Gay Business Networking

Tips on meeting other gay professionals, collaborating on business and how to make the most of new connections.

I firmly believe that at the heart of every great working relationship is a good personal connection and understanding from both parties. That’s why I think the best business networking starts with introductions to like-minded professionals.

One way in which you can make The Omyx Club work for your business is by using our business sections of it. As a member of The Omyx Club you can search for other members based on industry, location and working status. Finding other members in an industry and city you’re looking for is very simple and you can instantly reach out with private messages to introduce yourself. Below are some tips on forming great working relationships.

Be upfront

If you’re looking to meet someone for business purposes then don’t make it seem like you’re contacting them to make new friends or even, potentially, a date. It’s always best to be upfront and explain the reasons why you’re looking to connect with said individual. Explain your situation, your current job, company and/or the reason why you’d like to meet up. If you think your business could offer another individual or business something interesting and beneficial then lead with that. Explaining circumstances upfront means you won’t run the risk of frustrating others when you meet them and realise that you’re just looking for professional connections.

Be genuine

This should hopefully go without saying but I’ve seen it a number of times on LinkedIn and similar networks where I’m approached by someone with flattery that either isn’t accurate or is just plain false. While pretending to be ‘nice’ to get the deal can sometimes work it’s never a decent thing for a gentleman to do. Don’t be afraid to be your genuine self. Be warm and friendly but don’t overdo it. It more often than not shows and can come across as quite insulting. If you genuinely want to secure a proper deal then be genuine.

Be knowledgeable

Often known as “doing your homework”, research is really worth doing. If you want to make an impressive introduction then make sure you read up on the individual, the business or the industry (or all of them). It’s very easy to do now with the power of the internet so have a look on LinkedIn, find out whether there are mutual connections in common and use these to your advantage. It does stand out and can be the difference between an awkward introduction and a glowing one. I’m always impressed when people have taken the time out to find out a bit more about me – not in a creepy way – but in a professional sense.

Be friendly and approachable

At the beginning I said ‘be upfront’ and that’s absolutely right. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly and potentially become friends at the same time too. Just make sure that both parties know exactly what’s going on. Being friendly and approachable is really important when it comes to business connections, doing deals and ultimately having a longer-term, successful working relationship. So, be open and don’t be afraid to talk about what you did over the weekend, particularly if you’re forming connections through The Omyx Club – you’ve already got one thing in common, you’re both gay men.

Be open to ideas

Finally, and probably one of my number one pieces of advice when it comes to networking, be open. Be open to ideas and opportunities throughout your journey through your working life (and actually, in all aspects of your life too). Make sure you form connections, meet new people and find out about other individuals, companies and industries too. Even if you can’t see any clear path for collaboration or common ground at the moment, you never know where you might be in ten years time. The business connection you need in ten years time might be being formed today.

And that’s it, a few basic but essential tips for effective business networking. Remember, if you haven’t already, you can join The Omyx Club today, starting at just £15 a month or £120 a year.