Do you want to meet interesting people?
Have you attended numerous business networking events only to get disappointed by the kinds of people that populate these meetings: salesy, spammy and only talking about themselves?
As we talked in our previous article, 5 tips for business networking:Networking is only effective when it is mutually beneficial. Click To Tweet
If this is the case for you, here is a different approach you can take to meet new people.
4 ways to meet interesting people on your own terms
1. Develop personal projects
Do you want to stand out among your peers? Develop personal projects!
Your projects may be related to your business career or professional niche or they can be centered on your hobbies.
What are your interests? Is there a moment in your life that shaped who you are now? Was it a good experience or a bad experience?
Can you improve other people’s lives by bringing that particular experience to them? Or if it was a bad experience, what can you do to prevent it from happening to other people?
Developing a project that comes from your own life experience is powerful and can influence a lot of people. When you are passionate about your project, that passion comes through in your words, your attitude and your actions. Let your passion speak and it will attract people in your network.
Leverage the power of social media and find other people that are driven by the same interests as you. Reach out to them and ask if they are willing to support your or contribute to your project or cause.
Tip: Browse LinkedIn accounts looking at the Reach out to xx for …. See if what you have to offer is of interest to them.
2. Interview people to meet them
Do you have a blog? How about a podcast?
If you don’t, it’s time to start one!
Whether you express yourself easier writing your words on paper or speaking them in front of the camera (yes, it’s not too late to start a YouTube channel), find a way to get your message across.
Start a series of interviews with the people you want to meet: everyone enjoys the idea of people wanting to hear what they have to say.
If you think writing a blog is time consuming, one solution is to establish a writing calendar and wake up an hour earlier than usual to write.
If video is more your thing, you don’t have to invest in expensive semi-professional recording gear, your smartphone will do just fine. You can also use Facebook Live to broadcast your guest’s interview or take advantage of the LinkedIn video feature.
Tip: Be authentic and talk about topics of interest to your guest, make it about him/her, not you.
3. Offer value
Create a newsletter and offer valuable content to professionals in your niche. Send them tips and tricks, pieces of wisdom you acquired during your professional or business career. Find formats easy to read: how-tos, dos and don’ts, lists, pros & cons etc.
Offer value whether it is curated content or original content. Make yourself the go-to source of information and expert advice on a particular subject.
Tip: Educate yourself on how to write easy to read pieces of content.
4. Participate in or support other people’s projects
Producing content is time challenging and long-term. If you are not willing to dedicate your time and resources to develop your own projects, it may be better to support other people’s projects.
What do you care about: children’s education, women protection, elderly care, technology of the future etc.?
Find the projects that resonate with you, reach out to their founders and offer them your help and support. By doing this you are entering their network.
Be genuinely interested in helping them achieve their goals and objectives. Become a person of value to them. Dr Cialdini’s theory of influence is based on six principles and one of them is reciprocity. So, if you help them, they will do the same for you. (Dr. Cialdini is one of the speakers at Brand Minds 2019 The Central and Eastern European Business Summit of the Year that takes place on 10th of May 2019 in Bucharest, Romania).
Tip: Choose other people’s projects carefully.
We asked Sonia Nechifor, communication and PR specialist
What is the most common mistake people make when meeting someone new?
Talking too much about yourself is an easy trap to fall into, because everyone wants to show off and to make himself known by other people in the room in a positive way. The only problem is that you can’t see your speech can be very off–putting and you don’t let the conversation to be equal. If you want to gain someone’s trust, you have to give him confidence by asking questions and showing interest.