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How to make the most of networking events

Here are three steps to help you be a better networker this week by taking advantage of networking events happening around you. These tips come from Brennan Dunn over at DoubleYourFreelance.com

Finding events

There are numerous ways to find events in your area. few useful resources are:
Meetup.com
Eventbrite.com

Then there’s always Google. You can search for things like:

[your city or neighborhood] + “events”
[your city or neighborhood] + “networking”
[your city or neighborhood] + “entrepreneur”
[your city or neighborhood] + “business”
[your city or neighborhood] + [topic related to your business]

Find out who else is going

After you choose an event, find out who else might be going and learn about them, especially the person in charge. You don’t need to approach these people, but if you find yourself hanging out along the wall, it might help you feel more comfortable to approach someone when you know a little about them and have potential topics of conversation.

Here are some places to check when learning about the person:
LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook
Their web page and blog if they have one

Try to find out:

  • What they do
  • What they’re interests are
  • What are some things they’re involved with

Remember: You’re not there to sell people or land a new client. You’re there to meet new people, build relationships and expand your network.

Tip: While you’re talking someone, try to look for a way that you can help them. You can ask them what’s the thing they most need help with or what are they struggling​ with the most.

Follow up

Create a system that helps you follow up. For example, maybe you go home right away and you send emails, or every Monday morning you go through the business cards you got and call them. Whatever works for you.

While you’re talking someone, try to look for a way that you can help them.

If you have a hard time doing this yourself, you can use customer relationship management software (CRM). This can send you reminders and help you keep track of who you met.

When you do follow up you, try to include something that you discussed with or learned about the person to make it more personal.

If you can, try to provide them with some kind of value, such as giving them advice or maybe link to an article that you think might help them.

You may also want to remind them what you do.

Finally make sure that there’s a clear ask, whether that be asking if they would like to meet up for a coffee to talk more, or asking them if they want to be added to your newsletter.

Sources:
doubleyourfreelancing.com

Written by Shane Mottishaw from http://www.automottic.ca/

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How to make the most of networking events

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