Showing posts with label Entrepreneur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Entrepreneur. Show all posts

Monday, 30 January 2023

An Introduction to the Three Biggest PPC Platforms


PPC has completely transformed the way that people advertise on the web. This is a new form of advertising for what is a very different medium – a very more interactive medium – than television or magazine.

 

PPC stands for ‘Pay Per Click’. What this means for advertisers is that they are only paying for each click. If their ad isn’t successful and no one clicks on it, then you don’t pay anything at all. That can mean free exposure sometimes! A bidding system comes into play whenever an advert is shown and that means that the cost of each click will depend on the amount of competition – again this is good news because it means that some advertisers will be getting nearly free visitors when there isn’t much competition.

 

At the same time though, because they can set their own ‘maximum bid’ for each click, this means that advertisers can decide precisely how much they are willing to pay for any new visitor. By keeping this lower than the amount they earn per visitor, they can nearly guarantee they will make a profit from those efforts.

 

Also, important though is targeting and this is where the differences between the different PPC platforms start to come into effect. Read on and we’ll take a look at the three big choices when it comes to starting a new PPC campaign.

 

Google AdWords

 

By far the biggest PPC network is Google AdWords. When you pay for adverts on Google AdWords, they will appear on the ‘SERPs’ or the ‘Search Engine Results Pages.’ Thus, you need to start by first choosing a keyword that you want to target. If you are selling hats for example then, you might choose to target the keyword ‘Buy Hats Online’. Of course, it’s important to think carefully about your keywords to ensure they don’t have too much competition.

 

Google is the biggest search engine means that you’ll gain access to the most visitors – but you’ll also pay the most due to the other advertisers.

 

Bing Ads

 

Bing Ads is a very similar system but for Bing instead of Google. Bing is of course the big search engine from Microsoft which accounts for 20% of the market share and an additional 10% through Yahoo!. This is not a small amount.

 

More importantly, Bing has less competition, meaning that you’ll end up paying less. Specifically, you’ll pay 33.5% less, which is again a big deal. Bing also has a lot of powerful tools for targeting the right users.

 

Facebook Ads

 

Finally, Facebook Ads work the same but appear on Facebook based on the information that users give Facebook about them. This can include age, sex, and location but also things like hobbies and interests or even job title!

 

Another big benefit of Facebook Ads is that you can create more media-rich options that have images or even short videos. Likewise, you have the option to choose ‘CPA’ which means ‘Cost Per Action’, and only charges if someone signs up to your mailing list.

 

Learn from one of the best Microsoft Ads courses!

 

Microsoft Ads Training Kit: Step-by-Step Tutorial Videos To Start Using Microsoft Ads For Your Business & Boost Profits!

https://tankwanhong.xyz/courses/microsoft-ads-training

 


How to Find the Best Keywords for Your PPC Campaign?


What makes a great PPC campaign? What makes the difference between a waste of cash that you never get back and a campaign that you can use to continuously keep growing and scaling your organization?

 

While there are a lot of factors, you could certainly make the argument that one of the most important of these is the keywords. Your keywords are of course the search terms that you’re going to target. With both Google AdWords and Bing Ads, you’re going to be advertising in such a way that your ads end up showing on search engine results pages for specific searches. You can then choose precisely which searches bring up your adverts and this is going to impact how sees the ads and what difference this makes for your success.

 

So, the question is: how do you go about picking the right keywords? What is the difference between a good keyword and a bad one?

 

Let’s take a closer look…

 

The Basics

 

The basic idea behind your keyword choice is that you’re going to try and ensure that the phrase you pick is one that the right people are going to be looking for. Who are the right people? Of course, they’re the ones who are most likely to buy your product.

 

This is also how Facebook Ads work – it lets you choose the type of person you want to target by looking at the details they fill out such as their age, sex, location, and even hobbies and interests. The difference with a search term is that it is also time-sensitive. In other words, a search term will have a bigger impact on your eventual profits because you are showing ads to someone at the precise time that someone is actually looking for your site.

 

For example, if you’re trying to sell hats, then your search term would be ‘buy hats online.’ That means you’re not only targeting people who want hats but you’re also targeting people who want hats now.

 

So, when picking keywords, think about who and when.

 

Negative Keywords

 

One way you can make this a little more precise is to try and avoid certain search terms from showing your ads. This is what is known as a ‘negative keyword’ and a good example of this might be the word ‘free’. You don’t want people to click on your ad if they’re searching for free things, because they won’t be likely to want to buy anything off you – and that means they’re costing you money without earning you anything back.

