By Danni McCabe
Scary as f**k, but networking really does work!
So I’ve been to loads of networking events and I’ve hosted lots too but, I still get nervous.
Quite frankly, the first few, well dozen, were scary as fuck!
I mean I would almost be shaking, with a mixture of adrenaline and nerves.
If I had to introduce myself, I’d be unable to focus on what anyone else was saying because my head would be consumed with what I was going to say, when it was my turn.
Would I go bright red.
Have I got lipstick on my teeth.
I’m starting to sweat can anyone see.
I hope I don’t faint!
I’m mean serious anxiety and stress and fainting is a real possibility for me. It’s happened before when i’m very stressed or anxious!
So networking events and speaking publicly has always been and still is, quite a big issue for me.
But, on the flip side, once I’ve got started or over my initial fears (panic), I become animated with passion and excitement about talking all things business.
I love helping and promoting small brands. As soon as I start talking to someone about their business I’ve got loads of ideas, I love seeing the potential, I have contacts I want to give them, experiences I want to share.
It’s why I love what I’m doing with Mama Tribe.
Meeting in real life, actually chatting to someone about your business, is one of the best ways to grow your network, make your business more visible and sell yourself and what you do.
People buy people.
I’ve met so many Women over the last few years at networking events that have said it’s the first one they’ve been to. How they were too scared or nervous about attending one before.
But, once they’re at one, they realise how useful they are. How much they can gain from them.
So if like me, you think networking events seem bloomin’ scary, I thought I’d list a few little things that I do to prepare myself. I have to plan ahead before arriving, maybe more than some because I get so anxious, but here are some little tips that work for me.
- Plan your journey, know how you’re going to get there. Where you’re going to park if driving. What the venue looks like, where the meeting point is.
- See who else is going, see if anyone you know is going to be there, or connect with people via Instagram or Facebook ahead of the event, so you can start a conversation online.
- Wear clothes you are comfortable in and something that you won’t get too hot and sweaty in, especially if your prone to feeling light headed, like me!
- Don’t forget to take your business cards, leaflets or even a sample of your work.
- When you’re there, smile at people, let them see you are friendly and approachable, even if you’re not feeling confident.
- Don’t forget to get other peoples business cards or exchange social media info. You’ll kick yourself if you get home and realise you’ve missed an opportunity.
- Remember a lot of people will be feeling just like you.
Below is a little graphic to help you plan ahead.
Work out your networking pitch; what you do, who you help, how do you help them and what will they get from it…
Feel the fear and do it anyway… and come along to a Mama Tribe meet-ups for mega laid back networking
Go for it!
Founder of Mama Tribe