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How to virtually network successfully

How to virtually network successfully by Jarrod Goldsmith – Founder of eSAX Virtual Events

Networking often conjures up thoughts of sales and/or elevator pitches, being treated as a left-over business card, and otherwise a necessary evil when attending in-person events. It can be so much more than that! Especially when networking virtually!

With the rise of virtual events, here are some essential virtual networking tips that you can use so your networking endeavors become less stressful…and more successful!

Prior to Covid, there were many in-person networking tips that eSAX has covered, but this blog is about how to successfully network virtually. While some tips apply to both in-person and virtual events, some only to in-person, and some only to virtual, it’s wise to first briefly explore why networking is so important.

When you want to sell something, promote an event, encourage people to subscribe to a social media channel, or any other need to have someone take action, often some form of networking is involved. As entrepreneurs, the only way folks stay in business is if people purchase their wares or services. Having 1000’s of social media followers is nice and absolutely adds credibility to a brand, but if followers are not engaging or purchasing, something is missing. Besides Google/Facebook or other paid advertising options, the best way to create engagement and in essence, build a brand, is through developing and nurturing relationships from attending networking events.

Before you attend networking events just for the sake of meeting people, it is important to understand your main demographic, the market you want to target, and which events your ideal client attends. It took about one year for eSAX founder Jarrod Goldsmith to understand this important distinction.

Back in 2011 when Jarrod launched his unique band Sax Appeal, he quickly realized that no one has ever heard of an all-saxophone band, let alone is looking to hire one. So, he started attending every networking event he could find to create a market for such a niche sound, and never looked back!

While Jarrod started becoming known as the networking musician who wears a cool fedora, he started wondering why he wasn’t getting many gigs after attending 10-15 networking events a week. Most of the free events he attended at that time had its fair share of real estate agents, mortgage brokers and financial planners, most of whom couldn’t wait to throw him a business card. It wasn’t until he joined the Ottawa Board of Trade that he realized he was networking in the wrong places.

Organizations such as Chambers of Commerce / Boards of Trade have historically been around a long time and have already established major ‘klout’ within their community. For example, C – Suite and other business and community leaders often attend such events, including Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson who frequently sees eSAX founder Jarrod Goldsmith around the city. Knowing your Mayor and other executive leaders can certainly help your business! Organizations that have a higher ticket price for membership and events tend to attract others who want to be there, who attend for a purpose, and whom are often larger businesses with budgets. In Jarrod’s case, THOSE were the folks who host 600-person cocktail receptions and needed live jazz or classical music for their events. The gigs started rolling-in!

Finding the optimal kinds of virtual networking events where your main demographic attends is well worth the investment. With the ease at which anyone on the planet can attend a virtual event, you may find that your main demographic is no longer confined to your city. Figure out what kinds of events your ideal customer attends…and then join them… anywhere in the world! Without having to travel and spend considerable amounts of money on hotels, food and other expenses, the cost for attending virtual events is often much less compared to in-person events.

If possible, use a virtual networking platform so you can meet, engage and actually have meaningful relationships with other attendees in a much more reasonable (i.e, smaller) breakout room format than say 50 people on the tele-meeting platform Zoom. Everyone craves a human touch, and we all want to be connect with people almost one-to-one.

With eSAX Virtual Events, for example, one can quickly connect via LinkedIn, Facebook etc and see their profile in real-time…which provides you an opportunity to ask interesting person-specific questions. This shows you are paying attention, have done some research about the other person and generally want to get to know them. (fyi, they don’t have to know you just looked at their LinkedIn profile 5 seconds ago…but they could probably guess lol)!

Why is such a simple hack like reviewing someone’s LinkedIn profile so important? Because prior to Covid, we would have had to know who was attending an event (often not made publicly available). Post event, you would then ask your new networking buddy to connect on LinkedIn as part of your follow-up event protocol. There was simply no opportunity to review a LinkedIn profile during an in-person event.

