You can do some networking while sitting behind your computer or hiding behind your smart phone, and you can build strong relationships over time in the digital world of social media, but no online medium beats meeting someone face-to-face, in-person and making a genuine connection.
To accelerate your connections, your relationship development, and your networking results, you’ve got to put your smart phone down and get out from behind your computer!
You need to get out and meet people. You’ve got to let people know who you are, what you do, how you’re different, and who you serve. No one will hire you, buy from you, or refer others to you if they don’t even know you exist!
Online, the key is to build links back to your site around the web and achieve the best search engine rankings possible so people can find you. Offline, they key is to attend networking events, meetup groups, luncheons, conferences, seminars, workshops, mixers, and other events where you can meet and connect with other people.
Attending Events Changed The Face Of Our Business
I’ll never forget the first networking event I attended as a new business owner. I was scared to death! But I went in, the attendees were gracious, and some of the business owners I met that day are still clients today, are fabulous referral sources, and are some of my best friends. I began networking locally quite a bit after that.
Soon I began attending large-scale conferences and multi-day live events that targeted my ideal clients, and eventually I completely cut back on local networking events and focused on conferences. Why? Easy. At a local networking events, I maybe met one or two ideal clients, but at large-scale conferences, I am in ballrooms full of ideal clients — Then it’s just up to me to meet them, start a conversation, and build a relationship.
Two Amazing Back-To-Back Live Events
Usually Brian and I attend events separately, because one of us always stays with the kids. For the first time, Brian and I traveled to two events back-to-back: Be The Change and Infusioncon, and they were awesome! Experiencing the events, training, learning, and inspiring moments together allowed is to have dialogue about our business on the spot as we were inspired, and as new ideas presented themselves. We were able to quickly weed out the “bright shiny object” ideas and narrow our focus on the really good ones. That way we could create a list of priorities and action steps before we ever got home.
One great idea that my friend Cathy Alessandra of Today’s Innovative Woman Magazine had was to attend Infusioncon with the Infusionsoft Certified Consultant who manages Infusionsoft for her. This way they were both on the same page when it came to all the new technical tricks and techniques taught at the event, and it meant Cathy didn’t have to worry about remembering everything and trying to communicate it to her team later.
Several business owners we met at Infusioncon had another great strategy: They bought the event videos. This way, they can pick and choose the key sessions that impact their business the most, and have their team watch the sessions so they can all dialogue with the same foundation of information.
Get Re-Charged, Re-Energized, Re-Inspired, And Get Great Clients
Live events and conferences are definitely a great place to make new connections, build new relationships, and get new clients. But you need to make sure you don’t aggressively promote yourself, focus on making a sale, or get too pushy with other attendees. No one likes feeling pressured on the spot or having an order form shoved in their face from someone they just met (that has actually happened to me)!
The key to our event success has been to look at each event as a place to start a conversation, focus on the people we meet, and get to know them!
Sometimes I start a conversation with another attendee by asking them about their business, but more often than not my conversations start out by talking about personal things like shoes, handbags, food, where someone is from, or even kids. Then once we have established common ground, I’ll ask about their business and I’ll listen. Never be the person that asks a question and instead of listening to the answer, scans the room for their next target — you may think you’re being sly, but the person you’re semi-speaking with, knows exactly what you’re doing.
Live events are also a place to get re-charged, re-energized, and re-inspired about your business.
At the event, you’re in a new environment away from your normal day-to-day distractions and stresses. If you can room alone and use the time to reflect on where you are right now, where you want to be, and what needs to happen to get there faster. Not only can you relax and spend time focusing ON your business, but you can rev up your close-to-burn-out engine and refuel your tanks. Live events are a great place to be reminded why you do what you do and to rediscover your passion for your business.
Attend An Event! I Dare You.
From airfare and the hotel, to food, drinks, and registration, live events have been and continue to be one of the best investments we make in our business.
I dare you to commit to attending more live events. That may mean more local networking events, or it may mean adding another conference to your travel schedule, or it may mean making the decision to attend your first live event far from home.
If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a suggestion: The SUCCESS! Summit hosted by Today’s Innovative Woman Magazine. This year the Annual Los Angeles event has expanded and added a Dallas, Texas location, and I’m speaking at both events!
- In Dallas on Friday, May 18, Join us for a day of networking and learning. As one of the featured speakers, I’m excited to present: How to Create a Website That Works When You’re Not Working.
- In Los Angeles on Friday, October 5, Join us for the 5th annual SUCCESS! Summit. I’ve attended this event twice in the past few years and each time I was blown away by the women in the room and new strategies I learned. At this event I’ll be presenting: Branding Beyond The Logo: 5 Steps to Transforming Your Business into an Extraordinary and Lucrative Brand.
Work On Your Business With Me!
Upgrade your ticket for the Dallas Event event and receive a special bonus day! Spend Saturday in a small group setting and get an on site, live marketing makeover with Women’s Success Coach Joy Chudacoff and I!
No matter what event you choose to attend next, Good Luck! And remember, all you have to do is start a conversation, listen to the person you’re speaking with, and let the relationship grow from there.