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Day 4: Research is KEY

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Welcome to Day 4 of the Networking Challenge!

Here is Day 3 in case you missed it: 

I hope you’re enjoying the challenge and have made some new contacts. Quite a few of you have been ‘working the (PR Secrets) room’ and great things are happening as a result, so keep up the excellent work!

To recap on your daily challenge activities so far:

1. State WHY you do networking

2. Book up a networking event you have NEVER been to before

3. Writeup your 8 worder elevator pitch (I call that to Nail it in 8)

4. Invite someone to a Skype Smoothie

5. Go to a shop (!) and strike up a conversation with someone and have your phone firmly tucked away

You can’t call me a tough task master, well mistress, now can you?!

Pre-networking research is essential!

Today I would like to talk about the importance of preparation before you go to a networking event. This also applies to online networking when you are trying to track down your dream influencer.

I have had success in opening doors (at many publications and most recently my invitation to the BBC) because I have done my research before I went in for the ‘first approach’.

If possible, try to get from the event organiser an attendee list so you can take a look and see if there is someone going who you’d love to get to know better as you may want to collaborate with them in the future or develop a business relationship with them.

If it is a local networking event, you may want to get to know the organiser so you can be invited to speak at future events, if it is a big event with keynote speakers, you will ensure you have a front row seat and be first in line when they come off stage so you can meet them and offline, they may be influencers or gatekeepers to your dream influencer.

With all of these instances, there is one common thread…all these people are human…which means you may be able to find something in common with these people (look at LinkedIn / Twitter / Instagram) and you will see they be from your home town / used to go to your school / support the same football club / are associated with a group, charity or club you have links with…..a little research takes you a long way, in fact sometimes all the way.

When a client had told me her dream was to be in Psychologies Magazine, I researched the editor and found that she is mad about dogs and has an office dog which is a cocker called Oscar. I had recently became a ‘mum’ to my sprocker puppy, Perry so sent her in super cute photos of Perry along with my client pitch! It worked! I got onto the editor’s radar and my client did too and two double page spreads later in Psychologies I can thank Perry – as well as my client for being a perfect match for the magazine.

I used the same approach to get to know a producer for the BBC (no cute pups however) and was lucky enough to be invited to the studios and then do a Facebook Live with Jeremy Vine which has had over 1.4k views so far!

At an Enterprise Nation event, I sat in the front row to hear Lara Morgan speak, she wrote More Balls Than Most and is a serial investor. I spoke to her after her talk and she invited me to pitch to her company.

With local networking events, try to do your research before you go – I know it’s not always possible to, so go with an open mind as you never know how connected everyone is. You could get a fab intro to someone you’d love to meet.

My second tip for the day is how not to be a ‘sticker’.

This means, when you have met someone at an event who is really nice you don’t want to leave their side as you can’t face meeting more people….remember why you came networking in the first place – that’s right, to meet new people – note I said PEOPLE not PERSON?

So try not to hog your NBF Networking buddy. Have an elegant getaway even if you’d like to chat all night. You can say something like..

‘It’s been so great meeting you, I just need to make my way to the canapés/drinks. Hope we bump into each other later tonight!’ Then you’re not looking needy and you can go and mingle more, after all, that is why you came right?

Today’s activities:

Activity 1:

See if you can politely request an attendee list for the next event you have booked up to go to (remember, that was Day 1’s task!). If you can’t get hold of one, research the organisers and their other events. New doors may be waiting to be opened!

Activity 2:

Write out what you’d like to say as your elegant getaway so you are not a ‘sticker’. It just needs to be a sentence and memorize it. From my experience, people are very nice and say something like – lovely meeting you and see you later.

See you tomorrow for the final day of the challenge!


PS If you’d like some help with self-promo or networking, book in a call with me!