This past week, I attended a conference for entrepreneurs. Like many, if not most, people, I’m not a fan of traditional networking. I don’t like going up to groups of people who are already chatting, and I find it awkward to move on to new conversations.
Literally, every time I told someone that I am a copywriter, they asked for my business card. Every single time.
Here’s something we forget: People want skilled copywriters but, for the most part, they don’t know where to find them.
So, when you show up right in front of them and present yourself as a friendly, easy-to-work-with, and skilled copywriter, you immediately become their solution.
Yes, it’s much easier and far less “scary” to compile a list of potential clients and send out your prospecting emails to them.
(And that’s still good—keep doing that!)
But it can be far more efficient and vastly easier to do one simple thing:
Go where the clients are.
Find meetings and events where business owners gather and go to them.
A $200 ticket to an event would be more than worth it if you land $2000 or $10,000 worth of work, don’t you think?
And here’s the thing about networking—which, admittedly, I always forget until I have to do it again: There’s an easy formula.
6 Steps for Easy Networking
Follow these steps and you’ll be chatting with prospective clients in no time—with as little awkwardness as possible.
Step 1: Find Your Group
Step 1 is perhaps the hardest. Spot two or more people who are already talking and walk up to them. You can, of course, find someone who isn’t currently in conversation, too. But I find it a bit easier to approach a group who is already engaged in conversation. If they’re already comfortable chatting with each other, then chances are they’ll make it welcoming for you, too.
Step 2: Your Conversation Opener
Say something along the lines of “Hi there! Do you mind if I join the conversation?” Generally, people will be happy to have you join.
This is much more about you finding the right people you want to work with than it is about you and whether people like you or not. If someone isn’t happy to have you join the conversation, well, screw ‘em—they’re not nice people and you don’t want their business anyway.
Step 3: Ask These Questions
Ask them what they do. Then ask them if they like it. If other natural questions don’t pop into your head, ask them how they got into it.
You’ll find people typically love talking about what they do. And, they’ll likely as you what you do, too.
Step 4: Prepare Your Answers
Because people are likely to ask you about what you do, come prepared with a few key bullet points you want to share about your story.
You can say, “I’m a copywriter. I work with a lot of [describe people at this event] to [describe a desired end result].” For example, if you were at a conference with a bunch of entrepreneurs, you could say: “I’m a copywriter. I work with a lot of entrepreneurs to create high-converting copy that helps them quickly build their businesses and revenue.”
Step 5: Exchange Information
When they ask for your business card, give it to them—and then ask for theirs. Don’t have a business card? No problem! Open up your phone and copy down their email. Then, send a follow up email to them speaking to why it was so great to talk to them. You may even offer to hop on a quick 15 minute call for a strategy session.
And, of course, include a link to your portfolio in your email signature.
Step 6: Rinse and Repeat!
Once you’ve approached one group, it’ll be easier to approach subsequent groups. If conversation drifts off topic, you can excuse yourself to get water or a quick bathroom break before finding your next group to join in conversation.
Going in with a plan makes networking infinitely easier.
And going into a group that you already know is more likely to need your services makes landing new clients infinitely easier.
Take a deep breath, screw up your courage, and go where the clients are. It could single-handedly make the biggest difference in your business you’ve ever seen.
Your turn! What event/conference/meeting are you going to attend? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on May 10, 2023
Local chamber of commerce events are great hustling opportunities. I plan to go to events in bigger cities where I hope to land some remote gigs.
Nicki Krawczyk says
Great idea – and that’s an excellent goal!
Thanks for commenting!