Posts

Ask the Fedora: Networking Skills Can Be Learned, Don’t Worry!

This week on Ask the Fedora: Networking Skills Can Be Learned, Don’t Worry!

Transcript:

As a new entrepreneur everyone says you have to do networking. But you may be saying to yourself “I hate networking and I don’t like talking to people because everything they say is a sales pitch and I’m going to be sold sold sold”. Well, if you don’t network, you’re not going to have any work. It’s something to learn. They call it a networking skill; The more you go the better you get. A few years ago when I was just starting-out, I would tell everybody my ‘elevator pitch’….”oh you need me, I’m so great blah blah blah”. I soon realized that maybe this wasn’t the best way to approach things. As a new entrepreneur you have to go through this process and see what works best for you and your company. There are always going to be people who look at you funny, but there are others who will buy-into what you’re doing. Whatever happens, keep going to the events as it’s something you need to do in order to be in business in five years from now. Keep the networking up, and if it doesn’t come naturally, it will. Don’t worry. Take a deep breath.

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!

Following-Up After A Networking Event – Yay or Nay?

The joys of following-up after a networking event – don’t count people out!

Transcript:

Why would you follow-up with someone you just met at an entrepreneur networking event if you know they will never need your products or services? If you don’t follow-up with every single person you met it’s very short-sighted because you never know where your referrals will come from. As an example, if you’re talking to someone and you know in a million years they will never contact you for business, but you might develop a really great relationship with this person. In the future if they are ever looking for your kind of service or product, or hear of anyone else looking for those items, you might be the first one they recommend. If somebody spends five minutes of their life talking to you at a networking event, spend the five minutes it takes to follow-up with them with something like this: “It was nice meeting you at the event last night and I really enjoyed our conversation. If you’d like to continue where we left-off over a coffee meeting it would be my pleasure to meet”.  This is so that you can start developing a relationship with that person. Always follow-up with somebody. It doesn’t matter if they may or may not be a good resource for you now because you never know what the future is going to bring. 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 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?

Transcript:

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?

Transcript:

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!

Why Enthusiasm Matters At Networking Events

Today our #AskTheFedora looks at “Why Enthusiasm Matters At Networking Events”.

Transcript:

You go to so many networking events, so how do you avoid burnout? Every opportunity at a networking event is a way to continue the conversations that you’ve had from previous events. Plus, you’re meeting new people for the first time so it’s a never-ending opportunity to make new connections. When you go out and try to connect with people, you should always be excited and enthusiastic! Sure, some people might have an extra coffee or two (I for one drink a lot in the morning), but it’s so important to always have enthusiasm. So you go to a networking event and a person’s talking to you about their business: “I do this, I’m kind of into that, I’m not sure about this, I don’t like doing that”. They are not leaving a very good impression on the other person because they don’t seem to have the enthusiasm. If you’re an introvert, it might be very difficult to talk about what you do, but you’re business is your passion. You need to express your passion to other people so that they’ll buy into it because people buy into you. As a small business owner you are the business. Whatever networking event you’re going to and you’re meeting somebody for the first time or hundredth time, you need to get that passion out because it’s something that people will remember. Never forget your enthusiasm at networking events 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!

Think Of Networking As A Long-Term Goal

Today our #AskTheFedora video encourages you to look at networking as a long-term goal.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

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

Transcript:

How do I find the time to balance all the networking events and follow-ups that are required? This is what I treat as a full-time business. It’s people. Because people buy into people. Take the time to respond to every single e-mail that comes your way since the other person took time to write you, it just seems like a courteous thing to do to reply. I spend a lot of my time replying to people, following-up with people, connecting on LinkedIn and entering everyone’s information in my database. I don’t know if it’s going to get me a gig this week, but it may in 6 months or a year from now, especially if you see them at regular events you’re going to continue to build this relationship with people.

How Do I Talk About My Budding Business at Networking Events?

eSAX-networking-ottawa-budding-business-networking

The beginning of a new business is an exciting time. There are so many new ideas and endless possibilities, but how do you start to talk about a budding business when it’s not quite off the ground yet?

One thing I’ve noticed is that people are reluctant to talk about their business ideas for a variety of reasons. Some people are protective of their new baby, knowing it is not yet ready to be scrutinized by the world. Some people are afraid others will steal their ideas. Others just don’t know where to start. The good news is, you CAN network no matter what stage your business is in, because networking is about creating relationships and not about making sales. Odds are that you will find a great deal of supportive business people ready to give you a hand if you need it.

Still not convinced? Read on for tips:

  • Be Ready for Advice and Suggestions – When you come into a networking event without an established business, you may find people are eager to help you. This can be beneficial, but it can also be overwhelming when you haven’t even started yet. If someone says something that piques your interest, you may want to take a note and tell them you’d like to follow-up with them on that advice once you get going. Just beware that this can be a situation that makes your head swim, and be prepared to “smile and nod” and not change all of your ideas because people seemingly more experienced have told you to. If people bring negativity to the conversation and make you feel bad about your idea, move on from talking to them. This is where a business coach or mentor can come in handy, because they help you build confidence about your own ideas and ensure stick to them despite outside influence.
  • Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas – Could it happen? Maybe, but probably not. I hear many people are hesitant to discuss their idea because they think it is a goldmine and if they don’t get people to sign an NDA they won’t discuss it. For the most part, people at networking events are too busy with their own business to steal someone else’s. The people out there who are looking to steal business ideas have aren’t likely to have the same level of expertise and passion to pull it off the same way you would, so don’t worry about it! Besides, you don’t have to reveal every aspect of business at a networking event.
  • Prepare your elevator pitch – Even if your spiel is just an explainer of the fact that you are new to the entrepreneurship world and just starting to put together your business, it is still worth preparing and practicing so you have more confidence to talk to people. Include the industry you are interested in, and what you are trying to learn more about, and see what they have to offer to the conversation.

Talking about your business at networking events is great for gaining potential clients, establishing people who can give you referrals down the line, and for bouncing ideas off of people while gaining insight into the industry. Hearing the reactions of experienced entrepreneurs as well as new ones is invaluable to a small business owner, because you get an idea of how the market reacts to your pitches, products, and services. Don’t hold back from attending networking events just because you don’t have your business plan or branding done. Jump in right away. In fact, you may find it’s even more low-pressure this way!

What’s The Purpose of a Business Card

Today our #AskTheFedora discusses the purpose of a business card.

Transcript:

You walk out of a networking event with 30 business cards…what do you do? After many years of trial and error, I decided to put everybody I ever met on a database. On that database, I include where I met the person, what was said, when I followed-up with them. And then I connect with the person on LinkedIn. Then the business cards ends-up in a box. I rarely look at them again. The purpose of a business card is to get you to follow-up with somebody. Put them on a database so that you can easily access that person’s contact information in the future, to not only connect with them yourself, but to send referrals to other people.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

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

Ask the Fedora: Some Smart Networking Tips You Should Use

Today our #AskTheFedora shares some smart networking tips you should use!

Transcript:

My philosophy to ‘smart’ networking is when you go up to someone for the first time, please don’t just say “here’s my business card; you need me, I’m so great and I’ll make your life so much better”. No. The purpose to a smart networking event is to connect with someone in a way that’s not a sales-pitch; that’s not a way to get them to hire you on the spot. To me, the smart way to network is to ask them questions about themselves. People like talking about themselves. It makes you in a better position when you become a good listener. That’s a very important skill in networking and I encourage you all to try talking less; listening more.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

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

How To Follow-Up With People After A Networking Event

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

Transcript:

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!