Startup networking tips

There’s no need to hit a brick wall! We are here to help you to network with some proved and useful tips!

Networks are for startups as important as water is for plants; without networks you simply will not survive. May you find the tips refreshing and be able to put them into action straight away.

If you have in mind an awesome startup related networking tip share it through our form!

TIP NB 1

GIVE BEFORE YOU GET

You need to establish some sort of a connection or a relationship before you run towards a person asking for favors. Don’t assume that people will help you without expecting nothing in return. You have to show them that you are willing to return the favor now or in the future. 

When networking/connecting with new people it is important to remember that the point of networks is not to only help you in a professional way. The point is to establish some form of a relationship with them and show that you are interested in them and ready to help them as well. 

It is super important that you treat your networks with respect, care and understanding. 

Sometimes your giving can be a smile to brighten the day or a moment to listen without interrupting while sipping coffee together. Get creative! Give and you’ll see you’ll get even from the act of giving. Be the person you want to network with.

This tip is from our form. Thank you!

TIP NB 2

ASKING FOR HELP IS A SIGN OF TRUST

It is really important to remember that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of trust and strength. Don’t get locked in thinking about how well you know a person in order to ask for help. Rather think about how you would feel if someone would ask for a small favor from you; I bet that you would feel happy, appreciated and ready to help. We usually enjoy helping others.

Many people think they are not good enough if they ask for help and that is why it is so hard for majority of us. Asking for help and trusting is a great foundation for a connection. Take a leap of faith and try yourself!! It is one great way to expand your network and improve yourself.

It’s good to keep an open mind when networking. There’s no way you can imagine now which connections will be helpful for you after five years. Give time and understand that we are all in a journey and none of us knows for sure how we or our surroundings will be in five years.

With some persons you will soon realise that the mutual trust just isn’t there. Maybe a person just keeps asking and expecting but gives nothing at all. There is no need to carry on with people who don’t show respect to themselves or others.

Don’t compare apples to oranges. Trust and trust again. No one survives alone. We need to keep on going, asking and having those fruitfull conversations. Just by showing up and brainstorming together with a new person you may both benefit enormously. Ask, trust and give whenever you have a chance.

This tip is through an inspirational conversation with Joni Ramu from HUBS. Thank you!

TIP NB 3

TAKE CARE OF YOUR DIGITAL BUSINESS CARD

How does your digital business card look like? You should keep in mind that for a potential customer or business partner your LinkedIn page could be the first thing they see regarding you . Please check is your profile picture presentable, have you updated your latest job experience, and overall would you enjoy going through your own profile? Remember that if the information is not easy to find and all in all your digital business card is messy it doesn’t give that good of a picture of you. It is good to keep it simple and updated all the time.

While taking care of your digital business card remember that the tone you choose to represent your work and you is essential. Digital business card is not only your LinkedIn page. It’s worth to take some time and check your overall information, approach and visual presentation in different social media channels in addition to your other web appearances.

Easy way to get some beneficial activity to any of your social media pages is by following, commenting and liking key companies and potential customers. Don’t forget talents in your field for collaboration and peer support possibilities. These actions help the algorithms to show in your feed relevant and interesting posts and people giving you opportunities to come across even some unexpected awesome new contacts.

When the number of followers is increasing keep in mind that it is not about the amount, it is about interacting, learning, understanding and possibly even creating together. Oona Kankkunen believes that no one wants to have just thousands of faces as followers. The quantity of people who are following you is one measure, but far more relevant is to really realize and think who the people in your own network are and are they engaging with you.

TIP NB 4

FOLLOW UP AFTER THE FIRST MEETING

Time is valuable so it is important to keep that in mind while networking. Don’t waste another person’s time, but don’t be afraid to ask for a meeting. If you are sincerely interested in the person and their interests they will most likely make time for you then. 

You can follow up by thanking the person again for their time and help, by giving them some more ideas or sharing a beneficial tip or an article. Do however follow up without delay. Use the channel that you feel is the most appropriate and practical.

When you follow up after the first meeting, it is a lot easier to continue the conversation later on, because also this way of communicating has already started. Keep in mind that following up doesn’t have to happen just after the first meeting. You could send a message even after a quick chat you had while enjoying some hot beverage.

A good message is personalized and to the point. There is a human in the other end of it who also has needs, weaknesses and time limits. Please consider this when choosing the form, tone and timing of your message. Always appreciate the other person’s efforts. And do keep in mind that networks work both ways. Please be ready to bring your effort to the table also. Maybe you should consider scheduling few minutes every day in your calendar for networking messages and some time for lending a helping hand?

This tip is inspired by a conversation with Tommi Uitti who is Startup Ecosystem Community Manager at Business Tampere and Vesa-Matti Ruottinen who is Senior Specialist at City of Tampere. Thank you!

TIP NB 5

BE CREATIVE WITH YOUR CONNECTING

Webinars are an awesome opportunity to connect with some new people while getting some valuable information from your field of expertise or about a generally interesting topic. 

While attending webinars, remember that you have an opportunity to use the chat box to introduce yourself and from there hopefully form some connections. Do not overthink it. Just put a polite message in the chat box telling who you are and link your LinkedIn page there so people can get to know you better and stay in touch.  

While telling about yourself remember to be clear why people should connect with you. Don’t be a company sales guy pitching your company. You are an expert. Bring that value into your introduction and be YOU, genuinely!

These are the key factors in building some new meaningful connections. Best webinars for connecting are the ones that are nearest to your field of expertise. How about you mark straight away in your calendar the webinar when you will give this a try!

This tip is through a lovely conversation with Oona Kankkunen. She has her own company called Network & Growth. Thank you!

These Startup Networking tips have been put together by Tribe Tampere marketing intern Leila Ali with the support of Marketing Lead Mirella Mellonmaa and marketing intern Farzaneh Esmaeili during the Autumn of 2021.