Networking for Success


Fun and Effective Ways to Build Your Network

As a marketing agency, Ananta Creative Group offers a broad range of services that we customize for every client. Network coaching is not one of those services. Yet, networking is one of our most commonly recommended strategies. For some businesses, networking is quite possibly the most effective way to reach potential clients and partners. It can also be fun. Seriously. Fun! 

While marketing and networking support one another, there are significant primary differences. Marketing is typically more transactional in nature, and focuses on promoting products and services to target audiences and boosting overall brand awareness.

Networking is all about building relationships over the long term. This is why it’s so important to be consistent, to be present, and to be helpful to others. It's true when they say you are your best brand ambassador. To be most successful, the key is to combine effective networking strategies with results-driven marketing tactics.

Below you will find 10 strategies for networking success. To learn more about boosting your digital and traditional marketing efforts, contact us at

At a recent networking event with the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber, Ananta Creative Group founder and Managing Director Gail Rose offered a number of strategies for success. In addition to the tips below, she reminded the audience that every networking event is also an opportunity to elevate your brand.

10 Top Networking Tips

  1. Show Up. Remember that gym membership that was going to fast-track you to optimal fitness? And how you were always “too busy” to go? It’s a classic story. We’ve all been there.

    If you join a networking group, such as the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber, and never or rarely show up, you might not get that much out of it. That may be OK for you. Some people join a local chamber of commerce, for example, to show their support for the organization and the local economy. That’s commendable. However, if you’re like most people, you’re looking to build your network, expand your knowledge, meet experts and influencers in your field, and gain new business prospects. You can’t do that if you don’t show up.

    To increase your chances for success, find events that work with your schedule. Then get a networking buddy who will cajole you into going, or even carpool with you. Or you can make a plan to meet a colleague or prospect at an event. Finally, register and pay in advance if a fee is involved. If you adopt these tactics, you will be invested in attending an event.

  2. Be Present. Show up in body and mind. When you get to an event, hopefully on time, show up mentally as well. Put your phone away, except to exchange contact information/electronic business cards. Forget your day. Focus entirely on where you are and why you are there.

  3. Be Strategic. Choose your events wisely. Who are you looking to meet? There are easy ways to gauge an audience based on the speaker, the topic or just the tone of the event. Industry-specific conferences are a great way to target your audience. In fact, one of the greatest benefits of networking is the ability to reach people in your target audience.

    If possible, try to find out who will be attending a particular event ahead of time. Be on the lookout for industry-specific events, conferences, talks, webinars and workshops. There are so many options available to you right now — it’s just about finding the events that are going to be most beneficial and interesting to you in 2024. You should also consider the style of networking that works best for you. Virtual, in-person, casual, formal? A combination? Not sure? Try them all. Hybrid networking is more than a passing fad. You can’t beat the convenience of virtual networking or the effectiveness of face-to-face meetups. 
  1. Be Prepared. Have a 30-second elevator pitch ready. It should just be a quick and snappy synopsis of what you do and for whom, with a nod to the value you bring. It’s almost guaranteed that you will be asked what you do at every networking event you attend. Have your answer ready and be succinct.

    You should also have some conversation starters in your back pocket. Talking about the event itself is a safe bet. You’re both there, so you have instant commonality. Was the food great or abundant? Was the speaker riveting? Was the parking challenging? Is the venue beautiful? Is it your favorite event?

  2. Set Realistic Goals. If you spread yourself too thin and establish overly ambitious goals, you could easily find yourself overwhelmed, exhausted and discouraged. And then just give up. Don’t do it. Instead, focus on quality over quantity. This applies to the number of people you connect with, as well as the number of events you attend. Be selective. It’s more effective!

  3. Be Consistent. Don’t be so selective that you can’t remember the last networking event you attended. Try to attend at least two events a month. It will get you in a habit and also reinforce blossoming relationships.

  4. Be Professional. Show up on time and dress for the occasion. People are there to meet people, so it’s OK to walk up and introduce yourself to someone new. If that seems daunting, look for someone alone or a small group of people. Try not to cut into an existing conversation.

  5. Be a Good Listener. This may be the most valuable tip of all. If you find yourself going on and on about anything, especially if it’s about yourself, take a pause and give the other person a chance to comment or, better yet, take the lead. You can help this along by asking questions. Show you are listening, really listening, by displaying authentic curiosity in what they are sharing with you. Then add value if you can. If they are talking about finding a good speaker for their next conference, suggest a few, or follow up by connecting with someone who can help them. Good listening means taking in the information you receive, finding common ground, expressing sincere interest, and responding to what they said — not with what you want to say next.

  6. Be Generous with Your Gives. Shift your mindset from “What’s in it for me?” to “How can I help others?” Not all the time, of course. You are networking because you want to grow your business, learn new skills, expand your knowledge, connect with potential partners and employers, and so forth. But when you give back, whether to an individual or a corporation, you gain respect and trust.

  7. Follow Up. And do so using a combination of digital and in-person networking strategies. It’s great to connect with new contacts on LinkedIn. But personalize your follow-up and reach out to specific people. Focus again on quality over quantity. Identify key contacts and make a plan to meet for coffee or on Zoom, or just be sure to engage with their social media posts. They will notice and they will appreciate it.

“I love networking and making small talk with strangers” said no one ever—until now! With the right tools and a positive attitude, networking doesn’t have to be a dreaded necessity, and can become a welcome break in your day and a valuable way to spend your time.

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