It’s easy to understand why seniors are reluctant to network – especially when it means meeting strangers who happen to be younger. After all, some seniors may ask themselves how they can benefit from a relationship with a younger person in their field, believing they have little in common. However, you can network with people of all ages and stand to gain a lot. Networking can be a little nerve-wracking at times, but building contacts is inevitable to your growth, especially in business.
Today, Davis Jameson shares some great networking ideas for those who are over 60 but still ready, able, and eager to launch their own business.
Be Prepared with Logos, Business Cards, and More
In the business world, you need to have a solid plan for how you can bring together the right people to collaborate with you on projects. For example, when hosting an event, you need all the materials ready, such as business cards, name badges, and brochures related to your business. And if you haven’t already done so, make sure all of your marketing and networking materials feature your logo. Are you ready to create a logo? There are free tools online that allow you to put one together using pre-made templates, custom fonts, and your own graphics.
Also, while attending an external networking event, have something to hold your business cards and those you collect. If you’re nervous while talking to people, rehearse the things you’ll say beforehand. Learn a little more about good presentation skills to ensure your delivery is polished and professional.
Besides meeting people in person, there are many opportunities to connect with people online. Online networking includes using social media platforms to build an online presence. Online networks like LinkedIn, for example, are perfect for professional networking. Build a profile and include keywords that resonate with your industry.
Also, add a professional profile picture, and join groups that host professionals in your industry. While in these groups, engage other users and share content. Discussing relevant topics positions you as a voice in your niche and could encourage more people to connect with you. Besides professional platforms, you can also use social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to build a profile and share information about your business.
Talk and Listen
When you attend networking events, do not isolate yourself. Among the top events for networking, you should check out career fairs, conferences, trade shows, breakfast or luncheon meetings, virtual groups, happy hour meetups, and community service groups. When you meet people, engage them to learn about their industry, and also be open to sharing about your business. And as previously mentioned, remember to carry business cards you can share during such events.
Set Up Your Business
To improve legitimacy and ensure people can see you as a committed professional, it’s advisable to form an LLC. As a self-starter, registering the LLC allows you to run your own show and chart your course. This limits personal liability and also prevents double taxation on any income you get from the company. It also comes with less administrative paperwork. Use a formation service to help square this away quickly.
Find a Mentor
Despite your age, you still need guidance on some subjects. If you’re going into the business world, there are many ways you can benefit from having a mentor. Through a mentoring relationship, you can gain generic skills and knowledge that will make it easier to network and find new opportunities.
Also, you can have access to a senior role model who will help you make the right decisions and position yourself for great business opportunities. Having someone to help you identify and achieve your goals means you can move faster and avoid common pitfalls that could cost you. This is one of the ways to rejuvenate your career, as you will learn things relevant in the current market.
Networking comes with many opportunities for growth, so it’s always important to find ways to reach as many people in your industry as possible. Join online forums that host professionals in your industry, set up your business with all the trimmings (logos, business cards, etc.), get the paperwork filed with the state, and be open to discussion during events like career fairs, conferences, and trade shows.
For more ideas on networking, you can reach out to Davis Jameson directly.