Networking Know-Hows

biz picFollow up. Here is one thing I do not get. People pay to attend networking events and conferences and then do not follow up. People who do not follow up are wasting their marketing dollars. Seriously, if you are going to flush money down the toilet you might as well not go at all. Yes, just sit at home and hide behind your computer. Or, better yet … take advantage of this nice spring weather outside. My point? If you get a business card with someone follow up – even if it is just an email. Also, receiving a business card from someone does not also mean that you can harass someone by repeatedly calling their cell phone number to sell them toner cartridge. Not joking, do not be a timesuck and this is not a cell phone emergency when I am trying to put my clients on television and reserve this number for them.

Find a group that works. I am going to get down to the basics here because I watch people throw away money left and right (by the way, I am starting to wonder if some people have a money tree growing in their backyard … I want one). Here is the deal – look at who your customers are or what customers you are trying to obtain and join the group. Also, many groups allow you to attend a couple of times before you sign up for membership and that way you can test the waters and really make sure the organization is a good fit. Now, watch out for cults or overhyped networking groups out there – they exist and for some reason they are also big spammers on Facebook. Also, ask for references – I have been repeatedly recruited by a group where I am still not quite sure what they do expect for the reference to shiny lights and drinking some kool aid. Pass. I think I will leave the extra terrestrials to Drew.

Create a personal relationship. Now, once you find the right group to join attend the events and attend often. When you show up really show up – if that means getting a vendor table or not going bar hopping the night before so you are not a walking zombie do it. Now, my bar hopping days are long over and I have a VIP pass to club night night (can you tell I have a toddler). Most importantly, really get to know people and create a personal relationship. Real relationships will result into referrals. People will get to know you, get to know your work ethic and in the end ultimately refer you work. And, you in turn will refer your new peeps work and be b.f.f.’s for life.

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