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Networking 101: It All Starts with Hello

Networking 101: It All Starts with Hello

By Kelly Rowe

one | saying hello.  
Starting with a confident, “hello, my name is….” can go far!  Smile and ask what their name is.  As a blogger, I attend a number of blog conferences each year and I always start with, “Hello, my name is Kelly” with my hand extended.  You’ll always connect better with some other than others, but someone has to initiate the meet and greet — why not be that person?

two | share your passion.
Most likely you’re networking with people of similar interests.  So, share your passion, something you love.  It can be contagious and make for a memorable moment.  I usually always say something goofy or funny — and it’s later said that I’m a funny gal.  Who doesn’t enjoy being remembered?

three| business cards.  
Have business cards ready to distribute.  If you’re unable to get much time with an individual, be sure to swap cards so you can connect again.  Get creative in how to make yourself memorable here too.  You might make your own business cards or create a clever marketing piece like these, “Pencil in a visit” hand outs.

TIP:  If the business card has the blank space and isn’t super glossy, it never hurts to jot a few notes down about the person you just met to use when you do step four (see below).

Everybody loves promotional products and some popular pieces that are often distributed with business cards include, but are not limited to: pencils, mini , pens, temporary tattoos, and/or candy or chocolate!

four | follow-up
Send out an a notecard, e-mail, tweet or message via other social media avenues to say that it was nice to meet them.  A simple thank you can go a long way! And who doesn’t love a little snail mail?

five | step outside your comfort zone.
If you’re an introvert or a shy person, networking may not come to you easily.  However, challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone. Reach out to other influencers via social media, attend events, conferences, local events to meet people of like minds and interest.

six | elevator pitch
According to Wikipedia, an elevator pitch is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a person, profession, product, service, organization or event.  A good elevator pitch is 20-30 seconds (the approximate time you might be on an elevator ride. Include what it is you do, identify what makes you, your blog, product or business unique and end with a question.  Those three items are a great starting platform. When you’ve put one together — practice, practice, practice!

seven | more networking
Now that you’ve met some great peers of like mind and interests — start doing things for them with expecting anything in return.  I recently sat in a session titled, “Blog like a Rockstar” by Dayna Steele.  She talked about this and I couldn’t agree more.  Share your peers posts, tweets, pins, articles, etc.  It will help you grow your network even more!  It’s more or less a form of paying it forward virtually.

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