If you’re attending an in-person networking event, showing up isn’t the first thing you should do. In this sneak peak excerpt from HOW Magazine’s January freelance column, I share these four easy actions to give your networking a head start.
2 days in advance, connect with them. Back in the 20th century, not only were you in the dark about who’d be there, you also couldn’t connect in advance. Not so in the 21st century. Now, because of all the information available, there are multiple ways to reach out in advance to lay the foundation for a potentially fruitful connection. You can:
- Connect on LinkedIn. Because you are both attending the same event, you have a genuine reason to connect and a built-in opening to connect with. Simply write, “I see you’re attending the NJ Tech Meet Up next week. I am too and would love to connect and meet you there. I think we might be a good fit.” And choose “colleague” when asked how you know them.
- Start a discussion on LinkedIn. If the event or the group hosting the event has a LinkedIn Group, join it and use the opportunity of the upcoming event to initiate a discussion on a topic related to the event topic or simply to ask who’s going. That way, you’ll already know a few people when you get there.
- Pre-tweet: Follow and then send a tweet to anyone you want to meet, especially the speakers. This not only buys you some mental real estate; it also establishes good will by giving them visibility to your followers. In less than 100 characters, you can say, “Looking forward to meeting at NJ Tech Meetup. I’ll be there too and will say hello.”
- “Friend” them on Facebook or “Like” their FB page. Facebook is generally used more for personal than for business. But it can’t hurt to connect there too, if it seems appropriate.
Stay tuned for more networking tips this week on the blog, and get 50% off networking tools (and everything else!) in the Marketing Mentor Toolbox this Wednesday, August 28th.