At 4:35pm on 4/28/2018, I attended You Don’t Have Any Business Cards? Presented by Ray Mitchell, owner of SixFour Web Design & Marketing, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.
You Don’t Have Any Business Cards?
This happens a lot at formal networking events, but it happens even more frequently at WordCamp. Do you feel intimidated when it’s time to give your “30 second commercial”? Do you run out of things to talk about once you’ve exchanged names?
Effective networking is an important part of building your WordPress business. This presentation will help you get past the “grip and grin” stigma that people associate with networking and cover some ways that you can get the most out of mixing it up at networking groups, “business after hours” meetups, and of course the Hallway Track at conferences like WordCamp. Whether your an introvert or an extrovert, you’re sure to pick up a thing or two.
Ray meets people at networking events and conferences all the time, and this talk came out of the frustration as part of meeting individuals but not finding they had business cards.
disclaimer: this presentation is not about business cards
Networking is for slackers and shmoozers, until you have to do it. A slacker was never available because he was always networking. No work was getting done. Later, when the slacker got fired, he was able to score a job 3 levels above where his coworkers were, due to his network of contacts.
The Grip & Grin cycle is important, and its the way you have to work when you’re working for yourself or working for a small business, that’s your job now. One guy saved his life from a networking event, saved his life. He blew up at a friend at the time because he didn’t want to go out and network.
Networking IS the work
Over the years, the majority of the work comes not from the website, but rather from the relationships. The word of mouth is important to getting a strong, solid base of work. This flipped a switch and he became a network evangelist.
The purpose of networking is to build and forge relationships. You either spend time building your relationships, knowledge, or bank balances. People who can use you, who can get to know you, or people who can network for you and come to know your worth.
So where can you build relationships
Business networking groups, chamber of commerce events, in your Uber, Grand Opneings and Ribbon Cuttings, conferences and Associations Meetings, Civic Groups, Little League or Soccer Games. Uber, for example is not the dream job. They have daytime jobs, and the Uber is a side job. give them a card. Meet at the ribbon cuttings. You’ll meet people who’re involved in community, and they’ll get to know you. People in your industry are referrals. The way to be known, liked and trusted is to be out in the public and in positive humor.
Give a concise description of what you, who your clients are, and communicate in a compelling way.
the goal of the 30 second commercial is to get someone to say “How do you do that?” If you can explain how and why of what you do. The first person who says “So what do you do” wins, because you can change your 30 second commercial to tailor your answer to suit their circumstances. Many people will tell you everything they have, whether there is a need or not.
Plan to meet all individuals again. First, its polite. Second, you are building a long-term relationship. If you’re building a long-term relationship, you don’t have to have to talk about everything right away. Its OK if you don’t get the lead right away, its the over time relationship that counts.
Now what do I talk about?
You can be an introvert when you go home, but when you’re in business, you need to talk. Rather than bringing up a conversation on shapes, but instead talk FORM
Message of your business
What should I not do?
Uncomfortable Childhood Experience
Networking is not about you
What can you do to help others? Is there an article or resource you can recommend? Is there someone at the event you could introduce them to? Is the person a good service provider for a client or your family? Is this person a good partner for your business?
Follow up after the event
Good meeting you, let’s get together for coffee. Can I give you a call after wordcamp? It was great meeting you, are you on linkedIN? Can I send you an invite? This can immediately give steam and connections online.
We talked about making both BAD and GOOD business cards, but honestly as a designer, this is a bit of a no-brainer. That said, it was good information for those who don’t know.
Consider making a connetion with Ray: LinkedIn.com/in/Raymundmitchell
Question & Answers
What happens when you see a YourName.com website but a public domain email? I love it! its a job opportunity, because the person who sold them a website did not sell them email. And, if they didn’t sell them branded email for their business, and also the business cards went by without it, what else have they missed? This shows a slack and unsavory designer was on the job, and its probably time for someone like me to take over.
In a piggyback question, I asked Ray how he might approach that situation to build that relationship while pointing out the flaw, and his answer was very smart: First, he’d visit the website and see the copyright information, or if there even was any. Then, after gauging the age of the website, he’d contact the individual. He’d mention first that they met, and where that was. He’d mention that he had the card and that he noticed the discrepency. He’d talk about how the branded email could help their business, and if that was something they’d like to talk about. He also mention that if their website had not been updated recently if that was something they’d also like to talk about.
In short, he approached it more from a “we know each other, can I help you” level rather than a “you’ve got a flaw, let me fix it”. That was awesome.
Ray is the owner of SixFour Web Design & Marketing, which focuses on meeting the unique marketing needs of small businesses and non-profit organizations. He also serves as a Mentor at the Small Business Center at Forsyth Technical Community College.
Active in the local community, Ray is a member of, and sits on the board, of several community non-profit organizations.