 

Keyword Research

 

More important still is to do your research.

 

That means looking to find out just how often certain keywords get searched for, rather than assuming. For instance, some phrases that might at the first sound popular end up being surprisingly unpopular. This meaning of course that no one ever searches for them and thus they won’t bring any visitors.

 

Likewise, you also need to research the amount of competition for each keyword and aim for the terms that aren’t saturated!

 

Learn from one of the best Microsoft Ads courses!

 

Microsoft Ads Training Kit: Step-by-Step Tutorial Videos To Start Using Microsoft Ads For Your Business & Boost Profits!

https://tankwanhong.xyz/courses/microsoft-ads-training

 


How to Fit Bing Into Your Internet Marketing Campaign?


A great internet marketing campaign should be a campaign that is fought on many fronts. That means you need to have your fingers in lots of pies and you need to find lots of ways to reach the widest audience possible.

 

If you rely on just one method to build your brand and gain customers – whether that be PPC or SEO – then you’re going to end up too reliant on that single source of traffic and you’re going to greatly limit the number of visitors you can appeal to.

 

This is why it’s important to make sure that Bing fits into your campaign. But it’s also why Bing should only be one part of a much larger and multi-faceted assault. Read on to learn more about the different aspects of internet marketing and how they should all coalesce into one single strategy.

 

Content Marketing

 

One thing that every business can benefit from these days is a blog. Having a blog allows you to create content on your site and this will then give people a reason to come to your site.

 

The key to understanding here is that no one likes being sold to. If all your site is, is essentially one big advert, then you’re not giving people any reason to keep visiting. You’re not building loyal fans, trust, or a relationship. If the visitors don’t want to buy then and there, then they will simply leave.

 

By creating great content, you give people a reason to want to find you and this will gain you regular traffic.

 

Email Marketing

 

If you can’t capture sales, then capturing emails is the next best thing. This converts cold leads into warm leads and it gives you a huge list of people you can potentially sell to.

 

Social Media

 

Social media has a similar end goal to email marketing. This gives you a way to reach the people who have proclaimed themselves your fans and it allows them to share your content and to help more people find you. It also lets you build a closer relationship with your potential customers.

 

SEO

 

One part of this is creating lots of great content, which you should already be doing. The other part of this is having lots of inbound links to your site and lots of people sharing what you do. You can encourage this by writing great content and being active on social media. This will help you to reach the top of Google and Bing for different ‘search terms’.

 

PPC

 

Now let’s talk about PPC. This is a tool you can use to pay to reach the top of the search engines right away for your chosen keywords. That means you need to be making money back from these searches, so normally it will be used as means to send targeted visitors right to your sales page or eCommerce store. You can also use this as a way to ‘test’ the organic keywords to try and rank for with SEO though.

 

Using Google and Bing makes sure you gain 100% of this audience and it also helps you to avoid direct competition in some cases. Bing is more affordable and has fewer advertisers competing for the same few spots!

 

Learn from one of the best Microsoft Ads courses!

 

Microsoft Ads Training Kit: Step-by-Step Tutorial Videos To Start Using Microsoft Ads For Your Business & Boost Profits!

https://tankwanhong.xyz/courses/microsoft-ads-training

 


How to Identify Your Buyer Persona?


If you’re going to have a successful PPC campaign, then one of the single most important things to have in mind is your target demographic. In other words, you need to be sure that you’re showing your adverts to the right people to ensure that those viewers are going to convert and become buyers. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your money.

 

By properly profiling who your buyer is, you can that way create a better advertising campaign that will result in more sales. So how do you do that?

 

The Basic Demographics

 

To start with, you need to consider the most basic factors that makeup demographics. That means categorizing your potential buyers in terms of their age, their sex, and their location.

 

Who buys the products that you sell? Are they young or old? Do they have a big income or a small one?

 

To a large extent, this will be obvious – for instance, if you’re selling wedding dresses, then you can safely assume that your target demographic is female. In other cases though, the demographic might be both or it might not easily fall into one category.

 

So, what can you do in this case to make sure that you’re targeting the right person?

 

One way to do this is with a little market research. You can look at the metrics of who has bought from you so far for example, or you can simply survey your visitors. Who is it that buys from you? Likewise, you might be able to find information about other products or brands that are similar to yours.

 

You can also ascertain a fair amount by looking at your web stats. If you have Google Analytics set up, or you have web stats on WordPress, then you can see what people are searching but also the location they’re coming from and even how long each person stays on your site!

