As a popular business saying goes, “Spend as much time working on your business as in your business”. Networking, today, is arguably one of the most important things about scaling a business – whether you’re part of a giant corporation or a freelancer working from home. Just the simple act of being out there in front of your target audience is necessary for a flourishing business.
Today’s dependence on various online socializing tools has made reaching out to anyone globally that much easier! But nothing really beats some good ol’ face-to-face connection building and while the pandemic certainly made it rather challenging, there are still ways to get around this.
Enter: Coworking. An engaging, exciting, and inspirational community of varied individuals and enables a novel way of networking. Coworking spaces make networking as easy as simply going to work, even though it might be crazy to believe!
Coworking spaces present a unique way of networking that stands out from traditional offices. Because coworking spaces are not dedicated to one business or even one industry, there are ample opportunities to meet different working professionals from countless backgrounds, all under one roof.
But what propels these move-in ready plug and play offices to the spotlight?
The answer to this lies in the perception of what a coworking space projects itself to be. These workspaces are primarily designed to bring people together and create communities. Among fresh open spaces and lively pops of colour, there is a much larger sense of freedom and independence that’s hard to come by in a 9-5 office.
These spaces are conceptualized in a way that individuals become more open to partaking in idea sharing, collaboration and are eager to strengthen connections with other people’s businesses.
If you’re looking to begin a serious game of networking, here are few tips to get you started in no time!
- Let It Happen Organically
Often trying too much can adversely influence your networking efforts e.g pre-planned events. Alternatively, try to keep yourself open to opportunities to meet people in an otherwise mundane daily schedule. Stopping for a cuppa at the social hub?
Engage naturally in conversation with those around you – and it doesn’t even have to be concerning work. The strongest connections are usually forged organically, which is why it makes this to the top of our list. Getting to know your community members and simply staying on top of all the happenings at your coworking spaces is extremely valuable. Become familiar with your coworking space community and you should soon start networking like a pro!
- Service Exchange
One of the easiest ways to get the ball rolling is by offering your services to those looking out. With new businesses coming in every day, people are perpetually going to be on the lookout for talent — that’s where you can step in! Help out a freelancer with creating a new website, or exchange a bit of helpful marketing insight to a business owner. The naturally collaborative environments of coworking spaces are great for facilitating communal problem-solving.
- Community Events
Events are undoubtedly one of the most time-tested ways of building strong networks. Coworking spaces are usually very dynamic and keep the communal energy alive through organizing community events for their members — take advantage and sign up frequently for these events.
Not only will this remove the performance pressure off of you, but make it easier to begin interactions around common themes. Check with your community manager to see what’s lined up for the month and where you might be able to pitch in with your expertise!
Pro tip: Make an effort to be approachable and chances are things will go your way! Check out the different seating possibilities including social hub areas throughout your coworking space every other day so that you voluntarily put yourself in a position to meet new people.
While we may be creatures of habit, trying to step out of the box works wonders for making connections. Start by making projecting yourself as approachable and be armed with a smile!