I recently attended the Virginia Women’s Business Conference and was blown away by the amount of networking available. If you have an opportunity to attend next year, DO. IT! As a solopreneur, it is vital that I network, connect, and make myself available to potential clients and business friends. The real power is in the follow through.
Imagine the following scenario:
You attend a local chamber event or networking dinner. The evening is spent sharing your story, connecting with fellow business owners and engaging in productive conversations. You leave with more business cards than you can carry and you are psyched!
What a great evening!
Fast forward to the next business day.
You have a to-do list, clients to attend to and general work to complete. Where does the follow through fall? In short, most times it falls off the agenda.
The Power of Follow Through
You. Must. Follow. Through.
There is no other, more direct way to say it. Many of us are introverts who would much rather stay behind our computers than pick up the phone or reach out. That only hurts your business in the long game. Those connections collect dust, the business cards fade, and so do the positive first impressions. Schedule time on your calendar, before you attend the event, to follow up. That way, you will limit the excuses available for falling through on the follow through. Personally, if I meet someone and they reach out to me on the next business day, I am impressed. I am also more likely to engage with their content or their services as I feel as though I am a priority for them.
Tips for Following Through
Tip 1: Make it a date
As stated above, schedule time into your calendar for the specific purpose of following up with new connections. If you have time reserved for this task you have no excuse not to connect.
Tip 2: Make it personal
A mass email from your email client is great but impersonal. Before you “high-five the monkey” (any MailChimp users here?) reach out personally. A quick email to say thank you for their time and to inform them that you’ll be sharing some industry tips or freebies the next day is gold! It’ll also improve your open rate, I know from personal experience.
Tip 3: Don’t Sell
I know you want to offer your services, product or information for a cost but doing so may cost you the connection. Instead of offering to sell your new friend something, offer to continue your conversation. Reference a question or pain point they relayed to you during your chat. BONUS TIP: It helps to make notes on the business cards you collect for this purpose.
Tip 4: Capitalize on First Impressions
Did you nail your networking chats? Are you invigorated and ready to tackle the world? If so, don’t let that positive energy go to waste. If you felt it, your new connections probably did too. Hopefully, they were impressed by your industry knowledge, enthusiasm, and professionalism. Allow those good impressions to work for you by following up in a timely, positive manner.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me at the Virginia Women’s Business Conference on Friday. I don’t know about you, but I am excited about 2018. I am reaching out to let you know that, as promised, you’ll be receiving the Twitter Tips and Insta-Greatness downloads in an email tomorrow. If you have any questions after receiving tomorrow’s email, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You mentioned a bit of a strategy block in planning for next year, and I completely understand- I hope those tips help! I truly enjoyed our conversation and would love to continue it if you feel that would be beneficial to you and your business.
Thank you and have a great day,
Do you have a strategy or gold nugget of wisdom for following through on your new connections? Share it below!
I recently shared a video about this exact topic! Enjoy!
The Power of Follow Through