Are you making it a priority to get the word out about your small business by attending business functions regularly?
When you attend networking events a few times each month, you will connect with other business people, expand your connections circle, and you may even gain sales leads in the process.
People prefer to do business with people they know, like, and trust, so consider blocking out a few days every month to get out and promote yourself.
If you are an Introvert and the thought of talking to a stranger makes you uncomfortable, consider the many benefits that networking will have for your business.
Remember, it can be unnerving at times even for extroverts to strike up a conversation with someone they don’t know.
The key to success is to be armed with a few great conversation starters that get people talking.
Everyone loves to talk about themselves, so start a conversation by asking people questions about themselves. This takes the pressure off you, giving you an opportunity to catch your breath and relax.
A couple of great conversation starters that I frequently use are: “What’s your story?” or I compliment people on a unique outfit or accessory they are wearing. Try out more of these survival tips before your next networking event:
- If the event is listed on a social media site like Facebook, scroll the list to find other attendees you may know
- Create and memorize a 30-second infomercial of yourself and your business
- Dress professionally – and don’t wear strong perfumes or scents
- Eat before you arrive. It will help!
- Arrive about 30 minutes before it begins for adequate time to find parking, then get familiar with the room and meet a few first attendees before the function begins
- Pop a mint in your mouth before you walk into the room
- Bring a handful of business cards
- Keep a drink in your hand if you are a fidgeter
Marketing is all about being memorable.
When you meet new people, strive to be memorable in the questions you ask and in what you do.
Take the time to think of innovative marketing ideas to make yourself stand out.
I know a business owner who wears a brightly coloured retro three-piece suit, complete with a bow tie at almost every networking event and trade show that he attends. It grabs people’s attention the instant they see him and it makes people remember him. Media representatives are drawn to him because his unusual attire, which is a huge bonus! Talk about great branding and a unique way to promote your business!
Networking is a great way to generate some buzz around your business and help it grow, so think about what you can do to get people to start talking about you.
Crystal Dallner teaches Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Marketing to business owners. Get the TOP 3 Proven Secrets for Gaining MORE Clients at: www.studioOFideas.com . For Creative Marketing Ideas to grow your business, Like Studio of Ideas on Facebook and Follow her on Twitter at: @CrystalDallner.