I used to hate attending live events. I used to think that everyone was judging me. However, after doing some inner work, I realized that the only person who was judging me was me. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. While in corporate America, I forced myself to attend networking events in which I had no interest. But as an entrepreneur, I now attend events that I want to attend with people whom I find interesting. I love social networking, but shaking someone’s hand and looking them in the eye is more powerful.
Do you love to build online relationships, but cringe during live events? If so, here are 5 tips to leverage your social media connections so you can rock your next networking event.
CULTIVATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS
- 1. Be active. Create a nice profile that shows your skills, interests, and your personality. This is important because more than likely, people will go to your social networking sites to inquire about you before they meet you in person. Let your social media sites make a great first impression.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
- 2. Before attending a live event, Find out who’s hosting the event or speaking. Go to their social networking sites and connect with them if you can or simply glean as much information about them prior to meeting them. If you can “friend”, link up, or follow them, then do so and tell them that you are attending their event. They will look forward to seeing you.
TAKE PHOTOS WITH PEOPLE YOU MEET AT THE EVENT
- 3. Even if you are not a picture taker, I strongly suggest you start snapping pictures with your new connections. You can add the pictures to your social media networks. I also strongly encourage you to attach the pictures in your emails you send to follow up with a connection. They will easily remember you from the picture.
ADD YOUR NEW CONTACTS TO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS
- 4. After you attend a live event, be sure to add the people you’ve met to your social networks to stay in contact and build a relationship.
USE EVENT SITES TO FIND NETWORKING EVENTS
- 5. Go to websites like Eventbrite and Meet Up to find live events in your area. Try to attend at least 2 networking events each month. Most of them are free.
I did these five steps recently and met some awesome people. I had to get out of my comfort zone to attend that live event, but it paid off in a major way. I hope that you will put these tips into practice. Networking can be intimidating, but it is essential to your business. You will get better over time the more you do it. I promise.
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