Hey, boudie babes! Let’s talk all about networking and how it’s a waste of time unless you are doing these two things.
Tip #1. You absolutely need to go into whatever networking event or group that you join with a clear plan of what you want to be getting out of that thing. Maybe it is a networking group for business owners. Maybe it is a charity organization that you’re a part of. Maybe it’s a country club that you belong to. Whatever it is, you need to have a clear plan.
For example, it’s going to be so easy for you to think that it’s a waste of time and money if you don’t actually think, okay, what is my clear goal here? Clearly you guys want bookings, right? So what you would do going into the event then is say to yourself, “Okay, well, I’m going to make it my goal to get X bookings.” What do you think you need to have with you at that event to actually get those bookings? You’re going to need some kind of call to action. You’re going to need some kind of information. You’re going to need some kind of scarcity and urgency. These are going to be your two best friend words when it comes to sales. You’re going to need scarcity and urgency to get them to actually book with you.
I like to have some kind of a card, like a 5×7 or a larger type of postcard. I use gotprint.com because their quality is great, and the price is super, super affordable. I tell them verbally, “Normally my session fee is $300,” but I’m going to give them a limited time offer for $99. The postcard has this special for $99. On it, it has information on how they can book their shoot and the deadline.
Tip #2. You’re probably wondering, “how do I get to that point?” How do I hand out these cards without just looking like a super weirdo salesperson? The second thing you’re going to do at any kind of event, networking, anything like that is you’re going to give people value and you’re going to befriend them.
I want to share with you some tips. First of all, only befriend people that you genuinely want to be friends with because otherwise, you’re going to end up in a situation where you’re having a lot of conversations with people that you don’t enjoy, and that’s not a good place to be.
I actually joined a networking group because I felt like I didn’t have a lot of like minded people to talk to, which is weird for me because I have tons of people to talk to you. What’s funny is I was really afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make friends. You guys are probably thinking the same thing going into a networking event, especially if you’re going there alone, which is typically how I do them. You’re probably nervous. How am I going to talk to people?
I ended up befriending almost everyone in the group and how I did it was straight away, I gave value to people. When you go to networking groups, it’s obviously very easy to start up a conversation because everyone is there for the same reason. Everyone is there to socialize. You can literally just go up to people and be like, “Hey, are you having fun? What did you think of the appetizer?” You can say, “What’s Your business?” You know what I mean? You can pretty much say anything, right?
The cool thing is that you just want to ask questions about them. Focus on them. Let me just roleplay here. Let’s say you go up to someone and you’d shake their hand and be like, “Hi. I’m Molly.” They’d be like, “Hi. I’m so and so.” Awesome. Cool. If it’s a business event, I’d be like, “Awesome. What do you do?” They’re like, “Oh, I do da, da, da.” I’m like, “Wow. That’s so cool.” Let’s say they’re like, “Oh, well, I do Botox.” I’m like, “Oh, that’s so cool. How long have you been doing that?” I just ask them tons and tons of questions about them until they ask me about me.
When they ask me about me, if they ask me right away, then I for sure will keep trying to talk about them. You want to make sure that the conversation is 80% about them and maybe 20% about you. Trust me. I know you might be thinking it’s so easy to just go into it and be like, “Book a shoot with me.” Just trust me. The more value you give, people will just want to book shoots with you. People will just want to reach out to you.
When the time is right, you can talk about what you do.
In that case, I would say, “I do boudoir photography. Do you know what that is?” Because not a lot of people do. I’ll say, “Oh, it’s like a Victoria’s Secret shoot for the everyday woman.” They’re like, “Oh wow. That’s so cool.” Typically, they’ll be like, “Oh, I want to shoot for my wife, or I want to book a shoot for my husband.” They’ll literally just lead into it. It’s so easy. You’ll be like, “Well, actually, no pressure, but I have one of these (and I hand them my postcard) If you book your shoot by tomorrow at midnight, you get a session for $99 instead of $300.” They’re like, “Oh wow, cool”
If you don’t go into your networking events with some kind of plan, some kind of a time-sensitive special, using scarcity and urgency, which is super important. If you don’t lead off with value in helping people, then you’re going to end up thinking that networking is a total waste of time when really it’s not a total waste of time. It 100 percent works if you do it the right way.
Comment YES below if you are going to commit to trying this at your next networking event!