To meet new people is sometimes very scary, especially when you don’t like doing it or you are new to town or shy.
Let’s say, you have just moved to a new city what do you do? This is a great question, Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank..asks this of people when there are offers on the table. “What are you going to do?”
When I moved to San Francisco CA, I just knew I wanted to launch an idea/project here. Of course the weather and it’s beauty does help too!
What you need to do, is figure out who you want to meet..when I arrived I knew no one, even though people may say, “hey look me up and…” I think they just said this out courtesy don’t depend on them..some may actually mean it, some really don’t. I was fortunate that my sister lived here for a long time and hooked me up with a few people..that I could meet or get to know. One of the gals was Liz – Bette just said “Meet Mari–Lyn for coffee and pretend it’s her (Bette).” We did, we hit it off, and I always keep in touch or find ways that we can socialize.
I’ve been here for almost 2 years..boy it’s hard to imagine.. I have some great connections in the Food business and still finding ways to meet more people.
My 11 Networking Tips:
1. Pick a focus or vertical of people that you want to meet, this will shorten your time.
2. Go to each city’s Chamber mixers – just to get a feel for the people and the area your are in. Living in Fremont, my roommate would tell me about it, introduce people to me, it will give you time to discover who you would like to get to know better. Each chamber has it’s own focus.
3. Volunteer – I actually volunteered for an organization that I liked what they were doing – Community Gardens.. I was offered a contract for a Project Manager as they received a grant. I said, yes! I was just so happy to have something while finding my way.
4. Go to Church – Normally it’s not something someone says..find a church that believes in the values as you do. That will fill your spirit. Why? Because, you’ll depend upon your Spirit or your God within to help you on your new adventure or journey.
5. Check out Meet-Up.com, they have many meetings listed, pick a couple that could help you in your job search, for socializing or just interests. There are lots of business networking groups.
6. Take a class. Learn something new and meet people at the same time.
7. If you are looking for a Tech job, check out this website (www.techjobscafe.com) for jobs. One thing that is funny here, people post jobs on Craigslist.com. Also be active on LinkedIn. Search Indeed.com, you can connect using your LinkedIn account.
8. Be proactive in meeting new people, ask them where they go. If they are active, they will invite you as a guest. When you find a group you like, reciprocate.
9. Be consistent in networking. I met this gal who was a financial planner I asked her how she keeps up with all the networking she does. Her answer was, she goes to a women group every month and volunteers for committees. The rest of the time, she has five groups that she attends once a month on a consistent basis.
10. Start your own group, whether it’s online or meeting in person. You never know who you are going to meet. Or join a group like Rotary that would be of interest to you.
11. Be a hostess/host of the event. Even if it’s not yours. It’s a great way to get comfortable, you are helping other people who are shy and you meet more people. Years ago, I was coaching a gentleman who wanted to meet new people, he was rather shy, I just suggested that he become a host of the event. He reported back to me, saying it worked really well.
Try these 11 tips out see how they work for you. I love to hear which tips that have worked for you.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mari–Lyn Harris advises Food Startups – how to energize their Marketing. She blogs, writes about Marketing, Social Justice issues and a few things in-between. Food 4 Social Change is a Producer Cooperative, provides many services to support food startups. A complete food-eco system. Check out http://food4socialchange.org