The temperatures are rising, you are getting invited to pool parties and barbecues, and the networking opportunities are plentiful.
During this time of year, it’s important not to miss out on networking opportunities because they don’t look like networking opportunities. Remember the BBQs and pool parties mentioned earlier? These summertime events are opportunities to network as well.
And while it is easy to have your mind on the lake and summer vacations it is still important to get out and network and build relationships so I have compiled a list for successful networking this summer.
1- VOLUNTEER– From community cleanups to charity fun runs, summer brings a variety of nonprofit events. Offering your services is a great way to meet a variety of people. You’ll go home with a good feeling, and maybe even a lead or two.
2- JOIN A Meetup Group- If you are looking for something to do this summer or looking to expand your friend group, look no further than Meetup.com. With groups for every interest, you’re sure to find something up your alley. The best part is that the groups don’t have to be professionally focused. The real key is just meeting new people and then the networking part will come naturally. I recently started a group called Purely Social Entrepreneurs. We meet to go out to happy hours, trivia and other fun events. Meeting lots of new people is always a fun way to expand your circle.
3- GET YOU OUT of your Comfort Zone– Say YES to the BBQs and pool parties that you get invited to. Even if you are an introvert you can make casual conversation in the pool or over the food. Ask questions about others. People love to talk about themselves so ask them questions to get to know them.
4- DON’T DRESS INAPPROPRIATELY– Yes, it is hot out but this isn’t the place to wear short shorts, crop tops or flip flops. Remember first impressions matter. Would you do business with someone who is wearing cutoffs to a networking event?
5- KEEP YOUR PHONE in your purse or pocket– We’re all guilty of doing this at networking events, even if we don’t mean to do it. It’s difficult to approach someone who appears engrossed in their smartphone, so try to keep yours stored away to avoid turning off a potential connection who wants to chat with you.
6- DO SMILE & be friendly– If you don’t feel bold enough to walk up to a stranger and start talking, don’t push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Make yourself approachable by smiling and projecting a positive attitude.
If you are ready to heat up your networking this summer you’ll be glad that you did!!
What tips do you have for summer networking? We would love to hear what you are doing to build relationships this summer.