Both big and small marketing events such as AdTech and Social Media Week often have even the most outgoing marketers huddling in the corner. Coming from someone that sometimes has difficulties breaking the ice in social situations, you all have my sympathies. It can indeed be a daunting task to have numerous networking possibilities right at arm’s length but have absolutely no idea where to even start with your conversation.
There are some sure-fire ways to beat that anxiety knot brewing in your stomach. Tips and tricks that will both make you look and feel confident.
Here are a few tips to capture the attention of potential clients and associates.
Get Social (Media)
The time to begin putting yourself out there to both clients and prospective customers is not when you walk through the convention doors, but weeks to a month in advance of the event. This does not mean sending out (email) blasts after blasts filled with mysterious and obnoxious hints that promise them the moon. Instead, take the reality approach by simply informing your contacts that you will be at the event and that your booth (if your business should have one) is worth visiting. If you don’t have a booth, possibly choose a restaurant, diner, or pub with a meeting time.
Make a Plan
When you are prepared and have a plan, you are more likely to walk out of the networking event with the right connections. Before you even pack your bags for your next event, do a little research and find out who is going and who isn’t.
- Make a list of the people that you would like to connect with.
- Choose those that you believe will further your professional goals.
- Take the list with you, if you walk into the event and freeze, pull the list out and regroup.
Dress for Impact
Like it or not, how you look is often the first thing that others notice about you. Often, within a few seconds of walking into an event room, others have formed an opinion about you just based solely on what you are wearing.
Not only will an appropriate outfit give you confidence, you are less likely to get looked passed when you approach that guru you have been following for over a decade.
Let the outfit of your choice speak for you. Your outfit can tell others a lot about who you are. Rather than choosing an outfit that blends you into the crowd as a whole, pick something that will have you standing out apart from the masses. High-contrast colors and bold styles are a start.
Instead of throwing on your everyday suit, think about what can give you that little extra pop. Red your color? Choose a bright red tie, socks, or even blazer.
Have an Elevator Speech Prepared
Of course, people are going to ask about you, your business, and your plans for growth. Be able to explain what you do and why you do it in about 30 seconds. If you can weave in a short story with it all the better. People tend to remember or associate people with tidbits of information that they can recall easily.
Use Your Voice
Nerves often tend to bring out the worst in us. For instance, up swinging your voice at the end of a sentence will cause your statement to sound more like a question. Another common mistake that can deter others from you and your business pitch is filling your sentences with the word “like” or the dreaded “Umm.”
Gurus and other networking starts speak with purpose and certainty. They know exactly what they are going to say and aren’t afraid to say it. By lowering the tone of their voices just enough to command attention, they exude the confidence of someone that knows their subject backwards and forwards. A confident voice is the finishing touch to your confident, powerful image.
Getting noticed at marketing events shouldn’t be a daunting task or one that has you breaking out in hives. Use the above tips to project confidence and pretty soon you will feel it too.