Networking – I know, everyone’s favorite subject! To some it may come natural, to other’s it’s like pulling teeth to get you to a networking event. It can be really strange, awkward and sometimes draining to meet and greet people for the better half of a night.
The first time that I attended a blogger / networking event I felt like a fish out of water! It can be overwhelming to meet so many new people at once – it can also be a little bit awkward to meet people “in person” for the first time.
We flew to Arizona twice this year for huge business and personal development conferences which are basically one big networking event. Aside from that, I’ve attended different events here in Philly where I’ve met some really amazing and powerhouse blogger friends! Additionally, I’ve gotten the opportunity to connect with some amazing local business owners and #girlbosses!
Networking is an investment – getting to know the people within your industry and city is essential to growth. You may not see “immediate returns” on that investment, but there will be a time in the future where someone who you met at a networking event mentioned something in passing that could revolutionize your blog / business.
So, let’s get into it… Shall we?
Reason #1: Connect With Likeminded People.
This is probably the biggest immediate “win”. Meeting people who are either doing the same thing that you are or share a mindset orientated towards growth is like a breath of fresh air.
For once you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone – they just get you, you know? Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you’re trying to explain to them what you do and why you’re doing to it and you can just see it going into one ear and out of the other?
Well, imagine meeting people who are genuinely excited and passionate about what they’re doing, and take interest in what you’re doing as well. To be able to connect with someone who shares your very same passion makes you feel like a little kid again – you get that child like excitement. To the point where you’re both talking about a million miles an hour and bouncing ideas off of each other.
Reason #2: Meet People in Different Verticals.
While meeting people within your industry is great, it’s also amazing to meet people outside of your industry. I’ll give you a little example.
A few months ago, I attended a blogger event at Harp and Crown with The Feed Feed. It was a tailgate party on a Sunday before the Eagles game where they had the most delicious food in the downstairs basement of Harp and Crown where the bowling alley is (so fun by the way).
Usually when you attend blogging events, you’ll know at least a few faces in the crowd. Perhaps people that you’ve met through Instagram, or at previous events. However, at this event I didn’t know a single person. The reason being, this was mostly an event for food bloggers – people who document the amazing food that we have here in Philly. While you all know that Billy and I love going out to eat in the city, it’s not what I talk about on the City of Sisterly Love (but I will give you outfit suggestions on what to wear for date night ;).
But guess what? It was an opportunity to meet brand new people who have different strategies, perspectives and mindsets. They all and I mean every single one of them had these small, compact selfie lights clipped onto the back of their phones.
I had literally never thought about that – these little compact lights brightened the entire table top so that they could capture better quality photos of the food. It’s genius because most restaurants are dimly lit, so trying to get a good quality photo of the food is next to impossible. This little lighting hack so helpful for anyone – if you blog about fashion think about how you could get better quality photos of your outfits, jewelry, shoes, etc!
Reason #3: Exchange Strategies
This is probably one of the most beneficial parts about networking – you get to talking with people and eventually you get to sharing strategies.
Perhaps you learn how someone is optimizing their SEO and driving tons of traffic to their website. Or maybe you give someone a tip on how you batch your content.
When you connect and collaborate with other people, you get an opportunity to pick their brains. Find out a little bit of what they’re doing that you could start implementing.
So, next time that you hesitate whether you want to go to a networking event… GO!
Plus, it’s an excuse to dress up and have fun!