5 Mistakes To Avoid at Networking Events
What's up guys, my name is Jenna Redfield, and today I'm going to be talking about five tips that you should avoid when going to networking events.
Mistake #1. Don’t get stuck with one person the entire time.
Okay, so the first tip is to not get stuck talking to the wrong person. Now, this might happen a lot where you go to a networking event, you start talking to someone, they're either boring, or maybe they don't fit with what you're looking for. Trying to get out of it, you can, you know, tell yourself, oh, I have to go grab something from the bathroom, or go grab some food or something, you don't have to go back to that person, they'll probably move on and talk to someone else. This has happened to me before with people that are extremely awkward to talk to where they just aren't saying anything. And I feel like I'm asking all the questions. So sometimes I'm like, Oh, it's really nice to meet you. And then you move on, you're not going to be like friends and friendly with everyone you meet a networking event. But you never know, if those connections might help you in the future. Maybe the person, someone's just really shy, and they really, really like talking to you. And maybe they'll reach out to you afterwards. So don't ever knock the people that you felt like you didn't have as big of connection with. But you definitely don't want to stay stuck with them. If you really feel like you're not the person you're not you're there to meet. And a quick reminder about that people at networking events are there to network. So like it might be kind of scary to go up to someone. But one of the things I always recommend is break the ice. One of the things I would say is, oh, have you tried the food yet? Or if they're holding the food, like, oh, how was that food? Or you could ask Have you been here before? Because you might be like, Oh, this is a really cool place. If it's at like a co working space or some sort of event center. That's a really, really great way to break the ice by just walk into someone, it is harder to break into a conversation when like multiple people are talking, like in a group or just two people. So I tried to find the ones that are by themselves. That's the best person to go up to because they're probably justice. Maybe nervous as you are. I am also the one networking events. If I know someone, and I know another person, I I make the introduction. That's just the kind of person I am. I love networking events, because I love connecting people to each other. So that's just something I personally do a lot.
Mistake #2: Not coming prepared
Okay, the second tip is to avoid is to not come prepared. One of the biggest things I see at networking events is I I really like someone that I met and I'd say Oh, I'd like to follow up if you do have a card. And they don't happen. And I know I've actually forgotten my business cards before. But I really think having business cards is really important, just so that you know, it is a way to connect with people. Obviously, business cards over the years have gotten less important because of social media, you can connect with people. But for me, it is helpful if I kind of forgot that person's name. I love to have a virtual business card as well. I if I'm talking to someone, I'm not kidding, I will ask them to follow me on Instagram. Like I was like, Oh, can you grab your phone, like I'll follow you on Instagram, you can follow me back, it's the best way to actually capture their information because their Instagram is basically like an online profile for them. So that's just something that I'd recommend doing. Instagram is basically where I run my entire business. So if they're following me on Instagram, it's a great way to connect with me. Another part of not being prepared is a lot of people don't know what to say when they're like, oh, what do you do? That is like the most asked question. When I that I asked him that I'm asked. And so having somewhat of an elevator pitch, I hate that word, because it just it sounds so like 1980s. But just having what do you do and how to say what you do in a matter of words without taking two hours to talk about what you do. Explain what you do and how you help people and what you offer. That's it, like just say, Oh, I you know, I help Twin Cities based entrepreneurs and creatives connect with each other and grow their influence with Instagram marketing and coaching. That's literally it. And then they will be like, Oh, that's interesting, tell me more, I will do the same. If they do something like that as well. That's just my quick elevator pitch. It's like literally a sentence. And a lot of the times I talk about the things that I offer, and people are super, super interested, because it's something that will help them. So make sure that you talk about things that will help them and not just yourself.
Mistake #3: Not following up
So this, the third one is not following up. This is a mistake a lot people make. So you meet someone at a networking event. And if you don't follow up with them, it's almost like you've never met them at all. So adding them on LinkedIn, sending them an email, you know, adding them on Instagram, maybe even Facebook, those are all great ways to connect with someone afterwards, I would only connect with people, you think that maybe you would maybe do a collaboration with someone you think that you might hire, or maybe they'll hire you. There's a lot of different ways to connect. But you definitely need to follow up with people that you've met at networking events. Otherwise, there's really no point in going to them.
Mistake #4: Not asking them for anything
All right, the fourth mistake is not asking them for anything. One of the things that you want to do at a networking event is get something from them. And I know that sounds really selfish, but really you're going for a reason. One of the things I always ask people is Oh, do you go into any other networking events? Because I like to know about all the networking events in town. So I always asked, oh, have you been to this event before? if they if they haven't? Or if they have I want to hear more about it. I want to ask them Oh, like, Is there anyone that you think I should meet? Or do you know of anyone that is looking for Instagram help? It's a great one, because that's my target audience. And they might be like, Oh, my friend has this new business, blah, blah, I then follow them on Instagram, blah, blah, blah, they connect. Another thing.
Mistake #5: Not providing them with value
And this is number five is not providing them anything. So if you're just talking about yourself, but not actually giving them any resources, that is kind of like so self serving. And it's just not the best way to network and market yourself. Literally one of the first things I need when I hear someone's story here what they do, I am my wheels are turning in my brain, I'm who could I connect them with that they need, they might not need me, but they might need someone I know. And just the fact that you do that for them will like make you like so special to them. Because they're like, Oh, this person connected me to the right person that I needed. I have a Rolodex in my head of people that I know that are super, super helpful. And people that are also super well connected. Because if I introduce them to this one person, I know that that person will connect them to another connected person. And it'll be super helpful for them. So making sure that you give them something and not just ask for something. And that's the part of networking I never understood. When I was in college. I thought it was just ask ask ask, take take take from someone. But really, my goal with networking is to give give, give, and then ask because honestly, people will appreciate you way more when you give them information. And then you can eventually ask them and say hey, like I know, we've been talking for a while. Do you know what anyone that does this, you have to be the source of something that they need. And then they will love you. They will appreciate what you do for them and they will be more than willing to help you back. I think this is just what building relationships is. Networking is a weird word. I prefer relationship building for business because honestly, a lot of people that you meet at networking events, you might sit another networking event, you'll remember their name, you'll remember who they are and it's way easier to talk to them and you're excited to talk to someone that you already know. So I love networking events so much because I feel like I'm coming home every time I go to one even if I don't know anyone there. So I hope that you've enjoyed what not to do at networking events. If you want to follow me at Twin Cities collective on Instagram, we have a lot of events in the fall through the spring and I absolutely love going to a lot of them around town.