#79: 3 Tips for Awkward-less Networking

If there’s one thing that unifies humanity, it’s the awkwardness we all experience when meeting new people.

But business growth depends on your ability to make meaningful connections, whether it’s at a live event or on social media.  

So how do you break the ice without coming across as insincere, incompetent, or pushy?

I’ve distilled my experiences into a three-step strategy that takes the awkwardness out of meeting new people so you can grow your business.  

The Magic Formula: Compliment, Question, and Offer Value for Free 

The magic formula for awkward-less interactions is compliment, question, and offering value for free.

It’s just like it sounds.

When you meet someone new, offer them a compliment, ask them a question, and/or provide value to them for free.

Let’s see how this works in three different situations: at live events, on social media, and when asking for referrals.  

Connecting at Live Events 

Let’s begin with the traditional setting of live events.

The key here isn’t to launch into a self-introduction but to start with a compliment.

Complimenting something about a person or commenting on the environment serves as a gentle opener that eases into the conversation.  

Next, pivot to asking questions.

This shifts the focus from you to them, easing any pressure you might feel and fostering a genuine connection.

Lastly, transition the conversation towards your business by offering something of value for free.

This could be helpful advice, a free consultation, or any resource that you can provide without any obligations.

This approach not only demonstrates your expertise and generosity but also lays the groundwork for a business relationship that feels natural rather than forced. 

Connecting on Social Media 

Social media offers a playground for networking.

Here too, the formula of compliment, question, and offering something for free proves effective.

Start by leaving genuine compliments on posts, which not only gets you noticed but also opens the door for interaction.  

If you receive a response, continue engaging by asking thoughtful questions, keeping the conversation focused on the other person’s interests and activities.

And when the moment feels right, extend an offer of something valuable for free.

Remember, the aim is to move these online interactions into direct messages and eventually into real-world connections.

(All while providing value and building trust.) 

Connecting through Referrals 

Referrals are the gold standard of networking, offering a direct path to new opportunities through existing connections.

But many hesitate to ask for referrals, fearing it might make them appear needy or pushy.

I totally get it.  

So use this simple but powerful line: “Hey, you might not realize this, but I prefer doing business with friends or friends of friends.

And because of this, I was wondering if you might be open to introducing me to [the type of people you serve in your business]?” 

This approach positions you as someone who values personal connections and opens the door for your contacts to introduce you to potential leads.

It’s a straightforward yet effective way to expand your network through the trust you’ve already built within your circle. 

The Power of Offering Value 

Across all these scenarios, the common thread is value.

Specifically giving it for free.

Whether it’s through a compliment, insightful questions, or free resources, the goal is to offer value.  

Networking doesn’t have to be icky.

By giving compliments, asking questions, and offering value for free, you can navigate different environments with ease and confidence.

The power of networking lies in building relationships, not just exchanging business cards.

So next time you find yourself at an event, online, or seeking referrals, remember the magic formula: compliment, question, and offering value for free.  

If you enjoyed these tips and want to continue learning about how to grow your personal brand, why not schedule a Free Brand Call with Brand Builders Group?

We’re here to help you build your influence and monetize your personal brand.

If you have big dreams for your business, we have a plan to make them come true.  

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