As an entrepreneur, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business is to network with others. For many entrepreneurs, networking comes naturally. For others, however, networking can be intimidating. Whether you are just starting out in your career or are a seasoned professional, it is never too late to learn this skill. Listed below are four great networking tips for entrepreneurs.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Social media has a great way of connecting individuals with one another. Under other circumstances, these individuals may have never had the chance to meet, but because of the internet’s ability to connect professionals from all over the world, it was made possible. You’ve heard it time and time again, but platforms like LinkedIn can do wonders for a person’s career. However, you have to be intentional with it. Logging on four times a month might not be enough to sustain relationships on the app. Be intentional about who you try to connect with on the app and why. Make your profile a resource for others to glean inspiration and tips from. Interact with others’ content. The more intentional you are with it, the higher your chances of networking with the correct individuals.

Offer Help Where Needed

If you wish to grow your career and network with others, look for areas you can offer your expertise in. Perhaps your child’s school needs help making a budget for their fundraising event. If you specialize in this area, consider offering your services. This could turn into a continual gig for you or may allow you to meet other individuals who work in a similar field. You never know when volunteering opportunities may come up. It could be beneficial to your career to take advantage of these opportunities. The more volunteering you do, the more you will grow your network.

Don’t Wait to Be Introduced

Oftentimes, individuals wait to be introduced to others. While this is a form of networking, it will speak even bigger volumes if you take the initiative to introduce yourself to others. This is a great skill to have, especially at an event you’re attending solo. It might feel intimidating, but entrepreneurs need to be bold at many moments in their careers. Not only will doing this grow your networking skills, but it will also improve your professionality. If you intend to lead a company or are currently leading one, you need to be able to introduce yourself to others. This is a great way to get your name out there and promote your business or services in a genuine way.

Listen to the Other Person

Networking is often viewed as a way to promote yourself. While this is certainly a benefit of networking, it can sometimes come off as ingenuine if you are only interested in talking about your own accomplishments. Networking is a two-way street. It is just as important to listen to the other person as it is to talk about yourself. The next time you come across a networking opportunity, make sure that you are occupying half the conversation with your achievements, and the other half is occupied by the other person’s dialogue. The more you try to understand the other person you are networking with, the better you will be able to see how you can use them as a valuable resource in your life and vice-versa.