How to make networking work for you
Remember face-to-face networking?
After two long years of networking via Teams and Zoom, while wearing tracksuit pants and slippers, face-to-face events are back!
Okay, so networking might not be for everyone, but it is one of the few opportunities you have to really connect with people on a personal level.
Everybody prefers to work with people they like and know, and this is your chance to become known.
Here’s how you can make networking work for you:
Business cards may feel all a bit 1990s but they are still the best way to pass all of your relevant details to a prospective client in seconds.
At a recent event, we were advised to use LinkedIn instead of business cards. This led to ten minutes of everyone staring at their phones trying to find and add people.
Eventually, it ended in unanimous silent agreement that it was wasting far too much talk time and everyone sneakily returned to card swapping.
Get to the networking event a few minutes early and say thank you to the organisers, even if you have paid to be there (these people know everyone).
Then scan the attendees’ list. Pinpoint a few people you really want to chat with and note down their names.
You will hear so many names once the introductions start, you will struggle to remember your own. Everyone will be wearing a name tag so it will be easier than you think to find your targets.
Have your elevator pitch ready – this is your 30-second explanation of who you are and what you do.
Don’t forget to have answers ready for most likely follow-up questions. You don’t want to have a sensational opening line followed by panicked staring into the distance while you remember where your office is located.
Note that usual questions can include: Is it your own business? What kind of clients do you work for? What types of services do you provide? Or, if you are a copywriter like me: what does a copywriter do?