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Networking: Why, Where, and How

Making friends or at least alliances in school was much easier than it is out here in the adult world. In school, we had no choice but to be around each other at the same times of day, go to the same classes, and cheer our football teams during occasional games. School and the extracurricular activities provided by the school brought us together, and eventually, we all found a friend or two.

Unfortunately, not all adolescent friendships last into adulthood; however, there are still places that bring like-minded people together, like jobs, clubs, and… drum roll 🥁… networking events!

What does all this have to do with marketing?

Most of our Vavoza Insider audience have an entrepreneurial mindset, and so do we. So, we would like to remind you that although social media and regular media dominate the world as far as communication goes, no one has canceled human connection (at least not yet).

Genuine human connection is the foundation for building strong relationships that can take your business to the next level, and that’s where business networking comes in.

For the marketers in the room – marketing can be implemented in any industry, so depending on your niche, target audience, product, or service, you can decide which networking event or location to attend to promote your product, offer a marketing service, or discover lucrative marketing opportunities.

Networking for marketing

Where Can You Find Networking Events?

Here are some ideas for where you can easily find business and marketing networking opportunities:

  1. Look up conventions in your area. Some may be paid, but some are always free. Ensure they align with your niche, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Chances are, people at the convention are there for the same reason: to meet new, like-minded people they can eventually sell to or learn from.

  2. You can also use a site like Eventbrite, where you can find various events and locations for different activities, including ones where you can network. Networking events usually range from soirees, mixers, and conventions for entrepreneurs and startups to women-owned businesses and small minority-owned businesses.

    You can also create your own events on Eventbrite! 💥

  3. If you have a favorite coach or motivational speaker doing an event in your city, it might be worth investing your money and time into visiting them. The speaker is the common denominator between you and the rest of the attendees, which gives you a solid opportunity to bond with them and form relationships.

  4. Facebook is also a great place to look for networking events. You can join groups that relate to your niche or marketing in general – that way, you’ll get updates about future locations, events, and sometimes attendees of those events. 

There are many more places for networking – you just need to turn on your creativity and resourcefulness!

Pro Tips For Networking At Events:

  • Leave An Impression: We have mentioned this one many times before, but we’ll reiterate it. Your appearance, the way you present yourself, and the way you treat others are how you either appeal to other people or push them away. The point of networking, of course, is to attract people to you, so be mindful of yourself and others!

  • Find Common Ground: While business is what you are there for, it’s always good to find other similarities between you and your new acquaintance outside of business. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; people love to tell others about themselves. Try to make them feel special and important, and pay attention to their answers. They may give you just the details that will help you craft or close a win-win deal later!

  • Share, but Not Overshare: As we have already established, networking events are for finding like-minded individuals. It is important to share your knowledge and expertise as well as a little bit about yourself as a person. Otherwise, how would anyone know if they want to be your connection? Try to find a sweet balance between sharing and not oversharing – always leave room for a “to-be-continued” conversation!

  • Be Prepared: Having a business card, NFC card, or QR code on you might be the one thing you need to conclude the conversation. You don’t necessarily need to own a business to have a card; it is simply a compact place that contains your contact info and maybe mentions your niche. Don’t forget to ask for theirs, too! (At a minimum, exchange phone numbers or connect with each other on social media.)

  • Follow-Up/ Re-Engage: If you obtained any contact information from your new acquaintances, hit them up after the event and make them feel remembered by bringing up your key moments from the event. By the way, if you made a good impression on anyone there, you might receive some follow-up messages, too! Wouldn’t that feel good? 🙂

Closing Remarks 

Business networking is a practice that is outside of the comfort zone for many, as it requires putting yourself out there and actually talking to people. Boo! Scary! 👀 (Unless, of course, you already have that extroverted and outgoing personality.)

However, personal connections and interactions are necessary – people long for genuine human connection. Don’t you, too?

Be creative and resourceful; not all networking happens at special events. Sometimes, you might meet someone at a coffee shop or a lounge who just so happens to be into similar things as you are. Don’t be shy; grab their contact info and send one or two follow-up messages later. You never know; that random someone might just be who you need one day.

On that note, if you want to receive practical marketing tips, insights, and ideas in your email inbox to grow your business faster and better, subscribe to Vavoza Insider

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Subscribe to Vavoza Insider and receive actionable marketing tips, insights, and ideas in your email

Discover unique ways to get more leads and customers and grow your business faster and better!

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Subscribe to Vavoza Insider and receive actionable marketing tips, insights, and ideas in your email

Discover unique ways to get more leads and customers and grow your business faster and better!