In my post last week, I mentioned that I was attending a meetup.com event for Americans living in Dublin. Well, I’m proud to say that I checked “networking” off my list this week (in my Grow Your Business Marketing Plan +Calendar that I’m diligently following.)
I’ll be honest, I had to kick myself out the door. But since I mentioned it to all of you—I HAD to go.
So I arrive at the beer garden at Bull & Castle in Dublin. I order a beer and feel a little silly when I ask the bartender where the Americans are. He asks where I’m from, I say New York, and then we get into a friendly quarrel about Yankees vs. RedSox.
Finally, he gives me my beer and points to a table in the corner.
I approach, and I say…. Get ready for this brilliance…. “Hi, I’m Deidre and I’m American– are you American too?”
I spent some time introducing myself and chatting. It felt great to meet so many interesting people who were all there for the same reason. Since everyone was there to meet up, talking was so easy. And since we had something in common, it was also easy. (I started to understand why networking groups are for people with something in common.)
So, I’m talking to a girl named Dean. We’re talking about macaroni and cheese, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and how we miss Target, and then she says,
“So, Deidre, what do you do for work?”
What a perfect time to practice my elevator pitch, I think. I say,
“Well Dean, I help small business owners with the marketing they don’t have time for.”
And she laughed, and said…
“Well, do you know that I’m a small business owner who needs help with the marketing I don’t have time for?”
My jaw dropped, and I think I dribbled beer on myself. I couldn’t help it. I simply couldn’t believe it. I was astounded. Astounded! And the first thing I could think was– that I couldn’t wait to tell all of you!
I got in touch with her the following day, and we’re already working together. She also invited me to a charity event as her date (because her husband refuses to wear a suit.) And she told me about another networking organization for women in business that I might want to consider.
I left the beer garden with a little buzz and lots of hope for the future. Wow. I hadn’t even gone to this event with the intention of networking for business, and I’m leaving with a new client, plus another great girl who I’m going to meet for coffee next week.
I was thinking that you could spend days and weeks and months networking online and never have this happen. Obviously you won’t get a new client every time, but you will expand your network. Putting yourself out there really gets the ball rolling. And connecting feels great.
Have you put yourself out there? If not, please give it a try. You might like it. (And the scary term “networking” might not be as scary as you think.)
Week 8 Recap: I networked! I also made new connections on LinkedIn and Biznik. (Connect with me!) I made a few more edits to my website, and spent some time looking at websites I like and considering a remodel. Other than that, I did A LOT of work. I wrote 3 proposals and followed up on all of them. So far two of them have become jobs. I was busy, busy, busy, which feels great, and I’m looking forward to a productive month ahead.
How are you doing?