1. Be A Leader – Often people wait on others to plan occasions to network. The best thing about networking is, though, anyone can lead the charge. Set up a happy hour, and invite people who you want to get to know better and people you already know and ask each to bring a friend. Lead the effort and your effort will be rewarded.
2. Quality Over Quantity – When networking, it is always good to set a goal for how many connections you will make, but don’t let racking up the number of people you meet, get in the way of making quality connections. The best networking leads to a continued relationship. This happens when you create a genuine connection.
3. Plan Ahead – Prior to any networking situation, it is incredibly helpful to prepare. If you are going to an event where you know who you want to meet, research a little about the person and their business beforehand. If you are going somewhere you know no one, gain as much valuable information about attendees, such as who will be there, in advance, so you come in with knowledge and a sense of comfort.
4. Do For Others – One of the best ways to have great success at networking is to make sure people know you are not in it just for yourself, but for others. Ask people you meet what you can do to help their situation. People like to connect with those who will put someone else ahead of themself.