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How To Find Networking Events

We all know about the amazing eSAX networking events, but how do you find other events to attend while you wait 3 months for each one?

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Where do you find out about upcoming networking events? There are so many opportunities in every city to help encourage and promote entrepreneur networking. Get involved with a local Chamber of Commerce as they are always a great resource to find out about upcoming events. Go onto Meetup, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Google and type networking events in your city. Or you may wish to contact some of the well-known entrepreneurs in your area because they are probably very well-connected with other networking events that you may not have known about. Don’t stay home and wait for the networking events to come to you. You need to be proactive and find out what’s going on because in many cities there are so many networking events happening around town that you need to pick and choose which ones would be applicable for you and your business. So get out there and keep networking, because #eSAX makes networking work!

Do you have a networking question you’d like to ask? Email info (at) esax.ca or tweet your question using #eSAX!

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Is It Rude To Interrupt People At Networking Events?

One of the challenges in networking is finding someone to talk to who isn’t already in a conversation! How do you break into a group and join in without seeming rude?

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Do you find it rude to be interrupted at a networking event? I would say no, because networking events are a little bit different than real life. Often, you will be in a group of three or four people talking and chatting-it-up, when someone else comes along who you know wants to get into the conversation. This person is probably not going to jump right in unannounced and say “hi, I’m so and so”. Usually the way it works is that someone will make eye contact with this new person, and then at that point the conversation amongst the three or four people may actually stop. Don’t worry. This is completely normal! Then the person comes in and if they overheard, they may just start joining the conversation. Or, someone might ask how they found out about the event, do they know some of these other people etc? Very soon, they will just become a new person in the group, or the group might even split-off into two separate groups. Don’t worry about interrupting people at a networking event, because we’re all there to meet new people. Happy networking everybody. See you at the next event. Because #eSAX makes networking work

Do you have a networking question you’d like to ask? Email info (at) esax.ca or tweet your question using #eSAX!

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Networking Mistakes To Avoid

There is a lot to think about when networking, but it’s very important to make sure you don’t make any of these networking mistakes!

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Some key habits to avoid at networking events are to 1) show up late. There’s nothing worse than going into a room where everyone is already sitting down because you’re missing some of the best parts of networking. 2) Not having business cards. It really is important to have somebody walk away with a physical representation of your business. Plus, it also makes it much easier for them to follow-up with you after the event is over. 3) Trying to ‘sell’ a person right away. For example, if you go up to someone you meet for the first time and give them your card then say “you need me because I’m so great at what I do” and then start listing off things for ten minutes on why you’re the best, or giving specific details about your products or services, technical specifications etc. These are all not good networking skills. Try to avoid talking too much and making everything you say a sales pitch. Happy networking everybody. See you at the next event. Because #eSAX makes networking work!

Do you have a networking question you’d like to ask? Email info (at) esax.ca or tweet your question using #eSAX!

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

How To Connect With Speakers At Networking Events

Do you go to a networking event, excited to see the speakers but without the knowledge of how to capture their attention before or after their presentation? In this #AskTheFedora, Jarrod discusses how to do just that!

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How do you connect with a speaker at a networking event? For the most part, speakers at networking events are very well known in their field or around the region and it makes sense that you would like to connect with them because you may be in a position to help their business, or they may be able to help yours. Show up early at a networking event because some of the best networking happens before the event actually starts. You’ll have a chance to chat, mostly informally, with the organizers of the event and speakers (because speakers always show up early to make sure all the technical stuff is right). Stay later at the event because some of the other best parts of networking happen after the event is finished. There may be hundreds of people lined-up to talk to the speaker immediately after their presentation, so go early and stay late and maybe you’ll have the chance to chat with them!

Do you have a networking question you’d like to ask? Email info (at) esax.ca or tweet your question using #eSAX!

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

More Tips To Remember Names At Networking Events

Today our #AskTheFedora offers more tips for remembering names at networking events.

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To me, one of the most challenging things about networking is trying to remember everybody’s name. Because I wear a very distinctive hat, pretty much anybody I have ever met will remember me (plus I always wear a name tag so they even know my name)! But when I meet hundreds of people in-between meeting them for the second time, it’s a tough balance trying to remember everyone’s name. What I like to do is try to remember something specific about that person. Maybe they have the same kind of car as I do, or they grew up in the same city as I did so that I’m able to connect with them.

Do you have a networking question you’d like to ask? Email info (at) esax.ca or tweet your question using #eSAX!

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Interpreting Body Language at Networking Events

This week our #AskTheFedora video looks at How To Interpret Body Language at Entrepreneur Networking Events!

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

Transcript:

Of all the networking events I’ve been to, the one thing I’ve really come across is that picking up on body language is so important as a networking skill. Next time you’re at an event, look at the person, look at the way their standing, their tone of voice, if they are looking over your shoulder to see if there is anyone else in the room to connect to. What I’m paying attention to at a networking event is the non-verbal body language. Then you can adjust the way you talk to that person. If they are very shy, you don’t want to be in their face, you want to stand off to the side a little bit. Because eSAX Makes Networking Work!

