New to Networking – my 3 top tips!

networking top tips

I have never had to network in my working life, so far.  Becoming self-employed and launching my business as a Virtual Assistant, I knew this was one hurdle I would have to jump.  These ‘new to networking’ tips would have helped me greatly if I’d known them before I started.

The Challenge

One challenge I have faced is finding a good networking group that suits me with style, attendees, time, and venue.  If COVID-19 has only given me one thing, it is the luxury of an introduction to networking from behind a screen.  I am hoping that one day soon when COVID-19 has been banished, and I start face to face networking I will at least know some faces when entering the room. 

Finding your group

I have found a group that I am trialing – Your Partnerships.  They facilitate so many meetings all over the country.  The meetings run throughout the day, pre 9 am and after 5 pm also.  There is always a meeting to match your working lifestyle.  If you find yourself with an hour to kill you could dial into a networking call somewhere in the country.  Being a Virtual Assistant means it does not matter where your client is based as you can work with anyone – anywhere.

I have met some lovely people whilst networking.  People I would have never had come across without networking.  They are not always people that would need the services of a Virtual Assistant.  Something I’ve realised with networking is that it is not always about pitching to your audience.  You never know who they know and who is in their network, who may need a Virtual Assistant.  Good networkers refer people on to others, which I have already done, and it felt great.

Here are my top 3 tips for newbie networkers

  1. Pick some groups that you can attend regularly
    Your Partnerships have meetings all over the country, throughout the day.  You can dial in to a meeting anywhere in the country. The only issue with this is that you are not being visible in the same groups.  The idea of networking is that you get regularly seen and people remember you, so if you keep picking different groups, people will not remember you.  So be visible regularly at the same meetings.

  2. Be memorable
    Some of the meetings I have turned up to have had 2 full screens of attendees on Zoom. You need to stand out amongst that crowd somehow.  Maybe it is something you wear to each meeting – something bright.  Maybe it is your virtual background – use a photo to get people talking.  You could use your advertising banner.  Then there is that all important elevator pitch – your 60 – 90 seconds of fame.  This is the thing I was dreading most, but it is not that bad.  I think that’s because I am behind a screen rather than in a room.

    Your elevator pitch must be memorable.  I have, unfortunately, sat through some dull ones.  When you are pitching something that is not too ‘sexy’, you really need to think outside of the box and find an angle that will get people’s attention.  Maybe use audience participation (I have not done this yet), to get their attention.

  3. Follow up 121s
    I think the most important bit of networking is following up with some 121s. Do be careful with how many you book.  When you first start networking you may get carried away and find yourself attending quite a few meetings.  Then you’ll end up doing 4 or 5 121s from each meeting.  Your week would have flown by.  You’ll realise by Friday you haven’t actually done any work.

    I have been given some tips during my networking 121s, and one of those tips was to pick 2 or 3 people from each meeting that you’d like to get to know more.  Reach out to them on LinkedIn or with their details from the chat box and arrange that 121.

121s are a must - but you aren't selling your wares

Again, when first having 121s I thought I would be selling my wares or we would be talking potential work, but it is not about that however, it has been so useful.  You learn about the person a little more, about their business journey.  I have asked people where they network, do they have many one to ones, where they get most of their leads from?  They often talk about other people they have had 121s with and how I should get in contact with certain people who may benefit me.

Bonus tip

Write out your contact info on Word with your website details, and all your social media links – that way for each meeting you can just cut and paste what you need to in the chat box.

Networking started out for me being a scary thought, but I really enjoy it.

I hope my 3 tips (plus the bonus tip) has given you some support and encouragement and help with networking and see that it is not that scary after all.

If you are free for a 121 to get to know me a little better, please do get in touch –, check out my services here or use my contact form to get in touch.

Feel free to share this blog with anyone that you may find it useful.

Please share on your social media: