Guest Blogger Joanne Berry, Director of Spa and Wellness Education
Definition of networking: Connect as or operate with a network.
For a lot of people starting a conversation with a complete stranger can be a daunting task, however with practice it can become second nature. If you have a passion for what you do, it’s easy to tell anyone who will listen but will be very well received if you’re networking with people who are in the same industry as you are.
The best way to start networking is to attend industry events such as spa or salon openings or maybe join an association in your chosen field, that way you can network with other people who understand your language.
Attend shows and conferences, make sure you always go armed with business cards so that you can give them out to all the people you meet, you should always ask for their card too when you give yours.
Always network with a POSITIVE attitude, if you’re not the best right now at initiating the conversation always make sure you make eye contact and smile. That is the non-vocal way of introducing yourself together with a firm handshake.
After a networking event, you may have quite a few business cards, the trick is to always follow up with an email saying how nice it was to meet them and maybe make a point about something you had discussed such as “I would like to schedule you for that treatment we talked about”. This will build your own personal “network”.
Networking is crucial to the spa & beauty industry, referrals and “good word of mouth” promotion are essential to building you and your business so being visible as much as possible with your passion on display will help to take you to the next level. I can honestly say that without networking I wouldn’t have the connections I have today that have mentored me, guided me and kept me in this industry for over 20 years.
Good luck and enjoy building your network, who you meet now could be very influential in building your career for many years to come.