Networking. Dun, dun, duuuuuun.

Networking can be terrifying. You’re entering into a room full of strangers hoping to leave with brand new connections. So whether you’re searching for the in to your dream job or looking to make quality connections with new friendors, putting yourself out there takes practice! The District Bliss team has put together a list of our top networking secrets of success. We want you to feel prepared, confident and ready to own any networking event!

TIP 1: Be authentic. Everyone wants to know you care about what they are saying. And, actually care! 😉
TIP 2: Ask questions about the people you’re talking with. We all like to talk about ourselves; try not to talk too much about yourself and focus on the person you’re talking with.

TIP 3: Wear something memorable. I cant count the number of times I’ve left an event and said, “I really loved hearing about [name]’s business! Did you meet him/her? (S)he was wearing that geometric shirt and colorful pants,” or had someone remember me for wearing a bright yellow dress. There are so many people who are terrible with names – and faces – but those people will remember what you were wearing!

TIP 4: Have fun, smile, and be happy! Positivity is contagious and people around you can sense your mood. (This is especially important if the event is being photographed — seriously! As a photographer, I cannot stress that enough! It’s so sad when someone looks unhappy in a great photo!)
-Sara, District Bliss Co-Founder

TIP 5: Be early! I am almost always awkwardly early everywhere I go. But when it comes to networking, it pays to be the first one in the room. You don’t have to choose who to approach or make your way into a conversation, the next people to arrive are naturally going to gravitate to you and introduce themselves. Boom! Networking with very little effort!

-Tracy, DC Blissbassador

TIP 6: Ask open ended questions! This way, the conversation does not end with a simple yes or no to your question.

TIP 7: Remember as many people’s names as possible that you meet, so you can address them personally when you see them again in the future. Obviously, this is easier when you collect business cards! You may be thinking, “do people still use business cards?” and the answer is “yes!”; it’s still an expectation of many networking events. Don’t panic if you forget yours, you can always send it to someone afterward. If you don’t have any business cards, then it’s about time you had some printed!

-Brittany, VA Blissbassador

TIP 8: Be an active listener! There’s nothing more frustrating when you’re speaking with someone and they seem very disinterested (e.g. looking around the room, not making eye contact, etc.) When you’re an active listener, you building a rapport with that individual which can lead to a meaningful relationship!

TIP 9: After a networking event, follow up with those individuals no later than three days! While those individuals are fresh in your mind and you have their business cards, reach out to them thanking them for their time, bring up a point or topic that you two discussed so that they’re able to remember you, and be proactive about meeting up with them to discuss further partnerships! If they don’t respond within a week or two, follow up again!

-Cassie, DIY Blissbassador

TIP 10: Take notes! If you’re talking to a lot of people, chances are it may be harder to remember all the awesome things you discussed with your new connections! Bring a pen + a small notebook to jot down any key points or things you’d like to remember about the person/conversation when you follow up with them! You can even write on the back of their business card!

-Melanie, District Bliss Unicorn + Assistant

Happy Networking!

Photographs by Chris Ferenzi Photography