Why you must go to a networking event in your field
Even for the most advanced and outgoing personalities, going to a networking event can be terrifying. You show up, to a place that is completely out of your comfort zone. Then you exhaustingly repeat small talk about who you are and what you do.
The thing is, we get so caught up on our online image, that we forget that marketing ourselves IN PERSON, is the most authentic, yet scary way of promoting yourself and your business. Just like they say though, life begins outside your comfort zone. There are many reasons to attend a conference or networking event in your field. Read on to find out why!
#1- Getting outside your comfort zone
Yes, introducing yourself to numerous people can be intimidating, especially if those people are all wearing suits! This fear is a good thing, this means personal growth. Think about your mentors and people whom you look up to in the same industry as you. Do they speak to people about their business? Are they building professional relationships with likeminded professionals in the industry? The answer is probably a big, fat YES. So get out there and go introduce yourself and share your voice. Nothing but good things will come of it, and you will be amazed on how much more confidence you have afterwards!
#2- You get to be whomever you declare yourself to be
When we are comfortable in the environment of our friends and family, we tend to be whom they perceive us to be. We get pulled in the direction of the image we have been, not where we are wanting to go. There is nothing wrong with that, but it can stunt our personal and professional growth. When you are in the atmosphere of other professionals whom do not know you, the only perception they have of you is who you say you are. It’s one thing to have a certain image online, but when you declare who you are in person, it is so much more POWERFUL!
#3- Networking and building business relationships
A huge majority of joint ventures and partnerships start from a handshake at a networking event. Remember that it is not the meeting in itself, but the communication and follow ups you create afterwards that really counts. Bring those business cards, and collect all that you can. Strategically think on how you can team up with every single one of those people with some kind of idea that will help both of your businesses. This will really help get the creative juices flowing, and broaden your business’s image.
#4 Inspiration and motivation
One of the best motivators for business is the realization that someone else out there is better than you in your field. It’s not every day that you get to connect and learn from these key influencers. Networking events provide a safe place to ask questions, pick minds and build relationships with those whom rock in your field of work. When you are repeatedly telling new professional people about what you do, you would be surprised on the amount of advice, ideas and even self realizations you take home with you! A lot of key influencers remember that they started from scratch as well, and are very open to giving you some constructive criticism or advice to help get you going. I personally, have met so many successful people at networking events that I still get feedback from to this day!
#5 Perfect your Business pitch
It is very easy to press delete on a keyboard numerous times until you come up with a perfectly structured sentence. Try taking that sentence and then verbally repeating it to other professionals up to 30 times in one evening! These people are all about business and building relationships as well, they will ask appropriate business related questions. They will also ask thought provoking questions. These questions will stir your creativity and really get you thinking from a business perspective. By the end of the evening, you will be conveying your message in a much clearer and understanding way!
As I get ready for my first international Networking Event, The World Nomad Summit, I welcome these challenges with open arms. I will be following up with another article on what I learned and picked up during this awesome weekend of networking!
With Love, Health and Happiness,
The Fit Gypsy