5 Tips for Authentic Networking in a Co-Working Space
What authentic networking practices can you employ in a co-working space?
- Strike up a conversation
- Suggest a fair work trade
- Share your knowledge
- Use your supplies for promotion
- Show passion for your work
Co-working spaces have sprung up in different places because of the shift in our work practices and the overall economy. The growing popularity of project-based and freelance work has caused a lot of office space for rent in Parañaque to be turned into co-working spaces, and people are using them now more than ever. Slowly but surely they are competing with coffee shops, which are favorite places of work among freelancers.
Workers gain many benefits from working at co-working spaces. They can just go in, hunker down, put their headphones on, and zone in on their work. It’s definitely a great way to be productive as there are little to no distractions. Co-working spaces also open a lot of opportunities for individuals to grow their business. It’s the ideal place to spread awareness of your business since space is shared by professionals from different fields and walks of life.
However, doing this isn’t an easy task. You can’t just walk up to these people who are busy with their work and pitch your business/service. Authenticity is the most important aspect of networking, so individuals must learn the following practices that bank on this trait if they want to successfully expand their network.
Strike Up a Conversation
Start by a simple “Hello” accompanied with a warm and inviting smile. Ask people how they’re day is going. Inquire about their lives, their hobbies, their likes, and dislikes. You can even invite them to lunch. Put simply, treat them like how you would someone you want to be friends with. Taking a genuine interest in their lives is the simplest and easiest way to build rapport and establish a relationship.
These simple conversations will slowly turn into sales conversations and business talks, and you just have to wait for it to naturally happen. During this process, you should be able to make a lifelong friend and a business acquaintance.
Suggest A Fair Work Trade
There may come a point where someone offers you something you need may it be in form of a favor, product or service. When this comes, try to pay them back with something of equal value preferably with your own service or product.
This equal trade produces many benefits sometimes in the form of referral. If your colleague likes what you offered, he/she may spread the word. Such words will reach the ears of other people in the co-working space and even outside of it.
Share Your Knowledge
Business is about the constant acquisition of knowledge and continuous learning and a co-working space is the best place to achieve all this. As said before, the people sharing the office with you are experts in their own professions, which means they have useful knowledge that you don’t and vice versa. Sharing this knowledge will lead to immeasurable gains for both parties, so try to be generous with information.
Rest assured that there’s no need to divulge trade secrets. You can simply let them in on an amazing software that has stayed under the radar or share contact details of useful individuals/organizations like accountants or legal services.
Use Your Supplies for Promotion
One subtle way of promoting your business is plastering promotion material on your office supplies. Pens, staplers, punchers, erasers, and similar things are routinely needed in these spaces. People will constantly borrow these things from you, so might as well use it as an opportunity to promote your business.
You can label these items with something similar to but less straightforward than a business card. Something like a piece of paper with your business’ name and URL should suffice. You can then leave these things in your desk and encourage people to use it if they need or leave it in the break or conference room for good.
Show Passion for Your Work
Ever had an unenthusiastic salesman talk you into buying a product or at the very least recommend it to your friends and family? Never, right? No one wants to buy something from someone who clearly has no passion or confidence in their product and the same can be said for your business. No matter how hard you try to flower your words, if your passion doesn’t show through your actions, then no one will be interested.
On the other hand, if you display a passion for what you do, people will be drawn to you due to curiosity. They’d be asking what it is you do and how you remain so in love with your work. Doing this allows you to build relationships which can then lead to opportunities. Even if they have no need for your products or services, they may be willing to recommend you to others.
Co-working spaces are so much more than just places where you can quietly do your work. They are also places where you can expand your network and build professional relationships in. The next time you’re in an office space for rent in Parañaque, why not try out these 5 tips for authentic networking. Surely, these will get you what you want which are strong relationships and dozens of business opportunities.