Tips on Becoming a Top Networker


Are you a born networker who just loves connecting with people?  

Or do you dread going to business networking Events?

Either way, you’ll benefit by these notes I prepared to accompany my presentation at Entrepreneurs Indaba on Saturday, 25th May 2019.   I uploaded the slides to Slideshare.  Here you go:

Tips on Becoming a Top Networker from Lauren Kinghorn

When you become an Entrepreneur, it’s virtually impossible to avoid Business Networking Events. Word-of-mouth marketing is still the best form of marketing around, which makes networking events a necessary path to wealth.

*Amazon Affiliate Link up ahead. At no cost to you, I’ll earn some commission if you buy the book I recommend.

Where I Learned Networking Skills

I consider myself a born networker because I’m an out-and-out extrovert.

Yet when I cast my mind back to High School,  I think I can attribute my networking prowess to reading Dale Carnegie’s brilliant book “How to Win Friends and Influence People“.  Get the book on Amazon.  #AffiliateLink

Here are his 6-steps to getting people to like you, just one of the important life lessons I learned from Dale Carnegie.

How to Become Likeable

  1. Take a genuine interest in the person you’ve just met.
  2. Engage them with your winning smile. Be friendly and open.
  3. Do your best to remember their name. Use it once or twice in conversation or ask for it again if it’s slipped your mind. Ask them to spell their name if you didn’t quite catch it.
  4. Listen intently to what they are saying.  Don’t listen just to respond, listen to understand.
  5. Discuss their interests, ask questions, go deeper.
  6. Make them feel like they are important. Give them a sincere compliment on something you’ve observed about them.

I really took his advice to heart at the time. So much so, that after a few months of practising his techniques on my friends, my best friend sat me down one day and said,

“Hey, when are you going to tell me how things are going with you?  You only ever ask any of us how we are and what we are up to.   It’s like you’ve disappeared”.

Teenagers are so impressionable.

Dale Carnegie’s advice is still relevant today. He was teaching how to become an Influencer before it even became a thing.

“The only way on Earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.”

Dale Carnegie

I went on to become a Network Marketer and eventually became Head of Networking for a company, so I’ve done loads of networking training and gained tons of experience since then.

After all those years immersed in the field, networking just comes naturally to me now.

I find that something that comes naturally can be difficult to articulate, so I did heaps of research online to prepare for this presentation and write this post, getting different perspectives and latest best practices.

The best video I watched by far, was this one by YouTuber and #GirlBoss, Hannah Ashton.  It’s so upbeat, it makes for the perfect pep talk before you walk into a Networking Event. Hannah is GORGEOUS! Enjoy!

Business Networking Tips

Business Networking Tips

1. Be Prepared

First impressions count so dress professionally or dress in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd. Most people are going to be wearing a combination of blue, white and black, so just adding some colour could do the trick.

Don’t leave home without your business cards or marketing materials.

Know your 30-second, 1 minute and 2-Minute Elevator Pitch off-pat. It will help you feel at ease and get the right points across when you’re talking to complete strangers.

How to Craft an Elevator Pitch

Start out with a friendly greeting and give your name, company name and designation.

Here’s a 3-Step Formula to help you craft an Elevator Pitch that packs a punch.

  1. Ask a Rhetorical Question related to your business and what problem it solves:  Did You know that…
  2. Share Your Skills – What do you do best? Who do you serve? How do you help others?
  3. Mention Your Goals – What are your goals and plans in the next few months?  What are you looking for?  Ask for help.

Here’s my current 30-second elevator pitch. I can say more or less according to how much time is allotted in the session.

Hi, I’m Lauren Kinghorn, the Founder of Inspiring Mompreneurs.  Did you know that Content Marketing is replacing Advertising? That’s how I make a living. I’m a Digital Entrepreneur. Companies pay me to write and publish posts on my 3 niche websites.  I also promote Mom Entrepreneurs and I’d like to do more for all the amazing women Entrepreneurs I come across every day, online and offline.  I’d like to teach Moms to build their authority online. So this year, my plan is to create some online courses and publish a book or 3 on Amazon Kindle. I’ve also set my sights on doing a Ted Talk.  I’m currently looking for more paid writing and speaking opportunities.

Once you’ve written your pitch down, all that’s left to do is practice, practice, practice.

Any time you meet someone and they ask what you do for a living, you’ve got an opportunity to give your elevator pitch.

Once you’ve got it down pat, it will flow.

And then you’ll be ready for that day that you step into the lift and your favourite Dragon from Dragon’s Den is there and heading up to the top floor.

2. Set an Intent

Why are you attending this particular event?  Is it to gain referrals, land a new job or get a sale?

Are you about to launch something new in your business and you’re keen to get the word out?

