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Networking Tips from Networking Expert, Andrea Nierenberg

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Last week I was a guest on the Freelancer Writers Den live podcast and the topic was networking at live events and trade shows. The other guest was Andrea Nierenberg, one of the queens of networking, of whom I’d known for a long time but had never actually met.

I answered the first round of questions but then I got to listen as Andrea answered the second round. Here are the highlights from her chat with Carol Tice, who moderated the podcast:

First of all, networking is not about getting; it’s about giving and building relationships over time. (It’s always good to be reminded of this.)

Also, you’re “on” from the minute you leave the house — on the airplane, in the hotel, in the fitness center — not just at the “official” event you’re attending. That way you don’t miss any opportunities to connect.

Andrea has a “2-2-2 theory,” that goes like this (I think I got this right):

  • meet 2 new people
  • arrange 2 follow ups
  • decide if you’ll go to 2 more of those meetings.

Carol added another “2” — she says there are 2 types of people you’ll meet: Spenders (people who spend money; those are your actual leads) and senders (people who will send people your way). Don’t underestimate the value of the senders. Develop a robust sender network who send spenders your way.

She suggested attending an event with these 4 goals in mind:

  1. Learn something. You can learn from everyone — go with curiosity. (I learned a new word: Smeyes — smile with your eyes, truly connect with that person.)
  2. Give something. You have to listen to find out what they need.
  3. Take something from the event. Ask the people you meet, “Based on our chat, how will I know if I’m speaking to someone you might want to meet?”
  4. Ask permission to follow up and find out their preferred method of communication — some people never do email, others only do email! We’ll never know the right way to reach someone until we ask.

Here’s a trick she shared for remembering names — one of those little things that means a lot and shows you care: Ask how they spell their name. Don’t assume you know.

Here are a few more links that were shared during the podcast:

And here’s one of my short “how-to” videos about how to find an event:

  • More in: Andrea Nierenberg, Freelancers Den, Networking, Nierenberg Group

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