Have you ever analyzed how effective networking events you attend are? Oftentimes, people attend these events to socialize but walk away without bringing in any potential business opportunities. Sure, you might have had fun and made connections, but you could be missing a huge chance to expand brand awareness and grow your business.
In order to make the most out of networking events as an entrepreneur, you need to be in the right mindset with a work-related strategy in place. Let’s take a look at three ways you can get the most out of networking events.
3 Ways to Be Productive at Networking Events
Attending networking events offer you value to not only connect with influential industry leaders but also self-promote yourself and your business. Follow the tips below to ensure you’re taking advantage of these opportunities successfully.
1. Establish a Goal
Before the event, ensure you establish what you hope to achieve from it. Do you want to be introduced to someone in particular? Are you looking for an investment? What type of clients do you want to attract? Set goals for how many people you want to meet, appointments you make, or the number of business cards you want to collect. Determining your specific goals will help guide you to a more successful event.
2. Meet the Right People
After you have your goals in mind, it’s time to start talking to the right people that can help you reach success. It’s important to make genuine connections and act complimentary and positive—ask questions about the person’s personal and business life. Remember that these events are not for selling—don’t just pass on your business card and move on. The people you meet at events could have an impact on future business, so you need to make valuable connections.
3. Keep in Touch
The key to making each networking event productive for solopreneurs is the follow-up. Events are for connecting and exchanging contact information, but actual business outcomes happen afterward when you stay in touch with these new contacts. Create a follow-up strategy that you can continuously use after each event. Consider touching base 48 hours after you meet on social media, email, personal card, or a text to take action on your goal.
Attend Networking Events to Grow Your Business
With these steps in mind, you have the ability to grow your business and make valuable connections at your next networking event. While events can be intimidating at first, above all—it’s important to be yourself and act with purpose.