Well, you did it. You bit the bullet and finally purchased a space at your local coworking office. They assigned you a desk, your laptop is plugged-in and you can feel a million ideas you’ve had conjured up waiting to come to life. But one of the things you’re really looking forward to? Connecting with other freelancers! But even the most extroverted of us can have trouble knowing just how to network with other creatives. The good news?
We have a few tips to try…
Show Genuine Interest
Find out what your colleague is working on or developing and ask authentic questions that show genuine interest in their projects. Genuine interest leads to a conversation that they’re not only excited but eager to tell people more about.
When networking, it’s important that you get a sense for who/what a person is extremely interested in, so you know who to hit up (or even better, help!) up the road.
Treat Them Like a Friend
Going into a conversation with an agenda is never a good idea and often looks fishy to the person at hand…people can sense authenticity from a mile away. If you notice the guy sitting next to you is having an off-week maybe bring him a coffee the next time you come in or simply ask how he’s doing.
Friendships conjure the best relationships and this method is no-fail. Who knows? They could become your next independent contractor, a friend or even a business partner down-the-line!
Don’t Talk Their Ear Off
After all, they are here to get some work done. Understand the ebb and flow of the conversation — Let them return to their projects when it is time.
Now that you broke the ice, conversations are bound to start again! Even better? If they said something that you really want to know more about/sparked interest for you, invite them to a lunch later to talk more– or send them a nice follow-up email!
What’s your best networking tip? Let us know in the comments!