Should your marketing and networking strategy rely entirely on online engagements? The answer is NO! It’s true that social media offers amazing channels for you to extend your reach and creates an online presence for your brand. However, it’s not a substitute for face-to-face networking which guarantees the development of more powerful business relationships.
Think about the most genuine relationships in your personal life and how the people you trust the most are the ones that you actually see face-to-face. It’s no different in business. People want to work with people they know they can trust, who they’ve met in person and have gauged the strength of their character and integrity.
If you want to create authentic connections with potential clients, you need to meet them on a more personal level – face-to-face. And networking at live events is the best way for you to get out there and leave a more lasting impression on your targeted prospects. Think seminars, workshops, and conferences.
In fact, the value of face-to-face networking was revealed in a survey conducted by Forbes Insights on 750 business executives. 84% of the survey participants stated that they prefer in-person contact over virtual or technology-enabled meetings. When asked why they preferred face-to-face business meetings, an overwhelming 85% of the respondents stated that they felt it built stronger, more meaningful business relationships.
Networking at live events allows you to gain access to dozens, even hundreds, of people who you can potentially convert into paying clients. Imagine all the opportunities you’ll have to meet like-minded individuals and representatives from organizations from your industry. And not only do you create the potential for future joint ventures, attending live events keeps you up-to-date on the latest industry trends that will help you form new marketing strategies.
And speaking of strategies, here are 3 tips on how you can get the most out of attending live networking events:
Connect with people and build your list.
While we don’t advise that you randomly pass out your own business card to just anybody, you should definitely still be collecting all the business cards that are handed to you. Remember that your goal is to build your email subscriber list, grow your list of targeted leads, and secure meetings for after the event. It’s important to point it out though, remember to ask permission to add them to your email list (avoid adding them without permission – that’s considered spam).
Use networking events to discover potential joint ventures, collaborations, and affiliate marketing, partners.
In business, it’s not about what you know but who you know. Through networking, you can leverage your existing business connections to create opportunities for future joint ventures and collaborations. Connect with people who you feel are relevant to your brand and who you can foster a mutually beneficial business relationship with.
Always be ready to sign for new clients.
Making new connections, collecting names and email addresses aren’t the only things that you can hope to achieve by attending networking events. Expect to sign for new clients. And while you may not be signing any deals on the spot, you and the right prospect can agree to set up another meeting right after the event or at another time in the near future. Maintain the mindset that you are there to sign on new clients, and always be prepared to take the next steps to develop new business relationships.
Attending live events and networking face-to-face are excellent ways for you to build your list, communicate and nurture your network, add to your industry knowledge, gain insight on the emerging industry trends, and give you the foundation to win over prospects later.
Are you ready to get out from behind your computer and leverage the power that in-person connections have on developing lasting business relationships?
P.S. Set a goal to get started introducing networking as one of your marketing strategies in your business. Then, make sure to attend at least one live event next month that your ideal prospects attending. Have fun!