While we do not all possess the charisma necessary to talk our way into or out of anything, all successful entrepreneurs, startups, and freelance workers can benefit from being able to network well.
Building your social capital and gaining respect in your field will keep interest in your business high and keep profits on the rise.
With the growth of coworking these spaces are becoming increasingly popular places to network and develop contacts for growing businesses. Doing this well, however, is both an art and a science. Failing to network properly in these environments can lead to alienating yourself and making your business worse off for your efforts.
Let’s take a closer look at some specific tips to help you network effectively in a coworking space.
Be an Engaged and Active Coworking Colleague
If you are starting out in a new coworking space, make sure that you start things off on the right foot. Using common-sense can go a long way in this regard, but it can be helpful to point out some reminders for those who have worked in a more traditional office environment for some time.
Be sure to introduce yourself to your colleagues as soon as you can. Take a genuine interest in what they are doing in the space and learn about what their plans are for the future. You will find that some of their goals are in line with your own. This can lead to potential collaborations or mutual brainstorming sessions that can benefit all parties involved.
You might even try exchanging your professional services for those of your colleagues. If you are an expert in website design, for example, you can help those in the coworking space who struggle in this area. They may be able to return the favour in other ways, such as introducing you to important contacts in your industry.
Be social but also be courteous with your colleagues’ time. Save extended discussions for lunch hours and coffee breaks. Remember that your coworkers are there to get things done just like you are. Avoid coming on too strong or you run the risk of alienating yourself.
Be Passionate About Your Work
Nothing stands out more than someone who is truly passionate about what they are working on. If you enjoy working on your business and want to generate as much interest in your projects as possible, bring positive and motivated energy to your coworking space each day.
This will inspire interest and curiosity in your work among your colleagues and can open many doors for expanding your network. If your coworking colleagues take an interest in your business, they may be able to introduce you to someone who can take your work to the next level.
Take Advantage of Meetup Events
Premium providers of coworking spaces offer the opportunity for their members to attend several different casual meetup events throughout the year. These might be happy hours or more structured events like speaking engagements. These are great chances to meet new people in an organic way and make contacts that can open doors for your company.
Once you have established yourself in your coworking space, you may even be motivated to put on some events of your own. Hosting an event with your coworking colleagues on the guest list is a great way to make a good impression and extend your network.
Networking Through Coworking
With more people using coworking spaces every day, your opportunities for meeting new people and building your network have never been better. Choose a comfortable and open coworking space that can allow you to make new contacts in an organic and authentic way.