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How to Succeed at In-Person Networking When it Scares the Crap Out of You

Bold & Pop : How to Succeed at In-Person Networking When it Scares the Crap Out of You

Talk about a title.. 😂 #realtalk though, that is exactly what today's post is about. I chatted recently about how networking events and meeting new people sometimes scares the crap out of me and I know I'm not the only one! No matter your personality type, networking in-person is not all of our fortes and guess what, that's okay! Just because it might not be our favorite thing though doesn't mean we can't be successful at it.

I was faced head-on with that this weekend when I signed up to attend a meet-up Melyssa Griffin coordinated in NYC with local bloggers and biz owners. It's no secret that we LOVE Melyssa at Bold & Pop so there was no there was no way I was missing it, but part of me was so nervous to go. Sometimes our nerves can be irrational, but whether they make sense or not we still have to find out ways to deal with them. So, I put my big girl pants on (ok well actually snow boots because NYC got dumped on over the weekend) and off I went. And guess what guys... I didn't die and I had the BEST time! In fact, I hit it off so well, that a group of us connected and are planning on meeting up regularly in the city!

After I left the event, with a big ol' smile on my face and a handful of business cards of my new biz friends I laughed to myself that I had been nervous to go. Then I thought a step further and laughed because I guarantee none of the people I spoke to that day knew I had been nervous to go the few days before. In my opinion, I was outgoing, helpful, and sometimes even a little funny -- come on guys I can totally be funny! 😂 The point is.. outside perception can be a funny thing and you just never know what someone else is going through -- whether it's nervous about networking or something else and I want to bring attention to that! Beyond making your branding, websites and social accounts prettier, we're so dedicated to helping our community along their paths -- wherever that is. Key to doing that?! Talking about things! So here's a look at some tips that YOU TOO can be successful at in-person networking -- even if it's sometimes scary!

Look for Small Meet-ups & Networks

One of the things I think I loved about our meet-up was that it was a smaller group of probably 20-30 people. Large networking events can be so intimidating especially when it's already not really your thing. When you're seeking out events or groups to meet-up with, try and look for smaller groups where you share a similar interest. It was so easy to chat with everyone at this weekend's meet-up because we were all either bloggers or biz owners who followed Melyssa! Not seeing any established groups in your area? Don't be afraid to try and create your own. Take advantage of Facebook Groups to post about wanting to meet up with fellow goal chasers or to create accountability groups or masterminds. Going small makes the experience so much more personal and less intimidating to walk into a room of 5-15 people vs 100-200! 

Look for Groups of 3

This tip is actually from one of the girls I met at the meet-up and it blew my mind. She suggested when you are at a networking event look for groups of 3 people. She made the best point that in groups of two, you often feel like you're interrupting if you hop into a convo, but when there's a group of 3 there is always one person who isn't talking making it ideal to hop in. This tip blew my mind because it's so simple but so smart! It's also a great thing to remember if you go to an event with someone else (which is part of my next point). 

Go by Yourself

I can't believe I'm saying this... buttt if you're trying to make some valuable connections go by yourself! Ever go to a networking event with a friend and then only talk to your friend? Yep, I've been there. Well if you go with someone else with a similar personality to you then you might cut down on the chance of going out of your way to meet other people. Remember that rule of 3 people tip? Well, if you go with someone else and are talking to them throughout the night you may also be making yourself not look approachable. Now of course if it's a larger networking event or if your friend is the queen or king of meeting new people the rules may be a little different, but for smaller meet-ups I definitely suggest trying it solo.

How have you conquered your fears of in-person networking? We'd love to hear your tips in the comments section! 2017 goal... Learning to be successful at in-person networking for EVERYONE!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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#Realtalk Say Goodbye to Automated Social

Bold & Pop :: Say Goodbye to Automated Social

Auto Instagram comments are the new Twitter direct messages and both aren't pretty.. Certainly there are several cases where automation is a powerful tool for your business, but if you want to make a lasting impression on your social media then you're going to want to kiss these two tactics goodbye.

It's time for some #realtalk when it comes to auto direct messages on Twitter and auto comments on Instagram. Here's why both can actually damage your brand.

