With back-to-back events, it’s been a busy few weeks. Here are some networking lessons I learned so far:
Wear Your Brand
One of the first things I noticed at the AOD (Accountability on Demand) Live business conference was that many people wore their logo, slogan, or tagline on their shirts and clothing. At Poet Fest, one poet even had her name written down her pants leg.
It was a great marketing technique that I had missed. Here I am with a Calvin Klein shorts set on, and everyone else is wearing their own name brands. I went home vowing to get some t-shirts done.
But then, I realized this is not about t-shirts or wearing your name on your clothes.
I probably won’t do that.
Whether you wear your logo figuratively or literally, this is about intentionally showing up for yourself.
My shorts set was still cute, though.
Email / Text Marketing Is Prime Real Estate
More than selling books and gaining more social media followers, I have increased my email list substantially over a month.
But why is this important?
Keeping in touch via email and/or text marketing helps you to stay connected to readers you might have otherwise never seen again.
During your book signings, speaking events, and other things, keep either a notebook and pen on your table or a tablet.
Write Email List Sign-Up somewhere and put name and email so they know where to write it.
If using a tablet, have the spreadsheet already open where people can type their information.
People will walk by and just write their name and email, sometimes even before talking to you or buying a book. How is this a good thing?
It gives you the chance to build a relationship with them later. And then, they might just consider supporting your work.
This is also why I encourage Indie Authors to sell books from their author website, to stay connected with readers: because you have no idea who bought your book from Amazon unless they tell you or leave a review you can see.
Social Media is Still King
In 2022, people do not ask for your business card. They ask for your IG handle.
The first draft of this said, “Business Cards Are Still Useful,” and that’s still a lesson I learned as it made it easier for me to give out my contact information and served as a great conversation starter.
And, while I wouldn’t say business cards are dead, they are used differently in the age of social media.
If you are old school, you can take all your social handles and put them on a card. And although people will probably stash these bad boys away in their office drawer like I did when I got home, not before they follow your Instagram, Facebook group, and Twitter.
Social media is not only King but essential considering the current pestilence situation we got going on with Covid and Monkey Pox.
I don’t take pictures wearing my mask because I think it’s weird, but I always have it and my mini hand sanitizer. Please believe it.
The bottom line is, people are online all day, every day more than usual.
This means not being online and using social media is tragic for anyone looking to grow a business in 2022.
How to Actually Network
First, I am introverted. Walking up to strangers and talking to them isn’t my thing. However, I learned that is only a small part of real networking. The other part is to discern how (or if) we can best serve each other.
How can what you do and what I do become a bridge? How can we build on what we build?
That’s what networking is, making connections and building relationships.
Practical example: You are a writer, and there’s someone in your social circle who edits. It would be a good idea to connect with that person.
But it doesn’t have to be someone who does something similar to what you do, either.
Let’s say you have been trying to lose weight, work out and eat better. There is a nutritionist specializing in fitness in your midst. It would be best if you connected with that person and tried to see how to combine your personal goal of being fit with your business goals.
How can ya’ll turn this collaboration into something more?
Communication is the cornerstone of all good relationships, so keep in touch with people.
Engage with their social media, follow their blogs, check out their services, ask them questions, subscribe to their email list, and so on.
Stay safe folks