With virtual events, we have an incredible opportunity to really dive-in and learn more about the person you’re actually talking to. In real-time. You may find that you went to the same high school as the person, or you both worked in Malta in the summer of 2002 etc. Finding common ground leads to a much better conversation …. rather than a sales pitch.

The most important differentiation with virtual networking events is that it is usually much easier to have natural conversations that don’t seem fake or entirely business-related. You may find that more non-work-related questions tend to be asked vs. in-person events. Questions like ‘what kind of dog is that’, ‘how old is your child’. ‘what part of town are you in’, ‘is that a book on sailing behind you’ can lead to actual relationships and friendships with people. These are the kinds of questions you should be asking when networking with others virtually.

When you network virtually and ask questions that may lead to friendship, you will find that those who become to like you, know you and trust you, will become your best clients. Yes it will take time, but once established, not only will they keep buying from you, but they will be your biggest champion and promote your brand for free through word of mouth and would be happy to write a glowing testimonial on Google, Facebook or other social media platforms.

In summary, attend virtual networking events where you know your target market is attending. Don’t be afraid to pay to be in the same virtual space as your prospective clients. If possible, have small networking rooms so you can have actual conversations, review someone’s social media feed (especially LinkedIn in real-time), and ask questions about the person. All this will help you build a relationship with someone, and ultimately, will help you virtually network successfully.

About:

eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience) is Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s largest entrepreneur networking community for small business. Now known as eSAX Virtual Events, eSAX has pivoted to hosting interactive and exciting virtual events for others.

Jarrod Goldsmith is a Canadian small business community builder and is the embodiment of the small business spirit. An archaeologist and musician by education, he is one of Ottawa’s best-known entrepreneurs and founded eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience); Ottawa’s largest entrepreneur networking community for small business. Using an interactive virtual event platform, Jarrod has pivoted to hosting exciting virtual events for others.

In addition, he has >700 videos on entrepreneurship and networking for small business on the eSAX YouTube channel, hosts both the eSAX Podcast and Pivoted Success Podcast series, and is the founder of Sax Appeal (Canada’s Premier Saxophone Ensemble).

Keywords:

Jarrod Goldsmith, eSAX Virtual Events, Sax Appeal, virtual networking, networking tips, networking skills, entrepreneurship, Covid, target market, Ottawa Board of Trade, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, social media, relationships, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, how to network virtually

Random Draw Wheel

Choosing a winner for draw has never been easier with this random name, number or graphic generator.

Perfect for quickly choosing winners such as raffling a door prize to attendees at an event, offering early-bird prizes and more!

Simply copy and paste names or choose graphics, click spin, and a winner is randomly chosen to the amusement of all. Once a winner has been selected, you can remove them so they can’t be chosen again.

Have a great event!

Virtual Event Hosting

eSAX podcast featuring Catherine Priestman of CP Business Solutions with Jarrod Goldsmith

Jarrod is joined in the studio with Catherine Priestman from CP Business Solutions. They talk about some of her interesting background, what defines success and more!

ABOUT Catherine Priestman:

Catherine leads her team to uncover potential, inspire creativity, instill trust and develop solutions. She is driven by a tireless pursuit for creative results and is always looking for a fresh challenge. An authentic leader, she works diligently to elicit excellence for her clients. She is known for quickly gaining trust and respect from those around her and breaking through barriers to generate marketing solutions that get results.

ABOUT CP Business Solutions:

CP Business Solutions Inc. is a team of image strategists and creative problem solvers whose goal is to exceed your expectations with marketing excellence. We untangle and simplify, turn chaos into calm and create the extraordinary.

When you’re not sure where to start, CP Business Solutions Inc. will uncover your potential. We have a knack for seeing what others may not and perceiving the unique and subtle. We build on your competitive advantage and showcase what makes you different.

