It's very important that you go to networking events, because being seen in person is actually quite refreshing when you run an online business. And, as a bonus, it's great for our endorphins and for our cortisol, which is, as you know, the muffin top-maker.
So, make sure that you book at least one networking event per month. Now, it’s crazy if you tell me you live in a small town and you can't find any. I live in New Zealand, and it’s nothing BUT small towns! I manage just fine.
Get yourself out there! Use meetup.com. Create your own networking event if you need to. Drive, fly, get your butt on a train, on a boat, whatever it takes. Get out there and meet people. Okay? Because it's very, very important to be able to do that.
When you get there, don't just eat all the hors d'oeuvres, drink the champagne, get legless, and go home. Or be the person who is very uptight, really overdressed, and shoving their business cards in people’s faces. We don't want any of that.
What we want to do is to go to that networking event prepared.
Tip number one: I want you to look at the guest list. Find out who is going beforehand and who the sponsors are.
Understand the type of person that is going to this networking event. Then pick four or five people that you want to make solid connections with. Finally, make sure that you get around the room to see those people.
Tip number two: Have a very good elevator pitch that you can say quickly and succinctly, explaining what you do in 30 seconds. And then listen to other people. That’s really important.
You know what it's like when you go to a party and somebody just rabbits on about herself the whole time. Oh my goodness. And you're like, "Ah!" And you’re hooverin' your drink, and need to go the toilet now. Exit left. Am I right?
Those types of people are super annoying and boring, so don't be that person. That’s not networking. Ask lots of questions of the other person. Everyone loves to be heard. Listen and get inquisitive with them.
Then, if you think that there is some way that you guys can either work together or collaborate, or it's someone that you're genuinely interested in, offer them your business card. Don't have your cards squished down in the bottom of your handbag or in your pocket, where they could get all dog-eared and literally yucky.
Because remember, when they take this card home, that's the last thing that they've got of you. Make sure that card is very crisp, it's easy to get out really quickly, and it's not a big kerfuffle. People will get embarrassed and feel awful when it's a kerfuffle. So make sure it's nice and easy.
After your chat, you don't want to stay connected just to that one person, or that one group of people you started with. So you have a polite excuse to leave. And if it's a networking event, it's completely acceptable. You're not going to be offending anyone.
You can say:
"Oh that was great. It was really nice meeting you. I'm just going to go on to have a chat to some other people."
"Is there anyone else in the room that you know? Oh, okay. Maybe I could go and talk to them."
“I need to get another drink.”
“I need to get something to eat.”
“I need to go and sit down."
"I need to go to the toilet."
And excuse yourself politely.
Tip number three: Make sure you're keeping an eye on time and that you keep moving around the room. Don’t forget to hit your top five people that you decided to connect with before you got there.
So those are my three top tips about networking:
1. Do it.
2. Research who you want to connect with first.
3. Don’t be afraid to keep moving around the room and connect with lots of people.
I'm going to throw in a bonus number four. And it really matters. Do not have offensive breath or offensive body odor, because that is disgusting and no one wants that. So make sure you feel comfortable in your clothes, meaning you're not in toe-pinching high heels that really screw your feet up and make you want to sit down all night, because that makes you really hard to talk to. Right?
Make sure that you are also dressed appropriately, that you are clean, have nice breath (aka no coffees on the way, thank you), and that you have a great time! Because that’s what it's all about!
Much love. Oh, and remember, you're only one sale away from the Rich and Relaxed lifestyle.
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