One of the toughest things about side hustles is having those skills that can help you to build up your business. You need to foster connections as a side hustler, but the problem is that when your business is a side hustle and you are spending so little time on it, you’ve got to get those networking skills down. Networking as a side hustler is the hardest thing to get right. Partly, it’s because you don’t have the time to practice your networking skills, but because you are developing a side hustle with little time and comparatively little effort to the other aspects of your life, you can feel like you’re not giving your side hustle enough time. But when it is something that shouldn’t take much time, this is where people skills and networking makes a big difference. Let’s show you what it takes to do it right.
Using Events Correctly
A side hustle involves putting in the right amount of time, but it also means utilising the events that can get you maximum impact. This is why you have got to decide what type of events are going to suit you. Rather than putting your name down for every event like trade shows, or going to the opening of every envelope in the hope that you come away with a prospect, you’ve got to drill down and find the right events for you. But it also means that when you choose the right event, you’ve got to go into it with the right attitude.
For example, a trade show will involve a significant amount of effort. You’ve got to prepare your booth, and you will need to ensure that you are maximising the impact of your stand. This means you may want to invest in AV equipment, as well as things like inflatables. You can look here for more information on inflatables and how they can make your booth stand out, but you have to ensure that the right event is going to suit your business and brand. A good networking event can make waves for your business, just make sure you choose the right ones.
Perfect Your Personality
Networking is, for many people, an overwhelming prospect. You need to go into an event with the goal of getting more clients or exposure. A lot of events involve people standing around looking for the right person to target. The best thing you can do is to make sure that you are as authentically you as possible. This is not an easy thing to do, especially when we’re trying to draw a business and we think that we’ve got to be some heightened version of ourselves.
Ultimately, it depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you are looking to work with other businesses, other professionals don’t buy the patois and hustle fakery that comes with networking. It’s far better for you to be you. This is why you should work hard at being your authentic self. This doesn’t just mean you are being honest or transparent, but it also ensures that when you do get customers or clients, you don’t have to work harder to keep them. That big personality you showcased to get your client is something that can be mentally exhausting to maintain, especially if you cultivated a number of different personalities. This is why you should do you.
Practice Those Skills
Networking, in its simplest form, is having a conversation. Communication is about exchanging information from one person to another where the ultimate goal is to sell your services. This means that when you are looking for the right person to target, you may want to think about something like your elevator pitch, which is a very quick pitch that you could do in the space of 20 seconds or less. But you also need to practice those interactions. For example, you might find that you are just waiting for your gap in the conversation to say something. But this means you’re not actively listening to the other person.
Listening to what they have to say is crucial, especially as you learn the importance of developing relationships with customers. If a customer is not feeling like they’re being heard, are they going to come back to you in the future? It is unlikely. Instead, practice being present in any conversation. You might think that there are things you need to bring up, in case you forget them, but this is what rehearsals are for! Ensuring you know your business backwards and forwards and can offer a variety of opportunities to different types of people is crucial.
Knowing your business and what you are going to say means you are able to listen to a potential customer wholeheartedly without needing to dig deep into the recesses of your brain to provide solutions for their ailments. Getting into the habit of practising things like your elevator picture and saying what the business can do becomes second nature and builds up your confidence.
The Next Target Is Not the Target
We can feel like we always need to give ourselves wholeheartedly to the next person in case they are the one. Networking is about ensuring that you can have a proper conversation with someone and if you are able to offer parts of your service to them that solves their problems. We’ve got to avoid putting the pressure on ourselves to perform and to bag that next client or customer. Therefore, you should never think that the next target is your final destination.
Instead, think about being open, honest, and friendly, and you’ve always got the opportunities to follow up with these people. You give them time to think about your services and if you are a match made in heaven. A lot of the time, you could find people you have no desire to do business with, but you might feel you need to do in order to gain sales. Instead, think about being selective with your opportunities.
Networking is not the easiest thing in the world, but it is something that comes with time, and if your side hustle becomes your main hustle, you’ve spent a lot of time practising the skills.