Do you want to bounce ideas off people in the know?

Are you looking for support and encouragement?

Even if it’s just something as simple as to make new friends, make sure you set an intent beforehand.

3. Befriend

Look for the person who’s alone at the coffee machine and strike up a conversation with them.

Or join a big group where there’s already lots of friendly banter going on.

Avoid interrupting 2 people who are already deep in discussion as that probably won’t leave a good impression.

Love it or hate it, business networking is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success as an Entrepreneur. Here's how to ace it. #tipsonbecomingatopnetworker #businessnetworking #networkingevents4. Ask Questions

People naturally love talking about themselves. Here are some great questions to ask to open people up.

A few Conversation Starters you could use:

  • What brought you here today?
  • How did you get into your industry?
  • What inspired you to start your business?
  • What do you love most about your job?
  • What do you love least about your job?
  • What did you enjoy about the last session?
  • What was your biggest takeaway in the last session?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What are your passions or hobbies?
  • What’s your target market?
  • Who would be a great referral for you?

For more questions, click here.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you bombard them with all of these questions. Just pick one or two you’re comfortable with and make them your go-to questions if you feel you’re at a loss for words.

5. Listen

Once you’ve asked a question, give them the floor.

Now is the time to practice active listening.  i.e Listen to understand, not to interject with your thoughts on the subject. If you listen carefully, your next question will allow you to go deeper and that’s how you get to Connect.

6. Connect

And this is what networking is all about. Making meaningful business connections.

As you get to understand their business and their business needs, you’re looking for connections, synergies or common ground. You’re looking for where you could collaborate or form alliances.  You’re looking for some way you can help each other or inspire each other.

7. Refer

If you don’t think you can be of service, but you know of someone who would be a perfect fit, refer them on to your friend.

This is a great point in the conversation to ask two questions I mentioned earlier:

  • What’s your target market?
  • Who would be a great referral for you?

8. Follow Up

If you’ve made a brilliant connection, make sure you set up another date to discuss further.

Or if you have a great referral for them, put them in touch with each other.

At the very least, visit their website and connect on LinkedIn or their preferred social media platform.

Take the next step to start forging a business relationship.

And here’s my most important tip to bear in mind.  If you forget everything else, just remember this:

Successful networkers give way more than they take. 

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” 

– Winston Churchill

One quick point before I sign off:   If you’re extremely introverted, Online Networking might be the perfect option for you, I’ll cover that in a future post.  I’ll be following up in the next week or two, with separate posts dedicated to Online Networking and Speed Networking.

Were these tips useful? Are you feeling pumped to attend your next business networking event?  Have you got your Elevator Pitch prepared?  Feel free to share it below. Practice makes perfect.

Online Reputation Management Guide for Business


I just delivered a Presentation on  Online Reputation Management at the Social Media and Marketing Conference in Cape Town hosted by Ayihlome Training Projects in Cape Town.

Here’s the presentation on Slideshare:

I have prepared this post for the delegates who attended today as further information and for anyone interested in Online Reputation Management for Business.

What is an Online Reputation?

In a nutshell, your online reputation is public opinion on the internet about you, your company, your staff, your products or services.

And it matters.

The Value of Your Online Reputation

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it.”  Warren Buffet

How the public perceives you as an organisation is critical to your success. Having a positive reputation will drive quality business.

Word of mouth marketing is still the most effective form of marketing around.  Online it’s called Social Proof.

On the other hand, negative Press can have disastrous effects, especially if left unmanaged.

Awareness and Impact

Are you aware of your online reputation and the impact it is having on your business?

The first step to taking charge is to find out what people are saying about you or you or your organisation.

“Treat Your Google Page 1 as your Business Card’ – Neil Patel

How to Monitor Your Online Reputation

  1. Google your name or your company name in Incognito or Stealth Mode.
  2. Set up Google Alerts here:  You will receive an email every time your organisation is mentioned online.  Read more about setting up Google Alerts here.
  3. Google the name of your company and the word review to see what online reviews come up.
  4. Go to and type in your company name.
  5. You’ll also find Employee Reviews on  e.g.
  6. Try a free brand monitoring tool like Talkwalker’s Free Social Media Search 
  7. Talkwalker Alerts also offers an alternative to Google Alerts.
  8. You can find negative reviews found on 40 different sites at Go Fish Digital’s Complaint Search
  9. There are a number of paid tools to find Reviews online as well, such as The Brand Grader, Social Mention, and Reputology. Find them at Influencer Marketing Hub.
  10. Alternatively, you can employ the services of an Online Reputation Management company. Find them at Top SEOs.

Once you have an idea of what the public is saying about you, it’s time to take charge.

