Many of us regularly attend business networking events. Have you ever wondered if there’s a fast track to be in the spotlight so more people remember you and your company?
Every single online and offline network or community is a stage. The more “gigs” you do, the faster the members remember you and most importantly, what do you talk about, what problem does your product/service solve. The question is how do I go on stage more often then? The number one step is to actually want to be on stage. This might sound like a no-brainer to many of you but there’re loads of business professionals that would rather stay in the back seat. That makes it even a bigger opportunity for you, always ready for showtime 🙂
The tactic consists on carefully picking your networking events, especially those that you would really benefit if you got some exposure. Obviously, not all of them will have the same importance. Ideally, you want to concentrate on those that are very relevant to your brand, industry and product, however there can be exceptions. It’s your call.
Go to the event website and have a look at the members, look them up on LinkedIn to learn more and pay close attention to the organiser/s. Those are the ones that you want to connect with first, to potentially get the chance to borrow their stage and therefore, audience.
Create a separate column on Tweetdeck (or your favourite Twitter client) and track all the event organisers. You will find a few opportunities during the day to chat with them or retweet a few of their messages. Helping them grow their network is a fast track to getting known.
Track also the event hashtag so you can start touching base with businesses before the event. You will be also contributing to sparking some buzz around the event.
Make content for them! Come prepared to the event with your photo and video camera (Flip is better). Then you will upload those pictures onto your FlickR account and Facebook page (When publishing, tag the organiser’s Facebook page as well) and send them a follow up email with all the content to freely use as they want.
I have even created content before events. Back in June, I shared with the organisers of the Dublin Web Summit, a quick branded screencast on how to connect with people before going to an event. They immediately shared it with their audience. That was me a few minutes on their stage.
[youtube width=”560″ height=”340″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P1jL9cz_ZI[/youtube]
When you’re there, don’t hide. Try to first, shake hands with the organiser/s and introduce yourself, then go ahead and meet with as many of those companies that you said you’d meet with as possible.
Take photos, shoot some video, why not do interviews with the organisers and members. If they are interested they’ll grab it from your YouTube channel and FlickR account. When they do that and send it to their audience, that’s you again, borrowing an audience.
When it comes to online activities, possibly the best way to borrow a stage is by “guest posting“. Same thing, choose those business blogs carefully, touch base with the organisers to ensure they accept guest posts and off you go!
What other tactics have worked well for you?