As I was preparing my lunch today, I was thinking about the recent Tiger Woods situation. Why is everyone so interested in the life and misdeeds of Tiger? And how is his recent news coverage relevant to quiet business owners who want to be better at networking?
Tiger is a celebrity in large part because he’s a world-class golfer. But there are other world-class golfers who don’t have his level of celebrity. He’s also so well-known because he capitalized on his golf world celebrity and leveraged it into something much larger.
As a business professional, you can do the same within your market, your town, your niche. Which is why it’s time to stop paying attention to him and pay more attention to your own celebrity.
You Can (and Should) be a Celebrity Too!
Building your own celebrity will take some time and effort. You have to be deliberate about it. Writing blog articles, shooting videos, engaging on social media are all important methods of building credibility and a certain level of celebrity.
And then there’s the in-person networking. Networking is equally, if not more, important in building your celebrity status within a community. Your audience of prospects, referral sources and general supporters need to meet and get to know you.
They genuinely WANT to hear what you have to say. But for quiet entrepreneurs and business professionals, that networking part can be daunting.
Get in the Damn Car
I get it. It’s often difficult to summon the energy to get yourself to go to an early morning breakfast or an after-hours mixer, never mind the three-day conference. Trust me, I’ve conjured up or heard all the excuses. Oh look, it’s raining and I don’t want to get these shoes wet. I can’t go today; I’ll go next time. I’m tired, the cat needs a bath, I need to take the car for an oil change. Yeah, no. Get in the car.
Once you get yourself through that door, (remember to set your intention), use a few of the strategies I’ve talked about in other posts to help you get started. Take the “make a friend” approach to help you relax.
Put on Your Reporter Hat
Pretend you’re a reporter to take the focus off yourself and encourage your conversation partners to talk about themselves and what they love. People LIKE people who listen to them, so you instantly become more likable and take a step closer to celebrity status. When you’re doing asking questions and listening, you want to find out as much about someone else as you can, so you can find
2. Ways you can help her
3. Reasons to follow up after an event
Of course, you do need to share some information about yourself and what you do too. While it’s true people love people who listen to them, it’s also important for them to know who you are as well. That’s how you start developing your reputation. These contacts think well of you the next time they come across someone who needs your services or a something that would be a good resource for you.
You Do What?!
Since you’re keeping most of the focus on listening, it’s imperative to have your “pitch” down pat. You have to be able to quickly and clearly explain exactly what you do, and for whom, and why it’s important. The goal is to get people to say, “Tell me more,” or “How do you do that?”
You want to create a point of connection and you want to do it quickly. At a networking event, no one has the time or patience to listen to a rambling 15 minute explanation. Give your information and move the conversation back to your new contact.
Put the attention back on her once again, before gracefully extracting yourself from this conversation and moving on to someone else.
Go to events regularly and use this system of connecting. Yes, it’s not going to feel natural or comfortable at first. After a few times within the same group or organization, you’ll start to become “known” for whatever it is that you do. People will recognize and remember you. Pretty soon, you’ll become a celebrity, at least within that community. You build your metro area, national and international fame from there.
Hey, hope you enjoyed this article. If you want more info on how to get clear on the message you share at networking events, let’s hop on the phone for a few minutes. Set up a complimentary call with me here: Book a chat.