It’s crucial that you respond to both negative and positive reviews if you want to create a good impression online and win the favour of the public.

What's your reputation as a company? Here's a handy guide on how to monitor your online reputation and respond to positive and negative reviews online.  Enjoy!  #OnlineReputationManagementGuideHow to Respond to Positive Reviews

1. Thank Your Customer for taking the time to write the review.

2. Mention your business name so the review shows up in Search Results.

3. Throw in some marketing, highlight a special or special attribute of your business.

4. Invite your customer to come back for more.

5. Offer something exclusive to loyal Customers, if you can. Even if it’s just signing up for your free newsletter or joining your group of VIP’s, i.e. raving fans.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

1. RESPOND.  Replying shows that the business is not just sweeping this problem under the carpet and is taking corrective measures. But don’t respond too quickly.  If you’re emotional about the criticism you won’t be able to respond in a positive, helpful way. You also need some time to gather facts and come up with a plan to rectify the situation.

2. Apologise and sympathise with the customer’s situation.

3. Say Thank You or I appreciate your feedback.

4. Explain why your service is great and how you’re going to remedy the situation or improve the service.

5. Provide the customer with someone offline who can help them with their complaint.

5. Keep it short and sweet.  Respond in a positive way.  3 Sentences should be enough.

6. Make sure you don’t mention your business name.

7. Take feedback to heart and make improvements.

Try please people but remember you can’t please everyone, eventually, you will get a negative review.

Prevention is better than Cure

Online Reputation Management isn’t only about handling negative reviews. It’s about fostering goodwill and building trust.

Here are some ways you can develop great relationships with your customers and build a good reputation.

  1. Deliver on Your Promise.  Never overpromise and under-deliver.  If you make unrealistic claims you’re bound to disappoint consumers.
  2. Meet your Deadlines.
  3. Ask Customers for Positive Reviews and Testimonials.  Social Proof Your Website.
  4. Be Proactive. Learn from your mistakes – respond to negative feedback by making improvements.
  5. Ask for help if necessary. Employ the services of a good PR company or Online Reputation Management Company.

Understanding the link between online and offline

Is there a difference between online and offline reputation management?

Unless you are serving a market that has no access to the internet whatsoever, I think not.

These days, going public with a complaint, or with positive feedback for that matter, generally means going online.

Should a complaint about your organisation be so big to make it onto the News, it’s going to hit the online world just as hard.  For every print magazine, newspaper or TV channel, there are literally dozens of online publications sharing the same news.

The Bottom Line:

Get your Online Reputation Management right and your general reputation in the market place will improve too.

Get it wrong and you’ll be in trouble as a whole, staff morale will be low and revenue will be down.

Exploring the Blurry Line between Personal and Professional in Your Online Environment

If you’re in a leadership position in your company and you display the organisation publically in your profile, be very careful what you say online about your organisation.

Everything you do online, on any social media platform, is public.

5 Tips to Help You Maintain Professionalism

Tip 1: Don’t Go Public with Negativity

If you’ve had a bad day at the office, you’ve dealt with difficult customers or overbearing Managers, talk it over with your spouse or your friends.

Whatever you do, don’t discuss with your colleagues. Office gossip is dangerous.

Follow the basic rule of Business Management:

  • Negative goes up – speak to your Superiors if you are having any challenges at work.
  • Positive goes down – build the company up while you’re building your team

And definitely, don’t Tweet about your bad day or mention it on Facebook on your way home from work. Tomorrow will be better but once your emotions have subsided will post will still be there.

Tip 2: Politics is Personal

Don’t air your political views on social media.  Don’t share office politics on social media either.

Tip 3: Clean Up Your Personal Profile

Look back on your social media posts and if you find negative or political comments, delete them.  Clean up your profile.

Tip 4:  Separate Private and Professional Where Possible

Don’t send personal emails from your business email address.  Set up a Gmail address for all personal correspondence.

Tip 5: Be Positive

Share posts that inspire and uplift.  Build a personal online reputation that creates a good reflection on yourself and your organisation. Become an Ambassador.

Make Yourself Proud.

Be the Light in the Darkness.

Over to You

How do you think the public perceives your Organisation?

How quickly does your organisation respond to public criticism?  

Are you using any tools or employing any companies to help you with Online Reputation Management? 

I welcome your views in the comments below.

How To Become A Better Salesperson

Want to improve your selling skills? There are lots of elements that go into being a good salesperson.

Here are just a few tips that could help you to become better at selling.

No matter what business you're running, I believe there's always an element of sales. All entrepreneurs need sales skills so here you go. #HowtoBecomeaBetterSalespersonLearn to get over rejection

Rejection is something to be expected when selling. Even the greatest salespeople aren’t able to talk everyone around.