Don’t forget to register for the next eSAX Ottawa Networking event!

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Network with a Brand, Name, and Logo You Love

eSAX-networking-ottawa-business-brandingLast week we talked about your business cards, but let’s take a step back and talk this week about branding, naming, and your logo.

Strong Branding Creates Strong Connections

When most people hear the word branding, they think colors and graphics, but branding actually goes deeper than that. It includes logos, naming, taglines, and even your elevator pitch along with the other graphics, and it is about what your company stands for, in an all-encompassing way. It starts when you sit down to write your business plan, and it grows out of your mission and vision. You also have to take into consideration your products or services, as well as your target market. You have to feel confident that your feel your branding represents your business, and you also need to be sure that your audience is interpreting your message the way you intend it. Once you’ve worked this out, you can then work on the visuals that you will use consistently in your traditional and digital marketing.

A Memorable Business Name is Important

There is a lot to consider when you are naming your company. Aside from the obvious, that you want something that matches what you do and is easy on the ears, you also have to research if the name is already used anywhere, if the domain (and social media IDs) are available, and also if the shortened version or acronym are used (you don’t want anyone to confuse you with anyone else). It is best to bounce names off of people, because what makes sense to you may not have the same effect in the marketplace.

Stunning Logos Make You Noteworthy

You are the face of your business, but your logo is the graphic representation of what your business stands for. You may choose something that is easy for people to instantly understand, or you may choose something abstract that has a story behind it (make sure to share that story in the About section on your website). If you aren’t a visual person you can turn to a professional who has tons of experience in creating impactful logos. Remember that you (and your customers) are going to have to look at this image a LOT over the years, so you better like it! You should also feel convinced that it is the perfect embodiment of your business. Everything from the bold or elegant design, to the choice of color and typography should be well thought-out and considered before you make a permanent decision.

It is entirely possible to attend networking events without having set your branding, naming, and logo, and in fact, it is encouraged to attend events like eSAX: The Entrepreneurial Advantage Experience because this is exactly the type of low-pressure atmosphere that will let you have conversations about how they settled on their branding, or what they think of a few naming ideas you are considering. It is also a great place to find marketing experts who are more than willing to give you advice that will help you move forward with your branding, naming, and logo process.

How To Follow-Up With People After A Networking Event

Today our #AskTheFedora explains how to follow-up with people after a networking event!

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After a networking event you walk out with 30 business cards…what do you do with them? I realized three or four years ago when I was starting out that it was starting to become a really big pile. I kept going through my rolodex or plastic pages and quickly realized this wasn’t sustainable so I decided to put everyone I met on a database. What I do with a business is to see if I’ve me them before. If yes I update their record, if not, I create a new entry. What I do is send them a customized e-mail. “It was really nice to meet you at (insert name of event)” and then anything particular about that person…if they play music, or if they have a hat or something so that I can relate to them to develop that relationship with them. Then, I invite them to connect on LinkedIn. “Dear so-and-so, it was nice meeting you at the event would you like to connect on LinkedIn”? It’s important to keep in touch with them and continue developing these relationship so that next time you see them at a networking event it’s easier for them to make a better connection with you.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

eSAX Networking and the Marketing “Rule of 7”

eSAXNetworkingEventsOttawaMarketingRuleof7
If you are familiar with marketing, you may have heard of the “Rule of 7” that suggests a marketing message must reach a potential customer at least 7 times before they make the decision to buy from you.

Obviously that number is flexible, with some prospects buying sooner or later than the seventh communication, but the generally agreed-upon number to aim for is 7. Why is this information here on a blog about networking? Because this simple adage supports the eSAX networking position that people should not try to make a sale the first time they connect with a prospect. Networking should be just step one of a long-term engagement plan that will push people through a sales funnel over time.

Having seven “touches” (as they are often referred) with someone lets them come to know you, trust you, and eventually buy from you. The word “touch” is often used, not because you should make physical contact, but because it invokes a human connection. In-person touches are oftentimes stronger than other marketing techniques because seeing a person’s body language and hearing their tone and infliction builds trust and relationships on a deep and human level. Making that face-to-face connection, and actually shaking hands and introducing yourself and your business will make you way more memorable than you could be through print or online marketing alone. This is an ideal time to try to make a meaningful connection at this point through stories that will make you and your brand memorable.

Why don’t people buy right away? One of the simplest reasons is that they just don’t need your product or service right now (which is why maintaining contact will keep you in mind when they DO have need for you), but another huge reason is simply that people don’t usually buy when they don’t trust. Think of all the advertisements we are bombarded with on TV, the radio, billboards, and even on social media. Brands have to work hard to build familiarity and trust to break through the consumer walls that we build to block out the constant noise.

Think of meeting someone at a networking event as the first contact. Following up with an email, a LinkedIn connection, and a coffee meeting (or skype chat) is a great next few touches. After that you must maintain consistent and repetitive contact if you want to continue to nurture that lead.

To read about more ways to connect with your customer, go over to my coordinating blog post!