 

The Persona

 

But this does not yet give you your full buyer ‘persona’. That’s because a person is more than just a collection of statistics; a persona is an entire fictional biography based on what a person likes, what their hobbies are, and more. You need to try and get inside the mind of that person to better understand what they might want to spend their money on, where they will be at any given time and what they will be likely to search for. 

 

To do this, it can help to have an idea of the ‘why’ behind what you do. Make sure your brand has a mission statement and think about what it is you want to achieve as a company. When you do this, you’ll then be able to find people who believe what you believe and who are like-minded. These are going to be your long-term customers with longer ‘lifetime customer value. That means they’re the ones you want to advertise to get the very best ROI in the long term!

 

Learn from one of the best Microsoft Ads courses!

 

Microsoft Ads Training Kit: Step-by-Step Tutorial Videos To Start Using Microsoft Ads For Your Business & Boost Profits!

https://tankwanhong.xyz/courses/microsoft-ads-training

 


How to Increase Your Conversions?


Want to increase the success of your PPC campaign? Then it might pay to look elsewhere, other than the actual PPC campaign itself. 

 

For example, you might want to look at your website itself. If you can increase the conversion rate on your website, which means that more people will buy products from you. If more people buy products from you for the same number of visitors, then that means that you’ll be able to earn more money from your site, which in turn means that you can spend more per click on each visitor. That, in turn, means your ad will be seen more, bringing in more customers and scaling up your profits even higher. It’s a ‘virtuous circle’. 

 

So how do you go about increasing your conversion rate? There are a few things you can do…

Sales Copy

 

The main thing that will help you to sell more from your site is good sales copy. This is the persuasive writing you’ll add to your website that will convince people that your products are worth buying and that they should make a purchase.

 

So, what can you do to increase that sales cop? A whole lot!

 

First of all, you need to make sure that your sales copy is gripping and that it is holding the attention of your visitors. People have very short attention spans these days and if they have to wait more than a minute to find out what your site is about then they’ll often just leave without waiting.

 

To grab them right away, one thing you can try is to use a narrative structure. That means phrasing your sales pitch like a story – perhaps telling the tale of how the product helped you. We are naturally inclined to pay attention to stories, so if you do this right, then it will be hard for people to turn away.

 

Another thing you can do is to make sure that your readers can skim through your content if they want to. These days, most people do not thoroughly read content and instead just briefly skim over it. That’s why you need to make sure that you are including all of the relevant information in each headline: so that people can read through quickly and still be sold to.

 

You also need to make sure you build trust, remove risk and remove ‘buyers’ guilt’. To do the first part, you can allude to stats and statistics and use ‘social proof’ (like reviews). To remove risk, you need to make sure that you are offering a comprehensive money-back guarantee. And to remove guilt, you need to demonstrate how your product is of good value. Ideally, it should even be an investment!

 

The Value Proposition

 

Most important of all though is to have a ‘value proposition’, which will help you to sell the lifestyle and the emotion that your product is promising to deliver. How does your product make life better? What’s the dream? Make sure your readers can feel the emotion of being fitter, healthier, wealthier, or happier!

 

Learn from one of the best Microsoft Ads courses!

 

Microsoft Ads Training Kit: Step-by-Step Tutorial Videos To Start Using Microsoft Ads For Your Business & Boost Profits!

https://tankwanhong.xyz/courses/microsoft-ads-training

 


Sunday, 18 September 2022

Misconceptions About Negotiating


The pervasive perception of negotiation in the West is more negative than it is in most other places in the world. We imagine men screaming at each other across a boardroom table, spittle flying. But that’s not what negotiation really looks like if you are doing it right. The goal of negotiation is for both parties to get what they want. The aim is to reach a win-win. There are several misconceptions about negotiating that we would like to straighten out here and now.

 

It’s too combative - As mentioned above, negotiation shouldn’t be aggressive or nasty. You don’t need to view it as a competition or confrontation because it’s not. Instead, bargaining is simply an exchange of points and offers. 

 

It’s only for cheapskates - More people are watching their pennies nowadays, and one way to improve your wealth is to negotiate, especially on high ticket items. Why pay more than you need to? How do you think people with a lot of money in the bank got there? No doubt, part of their strategy was to negotiate the price of things when appropriate.

 

It’s improper - Especially in the case of high ticket items, sales people expect you to try to negotiate price. If you own a house, for example, did you settle on the asking price or did you offer less? Same with a car. Most car dealerships state their highest price, knowing that people will ask for something lower. If they get their asking price, all the better. But they don’t expect it. It’s not improper to save money.