When your statement needs to be impactful, CP Business Solutions Inc. inspires creativity. We generate concepts to elevate your brand, image and organization. We create fresh, inspiring and eye-catching campaigns that celebrate what makes you unique and help you stand out.

When you’re hesitant to leap, you can trust CP Business Solutions Inc. We leap with you and keep you moving forward. We keep you informed and confident in the execution, cost, quality and timelines of each and every project, always going beyond to earn and keep your trust.

When you need engaging solutions that reach your target audience, CP Business Solutions Inc. develops solutions. We help you crystallize and reach your marketing goals. But we don’t stop at solutions – we’re dedicated to follow-up and growth, and fueled by a desire to do more.


Subscribe to the eSAX YouTube channel for more entrepreneur networking tips and connect with us on social media! Twitter (#eSAX) / Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn

eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience – https://eSAX.ca) is an entrepreneur networking community for small business located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. #eSAX Makes Networking Work!

eSAX was founded by entrepreneur and musician Jarrod Goldsmith. Jarrod is a Canadian small business community builder and is the embodiment of the small business spirit. He is one of Ottawa’s best known entrepreneurs and founded Sax Appeal (Canada’s Premier Saxophone Ensemble), Sax Appeal Productions (an agency for all live music in Ottawa and Gatineau providing live jazz music, classical music, Christmas and holiday music, cocktail music, or wedding music), eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience); Ottawa’s largest entrepreneur networking community for small business, eXclusive eXperience and hosts both Ask the Fedora (a YouTube video series on entrepreneur networking for smallbiz) and the eSAX Podcast series.

This podcast was produced by Barking Monkey Studio.

eSAX podcast featuring Sam Laprade with Jarrod Goldsmith

Jarrod is joined on the phone with Sam Laprade from 1310 AM news radio show ‘an hour to give‘ and Gryphon Fundraising to talk about her entrepreneurial journey, the importance of building trust, rapport and stewardship to maintain and build relationships. They also talk about the importance of having a philanthropic plan for your business.

ABOUT Sam Laprade:

Sam is approaching 30 years of fundraising, public relations, media relations and sponsorship work.

After graduating from Algonquin College with a PR Diploma, she was given an opportunity to work at CBC Radio and then at CBC Television. After that, she was hooked and went-on to coordinate telethons and events.

Through various positions including non-profit, municipal politics, media and the private sector Sam has built a strong community network in the Ottawa area.

Raising funds for important causes that save lives and change lives is the most rewarding part of her work. The hospital, the humane society and a homeless shelter are all important causes that she has worked for through the years.

She was never a ‘numbers person’ … until she started to work with donor data analytics through Gryphon Fundraising. Combining both the art and the science of fundraising has changed the way that she works. It has made her work more efficient, more timely and enabled her to raise more money!

Specialties: Fund Development, Donor Analytics, Donor Relations, PR, Media Relations

ABOUT An Hour To Give:

Have you got an hour to give? We do. 1310 NEWS presents An Hour to Give. Saturday mornings from 7am – 8am this program is dedicated to charities, events, festivals and other non-profit organizations in our community. Certified Fundraising Executive, Sam Laprade hosts the show. She speaks with non-profit leaders about important community organizations and shares stories of the amazing work that is being done to change and save lives in Ottawa. For more information on getting involved with An Hour To Give contact Sam directly at samantha@gryphonfundraising.com


Subscribe to the eSAX YouTube channel for more entrepreneur networking tips and connect with us on social media! Twitter (#eSAX) / Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn

eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience – https://eSAX.ca) is an entrepreneur networking community for small business located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. #eSAX Makes Networking Work!

eSAX was founded by entrepreneur and musician Jarrod Goldsmith. Jarrod is a Canadian small business community builder and is the embodiment of the small business spirit. He is one of Ottawa’s best known entrepreneurs and founded Sax Appeal (Canada’s Premier Saxophone Ensemble), Sax Appeal Productions (an agency for all live music in Ottawa and Gatineau providing live jazz music, classical music, Christmas and holiday music, cocktail music, or wedding music), eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience); Ottawa’s largest entrepreneur networking community for small business, eXclusive eXperience and hosts both Ask the Fedora (a YouTube video series on entrepreneur networking for smallbiz) and the eSAX Podcast series.

