We're all sick of social. Cookies are tracking us for now, but Google’s going to be taking them away—making marketing in the next few years a bit tricky. So how do we connect? Like the good ole days? Yes and no?
I've heard from so many people recently that they just want experiences. They want real-life, unique experiences. So if you're able to find yourself in a novel networking experience, you’re in good company. But what comes next?
Based on a few recent experiences I’ve had, here are a few suggestions on how to capitalize on these intimate gatherings:
Reflect, Derive, and Share
During and after the event, take some time to reflect on what you learned. But don’t stop there. How can you translate your learning into insights? How does the information connect to a greater purpose? How can you transform what you know into actions? Then, share via social, blog posts, podcasts, etc.—whatever platforms you use regularly. Whatever original content you have, use it to share your learnings, and don’t forget to tag those involved.
Not only do these events take you one step closer to your purpose and create connections, but they give you the insights you need to continue connections long after the event is done. Start conversations. Engage your connections.
Engage Your Connections
Find your people at your unique experiences and events. Find the people you’d like to kick back and enjoy a glass of wine with, the people you’d like to know more about. After the event, engage the people you felt most aligned with through interviewing them in a blog post, podcast, or video series. If it's video or audio, make sure to transcribe so you get a blog out of it as well!
Reach out. Record. Repurpose.
Engage your connections by continuing the conversation and providing them opportunities to highlight their work through your content.
Connections can’t continue if the people you want to connect with don’t know you’re there. Show your professional “crushes” you’re interested in. Follow them on social, promote their content, and share the love. Connections are reciprocal. But true connections are ones that you show up without an agenda. You have to be willing to help/give without expectation.
As Brene Brown says,
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
Besides being an all-around amazing human being, she’s got a point. Connection is between, with, among, beside, together. Be ready to give and receive.
Don’t let conversations fizzle out. Make sure to follow up about a month or so after the event or unique experience so you don't lose that momentum. Reach out about every 90 days or so as a rule of thumb. Connections aren’t a one-and-done thing; they require attention and effort. Set a calendar reminder so you don’t forget.
Leverage Your Email List
Email is a great way to stay connected and follow up. Ask the awesome people you meet at events if you can add them to your email list. Then use your email list to share business updates, insights you pick up along the way and highlight ways they can opt-in to engage with you further. Launching a podcast? Let them know where and when they can listen. Just posted a new blog? Send them a link!
And don’t forget to reach out for comments, feedback, further connection. Make your email more active and interactive, than something that just sits in their inboxes. Poll them. Ask them to participate in a webinar. Offer to schedule a call to talk further.
Connect. Connect. Connect.
The creme de la creme of events is finding people you want to collaborate with. They’re no longer connections; they’re partners. Seek out the people who want to build something together. Be open to what might be possible. Be smart about it, but be open.
Allow relationships to evolve over time. You don’t have to jump on the first partnership opportunity you see. Kind of like dating, you have to get to know somebody first before you meet the parents, go on a trip, move in together. It wasn’t until after I went through Exit Planning Institute’s CEPA Program and did a complimentary Think Tank for their members that Scott followed up with me to create a masterclass for them. Always be collaborating.
Get to know them. And let them get to know you. Then decide what you can create together.
Ask for Introductions
Unique experiences are great opportunities to build your network. Use the connections you're building to open more doors (as appropriate). Ask your connections to introduce you to their connections but be ready to offer something of value to further the conversation and relationship. Be a connector. Introduce connections you make to connections you know. Before you know it, you’ll all be opening doors for each other.
Ready to Connect?
If you’re one of those people looking for more connections, a great place to start is to identify people you want to connect with, understand where they live, work, and play. Start by listening to my podcast, Welcome to Eloma, where I interview some pretty amazing entrepreneurs that I’ve connected with over the years. It’s equal parts inspiration and discussion about those juicy insights we’ve learned over the years and how we’ve applied them.
And if you think we’d hit it off, email me at email@example.com. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter.more posts by Kiley →
Executive Coaching, Small Business
Executive Coaching, Small Business
Executive Coaching, Small Business, Life