I'm gonna be real with you for a minute. Networking.is.HARD. But it doesn't have to be. Here are a few of my personal tips on how to effectively network like a pro.
Get Out There
One of the best ways to meet a lot of people at once is to attend community or industry events. Be fearless in approaching people and breaking the ice. Don't lead with talking about work, but do find a way to organically share your passion. Have fun and be yourself.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people commonly make is not following up! I've learned that sending a simple follow-up e-mail (i.e.: was nice meeting you) goes a long way. This is also a good time to share your portfolio or work samples. Don't wait too long between the meeting and the follow up. You want to stay fresh in their mind!
Stay In Touch
After the follow up, make sure you keep in touch. This part is definitely all about balance as you want to stay relevant, but never annoying! For potential clients, send any exciting news or updates. You want to come first to a potential client's mind when they are ready to make the next move!
Best of luck,