This podcast was produced by Podcast Wagon.

Welcome to the eSAX podcast series featuring Jarrod Goldsmith

Join us on the eSAX Podcast with Jarrod Goldsmith to learn from respected entrepreneurs, community leaders, small business owners and others. They will share personal stories of success, failure and the lessons they have learned in entrepreneurship, networking and business. These entrepreneurs will impart wisdom, inspire and motivate you to take your business to the next level!

ABOUT Jarrod Goldsmith:

Jarrod Goldsmith is a Canadian small business community builder and is the embodiment of the small business spirit. He is recognized as one of Ottawa’s premiere champions for fostering a stronger small business community. As an active member of the Ottawa Board of Trade (as well as all previous regional Chambers of Commerce in the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada area), he is one of the region’s best known entrepreneurial networkers.

Jarrod’s commitment to community engagement was further recognized when he ran for Ottawa City Councillor (Orléans, Ward 1) in the October 2018 municipal election.

Jarrod is an in-demand speaker who offers inspiration (and practical) knowledge to help others achieve their dream of entrepreneurship. He has been featured in dozens of televisionvideo and audio segments, as well as having articles published in newspapers, magazines and on-line forums promoting and motivating the entrepreneur community.

He regularly hosts workshops and seminars for students, startups, small business and community groups on the value of developing lasting professional relationships.

Jarrod’s passion for music, organizational abilities, public relation and leadership skills make for a perfect combination in creating not only Sax Appeal (Canada’s Premier Saxophone Ensemble), but also eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience) – an entrepreneur networking community for small business.

In addition, Jarrod hosts eXclusive eXperience; a monthly networking opportunity for senior executives.

As another way to help encourage, promote and offer greater assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs, Jarrod also hosts a regular YouTube video series titled Ask the Fedora (subscribe now to learn about how to make YOUR networking work)!

Jarrod is an extremely enthusiastic and dedicated communications professional who is available for pubic speaking engagements and consulting. Contact Jarrod for any media requests, speaking engagements or to see how he can help your business or organization with marketing, branding, social media or networking!

eSAX podcast featuring Greg Weatherdon with Jarrod Goldsmith

Greg Weatherdon is an author, keynote speaker, podcast host of the ‘Small Business Minute‘ and now “retired” entrepreneur who has founded seven enterprises and continues to learn everyday through networking and mentoring.

ABOUT Greg Weatherdon:

Greg knows what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur, because he proved it. From his roots as a long- haul truck driver, to a change agent in the package goods and media business, Greg has achieved what most entrepreneurs don’t – Freedom!

Greg is a sought after speaker and business advisor because he has overcome most of the challenges entrepreneurs face and survived. Greg cuts through the noise around entrepreneurship to get his audience and clients to focus on what’s really important.

Greg’s book – Get More LIFE Out of Your Business, is a must read for new and existing entrepreneurs.

Greg regularly shares his insights in the podcast The Small Business Minute that he produces and is highly ranked on Apples iTunes and available on all major podcasting platforms.

Greg’s expertise and insights have been published in major industry trade magazines, and association newsletters. Of the many successes Greg has enjoyed, one of the highlights was being nominated for the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Greg on Leadership

Greg has been referred to as a natural leader by many. What he realized long ago is that leaders must lead in such a manner that people are willing follow because they want to, not because they have to. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a corporate environment, a volunteer organization or a business situation, the same skills are required.

Greg is often called upon to present his unique take on leadership which he delivers in a straight forward manner that is easily understood and implemented. Greg’s presentation is based on what he learned watching and working with great, and not so great leaders throughout his corporate and entreprenerial careers, as well as his many volunteer roles.

