Not in a million years, I imagined being a blogger, would turn the tables around and get me cracking up with a network of such talented individuals. Though social anxiety drove me mad all my childhood, I always consider invites to Press Events an extra bonus for all the hard work. But much to my excitement, the introvert me, always gets anxious before a media event, attending places with a large audience often triggers the wild ‘Let’s run out of here’ dilemma inside.
Across the social predicament, I’ve picked up some bits and pieces to be a Pro-Social butterfly during an event and make genuine connections on the go, relatable to all introverts. Gift wrapped all the knowledge into a 6 pointer post for all my newbies in this industry.
Dress to Impress
A fact is if you are in the public eye, your dressing matters, irrespective of your niche and content. So rather than experimenting, select an attire which reflects your personality, fits into your comfort level (in short, outfits that boost up your confidence) and brings out clean happy vibes. Truth is, first impressions do matter and your ensembles are majorly judged by Media Agencies, Founders, and PR firms.
If you are into Fashion blogging, or somewhere in that industry, never under dress yourself, you are a live example of your drop dead chic Instagram Feed.
Do your homework
Take a look at who else will be at the event and plan to meet those who might share something in common (or someone you find less intimidating). Before entering any venue, trick your mind with a challenge to network with at least five new people on your own, this gives the disciplined introvert something to strike off as the event progresses.
To be a social butterfly, stop being the shy wingman of the one person you already know, rather be a vibrant smiling face, who isn’t afraid to say hello first.
Introduce yourself Digitally
Your first event (a room filled with random strangers, you stalked on Instagram) may be socially exhausting, however, within blogosphere, an exceptionally easy ice breaker is to start a conversation by asking the ‘go to question’ – What’s your Instagram handle? and introducing yourself the same. #RealityCheck your blog/insta handle is way more famous and is bound to be recognized by others than your actual name.
Another excellent etiquette I observed during these social events is bloggers supporting fellow bloggers by following them on social media on the spot. A great move for people to remember you by, take out your phone & search them then & there to spread some digital love.
Small Talk with a Personal Touch
Ever had those moments, when you gather all the courage introduced yourself and had no idea where to lead the conversation next. Start with a nice genuine compliment. Find something interesting in their apparel & accessories, this approach is friendly and less like professional networking. Next, mix in a “How did you become a blogger” if it turns out to be a group of 3 or 4. Allow everyone to share a story & you are one step closer to being a butterfly.
If you’re an anxious introvert, look for someone who seems a little lonely and might share your anti- social tendencies. Strike up a conversation on how crazy hectic such networking events can be or let them know about your 5 people challenge (your anxiety can aid to a real conversation). Most people are empathetic towards introverts.
Snap with a Chat
Most of us in any event, are majorly involved in our vlogging game. We are much more secured talking to our screen than people in front of us, aid to this social anguish, by offering people to take their photos. Don’t be that ‘One Snap Good Bye’ kinda person, instead invest some time & creativity to click a real good snap or boomerang, as this gets YOU in the good books.
Follow Up Sooner than Later
Before leaving the venue, offer pleasantries to the host & compliment them on the hard work put into the event & how beautiful it turned out. Show your gratitude personally to the individual who invited you at the event and the next morning as well. Though as bloggers, we focus & timely ensure an RSVP, thank you notes are often neglected. Send a personalized note via email within 24 hours after the event to showcase appropriate business and social etiquette.
Also, make a quick follow up with the bloggers you met at the event by showing more support on the social media pages. DMs are the best way to go.
Tell us! What are the best networking conversation starters you’ve heard or tried?
Until, Next Time, Love Rahma