Do you languish sending holiday cards, or dread attending party after party? You could try looking at these events as networking opportunities instead of seasonal chores. The holiday season is an excellent time for professional networking. People love to connect and reconnect during this time of year, so it's a great time to talk up your company with past and potential clients. Networking can be a little nerve wracking, but here are some easy ways to begin.
Send Personalized Cards: They may seem overdone, but cards are a classic sign of the season. Make your cards stand out by adding short personalized messages. If all those stamps and envelopes overwhelm you, send e-cards. These digital greetings also allow you to reach out to more people for a lower investment.
Participate at Parties: Don't just attend holiday parties, actively engage people while you're there. Try to have as many quality conversation as you can. Be sure not to focus solely on business. Inquire about people's family and holiday plans. Consider throwing a party if you're up to the challenge.
Start a Company Blog: Use holiday promotions or end of the year projects as a starting point for a company blog. Blogging is powerful, and can introduce people to your company through dialogue and ideas. Holiday and end-of-the-year topics are popular and can bring a lot of traffic to your blog if you use search-friendly phrases.
Volunteer: The holiday spirit makes more people want to give to their communities. Thus, volunteering is a great way to meet movers and shakers who are also kind individuals. Local food banks, the Salvation Army and the Humane Society are a few organizations that are particularly busy this time of year. If you can't find the time to volunteer, consider collecting goods from clients and colleagues to donate. This is great way to draw people to your office for conversation.
Vacation: The holiday spirit also makes people want to relax. There's no need to be extravagant, just plan a simple getaway and reach out to your fellow hotel, resort or bed and breakfast guests. People love to chat when they are relaxed, and being in unique or different situations can make it easier to talk to strangers. Networking in a new location is a great method for expanding your professional circle beyond the borders of your home base.
Networking will continue to play a key role in the business world, and the end of the year is no time slack off. Take advantage of these networking tips and your business will have a happy holiday.