Do you ever wonder why some people go to an event and meet the same people you do, but they create better leads at events? Seeing someone else sign a deal when you didn’t is tough. I know everyone is telling you to put yourself out there and guess what, I’m going to tell you – yes, but how you put yourself out there is key.
I spent this past year reaching out to hundreds of organizations to build partnerships and connections for a Chicago startup. I’ve also taken the same approach with my blog over the past three years.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be hosting my own talk show. But the process and the experience were overwhelming and exciting. And I want to share with you a few steps you can use to tweak your approach to create opportunities and new leads as you’re out having drinks this week. (P.S. here’s a list of places to check out).
Put Your Name Out There:
The first thing you need to do to create better leads at events is as simple as a Starbucks order. What is your name? Have an easy way for new leads to contact you and know your name. Your Instagram page, your Facebook page, and your website pages are where people to go to learn more about you. While they are interested, make sure it’s easy for them to find your contact details. So many people don’t include their name and email address (or carry a business card). I can’t tell you how many people I follow on Instagram and see at events. I always introduce them by their handle because I don’t know their name. Put your name out there. Do it!
Keep The Conversation Going:
I know it’s hard to keep a conversation going for a few minutes. But if you think that’s hard, try doing that and having no way to follow-up with new leads after talking to 15 people in a room. It’s such a waste. I see businesses do this all the time! They create epic events or they are so engaging at a dinner party, and we exchange numbers, but that’s it. There’s another number in my phone and no real way to engage further.
We meet a lot of people in the city (or you should be). And yes, we forget about them because you’re probably meeting someone else new the very next day. Make it easy to continue the conversation. What do I mean? I mean have a “subscribe” button. Have a newsletter. Have an Instagram account to follow.
The key is to be where your audience is and be ready to add them to your list while you’re at the party. People hate homework! The next time you’re at an event, say, “I’d love to keep in touch, do you have Instagram?” Bam. You have a new follower, and you can tag them in the post from the night.
Have Something to Offer:
Have you ever showed up to a house party empty-handed? It’s not nice. You need to have a thing – a service, a product – something that you can offer people. If people don’t know how to do business with you, then it’s a hard sell. When people ask what do you do – offer something that sticks and that’s specific. Nicole Yearly, Founder of Ms. Tech, at a Ms. Tech event shared “If I was going to send someone to you, what would I send them for?”
For instance, when I talk about my blog, I share that Windy City Cosmo helps people make better cocktails and connections in the city. It’s memorable and people have a reason to contact me – either about networking, relationships, or cocktails and the food scene in the city. What you put out there, is what you attract (this is for you positive people). When brands approach me and when I approach them, I make sure that it matches what I’m offering my readers (hey you!) and a way to provide further reach to their consumers (hey you, again!).
I hope this helps you create better leads at events! Drop me a line and let me know what projects you’re working on! I’d love to hear from you in the comments or social media(@windycitycosmo) or you can email me, Amanda Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.