Tips for Networking in a New Industry
Ben Tao is CEO of Extra Lunch Money (extralunchmoney.com). In this video he shares some tips for networking in a new industry.
- Attend conferences & trade shows
- Reach out to people online
- Create an industry resource
- Be sure to follow-up when appropriate
If you’re starting on a new industry, it is very scary. You don’t know where to start, who to contact and you don’t have any contact to start it. So the things that have helped out for us tremendously are these few tips that I’ve learned along the way.
First thing, attend conferences and trade shows. If you’re starting out a new industry, put yourself out there. And when you go these conferences, make sure your being outgoing enough does not worry about introducing yourself. So make yourself known when you go to these conferences.
Second when you do -- when you go -- you can also find people online. So if you don’t have time to do the in person thing, you can actually find out a lot of information about people online. Now, LinkedIn is a great resource to find people online, and then send them a friendly e-mail. Say, “Hey, I’m new to the industry. This is what I’m trying to do. Do you have any advice for me?” So I think reaching out in a, you know, inquisitive manner is always a good thing to elicit feedback or at least make that connection with someone that you might want to make a connection with.
Next, it’s important, if you want to actually be of resource or an expert in your field. If you don’t know anything, rather than pretend like you are, it’s probably good to just start something so other people can learn, because you are learning to that process as well. So creating an industry resource like a newsletter or blog where people can, you can share things that you’ve learned, people you’ve met and tips that you learned along the way is a great way to be able to know about you and to actually contribute information that you could share with others.
Finally, make sure you follow up when it’s appropriate. So no one likes to be hounded with tons of e-mails or tons of unsolicited e-mails. So you know if someone doesn’t response right away to you, it’s probably good to wait a few more months, and then you know, e-mail them with an update and say, “What you’re doing now?” or if you have a useful article or, you know, blog post that you think might be of interest to them, send it to them so they can be kept in the loop. And you might not hear back but do it enough times, they’ll probably respond to you. But the important thing is, remember, don’t be annoying.