Fifteen Tips That Will Help You Become a Networking Success
Whatever kind of writing you do, knowing how to successfully network and meet people is critical to your success. You can leverage networking opportunities to increase readership of your books (people love to know authors and to tell people they personally know the author of the book they're reading) get clients for a coaching or copywriting business, or line up speaking opportunities.
As writers, though, it's sometimes difficult to drag ourselves out from behind the computer and actually interact with the human race. Here are fifteen tips to get you started.
1. Always have your business cards available for exchanging.
2. Hone your 30-second commercial.
Basically, when you first meet someone, you have 30 seconds to explain concisely and persuasively what you do for a living. Make it both clear and compelling. Plus you should explain how your products and services can benefit customers — don't just rattle off a list of features. (Features sound more like descriptions of products and services, whereas benefits talk about what problems the product or service will solve for the customer.)
The point of your 30-second commercial is to intrigue your "audience" enough to ask a few more questions and hopefully hire you for a project. Practice it, but try not to let it sound too rehearsed as well. It should roll smoothly and conversationally off your tongue.
Before you try it in for real, give it a whirl in front of a few friends or family members and see how they respond to it.
3. Be an active listener when talking with people.
4. Don't eat or drink until you are finished networking, so you can keep your hands free to shake hands and to exchange cards.
5. Always follow up a meeting with a thank you note.
6. Write down new contacts in your address book immediately after receiving them.
7. Make a brief list of potential new contacts and don't forget to get in touch with them.
8. After you meet someone, jot down a few words on his or her business card that reminds you of that person.
9. Talk about YOU, not just your company.
10. Dress for the event.
11. Wear your nametag on your right lapel.
12. Plan your exit line in advance. Your goal at these events is to meet as many people as possible. You don't want to get stuck in a long conversation with someone. So make sure you know how to gracefully exit the conversation.
13. Read body language. Look at how people are interacting. Are they completely involved with their conversations or do are they look open to meeting someone new? The better you become at reading people, the easier it will get approaching them.
14. Set a goal of how many new people you want to meet at the event. If you're shy, aim for one person. As this gets easier, set higher goals.
15. If you do meet someone who could be a potential client, ask them what challenges them the most about their business or personal life. For instance, if you're a copywriter, ask them what copywriting or marketing problem would they most like solved. If you write books on organizing time, then ask what organizational problem they would most like solved. This can even work with fiction — ask them what they feel is most lacking in films or books nowadays.
Listen to the answer. Then respond by explaining what you do could help make their problem go away.
A special thank you to Katie Baird, Loose Ends, for allowing me to use these tips. She collected them from a number of sources.
Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! Marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services and boosting their business. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at www.MichelePW.com. Copyright © 2017 MichelePW all rights reserved.
Considered one of the hottest direct response copywriters and marketing consultants in the industry today, Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) has a reputation for crafting copy and creating online and offline marketing campaigns that get results.
Michele started writing professionally in 1992, working at agencies and on staff as a marketing/communication/writing specialist. In 1998, she started her business as a freelance copywriter.
But she quickly realized her vision was bigger than serving her clients as a one-woman-shop. In 2004, she began the transformation to building a copywriting and marketing company.
Two years later, her vision has turned into reality. Michele PW/Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC is the premiere direct response copywriting and marketing company today, catering to entrepreneurs and small business owners internationally, including the “Who’s Who” of Internet Marketing. Some of their clients include:
Alexis Martin Neely
In addition, Michele is also a national speaker and the bestselling author of the “Love-Based Copywriting" books that teach people how to write copy that attracts, inspires and invites. She has also completed two novels.
She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and her southern squirrel hunter Cassie.