Make the Most Of In-Person Networking

While social media is available 24/7/365, face-to-face interaction still offers benefits and opportunities you just can’t get online. If you prep yourself for a few scenarios ahead of time and set small goals – such as meeting two new people per event – you’ll go a long way toward growing your client base.

Here are four tips to remember:

1. Choose events wisely.
Find networking events that will offer you the chance to build your business contacts – either to find new prospects or to meet colleagues with whom you can build mutually beneficial relationships.

2. Do some research beforehand.
Look for events that list committee members, or check who’s involved in the event. These folks are clearly connected and will know many people they could introduce you to, so do a bit of online research to see what you might have in common. When you meet them at the event, you’ll already have a conversation starter in mind.

3. Help them remember you and your business.
Pass out pens, boxes of mints, lip balm, notepads or other promo products you sell, imprinted with your name, logo and contact information.

4. Exchange business cards.
(And be sure to follow up with the contacts you meet!) To make your card a more effective self-promo tool, write a personal note on the back before handing it to someone. The note should be something that will remind them of your interaction, like “I’ll be in touch about the imprinted Frisbees we discussed.”