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We all know that networking is critical not only in entrepreneurship but for business success overall. How can you connect with just about anyone? Read on for tips.

Focus on your Contact’s Needs

When you try to get in touch with somebody, don’t make it about you. You can’t start the first conversation off by simply explaining what you’d like to get from them. Let them know that you can help them as well. Think about your contact’s needs and how you can help him or her, rather than how this person can help you. Not only will this portray you in a professional light, it will keep that contact coming back to you, therefore creating a lasting relationship. The best connections are the mutually beneficial ones, so make sure it’s mutual and not one-sided.

Do your Research

When networking, make sure you tailor your communication to the contact you’re reaching out to and show that you’ve done your homework. For example, perhaps you noticed that they had just traveled to Dubai. Mention that when you reach out to them! The personalization will go a long way.If you send a blanket email to every contact in your phone, you will most likely not receive any responses. However, if you take the time to send ten specifically targeted emails, your chances will be much higher of receiving a response.

Be Helpful

Know and understand how you can be helpful to others and use it to your advantage! Say you’re a designer and you see a blog of someone’s that you believe you can improve. When reaching out to this person, you might say, “Hey, I see you’re blogging. One thing that would be awesome would be custom images.” You could then send them a sample. That would get you a foot in the door, and possibly even a job from it!

Networking is what you make it. It can be difficult and unfulfilling, or, you can use it to your advantage and actually enjoy it! It is possible to connect with just about anyone, you just have to know how. Make sure you are concentrating on your contact’s needs rather than your own, make sure you do your research ahead of time and remind people how you can be of help to them!