Thanks to social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, business networking is more important than ever, With that being said, don’t forget about the value of face to face networking. You’d be surprised by me saying that, because I’m pretty active on social. I actually find in-person networking at events to be super important, especially right now.
Over the last few years, I have built brand equity up through many different platforms online. Twitter allowed engage with people from all over the globe. Facebook allowed me to share content. YouTube gave me a platform to post client and personal work. But there is an entirely different strategy involved when you attend networking events or walk into a meeting. Face to face networking and online networking are to totally different things and you should approach them differently.
Who is Eric Auzenne?
Lets be real, to most people, I am completely unknown. 99% of people don’t know who I am, so when I’m making moves at an event, I’m starting from the same place most people do. You need to create an environment around yourself that shows who you are, what your strengths are, and what you’re passionate about.
The best tip I can give at an event is to be on the offensive. Talk to and engage with as many people as possible, and be open about what you do, who you are, etc. Be sure to ask a lot of questions, but I wouldn’t wait for people to ask you questions. This is what I mean by being on the offense when networking in person.
What Not to Do
One thing I don’t recommend doing is trying to find the “head honcho” and hovering them for the whole event. That is being defensive, because you’re already thinking about things that are outside of the event your currently at. Don’t think about finding that one person that you think may benefit you the most. Be open to engaging with anyone. Remember, focusing on one person may come back to bite you because you may miss out on the person who can do something for you.
My goal is to let serendipity take over. Face to face networking can feel a bit sleazy at times when people only have one objective like finding the top dog and following them around all night If you go more open and engage with everyone you can, it won’t seem as sleazy.
So learn to be on the offense. Let chance take over a bit. Learn to relax and enjoy yourself. Networking is, and should be, fun and full of opportunities.