The uniqueness of his presentation has elicited comments such as “We’re being treated to a hugely inspirational talk on leadership…” or “Very impressive speaker presentation. Great advice on being a leader”.

If you’re looking for a more pragmatic common sense approach to leadership check out Greg’s videos https://gregweatherdon.com/topics


Subscribe to the eSAX YouTube channel for more entrepreneur networking tips and connect with us on social media! Twitter (#eSAX) / Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn

eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience – https://eSAX.ca) is an entrepreneur networking community for small business located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. #eSAX Makes Networking Work!

eSAX was founded by entrepreneur and musician Jarrod Goldsmith. Jarrod is a Canadian small business community builder and is the embodiment of the small business spirit. He is one of Ottawa’s best known entrepreneurs and founded Sax Appeal (Canada’s Premier Saxophone Ensemble), Sax Appeal Productions (an agency for all live music in Ottawa and Gatineau providing live jazz music, classical music, Christmas and holiday music, cocktail music, or wedding music), eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience); Ottawa’s largest entrepreneur networking community for small business, eXclusive eXperience and hosts both Ask the Fedora (a YouTube video series on entrepreneur networking for smallbiz) and the eSAX Podcast series.

This podcast was produced by Barking Monkey Studio.

eSAX podcast featuring Steve Cody of Ruckify and Better Software Company with Jarrod Goldsmith

Jarrod is joined by Steve Cody who shares his story of entrepreneurship. Steve starting running businesses at a young age and has not stopped since. Steve and Jarrod discuss the value of networking and going all-in when you are starting a new business.

ABOUT Steve Cody:

Serial entrepreneur, Steve Cody, has started several local and national successful businesses in the technology, rental, service, e-commerce and retail markets which have generated hundreds of millions in sales.

Steve launched his career with humble roots; he was 15 years old when he turned his entrepreneurial aspirations into reality with just $1200, a squeegee, a bucket, and a dream.

ABOUT Ruckify:

why buy when you can Ruckify?

Ruckify is the world’s largest online peer-to-peer rental marketplace, empowering its members to embrace the sharing economy and leave unnecessary purchases behind. Designed with both people and businesses in mind, anyone can post their items and spaces on Ruckify for people in their community to rent. Founded in Ottawa, Canada in 2018 on a foundation of community building, environmentalism, education, and freedom, Ruckify is dedicated to changing the world and curtailing the spread of unsustainable consumerism. The platform has also launched TreeProject, a commitment from Ruckify to plant a tree for every transaction made on the app, allowing anyone to be a part of the mission towards a greener, healthier earth.

“We are passionate about giving everyone the opportunity to start their own rental business through the Ruckify app, while helping the environment. Renting instead of buying helps lower our carbon footprint, and we believe that the sharing-economy will ultimately have a profound, positive impact on our planet.” – Ruckify Founder, Steve Cody

#letsRuckify


Subscribe to the eSAX YouTube channel for more entrepreneur networking tips and connect with us on social media! Twitter (#eSAX) / Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn

eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience – https://eSAX.ca) is an entrepreneur networking community for small business located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. #eSAX Makes Networking Work!

eSAX was founded by entrepreneur and musician Jarrod Goldsmith. Jarrod is a Canadian small business community builder and is the embodiment of the small business spirit. He is one of Ottawa’s best known entrepreneurs and founded Sax Appeal (Canada’s Premier Saxophone Ensemble), Sax Appeal Productions (an agency for all live music in Ottawa and Gatineau providing live jazz music, classical music, Christmas and holiday music, cocktail music, or wedding music), eSAX (The Entrepreneur Social Advantage Experience); Ottawa’s largest entrepreneur networking community for small business, eXclusive eXperience and hosts both Ask the Fedora (a YouTube video series on entrepreneur networking for smallbiz) and the eSAX Podcast series.

This podcast was produced by Barking Monkey Studio.