 

It takes a certain type of personality - This misconception goes back to believing that negotiating is aggressive. Though it may feel less than comfortable in the beginning, some practice can take care of that. Even shy people can learn to negotiate. It’s a skill that can be learned, not necessarily something you are born with.

 

It’s not worth the time or money - Again, in the case of expensive purchases, it can be well worth your time to negotiate price. Many people who are selling something, whether a company or an individual on Craig’s List set their price high, expecting to bargain. Is it worth your time to shave a few car payments off the life of your car loan? If not, it should be.

 

It’s embarrassing - This misconception is rooted in the fact that most people are uncomfortable negotiating. But all it takes is some practice. You also won’t negotiate on everything you buy. The kid checking you out at a fast food place or movie theater isn’t going to knock down the price. But the salesman trying to sell you a dishwasher probably would. Knowing when to bargain and then practicing it is all that is needed to end the embarrassment.

 


Why It’s Important to Be Able to Debate


When you think of the word debate, you probably think of a somewhat nerdy after-school activity offered in some high schools. But debating isn't just for sport, as it is also known as "arguing." And clearly, arguments have a place in our everyday lives. No matter what you call it, though, it is an important life skill to have for several different reasons. 

 

Debating Helps You Form Your Own Opinion

 

If you've never debated a topic, chances are your feelings about the topic aren't fully formed. When you debate something, it challenges you to think about the topic at a deeper level. And when you think about the topic at a deeper level, it helps you solidify your emotions about the topic. 

 

Debate Helps You Learn

 

Besides just solidifying your emotions about a particular topic, the debate also allows you to learn more about a topic you may be passionate about. Your opponent may make a point that you had never heard of before. However, for this to hold true, you need to make sure you listen when the other person(s) are speaking instead of just preparing your answer while they speak. 

 

Debate Activates Your Brain

 

While debate isn't the only way to activate your brain, it activates a part of your brain that you don't often use. This part of the brain deals with problem-solving and the art of persuasion. When you debate with someone, you exercise both of these skills, crucial to survival as an adult. Even most schools recognize this, so several colleges such as Oxford recommend debate classes for all of their students. 

 

Debate Solves Problems

 

If you have an opinion and never share it with anyone in your life, problems could arise because you haven't made your opinions clear. Debating a topic helps bring everyone's opinions to the forefront in an environment where they are respected. Just make sure you never attack someone else for their beliefs. Only attack the topic at hand so that it doesn’t become personal.

 

These are just a few of the many reasons that it's important to learn to debate. Without knowing how to debate, it's likely an individual will go through life being misunderstood by others and even by themselves, as they may not understand their stance on certain issues. So, if you think this describes you, it’s time to learn how to debate today!

 


Sunday, 11 September 2022

5 Tips for Delegating Effectively


One of the quickest ways to burnout is trying to do everything yourself. You need to be able to recognize what is absolutely necessary for you to be doing, and what you can give others to do. In fact, good delegation can result in improved productivity, efficiency, and reduced stress. 

 

In what follows, are tips for delegating.

 

1. Always be very clear about what you expect

 

If you do not do this, then the work that gets done is surely not going to match your expectations. Be very specific. For example, if you want someone to write a letter for you, be sure to tell him that you expect an introduction, a conclusion, tips written out in point form, saved in doc format, and so forth. You may even want to give him an example of another letter so that he can see what you are talking about.

 

At home, if you are delegating some of the chores to your children, be sure to provide them with a checklist that reminds them of everything that you are expecting them to do. For example, if one of your children is responsible for cleaning the bathroom, then be sure to list all tasks that need to be completed such as wiping down the countertops, cleaning the sink, changing the hand towel, etc. Otherwise, without this list, something is sure to be forgotten. 

 

2. Create standard operating procedures

 

If you plan to delegate use of a particular type of software, for example, you might want to document step by step how to use it or what you need done. An affordable program that would allow you to document procedures is "Clarify", as it allows you to take screenshots and add text explanations. 

 

3. Do not over-delegate

 

You need to recognize the difference between the tasks that require your input and those that do not. In other words, delegate those tasks that do not require your expertise, but you do the work that requires your skills and expertise. 

 

An example might be an Occupational Therapist working in a nursing home. The Occupational Therapist is the only one with the knowledge and expertise to prescribe the right kind of wheelchair and cushion for a resident who is leaning severely and is at risk of long-term postural issues, but it is not necessary for that Occupational Therapist to be fixing the wheel locks on the wheelchair when that can be delegated to maintenance, a Rehab Assistant, or the equipment vendor from which it was purchased. 

