This article was created in partnership with Shapr. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.
Meeting new people can be fun, scary, exhilarating, and life-changing. It can open up new career opportunities, and sometimes even entirely new careers! To take advantage of the benefits of networking, it helps to make it a regular part of your week. Here are ten ways that networking can help you learn, collaborate and grow, and how Shapr, a mobile app, can help you facilitate that.
1. Build Your Confidence
Many freelancers find the lifestyle isolating. The silence can be unnerving, motivation can be difficult, and you may start to feel a little awkward around others.
The solution? Get together with someone in person over a coffee or meal, learn to break the ice, talk over problems, listen, and offer advice. Meeting new people will help build your confidence.
2. Be Inspired with New Ideas
Exchanging ideas with someone like-minded is inspiring, and someone from a different field can introduce you to new perspectives. A conversation with someone new can be energizing, fill your bank of new ideas, and propel you into your next project.
But where do you discover relevant, like-minded people? A new app I’ve discovered—Shapr—can introduce you.
When you meet, the conversation will be easy because you have things in common. Your profile includes 10 facts about you and your interests, and every day you’ll be introduced to 15-20 people whose interests match yours.
3. Shape Your Life and Career
Network with people you can learn from—someone further along the road who can mentor you, or a peer you can trade stories with. The best way to discover pathways to a new career is by having coffee with someone who’s already there. Quality conversations will stick with you and shape the vision of where you want to go. Big picture conversations like that are motivating and encouraging.
4. Find Fulfilment Helping Others
Networking isn’t just about receiving—giving goes both ways. You can help to shape someone else’s life or career, and have their back in difficult times. Build your network on trust and cooperation.
Swipe right to connect, swipe left to pass. Shapr is designed to spark meaningful, mutually beneficial conversations that evolve into long-term relationships.
When both you and the other person swipe right, you’ll be notified. From there you can agree to a call, coffee, lunch, or drinks—however you feel comfortable meeting them.
5. Stay Current with Your Industry
To advance your career, you need to stay relevant. Increase your sources of information by meeting with others from your industry. Make friends with people outside of your age group—they can expose you to new ways of looking at your business and help you see the big picture.
6. Hone Your Marketing Skills
Meeting new people forces you to get better at explaining what you do, which in turn will give you new marketing material. Be confident, open, and friendly when discussing what your business does. Ask questions as an informal way of doing market research and getting honest feedback on your ideas.
7. Build Your Sphere of Influence
Meeting new people will raise the profile of your business and expand your sphere of influence. But what’s really great is that those people didn’t just hear about you, they met you in person. When they spread the word about you or refer you to others, their opinions carry more weight.
Shapr makes networking feel like less work. Swiping through profiles only takes two minutes, and you don’t have to swipe right on everyone. There’s no pressure, and you don’t feel rushed. Make it part of your daily routine.
As you meet new people, you’ll inevitably come across people you can work with. Just hiring someone doesn’t always work. Some projects need someone special, who understands your vision and shares your passion. You’re more likely to meet them if you get out of your usual circles and connect with new people on a regular basis.
9. Advance Your Career
Meeting new people can open doors. Staying in touch will keep you on their radar, so they’re more likely to think of you when job openings arise or they come across someone who can use your services. Regular networking increases your chances of being in the right place at the right time.
10. Be Impacted
You never know who you’ll meet, and how they will impact your business. You’ll come across those who need your services and can refer you to others, opportunities to speak or write, new suppliers, and people you can add to your team. Who knows, you may even meet your future business partner!
Shapr’s design and functionality keep you from being annoyed by random messages and this type of setup has encouraged a lot of executives from major companies to join the app. So you never know who you may meet while swiping your daily batch.
Not convinced? The proof is in the pudding. Just give it a go! It will only cost you a few minutes a day, plus the courage to get out there and actually meet someone.
Install Shapr and make it part of your lifestyle. It’s free and works on Android and iOS. Be bold and swipe right from time to time!