Networking skills are crucial in all walks of life, especially as an entrepreneur. Why? It’s hardly a surprise; First, humans are social creatures. We need human interaction to survive. Second, genuinely succeeding as an entrepreneur is primarily determined by who you know and your sales ability. Trust me: it all boils down to sales. 

For those who do not know me: I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) company, StudyFlats, when I was only 22 years old. As the sole founder and director, I scaled the business to over 30 UK cities. Okay, enough with the self-marketing, but feel free to read more about me here if you wish. 

In my years as an entrepreneur, I realised that one of the key determinants for an entrepreneur’s success is their networking skills, as well as their existing network. Personally, I always thrived on meeting new people and generally interacting with others. However, I did have my periods of being shy and introverted and therefore can relate to others who feel similarly.

Building my own business helped me turn my outgoing personality, as well as my flaws, into effective networking skills.

Today, I want to share 3 hacks that you can start implementing RIGHT NOW to improve your networking skills.

1. Get out there & talk to people

I don’t care what it is, nor does it have to necessarily be business/networking events at first. 

Of course, business and networking events are essential for building a network relevant to your business. 

However, at this point, the purpose is to get in the habit of talking to ANYBODY. The best way to start is to take part in activities that you resonate with on a personal level, such as sports. 

Start getting comfortable with the idea of talking to anyone and shake off any discomfort/anxiety that you have about it.

2. Surround yourself with effective networkers | “ Your network is your net worth”

One of the best ways to learn networking skills is by being in the company of effective networkers. 

“Your network is your net worth” is a golden quote and one that is particularly relevant to any entrepreneur. 

Moreover, simply being in the presence of those who possess a skill that you desire will enable you to adopt their positive traits/approach/mindset.

3. Approach and talk to influential people, especially if it makes you uncomfortable 

I grew up in an environment where I interacted with people who were either celebrities or nationally known within their fields of expertise. 

Initially, I recall that sense of anxiety when being surrounded by such people. However, since being a teenager I pushed myself to start conversations with such individuals. Interestingly, those conversations were always very positive despite feeling uneasy in the beginning. 

Remember this: “everyone is a human being with their own flaws and imperfections, including yourself”. Once you truly realise that, social pressure will have far less impact on your networking skills as an entrepreneur.

As an example of this, in 2019 I was shortlisted as a finalist by NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards for North East England. 

These 3 simple hacks will help you take your networking skills to the next level. As an entrepreneur, your social and professional circle is paramount to your success. Therefore, developing your networking skills should be a key priority for any prospective and current entrepreneur. 

About My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats which I scaled to over 30 UK cities. I currently help other entrepreneurs and businesses of all size with the digital marketing strategy around SEO, copywriting, and content.