 

4. Continue to be involved even when you delegate

 

Do not expect just to hand off a task to someone, and expect it to come back to you a month later exactly as you wanted it. To ensure that the work gets done the way you want, be sure to check in on a regular basis with the individual that you are delegating the work to. This will ensure that if there are any problems, you catch them early so that they can be corrected. In saying this, you also have to be careful that you do not micromanage everything either. Otherwise, you are setting both of you up for frustration and failure. 

 

5. Show your appreciation

 

People want to feel appreciated, and like they are valued for their input. Be sure to say "thank you," and show your appreciation to those you delegate your tasks. 

 


Using Stephen Covey's Methods to Set Priorities to Prevent Burnout


A huge factor in burnout is the stress related to feeling like you do not have enough time to get everything done in a day. It can feel like everyone wants you to attend to things immediately, even things that are not really that important! Our bodies are not machines, and it is important to remember that we cannot treat them as such. This is why learning how to set priorities is so important. 

 

Surprisingly, there are many people who do not know how to do this effectively. In what follows are methods to set priorities in your life.

 

"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." – Stephen Covey

 

Stephen Covey has created a quadrant grid that is helpful in determining where you are currently spending your time, and where you should be spending your time. 

 

According to Covey, tasks can be separated into:

 

1. Urgent and Important

 

These are the things that absolutely need to get done right away. For example, if you are at work and a report is due by 2 p.m. when you have a meeting to attend, that becomes the priority.

 

2. Not Urgent and Important

 

These are the things that most people do not spend enough time doing. These are the kinds of tasks that are important for long-term growth and development. An example may include wanting to create a more efficient system of getting your work done, but it always seems to get thrown to the bottom of the pile because the urgent tasks (both important and unimportant) always get attended to first.

 

3. Urgent and Not Important

 

These are the things that are not important, but someone else wants you do deal with it immediately. An example may be that your television, which you never watch, breaks down, and your spouse wants to go out and buy a new one immediately even though you don't feel the same way about the situation.

 

4. Not Urgent and Not Important

 

These are tasks that you do, but are often time wasters or meant to be a distraction. A good example might be Facebook. 

 

Now, you want to create a list and figure out where your "to-do" daily tasks fit in these categories. You can get back more hours in your day and week by simply tweaking what you are already doing, and reorganizing and regrouping your list. This can result in less stress, and less chance for burnout in the long run. 

 


5 Ways to Avoid Burnout When you Work for Yourself from Home


Working from home has many perks such as flexible hours, avoiding being stuck in traffic, and increased career satisfaction and happiness. If there is one disadvantage to working from home though, it would be that it is harder to separate your work life and your personal life as both often co-exist in the same space. Although most people would agree that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, burnout is still a possibility for those who work from home. In what follows, are ideas of ways to avoid burnout if you are working from home.

 

1. Set work hours and stick to them

 

Although your hours may be flexible, it is still a good idea to set your hours and stick to them as much as possible. When you have worked those hours in the day, then you are done your workday, and it is time to put work away until the next day. Because you work from home, it can be very tempting to work long hours, but do not get stuck in this rut on a regular basis. 

 

2. Treat your work hours seriously

 

When you set your own hours, sometimes your family and friends may not understand that just because you are home, that you are not available. For example, just because you are home, does not mean that you are automatically the backup sitter if your sister's daycare worker suddenly calls in sick. It can also be tempting to meet up with a friend for coffee, but if that coffee date turns into a two-hour visit, that is two hours gone during your workday. Instead, plan for meeting with friends outside of your set work hours. 

 

In addition, be sure that you are not running errands during your work hours for your spouse, or that you spend your time doing laundry and the dishes instead. 

 

Furthermore, if you have young children of your own, make sure that they attend daycare during your work hours as it is next to impossible to get much work done when they also need your attention. 

 

Because no one is watching you, it is also easy to waste time checking Facebook and email messages. Be sure to limit your time with these activities. 

 

3. Plan and schedule family and personal time

 

In the previous two points, we have discussed planning and setting your work hours. However, you need to remember to plan and schedule the rest of your life too. Be sure to plan family game nights and exercise sessions into your schedule. Write them down or put them in your phone's calendar and be sure to follow through with them. 

 

4. Plan rest periods during your workday

 

If you really like the work you do from home, then it probably does not even feel like work. However, it is still important to give your body and brain a rest by taking breaks. You may need to set a timer to remind you every two hours to get up and do something else. A good break may be getting up and running on the treadmill while you watch your favorite television program. 

