Never underestimate the power of networking, not just via social media either, but actually getting out there and face-to-face networking! Trust me, it will inevitably increase your bottom line if you do it right. In this post, let’s explore some of my personal networking tips.
First and foremost, you have to actually go to the networking events! Just because you sign up to be a member of your local Chamber of Commerce or your chapter of ILEA (International Live Event Association) or NACE (National Association of Catering and Events), doesn’t mean that all of the sudden business is going to come flooding in. You have to go to the events that they hold each month!
Business cards still matter! If you have ever heard me speak about branding and marketing, I always talk about business cards. In today’s digital age, they still matter. They are like the first line of offense. Hand to hand combat if you will. Make sure they match your brand and your style. Have someone professional create and print them!
Once you get to an event, try and remain calm. People can sense desperation. Don’t start running around the place whipping your cards into the hands of everyone that makes eye contact with you. Try and start a genuine conversation with someone. Find out what they do, why they do it, if they love it…listen! You’ll have your chance at some point in the conversation to tell them what you do and to give them a card.
If you can go to a meeting with someone that is already an established member, that is key. Consider them your “wingman”. That person is going to be able to introduce you to pretty much anyone at that meeting. If you have a more reserved or shy personality, then this step is crucial for meeting people that can potentially refer you more business.
Following up is the final thing that I’ll mention here. Let’s say you collect several cards at a networking event. They are worthless sitting in your desk drawer! Add them to your monthly email list (you are sending one of these out right?), then follow up with them with a simple email.
Try something like this, “Hey Bill, it was great meeting you at the NACE meeting Tuesday! Do you have some time for lunch or coffee (on me) one day next week to talk about the crazy wedding season coming up?” These meetups have led to an incredible amount of business for Bunn DJ Company.
Get out there, create conversations, LISTEN, shake some hands, pass out some cards! Good luck!
About Joe Bunn
Joe started his DJ career at the age of 14 in his hometown of Wilson, NC. He did shows all throughout high school, college at UNC-Chapel Hill, and eventually moved to Raleigh, NC in the late 90s where he started Bunn DJ Company. The company grew from a couple of DJs to 15 of the area’s best mobile DJs. Over the past few years, Bunn DJ Company has expanded to Charleston, SC, Charlotte, NC, and Richmond, VA. The company performs at over 800 weddings a year and another 400 private, corporate, and charity events.
In addition, Joe is a writer for many national DJ publications such as Disc Jockey News, Mobile Beat Magazine, and DJ Times. He has given seminars at Mobile Beat Las Vegas, Wedding MBA, DJ Times Expo, local/regional organizations, NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill. Joe has also been hired by DJs all over the world to help their businesses in every aspect from branding to sales.