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#SeriouslySocial: Top 6 Tips For Networking!

If you've met me IRL, you'd know that I can go on and on (and on) about how much I love attending networking events. Which I do, but in all honesty, it's not true networking that I love, its being able to talk to and meet new people that does it for me! Growing up, a frequent scenario that sent me to the office more times than I can count was talking in class. I was notoriously deemed the "social butterfly" (wink) at every school I attended and there wasn't one person at school (or anywhere for that matter) I didn't, or wouldn't, talk to. The same could still be said about me now! So, with a long history of socializing, a variety of networking events under my belt, and a huge demand from SSCo's Instagram Following, I present to you my top tips for #networking!

Come Prepared

Make it easy on yourself and come prepared! If you know you're going to a networking event, make sure you have your outfit picked out ahead of time, and make sure your business cards (a decent amount) are packed in your bag. Since a big way to network is through social media, go to a networking event with the understanding that you will be asked for your social media pages during the event. In efforts of making the best first impression possible, it doesn't hurt to do a little social media clean-out before the event, if needed of course.

Remember, you have two first impressions to make at a networking event; The first is when you introduce yourself in person. The second is when you interact with them online. Both impressions matter!

Perfect Your Pitch

When at a networking event, or any event as a business owner, it is important to have your "Elevator Pitch" locked, loaded, and ready to go when the opportunity arises. The "Elevator Pitch" can be described as "a succinct and persuasive sales pitch" ( In layman's terms, think of the EP as a way of introducing yourself, getting across a key point, and making a connection with someone. Your pitch is crucial for a multitude of reasons, but mainly because it is your first impression to potential colleagues and clients.

In your pitch, you should:

  • State your company name

  • Summarize what your company does

  • Describe the type of clients or companies you work with

Set a Number Goal

For example, when I go to any networking event, I make it a personal goal of mine to talk to 10-15 new people and give my contact info (social handle, email, number, etc) to at least 6 of those people. When setting this number, be realistic with yourself. If you are someone with a lower social battery than most or are a bit shyer than others, start with three to five people as your goal.

Start With a Compliment

When in doubt, compliment out! A compliment is a perfect way to start a conversation because it is easy to pivot toward a more strategic conversation afterward. Trust me, I understand that conversation starters are never fun, and majority of the time, they're awkward. However, when starting out on the right foot with a new potential colleague or customer, you can't go wrong by starting with a compliment; women know this trick all too well. Start with something simple; outfit, accessories, smile, etc. From there, use your judgment to guide the conversation in your desired direction.

Know When to Leave

I know that oftentimes conversations can flow so effortlessly that all track of time is lost, but don't let this happen. Keep in mind that you have a set number of people you plan to make a connection with at this event, so don't lose sight of that! In addition, be cognizant of the duration of the event. You don't want to be the last person to leave, unless it's your event of course. Ending conversations can be just as hard as starting them, if not more, because you run the risk of leaving abruptly and looking rude.

Bulletproof Conversation Enders:

  • Will you excuse me while I go to the bathroom?

  • I think I'll get another drink, it was great talking with you!

  • I think I'll grab a bite to eat before everything is gone.

  • It's been a pleasure talking to you, my colleague just walked in and I am going to say hi. Can we connect on socials?

Take Pictures!

In my opinion, taking pictures with new friends and clients is one of the most important and fun parts of networking! After all, everything is content, and networking events are no exception. Aside from that, pictures are a great way to revisit the conversation with people you networked with at the event. What better way to slide into someone's DM than with a picture to remind them exactly who you are?

All in all, what I can honestly say is that the most important networking tip is simple; be yourself and show up as the best you! Networking events where I was authentic, open, and happy to be there had the best success rate for making new connections and even locking down a few new clients. Thinking about it now, I'd consider the ability to talk to anyone to be a real-life superpower! But, as said in Spider-Man, "with great power comes great responsibility" and I couldn't agree more. So, next time you take it upon yourself to attend a networking event, remember that it is your responsibility to make the most out of this moment, get outside of your comfort zone, and make beneficial and genuine connections that you and your business can cherish for years to come.

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