“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This expression is thrown around all the time but as someone just starting out in business, it can seem daunting. How do you go about making the right connections with people who can help you to further your career? The answer is to start using apps to network.
There are many ways to go about networking. It could be at a work event, a trade show, a conference or for an easier way, through an app like Piin. Technology and social media have changed how we meet and connect with others. The sheer number of people we now have access to at the tip of our fingers is overwhelming but there is a way to use it to your advantage.
The benefits of using apps to network:
Obviously face to face networking is going to give you the best results, but why not help things along with the use of an app.
You can immediately see from someone’s profile if they are in a field relevant to yours
You no longer have to make small talk with someone for twenty minutes only to find out what they do is in a completely different world to you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beneficial to talk to people in areas you might not necessarily think are relevant, however when using apps to network you are able to scan through and choose for yourself.
It’s much more direct
With an app focused on networking, everybody knows why they are there. You can dive straight into the conversation you want without having to fuss about with too much small talk. At an event specifically for networking, it allows you to suss out who else is in the room and quickly find out if they also want to connect with you.
You can find people you may never have met in a normal situation
An app opens you up to a much wider array of people, that normally you may never have had the chance to network with. You can search through everybody checked into that area and make contacts that could be of genuine use. There’s no need to wait for an introduction or awkwardly stand around trying not to interrupt a conversation. You can match on the app and organise a quick drink or a chat there and then.
It makes it easier to go and approach someone
If you are someone who is shy, using an app to network is a great way to make a first connection without going too far out of your comfort zone. You have the safety blanket of your phone to start the conversation and take away any awkwardness. Then when you do approach each other face to face there is a level of familiarity that will help you get right into the important stuff.
You already have their details and a means of contacting them set up
Swapping business cards is a great idea… until you accidentally lose it. Having your conversations saved in one place makes it easy to return to and carry on the conversation as and when you like.
How to make the best first impression when using apps to network
With apps that are saturated with lots of people, your profile is key to making you stand out for all the right reasons. Potential networkers have seconds to make a snap judgement of you. Help them make the right judgement with these tips.
Think carefully about what pictures you use
It goes without saying, your profile for networking should look different to your profile for dating. Try to use a photo that clearly shows your face, avoid Snapchat filters and save the pictures of you on a night out for any romantic interests. Potential business associates should see you looking confident, smart and professional.
i.e not like this…
Write a strong bio
A bio is important on both any social platform, but especially on a networking profile. It should sound professional but does not need the detail of a CV or cover letter. Summarise the key points about you that you want potential contacts to know in a couple of sentences or bullet points. You should look at it like the first line of your CV with details about your experience, what you hope to achieve and the skills you have.
Be consistent with replies
When messaging potential business contacts, it’s important to show a keen interest and reply as soon as possible with as much detail as you can. Keep notifications on so that there’s no chance of missing a message and coming across as flaky or unbothered.
Networking is the key to professional success and with the way industries are moving, it’s important to use technology to your advantage and use all the tools given to you to widen your reach. Next time you’re at a networking event, pull out your phone not to hide but to check who in the room is looking to connect.
With Piin, you can check into locations such as a bar or venue and connect with other like minded people looking to hang out, date or network. It’s a safe way to check out who else might be in your location and meet up in real life for a quick chat without the pressure of committing to a meeting. Download Piin now to start connecting.