As a blogger, you have to invest money and time into meeting the right people who can help take your blog to the next level. What exactly do I mean? I’m talking about the power and importance of networking! This is when you meet members of the press, potential brands to partner with like Tennisracquets.com if you are into sports especially tennis, mentors who can help you grow, and fellow colleagues you can collaborate with. Where do you find these networking events? The easiest way to find them is by asking your peers and surfing the web. Eventbrite is a great place to find an event or conference for any kind of interest or industry. I suggest you start there. You can also check out different blogger groups, like Blogger Babes – organizations like this usually have a calendar of events to share with their members. In the meantime, let me give you a few useful networking tips to remember.
- Building your network can take some time and money and those are two factors that turn people off about it. But, it’s really something you can’t escape. Don’t get discouraged if you didn’t make much traction after the first networking event you went to. The truth is, it takes a good 1 to 2 years to build a solid, reputable network. So, don’t give up so easily. And most importantly, don’t get turned off by the money you’ll have to spend. I’m not saying that networking events will cost you thousands of dollars. But, you will have to fork out some cash here and there for expenses like registrations, food, and transportation. Just remember the rule of cost of acquisition. Let’s say you paid $500 to attend an event in hopes of meeting brands to partner with. After a few weeks of follow-ups, you ended up closing 10 different campaign contracts that equaled to $50000, translating to $5000 per brand partner. That means the cost to acquire 1 brand was a mere $500! $500 in exchange for $5000 – I’ll take that any day!
- Always have business cards! Never, ever attend a networking event without business cards. The main reason you’re at the event is to make connects. So, how will you ever make a connection if you can’t easily distribute your contact information?
- Dress appropriately sharp. Dress to impress, depending on the type of industry event you attend. If you are going to a fashion event for Diane Von Furstenberg, don’t come dressed in Bebe club attire. You want to dress appropriately but still stand out from the crowd.
- Make your rounds. Do not stay with one person during the entire event, unless something huge is happening (a business deal, partnership deal, etc). You want to connect with different people and you can’t do that if you’re with the same person all day or night.
- Look at the guest list the night before the event to strategize who you’ll be approaching. If big people are going to be there, you’re going to want to get in front of their faces.
- Don’t be shy to introduce yourself. Your peers are expecting to be approached during these type of events, so don’t feel awkward or silly when you reach out to them.
- Have a pitch about your blog ready to go. Everyone will ask who you are and what you do. So, you should be able to explain that clearly and succinctly.
- Always ask for people’s business cards even if you’ve given them yours. People sometimes forget to follow up. If you don’t have their contact info, you’re pretty much out of luck. But, if you have their email or phone number, you can easily reach out to them yourself.
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