8 Great Ways to Step Up Your Networking Game

business-networking-tipsNetworking is never easy. Even the online kind, when done right, is work. Hard work.

To help you get the most out of your networking efforts, our friends at Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) asked their members:

What is your one great tip and/or tool for networking?

Here are some of our favorite responses:


Find the Most Interesting Person

S fou“Networking is sometimes a drag, but I always approach it like an investigator: I try to figure out what makes someone tick, what they are passionate about or what they have to offer the world. Pick an individual and try to figure out why he or she is the most interesting person in the room. Approached from this angle, it almost becomes a game, and you win when you have put the pieces together.”

– Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR ()


Follow up Consistently

Martina Welke“The most important part of networking happens after an initial meeting when you have an opportunity to follow up and start to really build a relationship. If you have a great conversation with someone at an event or over coffee, be sure to pave the way for future communication. A simple thank-you message is great; offering an intro or resource related to your conversation is even better.”

– Martina Welke, Zealyst ()


Utilize Rapportive

Dave NevogtRapportive is a Gmail plugin that quickly allows you to connect with everyone you email on social networks. Enter an email address, and it allows you to connect on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, AngelList and more with one click. When doing sales, it allows you to reach the prospect via different channels, which is far more effective.”

– Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com ()


Give a Handshake and Repeat the Person’s Name

Eddie Lou“Give a firm handshake as an initial impression. Say the person’s name three times in your first conversation, and it is likely that you will always remember his or her name.”

– Eddie Lou, Shiftgig ()



Use Bizzabo

Ben LangBizzabo is an excellent app to use at networking events. Often at those events, it’s hard to know which people would be the most beneficial for you to meet. Bizzabo solves exactly that problem and lets you easily connect with other people.”

– Ben Lang, Mappedly ()


Use Business Card Readers

Patrick Conley“We collect tons of business cards at nearly every networking event we attend. To help us manage this, we use a new app from Infusionsoft (our CRM system) that allows us to scan the business cards on our iPhones and import them directly into our CRM database while also keeping notes about our interactions. It eliminates the paper clutter and helps us keep great records.”

– Patrick Conley, ()


Share Personal Interests

Danny Wong“Talk about your real interests that don’t include work. If you’re a less-experienced entrepreneur hoping to impress a legend in the startup space like Jason Calacanis or Steve Blank, or if you’re courting a tech writer for a story, don’t start with shop talk. You won’t get anywhere unless you’re THAT amazing. Talk to their personal interests so the connection is authentic and less transactional.”

– Danny Wong, Blank Label ()


Offer Something in Return First

Andrew Schrage“Reverse the traditional process of networking where you ask for help and then offer something in return. Instead, show the person you want to establish a connection by demonstrating what you can do for them before inquiring about what they can do for you.”

– Andrew Schrage ()


For this post, YouTern thanks YEC and Start-up Collective!




Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.



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