 

5 .Do not skip meals

 

This seems like common sense, however it is easy to do when you are alone at home. After all, a large component of meals is the socialization aspect, and there is no one to socialize with when you are by yourself. There is also no cafeteria like you find in a lot of work sites, so you also have to prepare your own food at home.

 

By ensuring you eat healthy meals and snacks throughout the day, you are ensuring that your body is getting the right nutrients and energy it needs. 

 


Sunday, 28 August 2022

5 Tips to Help You Have More Energy When Socializing


Introvert or extrovert? You wouldn't think it matters, but the truth is, some people thrive on social interaction. Others don't.

 

But even if you're not an introvert, social interactions can sometimes be draining. The problem is these interactions tend to be the ones where you do need to be at your best. Think about the last time you had a job interview or spent time in conversation with a mentor. Even the best conversations can leave you tired.

 

So, how do you turn this around and keep up your vitality for even the most draining social interactions?

 

Imagine Who You Want to Be

 

If you want to have high energy during social interaction, you first need to picture yourself as someone who has this kind of energy. What does it look like? What kind of gestures would you use when speaking? What tone of voice do you use? Do you laugh or smile often? If you can picture the person you want to become, it's much easier to become that person. This might seem like a form of acting, and at first, it might well be, but the more you do it, the more authentic this high-energy version of yourself will become. 

 

Try Being Someone Else

 

Who do you admire who has a lot of energy? This might be an actor or celebrity, or it might be your own best friend. When interacting socially, start asking yourself how this other individual would likely act in the same situation. Do what they do. Again, mimicking high energy has a funny way of becoming high energy.

 

Try Some Coffee

 

This one won't work for everyone, but coffee is a great stimulant. If you know you're going to be needing a lot of energy for an upcoming social situation, why not have a cup of coffee beforehand? You might need to experiment with this slightly to figure out how much coffee gives you an optimal amount of energy without leaving you jittery. 

 

Look Around

 

When attention lags, it's natural to come off as being more low energy. By remaining interested in your surroundings and especially in the people around you, you naturally maintain a higher level of energy. Start taking note of details. This has the added benefit of giving you things to talk about. 

 

Deal with Stress

 

if the energy drains right out of you in social situations, chances are it's because you're stressed. Any time you're experiencing anxiety, your body takes more energy to get through simple tasks. With this in mind, the best way to get more energy for social situations is the deal with the root of the anxiety you're feeling when being social. This might mean dealing with some baggage. It's worth it in the end, though. 

 


How to Make Networking Events Less Stressful


How many people do you know who actually enjoy networking? If you’re like most people, you find it awkward or uncomfortable, and if you’re an introvert, it might even feel excruciating. 

 

But you know that effective networking is crucial for your career, whether you’re looking for a new job, a promotion, or to build your business. Excellent networking skills are essential if you want to get ahead. So how can you make it less stressful? Try these tips to get more out of your network, and maybe you’ll even enjoy it!

 

Do your homework

 

You wouldn’t dream of going to a job interview or an important meeting without preparing, would you? Treat networking events the same. Find out as much as you can about the event, who’s organizing it, and who will be there. Study the sponsor’s website and arm yourself with knowledge, so you have two or three topics of conversation to help break the ice and start connecting with other participants. 

 

Find yourself a role

 

If it’s appropriate, see if there’s any way you can volunteer to help out. If you have some official position, you have a ready-made pretext to connect with people. Make sure to check in with the organizers first, but maybe they could do with some extra people to staff the registration desk or set out welcome packs. Perhaps you could offer to take event photos or live Tweet. At question time, you could help pass the microphone.

 

Take a friend

 

Who says you have to go to networking events alone? It will feel much better if you invite a friend or colleague to share the learnings. Not only will you feel braver about connecting, but you’ll also likely look more approachable than if you’re standing alone radiating anxiety.  

 

Find the key networker

 

You can take the stress off yourself by looking around to find the extrovert, the natural networker who knows everyone. In any big group, there will always be one or two people who are enjoying connecting with people. Find that person and benefit from their positive networking. Follow in their wake, and you will find it much easier to join in the conversation. 

 

Turn it into a game

 

Try taking the heat off yourself by turning networking into a game. Before you go, make yourself a list or even a bingo card of things you want to achieve. Your networking goals can include things like connecting with two people, handing your business card to five people, connecting on LinkedIn to three people.