Network Your Networth
Networking is Essential To Your Personal Brand!
This past week I had the pleasure to attend two different networking events that honestly have me on an entrepreneurial high! There’s nothing like a well put together event by a host that makes sure their attendees leave in great spirits.
On Thursday evening, I went to a Real Estate Summer Mixer at the Rooftop Garden in Fountain Square. It was hosted by Real Estate Investor Omari Heflin and was heavily populated with Real Estate Agents, Investors, & Lenders. My first thoughts were “It’s a whole lot of money on this roof!” so I was definitely in the right place. The vibes were set with a live DJ, saxophonist, paid bar, and self-serve appetizers. I was definitely impressed and more importantly proud of myself for simply showing up to the event. Speaking with different people in the Service Industry (my target audience!) and leaving with absolutely none of my business cards that I walked in with.
My next networking event was Sunday in Cincinnati, Ohio. I drove 2 hours to attend the Bad Girl Brunch. This event was full of vendor tables by Woman owned businesses, brunch catered by a female chef, a female dj, and a female host! It was truly a safe space for baddies to enjoy bottomless mimosas, network, and turn up. The ladies at the event came dressed and a time was definitely had. One thing I really liked about this event was the host gave everyone a passport upon entry. The passport gets a stamp for every vendor table you stopped at to speak with a small business owner and was to be turned in at the end of the event for a raffle prize. I also gave my business card to a few of the service providers I met at the event.
The foundation of your personal brand is built on your authenticity and how you connect with your target audience so it’s easy to see how showing up to a networking event and making new connections can help your brand. That’s not to oversimplify certain factors that should be taken into account when stepping out to network. Here are some helpful tips for you to get the most out of your networking experience.
Take the time to consider WHY you are participating in a networking event. What are you looking to leave with? Are you looking for new resources? Are you looking to make new connections to grow your target audience? Maybe you’re looking to make sales directly after the event. Your intentions play a huge role in planning for the event and how you follow up after the event. If you’re looking for new resources you’ll want to make sure you speak with people in those sectors that may be useful to you. If you’re wanting to grow your target audience you can actively request attendants follow your social media with a QR code or airdrop your links. Direct sales are a bit more of a challenge but very easy if you have the gift of gab.
Once you’ve established your intentions for your new prospective connections, you can properly plan for your event. Consider what items you will need to help you accomplish your end goal. This could be updated business cards, working website links (to airdrop) flyers or products. Don’t forget YOU ARE YOUR BRAND. Show up presentable with confidence and a smile and be ready to work the room!
Being selective about which networking events to attend is probably the most important part of this read. Be intentional about the rooms you enter. For instance, if your business caters to young children, events for parents and educators might be the perfect room for you. If your target audience is entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial events might yield the best results. The key is knowing your industry, your target audience and having a willingness to make mutually beneficial connections. In my case, I specifically chose the real estate networking event because a high percentage of my brand clients were in the real estate industry which indicates there is a demand for my services. From what I could tell I was the only personal branding photographer on that roof! I also chose the Bad Girl Brunch because in essence I’m a girl’s girl and that reflects in my target audience as well. I love working with girl bosses looking to build their brand identity.
Here’s a hot take! Effective networking doesn’t stop at attending events and exchanging business cards. Nurture these new connections by reaching out to them within 24-48 hours of the event. A simple “it was great meeting you” is nice but if you really want to build an authentic relationship, a coffee invite or an exclusive offer will really make an impression. It all depends on how determined you are to build your brand. You can go out have a great time meet new people while also intentionally growing your audience and sourcing new resources for your business
80% of women who make a 6-figure income do it through network marketing. If you’ve been thinking about showing up and stepping into new rooms this is your sign! I challenge you to attend one networking event and consider the tips from today’s read. Let’s see where intentional networking takes your business!