This month we have spent most of our time discussing SEO, but today we will focus on live networking. We went a couple of years without personal networking because of the pandemic, but people are getting back into making connections with the people around them.
Make a plan
Start by asking yourself what your reasoning behind networking or going to a networking event is. Is the time you will spend going to a networking event as valuable as the time you spend working on other aspects of your business? You have to weigh the pros and cons of an event before you plan to go. Mentoring and networking are critical, so weigh them heavily.
Why are you going?
Set an objective before you begin networking. Sometimes you go to a networking event because you need to build new connections. Sometimes you go because you want to see a speaker or meet a certain person. No matter what your reasoning is, you should keep it in mind before, during, and after your time there.
Networking events are never the same. There are different speakers, locations, amounts of people, topics, etc. Most of the time you can look at the networking agenda and speakers. Sometimes you can look through the attendees of an event. If this is an option you can have certain people that you would like to connect with in mind before you even arrive. You want to make sure you will get value from the time you spend there.
Check Your LinkedIn Profile
Before any networking event, you want to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and ready to be seen by other people. If your photo or information is out of date, people may not recognize you. There is no reason to have a high school graduation photo on your LinkedIn profile if you graduated twenty years ago.
Go to The Actual Event
Planning and researching an event won’t do you any good if you never actually show up. Also, ensure that you are on time. Being late makes you appear unprofessional. Don’t be late.
Bring Someone With You
Events, especially if you tend to be shy or anxious, can be very stressful. Have a friend or co-worker at the event with you to introduce you to new people or spark up conversations with other groups of people. A mentor is a great person to take with you. Having a wingman is a blessing at networking events.
Be Active on Social Media
If you are attending a conference or event you want to be active on social media. You can write a post about one speaker before the next one is up. Tag other people, businesses, or speakers in posts. People are more likely to see your networking content if you post during the event. Make sure you aren’t ignoring your surroundings by doing this. Take advantage of breaks and lunches during the event.
Many times at these events you will want to ask someone a question or get to know them. If this is the case, make sure to introduce yourself. In real life, you wouldn’t walk up to a random person and start talking to them without telling them who you are. The same goes for networking events.
It Isn’t About You
Try to make your conversations revolve around the person you are talking to. See if you can solve issues they have or give them advice on something you know well. Conversations should never be all about you. Don’t spend your conversation time trying to sell your products or services. It is all about what you can bring into a conversation, not information about you and your business.
Don’t Leave Early
We understand that things happen, and sometimes you might have to leave an event early. If at all possible, we advise that you stay until the end. It looks more professional and you will end up gaining more connections if you stay for the entirety of an event.
Soon after you leave a networking event, follow up with the connections you made. Try to do so in the first 24 hours of your relationship. Don’t throw away your connections and the time that you spend making them.
CamCard is the best way to capture business cards digitally. It keeps you from losing cards or having to carry paper cards through an entire event. You can also hold your business card on CamCard to give to other people. Many digital services have been created that do similar things as CamCard, but CamCard always comes out on top. It is about $20 a month and well worth the cost.
Join Us in September
We have a surprise topic that will be covered in September. We are excited to let you know what it will be, but you will have to tune into our social media account or wait for the next blog to find out!