Networking is a great marketing tactic to get the word out about your business. But there are some do’s and don’t’s to follow. Now, just know, this list is based on my own observations. If you have some other helpful tips, please feel free to share!
Do: Attend a number of networking meetings
Don’t: Attend so many that you don’t get any work done.
Don’t: Attend meetings that don’t attract your target market. You want to make sure that you’re hanging out with the right people either as prospects or referral partners.
Do: Bring business cards
Don’t: Come without business cards. I have met so many people that arrive, talk with people and when asked for a card, they don’t have one. Well, I need your services in 3 months, how will I get in touch with you? If I run into someone that needs your services, how will I refer them to you?
Don’t: Come with an old card that has a whole bunch of scratch outs and new info written in. Business cards are really cheap now. Check out Abbott’s Printing – they have 1,000 cards, 1-sided, for $40.
Don’t: Walk around handing your business card out to every person. This is annoying and rude. Talk to people, build a relationship with them. It’s through that relationship that they will remember you for future work and/or referral
Do: Mingle and Chat
Don’t: Come and sit and hope people come talk to you. It’s networking, so you will need to stand up and walk over to someone and chat them up.
Don’t: Try to get a signed contract at the meeting. This is a time to get to know people and build relationships. Don’t be salesy!
Networking should be seen as drip advertising. You will see it working for you over time, but that requires you to attend the same meeting consistently.
I’m sure you have some great tips, please share them in the comments!