How To Network In A Social Situation

How to network in a social situation

Social gatherings of more than 50 chatty people.. eeek. I can hear the introvert in you, grumbling about all the people you have to make small talk to.

I get it. I used to be like that too. But then, I learnt that letting the introvert in me win, is NOT great for business.

If you ever feel like attending all these gatherings and meetings do not benefit you.. then you need to start introducing yourself properly. You can either gravitate towards people you already know, or make that bold move to talk to people you don’t already know. I say go for the latter. So when you introduce yourself, what do you usually say?

“Hi, I’m Michelle Lim and I’m a freelance designer & copywriter.”

Standard line, right? However, I think that even though my line of work sounds clear, it could lead to a lot of assumptions – like what sort of designs do I do and what sort of copywriting can I do. We do not want potential clients to assume what we do, because then it could turn them away from asking more if what they assume isn’t what they need. Get me so far? When you introduce yourself, as an independent business owner or a freelancer like me, you have to be very clear about it. Here’s how I introduce myself now:

“Hi, I’m Michelle Lim and I help small business owners discover their brand’s true potential through design and compelling copy.”

OR

“Hi, I’m Michelle Lim and I help business owners strengthen their brand’s identity to reach their ideal target market.”

Depending on the group I’m talking to, I reply these strategic introductory words to help capture a potential client’s attention. It would really help to open people up to you as well, simply because they want to know more about “how do you help strengthen a brand identity” or “what can design do to help a brand’s true potential?” Saying something like this can open up a lot of doors.

The formula to this is to include both Result & Benefit of your work into your introduction. 

From my introduction above, we can see that
Result: Discover brand’s true potential
Benefit: A new design & copy

And the second version
Result: Strengthened brand identity
Benefit: Reach ideal target market

By following this formula, you can easily capture your ideal client and weed out those who do not need your services. That way you do not waste time talking to an uninterested party but only to those who are genuinely in need.

Some other examples of introduction using this formula:

Health coach: “Hi, my name is ___ and I help people live a healthier life so that they can have more energy and lesser health issues.”
Real estate agent: “Hi, my name is ___ and I assist people in finding their dream homes with as little hassle as possible.”
Beauty blogger: “Hi, my name is ___ and I want to teach as many girls out there the secret to amazing makeup, through my beauty blog.

You see a pattern forming there? Of course, you can always phrase it differently, but you should always have both result & benefit stated clearly in your introduction. Here are a few questions below that could help you to write your own introductory.

INTRODUCTION WRITING EXERCISE
1) Audience – Who is your target? Who would you like to attract for your business?
2) Result/Action – What is it that you can do to help them?
3) Benefit – How does your answer from (2) benefit them?

String your answers together and you will have your perfect introductory line. Of course, you can always feel free to prepare more than one way to introduce what you do, but always say it with a purpose.

I hope you find this useful. Have you tried my exercise above? What did you come up with? Please share in the comments below, I am interested to know! You can also get more tips in your inbox weekly!

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