Every entrepreneur, within and outside the fashion industry, needs to attend industry events every once in a while. Attending events not only allows you to better understand industry trends and best practices, but it also provides an avenue for you to network with other industry experts.
Networking can prove to be very beneficial for fashion businesses as it may offer opportunities to meet with future investors, business partners, or customers.
Last week, we reviewed a video by Ada-Uju of Stitchadress on how to buy a sewing machine on a low income, and, this week, we reviewed a video by Ronke Lawal on ‘How to Network Effectively at Networking Events’. In it, she gave tips to help fashion entrepreneurs network better at events they attend.
The video aims to teach fashion entrepreneurs things they need to know and do to network effectively with other industry experts at various events. It also aims to give some form of encouragement to fashion entrepreneurs when they are out there networking for their business.
This video review will cover;
- useful points fashion entrepreneurs can learn from,
- important points missed out,
- the relevance of the information provided to fashion entrepreneurs.
How to Network Effectively at Networking Events.
1. Be Prepared.
When going for networking or industry events, always have your business cards with you. If you do not have your business cards with you, have a pen, or another item, with your business logo on it. These are all parts of your corporate identity as a fashion brand.
A fully charged mobile phone to take contacts on is also important. But preferably, a business card is what you should have. It helps people identify you better and take you more seriously.
2. Be Confident.
Everyone at that event is just like you, they are all there for the same reason you are there. They are there to meet people, to raise their brand profiles, and to market themselves.
Be confident and assured in who you are and what you are doing. Once you have confidence in yourself, it is going to be so much easier to meet new people and network with them.
It is normal to have a desire to just want to sell, sell, and sell, but you have to listen too. Networking is about relationship building, it is not a quick fix, it does not convert sales immediately.
In networking, you are building relationships so you need to listen to other people. Get their contact details and find out how you can help them. Make business or professional friendship and those relationships will flourish.
Through these events, you can get referrals, opportunities for partnerships and collaborations, and so on. So, it is important to listen.
4. Follow Up.
Once you have left your networking events and you have business cards and contact details, make sure you follow up. Tag them on Twitter, find them on LinkedIn, write them an email, and so on.
If you found someone you connected with, find a way to meet with them later. It could be a date to meet for tea, coffee, cake, or lunch, and follow up.
Don’t begin to chase people and bother them with newsletters or become desperate. It is about relationship building, so make sure you ask them before you add them to lists.
But asides that, have fun and get going because networking works.
Other Points Missed Out.
5. Take Notes.
When you have collected someone’s business card, after the person walks away, take notes at the back of the card to help you remember who the person is and what they can offer you. This will help you be more specific in your follow up.
6. Build Genuine Connections.
Always ask genuine and thoughtful questions when you meet people. Do not just talk to them because you want to get their card, talk to them because you want to get to know them.
Do not just go around the room passing out your business card to any and everyone regardless of whether they asked for it. If you have not talked sufficiently with someone, do not offer your card to them except they ask for it.
The Usefulness of the Information to Fashion Entrepreneurs.
The information provides in this video proves to be very helpful for fashion entrepreneurs. It teaches ways to truly connect at networking events to make your attendance worth it.
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