We have all felt lost and lonely in a room full of people. Sweaty hands, awkward voice… what should you say? Who should you approach? How should you do it? Nobody wants to feel like that, but we’ve all felt it.
In this episode (and in the post below) we get into a ton of rich tips about meeting new people. Whether it’s at conferences, meetups or coffee shops you’ll glean something great in this one.
Because your network is critical. Partnerships, cross promotions, teams to pursue projects with, and, most importantly, friendships all come from some first encounter somewhere. Enjoy.
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Meeting people at conferences & events
- Do a little research before hand. This is the difference between “I don’t know who to talk to” and “there’s Bob. Hi Bob, we chatted briefly on twitter about favorite Canadian mobster gifs.” Figure out who’s going to be there, and then do Caleb’s twitter list tip below.
- Know who you are. Be you. Be yourself. Let them be themselves. This is how we find real relationships.
- Realize some people aren’t going to be a good fit for you. The goal is to find and get to know your people, not every people.
- You only need to break the ice with a couple people to make a pretty sizable impact. So, don’t rush about like a crazy person. Invest and be yourself.
- Get to know the Third tier theory of networking… it’s not about the big folks. Find your people and grow real friendships.
Take a second, take a breath, get your eyes and heart off yourself and onto, literally, anyone else in the room. They’re in the middle of their own battles too.
In-person tips and tricks
- Show up to in person events in your town. Look at meetup.com, eventbrite, upcoming.org and find something to go to this month.
- Host a meetup or conference of your own. Could be super small and focused… but it’s a start. In the podcast I tell the story of Beer & Blog in portland.
- Ask people in different cities: “Who do you know in __?” Coop the relationships of your relationships.
- Be yourself and be about them. The others in the room are just as scared and f’d up as you are… even if they don’t show it. Service is the secret sauce of all networking.
Break the ice online before meeting in person
- Don’t come on too fast. Simple social media interactions, nothing too crazy.
- Allow it take time. Which is to say, get started early, months before the meetup.
- Name Trick 1: as soon as you realize you forgot their name, immediately ask, “what was your name again?”
- Name Trick 2: picture them doing something their name sounds like. (e.g., Corbett = driving a corvette.)
- Name Trick 3: you meet someone, forget their name, introduce them to someone near you. “Do you know Bob? Hey Bob, I want you to meet someone. This is Bob…” Hopefully they introduce themselves to Bob.
- Compliments and humor go a long way. Write a post about how this or that person changed the way you look at something, how they helped you. Tell the world why you like what they do BEFORE you meet them.
- Promote your network NOT you. Instead of trying to figure out who to meet, try to introduce 2 people you already know at the conference.
Caleb’s excellent Twitter list trick
Before each conference Caleb makes a twitter list for all the people he knows are going to be there.
- Browse the list BEFORE hand to stay up to date on what they’re sharing and who they’re talking to.
- Keep the list DURING the event to remember who you could meet with.
- Then, AFTERWARDS, follow up with people!
This is a really simple way to incorporate multiple tips mentioned above in one simple task. Thanks Caleb!
World Domination Summit — “In july 2014, a small army of remarkable people will return to portland, oregon for a weekend of strategizing and adventure.”
Jim Rohn – How to have Your Best Year Ever. HA! Corbett nailed this in the episode.
How to Create a Compelling Elevator Pitch (FS018) — “From now until you die, how many times will you be asked, “what do you do for a living?” Here’s how to make your response exceptional.”
Build A Better Network: The Third Tier Theory — “But I met a group recently that shattered this whole “worship the people up top” view for me. And it’s changed how I approach conferences, bars and anything social.”
The Return of Upcoming.org by Andy Baio — Kickstarter — “Launched in 2003 and “sunsetted” last year, Upcoming.org was the original art and tech events community. Let’s bring it back.”