Last evening I attended my first official networking event here in Dallas, TX, with the Network After Work Group at the Concrete Cowboy. It was great! I loved the format, per the above photo where each individual had Color-Coded Name Badges to identify their said industry — this made it efficient for me to navigate and connect with the right industry people — or non industry people.
Networking for me is about quality over quantity, rapport over business/job leads, helping — being a resource over soliciting for… That’s my strategy — my objective is to foster new professional connections in my new city, and hopefully make some wonderful friendships and mentor-ships along with way. I met some interesting people, had some meaningful conversations — and I didn’t hand my business card out like it was a marketing flyer; unless I was asked, or I asked if they would like my business card, because at this point; we were 3 to 5 minutes into the conversation, and I felt like I wanted to get to know this person more.
Networking Tips That Worked For Me Last Night:
- Smile, and say “Hi.” [Even if you don’t interact after saying hi, people respond to friendly faces — it says you’re approachable — and people will approach you] Sidenote: I did see someone I knew, her name is @BrightGirlMedia, check her out, she’s authentic, helpful, and so far she’s stellar 🙂 In addition, a young lady I met in the restroom, invited me to come and interact with her and her co-workers, her name was Twee, she worked in sales.
- Fake It, Until You Make It [I didn’t know anyone else, but I wasn’t going to walk around like a deer in headlights making it obvious, or become a wall flower hanging around the only person that I did know — I came to play! Be Confident!]
- Enter With The Intent To Brand Yourself with a conversation stimulant [ex. I am two-weeks new to Dallas, and I have hit the ground running with networking, people are amazed, impressed with the initiative, and they understand I am driven]
- Find Your Commonality [Dallas, Texas is football country — I met a Giants Fan (we lost this past Sunday to them, so he jokingly rubbed it in), I met a Cowboys fan and a Green Bay Packers fan!]
- Be Interested In People [I truly enjoy hearing a person’s goals and aspirations — I think it’s because I’m able to somehow understand and draw from my similarities, with having goals and aspirations. And by listening to others, I learn more about them, and possibly learning more about myself too.]
- Follow up with new contacts within 24-48 hours!