When something doesn’t work out, learn to move on from it quickly rather than taking it personally. See it as a positive learning opportunity to improve your selling strategy rather than a negative.

Meanwhile, when it comes to contacts who you may have built up a rapport with, don’t break off contact with them completely after rejection – they may still prove to be a lead in the future.

Work on your negotiation skills

Negotiating is the key to securing sales. You may be able to hook people in, but if you can’t close those deals then you’re not going to get anywhere.

This skill itself involves honing many other skills such as the ability to empathise, problem solve and build trust. It could be worth taking a negotiation skills training course to develop these skills.

There are also lots of YouTube videos on negotiation skills that you can watch in your own time.

Stay knowledgeable in your field

Being knowledgeable will help your clients to trust you. You’ll also feel more prepared and more confident, which will help you to stay positive.

The most dedicated salespeople do their own private research so that they’re experts in their field. It’s impossible to know everything – but you can come close to being a know-it-all.

Always show enthusiasm

If you’re not passionate about your product, the people you’re selling to certainly aren’t going to be enthusiastic either. Always remain positive and learn to use your tone of voice (and bodily gestures if you’re selling in person) to get people energised and captivated.

Nerves can sometimes prevent people from truly being enthusiastic – especially if it’s a presentation or an important high-stakes interaction – however, you can harness this nervous energy and turn it into enthusiasm.

Of course, it is possible to come across to enthusiastic to the point of being annoying, however, most people will suffer from the opposite problem.

Be honest

Lying to secure a sale is risky – it could do more damage than good if they find out you’re lying to them – and even if it works you won’t feel proud about it after. It’s best to always stay truthful.

This means not making promises that you can’t keep and not plucking facts and figures out of thin air just to give an answer.

There will be some truths that you don’t want to admit to such as product weaknesses – the trick is to be honest about these truths, but not to dwell on them.

Follow up negatives with lots of positives and always stay enthusiastic.

Image Source:  Licensed under Creative Commons

Editors note:

Do you love selling or does it feel like the most difficult job in the world to you? 

I’ve been in sales for most of my life and I think I have a love-hate relationship with it.  I’ve done plenty of cold calling and I actually prefer it to selling to friends and family. But I don’t like high pressure sales, with deadlines and targets. I prefer soft sales, where you build relationships with customers over time. I like doing my deals face-to-face rather than over the phone.

What’s your sales style?

Ideal Careers for Those Who Want to Be On the Road

Ideal Careers for Drivers

For some of us, driving is an absolute chore. It’s something that we find ourselves having to do to get from one place to another. Many of us avoid having to learn to drive for years on end, relying on our own legs and public transport to get us about. Some of us avoid purchasing a vehicle even once we’ve passed. We’d rather fork out for taxis.

But then there are those of us who embrace the freedom that comes hand in hand with having control over a vehicle on public roads. We actively enjoy the experience and wouldn’t dream of getting from A to B in any other manner.

If you fall into the second category and are looking for a new career path, why not consider pursuing your passion and securing a position that allows you to drive for a living?

Here are a few roles that might suit you down to a tee!

Truck Driving

Do you love to be behind the wheel? Here are some careers that will interest you if driving is your favourite thing to do. #idealcareersfordrivers There are almost always companies out there looking for truck drivers. As businesses grow and expand, they need truck drivers to get large quantities of products to their suppliers and customers. So, why not consider this?

Truck driving can be intense. You may find yourself having to complete long jobs over long distances. But you benefit from regular breaks. You can turn the stereo on, wind the window down, and feel the breeze run through your hair.

If this sounds good to you, make sure to look into getting a truck driving licence. A standard driver’s licence doesn’t qualify you to get behind the wheel of heavy goods vehicles.

You will have to pass a specific test before you start your search for local truck driving jobs.

Taxi Driving

Just as there’s a constant demand for truck drivers, there’s also a constant demand for taxi drivers. So, if you’re looking for a role that offers security, this could be the one for you.

When you drive taxis, you could find yourself picking up a whole host of different people. People from out of town, people heading on a night out, people who simply don’t drive themselves… but you’ll generally find yourself in good company with good conversation.


Now, if you are more interested in driving the rich or famous around, you could always consider becoming a chauffeur. This position will generally give you access to a high-end vehicle and you can find yourself driving people to high-class events and destinations.

You will probably have to wear some sort of uniform and compose yourself in an extremely professional manner. You may also find yourself opening doors for people. But it’s a comfortable and enjoyable profession to get involved with!

These are just a few different careers that revolve around driving. There are plenty more out there. But if driving is your passion, you should find yourself enjoying any one of them.

So, look into individual job specifications, make sure you check the boxes and get applying as soon as possible.

Image Credit:  Pexels