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Solo Entrepreneurs who networks

There is much talk about networking in a professional context and it's easy to understand why. Many business owners may swear that they would not have been half as successful if they hadn't found new business opportunities in different networks. But there are some difficulties. Because even if you don't consider yourself as shy, networking is still a challenge. How many of us are quite comfortable with going into a room of strangers and start talking to someone we don't know? There are a few who are capable of working their way through the room, talk to anyone  and seems to enjoy it, while most of us struggle to come up with clever things we say to those we meet and don't know.

Here are some tips for you who come alone to a network party where everyone seems to know each other already:

1. First and foremost – you have to realize that most people are just like you in the room. Shy people are focused on themselves and imagine that everyone else is too (but that's false). You can be sure that everyone in the room are focused on themselves and their own image.

2. Give yourself time to become comfortable with the situation. Try to get there before the masses show up. Start a conversation with a few people and build some self confidence.

3. Listen to discussions before joining them. Find out what you can contribute with before you do it - and then DO it.

4. Ask questions. It's the smartest way to get to know someone.

5. Go to networking meetings with the attitude that you should bring home new information, not necessarily to do business there and then.

6. Don't try to sell anything. Networking is to just build relationships and see what people might help each other with later.

7. Rehearse a quick description of what you are doing and that makes it easy to understand the benefits. Use the brief description at the meeting.

8 Whoever has collected the most business cards or handed out the most is NOT the winner at a networking meeting. You should gather contacts, try to find people who are good for you to know and that you're useful for.

9. Always ask how you can help someone and mean it.

10. Don't forget that people do business with other people (a worn, but true statement). Just like you, the participants want to do business with people they trust and who they like. Pushy or drunk people and people who never stop talking will never become successful at these meetings – but you can.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.