Auto Twitter Direct Messages

You follow a new account on Twitter and then receive a direct message (DM) shortly after. Not only do they clog up your inbox, but more often than not these not so clever messages don't add much value. If you recently followed someone, chances are you at least glanced at their Twitter bio to get an idea of what they account is about. Meaning you probably don't need a reminder of who they are right after you follow them. Instead of coming off helpful or interesting they end up coming off as spammy with a slight robot feel. I don't know about you, but we like to talk to people on social media and the robot vibe doesn't leave a great first impression with us.

Now let's take our dose of #realtalk to the real world now. Let's look at some of the most popular Instagram DMs we receive on the daily that we'd love to.. well.. not receive!

  • The "Hi! I'm so and so and I write about this, this and this. Make sure to check out my website" Thank you.. I just followed you so I probably just read your bio and you're now cluttering up our inbo
  • The "Oh thank you so much for following me! I can't wait to connect!" Sending a spam message isn't exactly "connecting" Can we start over?
  • The "Thank you so much for following me! Also follow me here, here, here, way over here, here, and here" Woh, woh, woh. I haven't even been following you on Twitter for an hour and you already want me to follow you everywhere else? We're not sure we're ready for that commitment.
  • The "Yesss we're connected let me try and sell you something already!" Can we get to know each other first?
  • The "Hey, I'm going to pretend like this is kind of customized and make you second-guess if it's an auto-DM buttt really it is" Getting personal, without actually getting personal. You almost had us.

Have we made our point? Just. don't. do. it. We'll give you some tips of what you can do a little later on but we have one more topic we need to touch on and that is.. Dun, dun, dun...

Auto Instagram Comments

Auto Instagram comments are the more modern and just as annoying social automation tactic blowing up Instagram feeds worldwide. Tools that offer this service are popping up like daisies, but here's why we think it's a bad idea.

Both of these spammy practices go back to quality and value. While sending out auto-comments can drive traffic back to your account or have people click on your account, at the end of the day there's a lot of room for error. And truth be told, it's pretty painfully obvious what you're doing.. which go back and re-visit what we said about first impressions.

Don't get us wrong, commenting and engaging with Instagram users is a great way to create connections and ultimately increase your following, but you need to do it right. With tools that automate the process, there's so much room for error that you can end up leaving comments that just don't make sense in the context of the photo and caption or they're just so general they don't pack much meaning. Let's be honest, some auto-comments are so strange you seriously start wondering who thought that was a good idea in the first place. It certainly doesn't get us to your account.. instead it just gets us to report you as spam, because that is what that is.. spam!

Say Goodbye to Automation and Do this Instead

Social media is a process, we totally get it and that takes time! But you probably didn't grow your business overnight and the truth is successful social media marketing doesn't happen overnight either. It's about being authentic and being transparent about your business, making connections and building relationships with your followers. 

While the spray and pray technique might be successful in growing your numbers in the short-run, it won't give you the connected audience that will actually make a difference for your business -- and we know that's what you're really after. So here are some ideas that you can do instead of automating your whole social media world. 

Instead of sending a auto DM, spend some of your time each day sending personalized tweets thanking those for following you or engage with one of their recent posts. Yes, it takes more time, but users will appreciate the extra few seconds it took you and it will benefit your account 100 times more than any auto DM could. Truth be told, if you take the time to build a relationship with someone online and they enjoy your content they're probably going to want to check out your website and learn more about you or your business anyways. Which will always be a more authentic way to connect with people than sending a DM in their face.

The same goes for Instagram. Yes, sending out hundreds of auto-comments a day seems appealing, but with the chance of mismatched or awkward comments it's just not worth the risk. Instead set aside a little bit of time every day that you dedicate to posting comments on other user's accounts. Whether that involves connecting with those who you follow or going through your favorite hashtags, spend the time and do it right! Call out something specific in the photo like, "I love how you styled your desk" or "wow, I'm definitely going to have to check that place out and order their green smoothie". The comments don't have to be deep and expressive, but adding a personal note to a comment lets the user know that it's 1.) not an auto-comment and 2.) you are actually interested and engaged in their content. 

Listen, we totally get that social is time consuming (this is why people hire us after all!) but we stand by the motto "do it right or not at all!" 100% on this one.

xo : A

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