Add sizzle to your summer networking calendar with these fun, fresh tips and activities.
1. Buddy Up!
As every kid at summer camp knows, everything is better when you have a buddy to share it with. And that’s why every grown-up professional should have a business buddy. Team up with a strategic business buddy to attend a networking event or industry conference, and be accountable to each other. Review and practice your pitch points with your buddy so that you can introduce each other accurately and appropriately. Prepare for the event by sharing research about the attendees and identify who you each need to meet. Review each other’s LinkedIn profiles for warm introductions. Divide and conquer, meet new people, and then introduce your new friends to your buddy and her new friends. You’ll be everyone’s BFF when you bring strangers together and help them connect! Debrief at the end of the night, compare your follow-up tasks, and give yourselves a deadline to get it done.
We also recommend you buddy up with your clients, to strengthen the relationship, and make a great impression on new prospects. When you bring a client to an event, introduce them and recommend them – like we do. This demonstrates how committed you are to your client’s success. Our clients often introduce us as their “networking gurus”, “business therapists” or “the hottest Fireballs in town”. If we said that, we’d sound like narcissistic flakes. When a client says it, it’s a testimonial and a memorable introduction.
2. Let’s Get Physical!
It’s always tough to choose between work and play, between networking and working out. Who says you can’t have both? Our Fireballs know how to mix business fitness with physical fitness. We’ve combined Pilates sessions with coaching sessions (to stretch your body and stretch your skills); organized introductions at outdoor Trapeze class (reach for the stars!), and picked up potential clients in Hip Hop class. Instead of drinks or dinner, invite a prospect for a walk in the park. (hence the name Prospect Park;). We all know that physical activities create energy, confidence and a positive attitude, so make it a priority to include more endorphins in your networking calendar. Health Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Business.
3. Be Creative!
At Fireball Network, we’re always finding unusual new ways to connect. We’ve combined business development with in-home cooking classes – and named it “Fusion Networking™”. We’ve blended watercolor painting class with wine and watermelon salad. We’ve played our part as the backup dancers at a fundraiser, to support our rock star colleagues aka “the band”. You can get creative too. Look for local adventures and fun activities, and invite your network to join you. We recommend you try improv comedy night – as an audience member or on stage, check out a local artist’s exhibit, or…. Send us YOUR suggestions for creative networking activities (and share them with our network on social media).
In next week’s Fireball Birthday Blast, we give you a gift: How to build a fabulous network before your next birthday.