What do you call a room full of strangers with no idea what they’re doing?
A Networking Event!
Some people love them, most people don’t. I personally like them, although a gigantic IF exists. I like them if they’re full of like minded people, but this is increasingly rare. Most of the time they’re full of anybody, which makes things less than ideal.
I write this waiting for a train, just leaving my first Networking Event as a self employed man. I went for my Consultancy work, not my writing, but this Post is aimed at writers. Let me explain…
When They’re Awful?
This particular Event was not great. It was full of industry people from sectors I have no intention of working with. I wasn’t expecting any work to come of it, though, so that’s ok. My hope from this event was to get my name out there. To shake some hands, collect some business cards, and to get on the radar of a few friendly faces.
This isn’t what happened.
Instead I spotted my friend, Michelle, who owns The Individual Agency (oh, check out her new website. It will make you pretty darn awesome). Anyway, I went to Michelle, said hello, and spent the rest of the time catching up. Michelle and I have a very similar outlook when it comes to Branding, and it turns out Networking Events too, but I still learned some new things about her.
When They Become Good
I can’t remember how it happened, but I mentioned my impending Fiction Book. It turns out Michelle is a keen reader, and has a keen eye. She also knows a few other writers, and all of a sudden this Event for my Consultancy Work, became relevant for my Writing.
Long story short, Michelle has agreed to become a Beta Reader for my book, whenever that time comes. I’ve already created a mental note of friends to reach out to for this. .
Michelle wasn’t on this list, but now she is.
The Moral Of The Story
As a general rule, Writers are introverts. I am, although I force myself to be quite outgoing, and these sort of Events are tough. The entire premise is rude. Lets face it, the point of the event is to interrupt people, tell them your name, and move on.
How is that anything but rude?
Yet I go to them, and plan on going to many more. Why? Because it helps me meet new people and it helps me sew some seeds. Dan Blank talks about it in this video, and in my opinion says everything.
Online is great, but meeting people face to face is invaluable
Did Michelle and I break the Networking Event golden rule? Yes, but who cares. We both learned some new things and got something from the experience (well, I know I did anyway).
What Can A Writer Do?
Put yourself out there.
I talk about this more in my Free Ebook, How To Build An Author House. It’s hard, but we have to spread the love, and yes, that includes the real world, too.
The Event I went to was business based. I’m amazed it had relevance to my writing, but it did. I don’t suggest start going to these sorts of Events, but there are other ways to meet people:
- Books Clubs
- Writing Clubs
- Art Groups
- Book Signings
You get the point, right? You never know when you’re going to sew a seed. You never know when a chance meeting could blossom into something more.
I already knew Michelle, but this is what I learned:
- She likes to read and edit
- She will Beta Read my Book
- She has a new website
- She is in search for some people, and I may know one or two that can help
- Oh, and it reminded me to visit her new offices, catch up over a coffee, and do something I have been meaning to do for two months
So, was this Networking Event awful?
Love or hate them, Offline Events can help. For the sake of a few hours I got a great deal out of it, and I hope to tempt Michelle to Guest Post on here and share some of her expertise.
What are your thoughts on Offline Events?
Do you ever go to them, and if you do, what do you hope to achieve?
As a writer you have some seeds to sew. Go sew them and let me know how you get on below…
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million