Networking events are a fantastic opportunity to expand your professional circle, make new connections, and build lasting relationships. However, the real magic happens after the event when you effectively follow up with the people you’ve met.
Whether you’re aiming to land a new job, attract potential clients, or simply broaden your professional network, following up is the key to success. Let’s explore five tips for following up after networking events and making the most out of those valuable connections.
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Schedule a coffee meeting
The ultimate goal of networking is not just to collect contacts but to build meaningful relationships. To take things to the next level, consider scheduling a coffee meeting with your new connections to build stronger professional rapport.
When proposing a meeting, suggest a few date and time options to make it easier for them to choose a convenient slot. Additionally, specify the purpose of the meeting and how it aligns with your shared interests.
For example, you could say, “I’d love to continue our conversation about innovative promotional products over a cup of coffee. Are you available next week? I’m flexible with my schedule, so let me know what works for you.”
Strike while the iron is hot
One of the most common mistakes people make after networking events is waiting too long to follow up. Time is of the essence. Your new contacts are likely to still remember your conversation within the first 24 to 48 hours, making your follow-up feel more relevant and genuine.
Start by sending a warm and personalized email or message. Express your gratitude for their time and highlight something memorable from your conversation. A little reminder of your initial interaction can go a long way in solidifying that connection.
Connect on LinkedIn
We all know that LinkedIn is the go-to platform for professional networking, so it’s worth connecting with your new acquaintances on the platform after a networking event. Include a personalized message with your connection request, reinforcing the reason for connecting.
Mention how you look forward to staying in touch and discussing topics related to your mutual interests. LinkedIn can also serve as your professional virtual business card, allowing you to stay updated with your connections’ activities, job changes, and achievements.
Be a giver, not just a taker
Effective networking is a two-way street. Don’t just think about what you can gain from your new connections; consider what you can offer in return. Be proactive and look for opportunities to help or provide value to your contacts.
This could be in the form of information, referrals, or introductions to other people in your network. For instance, if you come across an article related to their industry, share it with your contact.
By providing value, you not only strengthen your relationship but also position yourself as a valuable and trusted connection.
Stay consistent with your follow-up
Maintaining a network is not a one-time effort but an ongoing process. Make a habit of checking in with your contacts periodically. Set reminders to send a message, share interesting articles, or offer assistance when you can.
Consistent follow-ups keep your network warm and engaged, making it easier to reach out when you need support, advice, or collaboration.
Remember, the goal of networking is not just to benefit from your contacts but to build meaningful relationships that can support your professional growth and success.
Making meaningful connections
Networking events are wonderful opportunities to expand your professional circle, and following up is the key to making the most of these connections. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to building a powerful and effective professional network.