open up a world of information for you. If you know that there is a place in the organizing committee or they require a keynote speaker, it is a good idea to make yourself available. This will help you to connect to a lot of different people who might be able to help you network. This is also a great way to know the details of the people who you are planning on networking with.

  •  Know the bio of the speakers

Most of these startup networking events have some speakers who are accomplished people in their fields. Many a time these speakers have the capability to invest in your startup or help to get connections in the industry where you want to function. If you have a proper bio of such speakers, you can get a chance to network with them better.

  • Have attractive business cards

Everyone has business card that contains the contact information. But if you really want people to remember your card details or store it, you need to make it stand out. Design a very attractive and creative business card, which will help you to network better.

  • Bring something new to the table

Always remember that most people are at the startup networking event for the same thing. Do your research and try and stand out among the entrepreneurs so that you are able to bring something new to the forum.

These are some of ways in which you can stay ahead of competition when you are at a startup networking event. With the growing number of startup and limited resources, you need to make sure that you stand apart among them in order to get the resources allocated to you. There are numerous mixers being hosted and you need to visit as many of them as possible if you want the best impact. It is important for you to network well, if you want people to invest in your startup or offer their expertise for the same.

See my disclaimer.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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