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Transforming your networking nightmares into a dream

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

“What do you do?” The question that strikes fear in the pit of your stomach.

You take a sip of water, cough, erm and ah, say how it’s hard to explain then go into detail about the work that you do for your clients. It feels so cringe, you stumble and stutter over your words and you want the ground to open up and swallow you.

You live and breathe your business. It’s your baby. You LOVE what you do and you’re brilliant at it. So why oh why can’t you talk about it??

The networking nightmare

If going to a networking event is your worst nightmare and the thought of meeting new people sends your stomach into knots you are not on your own.

Ever since the global phenomenon that was Covid 19 sent us all scurrying for the safety of our back bedrooms, less people are now networking IRL and preferring to stay at home.

Maybe they’ll attend the odd online networking meeting, but quite frankly even that seems to scare the living daylights out of a lot of people these days. Perish the thought they might have to, you know, actually TALK about your business.

Why bother networking IRL?

Now that you’ve entered the world of online marketing you prefer spending time creating striking images in Canva and making your Instagram grid look pretty to actually getting out there and promoting your business.

Surely it’s ok to market your business online? Everyone does it. You’re doing ok.

Exactly! Everyone does it. All of your competitors are also promoting their services online and it’s hard to stand out in the crowded world of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any of the other hundreds of platforms that are out there these days.

Benefits of networking IRL

  1. People can see the real you. You could spend thousands on digital marketing and people still can’t see your genius, your passion, enthusiasm and energy for what you do.

  2. Builds your confidence in your brand. Pushing your comfort zone and talking about what you do will help you to improve your communication too. Plus it helps when you come to pitching to a client.

  3. Helps you to stand out. Your competitors aren’t doing it! You might just be in the right place at the right time and you’ll be front of mind when they are looking for your particular service.

  4. Expanding your network. Every time you attend an event you’ll meet new people and also bump into some people you’ve met before. So you’re constantly nurturing those relationships and generating new leads.

  5. It’s cost effective and time efficient. How many social media posts do you have to put out there to get ONE lead? How long does that take you? What if you got a new client from attending one two hour networking event that cost you £20? It happened to me, if could happen to you too.

A different perspective

Have you ever considered that maybe your ideal client LOVES networking? They might be an extrovert who thrives on meeting new people and building their network. They don’t really get social media and much prefer talking to reading and writing.

Maybe you are EXACTLY what they need to help them bring their ideas to life. But how will they ever meet you if you’re not in the same room?

The dream scenario

Imagine being in that room at a networking event and you met that person, what if you were able to describe exactly how you can help them to solve their problem and arrange a follow up meeting to discuss it?

Suddenly you’ve got a warm lead!

What if you were doing that once a month and generating a regular stream of new clients for your business?

What would be the impact on your sales?

If you were doing this regularly you’d be growing your network with genuinely interested potential clients who need your services.

Stepping stones to success

Over the last ten years I’ve gone from being terrified of networking to speaking at events and converting interest from my audience into sales.

I know this might seem a world away for you right now, but the key is to start small and keep moving forward.

So here are 3 bold moves I challenge you to make today to get you started:

  1. Ask your online audience what networking events they attend and why

  2. Find an event that’s not too far away (so you don’t jib out!) and book your place - put it in your calendar

  3. Reach out to the organiser, mention you’re new to networking and ask for some support

If you’re a woman in business in the North West of England then I highly recommend checking out Unique Ladies Network. You can get some more networking tips from the founder Suzy Orr on this podcast I recorded with Suzy.

Would you like more networking and speaking tips? Sign up here for my Bold Messages straight to your inbox every week.

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