Yesterday was an eventful and productive day! The first event of the day was Thel Women's Entrepreneurship Day powered by 100 Females and @thetiaralarae which was phenomenal, inspiring, and much needed to say the least. It was the perfect opportunity to network with new and amazing people! I had the pleasure of speaking to 1000+ entrepreneurs about the digital age and more!
"I challenge each and every one of you to embrace the digital age, to incorporate into your business if you haven't already, and to push beyond your comfort zone if you already have. Each of us has the power to reach OUR people because the world is literally at our fingertips.
So whether it be Instagram or Facebook, your youtube channel, or your website, don’t ignore the power of this digital age that we are operating in. We must all do our part individually to bridge the gap between the forward thinking and trailblazing female entrepreneurs that came before us and the social media savvy twenty one year olds who are changing the game. Because together we can change the world!" - Brandy Kennedy, Women's Entrepreneurship Day 2017
The second event of the day was Millennial Entrepreneurs Mixer presented by Industrious the new and popping co working space in Atlanta West Midtown. I had the pleasure of sitting on a bomb panel with some successful millennial entrepreneurs including @adonisthrax, @niya_skyy, @malitathemogul, @ingibbswetrust, @thetiaralarae, @ousmansahko, and @loa.akw.
"One mistake I made early on in my business is lacking confidence in myself and my abilities. Know that you are great and that you do great work that is of value. You have to know and be unapologetically confident in what you know you can do and never quit no matter what!" - Brandy Kennedy, The Millennial Entrepreneurs Mixer 2017
I showed up to these event with 150 business cards and by sun down, I was all out! Goal reached right...? In addition to giving out all of my business card, I came home with a purse full of new contacts and inquiring which got me to thinking about how many of my new found business contacts are practicing effective follow up techniques...mmm?
In efforts to return the pouring I received yesterday I want cover some tips effective networking to ensure you are getting the maximum exposure from your networking opportunities:
1. Set a goal: Ultimately you are networking for a reason right?? My goal was to make verbal contact and give my business card to 150 female entrepreneurs. When you set a goal, you can make sure that you are prepared for anything! You never know who you might run into. Collaborations and business opportunities are the results of effective networking so set a goal and be prepared for the best!
2. Do your research: Look into the speakers and key players in the room. When I go to an event, I already have my sights set on who I want to meet and connect with. Everyone has a different business and may not have what you need or want, but there has to be at least one person that would be great to collaborate with. If you can identify who that is before you attend the event, you are more likely to make that connection happen!
3. Have your business cards and contact info ready! Preparation is everything! I should have had 500 business cards ready to go versus 150! Make sure your business cards have all of your contact info on it and that your information is correct. When it's time to follow up, you want to make sure that your new contact are able to connect with you hassle free!
4. Network digitally too! In this day and age, business cards are great but an instant online connection is great too! Have your IG and Facebook ready to network too. Whenever I attend an event, I'm sure to find out what the event hashtag is so that I'm able to follow up later. Also if you have a lot of interaction on social media it can be hard to see who's new hours after the event. Add and save your new contacts so you can follow up later.
5. Perfect your 30 sec pitch. In a room of 1000+ people you are going to be talking to a lot of people. Most likely the first or second question you will be asked is, "What do you do?" or "What is your business about?"...you should be able to clearly express what your business is all about and what you have to offer people.
6. The art of the follow up: So you've collected 50 business cards and connected with half of the room...now what? FOLLOW UP! You may not want to personally reach out to every single person that you make contact with, but you should attempt to make contact with leads and those who showed genuine interest in you, your business, and what you have to offer. Add emails and contacts to your database of contact and make notes or organize them according to industry. Don't miss out on opportunities to collaborate or gain a new client/customer because you didn't follow through! You've already made a first great impression now you just need to follow up!