Networking for Bloggers
As a solopreneur, it can get lonely working from home, and it’s important to have a tribe of like-minded people just like you, for support. I happen to be a people person. I like going to meetups and networking events, and talking about business. I like hearing about what other people are doing, as well as the latest trends that are making the rounds. So if the idea of networking for bloggers seems weird, perish the thought!
Even though attending an event IRL (in real life) means that I have to give up my Pajamas and put on some makeup, the trade-off is that I will meet interesting people and get inspired by the ideas that are shared. I love my solo time working in yoga pants without makeup, but “No man is an island”!
As a blogger with access to online tools, you can supersize your networking game by doing a little homework. With some extra thought and planning, you can maximize your time at networking events, and get inspiration for your blog.
Why is Networking for Bloggers Helpful?
- Events get you out the house, and out of your head, and out of your comfort zone
- Meeting new people opens up your social networks
- You get inspired with new ideas for your blog and your business
- Photo opportunities (Duh!)
- Some people you meet can become friends, mentors, and business referrals
- The people you meet, and ideas you discuss may inspire future blog posts
- If you regularly interview people for your blog, podcast, video, etc, you’ll meet new interview subjects all the time.
- Folks who attend networking events are often “movers and shakers”, so you may want to stay in touch with the die-hard schmoozers with great ideas!
Networking for Bloggers, Fun & Profit
Lately an online marketer named Kimra Luna has been on my radar. When crunching the numbers for my online business during my FastTrac entrepreneurial class, I was excited to project $100,000 revenue by the end of Year 2. Even though the revenue numbers seemed impossible to folks outside the online marketing world, I considered my projections on the conservative side, and was prepared to defend my financial projections in my final presentation.
But when I learned that Kimra had an online business launch that made $750,000 IN HER FIRST YEAR, I had to know more. Because inquiring minds want to know! After joining her Freedom Hackers Facebook group, I learned that the blue-haired 29 year-old moved her family of 5 to New York City.
New York City??? That’s where I live!!!
Long story short, when Kimra asked if anyone was up for a meetup in NYC, I signed up immediately, and then cleared my schedule for the night. Of course, I had an awesome night, and here are some of my favorite networking tips.
Networking Do’s & Don’ts
- BEFORE: If the invite is on Facebook or any social media-friendly site, check the guest list.
See who else will be attending the event so you can plan your time.
- BEFORE: If there is someone on the list who looks interesting, check out their blog and social media feeds.
You may be able to get a feel for the person, and what they’re looking to accomplish.
- BEFORE: Create an elevator pitch. This way you can introduce yourself in a way that’s easy for people to remember
- DURING: Get to the event as early as possible.
Some people may have to leave before you do, so don’t wait.
- DURING: Don’t spend all your time at the food and drink table, even if it’s free 🙂
UNLESS, there are great conversations going on at the food table. Eat something before you arrive, so you’re not distracted over the pigs in a blanket appetizers.
- DURING: Don’t spend all your time with people hanging out you already know.
Again, you can socialize with friends on your own time. Introduce yourself to people you don’t know.
- DURING: Be a good LISTENER.
Find out what other people are looking to accomplish, and see if you can help them with it.
- DURING: Exchange contact info during your individual conversations.
If you have a business card, give it away. Or exchange phone numbers on your cell phones. If someone gives you a business card, make a note on the back of what they looked like, what you spoke about, or anything else that will remind you later.
- DURING: NEVER tell someone to Google you in order to reach you.
At a networking event, people meet a lot of people, and it’s arrogant to assume that people will remember you, your name, or your business after meeting lots of new faces and names. Give them a business card, get their email address, but don’t leave it up to someone else’s memory!
- DURING: Before leaving, get selfies and group shots
As I tell students in my social media workshops: “Get pics, or it didn’t happen. Get pics of yourself, or you weren’t there!
- AFTER: Send thank yous
Send thank you notes, emails, or texts to the people you met, and want to meet again.
- AFTER: Send Facebook requests to your new friends
Stay in touch with them.
- AFTER: Follow up with your new friends
Keep up with them and their activities.
- Rinse and repeat!