We all know the importance of networking. And while some of us dread attending live events, it is actually one of my favorite things to do. I often go to business conferences and come away with 5-10 prospective clients to follow-up with, as well as connecting with some amazing people. The friendships and connections I have made evolve into joint ventures, client referrals and much more.
When you are at a live event, you can dress for the part – and will more than likely be prepared with your business cards and other marketing materials. But what about VIRTUAL events, when you are not physically in a room with a bunch of people, but are online. How do you “stand out” as the expert in your market and “get hired”? I am going to share one of my best tips here with you today, but to hear the rest you are going to have to join me on November 5th during my first time ever participating in a #SpeakerChat – come learn and share while I discuss how to be effective when networking virtually. I am so thrilled to have been asked by Melanie Benson-Strick (@melcoach) and Tracey Ehman (@partnerinbiz), who are your regular WSA hosts.
Tip#1 – Be prepared
Yes it is a virtual event and you are probably in a chat room, or on a #SpeakerChat (wink, wink) and wondering how in the world you are going to be able to contribute something of value to the conversation. Virtual events mean you need to share your expertise “via keyboard” and that’s not always easy to do. One of my best tips is “preparation“.
If you are interested enough to attend an event because of the topic, then take it a little further and do some research. Check out the bio of the person who is presenting. Is this someone you would like to get connected with online? Is this someone who has the ear of your audience? Do a little research on the topic they are presenting on. Go the extra mile and find a link to a resource that the audience might be interested in. After the presenter is done, you are going to get the opportunity to ask questions. This is your opportunity to shine. By asking relevant questions that offer your presenter the opportunity to add value to the discussion, you stand out from the rest of the participants. If your presenter has the ear of your audience, then chances are good for you to connect via other social media channels, making an eventual phone call or email an easy segue.
I am so looking forward to sharing more tips during my #SpeakerChat on November 5th, we are going to have a complete blast. And if you have not yet joined Women Speakers Association, please do so now at https://www.womenspeakersassociation.com (we have a free associate level or a $99/yr Premier level with lots of great benefits.) As soon as you join either level, look for the information to join our Facebook Group.