Showing posts with label Events. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Events. Show all posts

Featured Productivity Tool: Networking Goals

I know what you are thinking: Networking is a tool? Yes, it is. You see, you can't reach your goals on your own. You need your community of resources, champions, and connections. Your friends may not always be your ideal reader or client. But everyone has their own circle. Your community grows multi-fold every time you grow your community. 

The challenge with networking is it takes time and energy. The best way to stay on top of networking is to set networking goals.

Here Are Networking Goals You Can Set Each Day, Week, Month, Quarter, and Year

1. Each Day: Set a 15-Minute Active Networking Appointment. During this time:
- Connect on LinkedIn with new friends
- Send an email or message to check in on a friend or peer   
- Post, comment, and reply on social media

2. Each Week: Attend 3 Events 
- One mixer
- One education event (Workshop or CE)
- One one-on-one with someone you met at one of the first two events to continue the conversation

3. Each Month: Create New Content
- Post on your blog. Ideally, you want to do this at least once a week, but better to aim for something feasible and achieve that goal
- Guest on Someone Else's Platform. It could be a blog guest post or interview, live show, or podcast 

4. Each Quarter: Refresh Your Online Presence
- Make sure your website bio and LinkedIn profile are up-to-date
- Make sure your profile photo still looks like you
- Bonus points for updating your banner image

5. Each Year: Attend at least one Live or Virtual Industry Conference
- It's one of the best ways to make new connections, solidify relationships, and learn new things in your area of expertise

Final Thoughts 

Until you prioritize networking - and focus on making real general connections - you never know what good will come of it!

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For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Twitter and Linkedin! 

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What's your best networking tip? Please share in the comments. 

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Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A goal-strategist, corporate consultant, and project catalyst, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team building for individuals, businesses, and teams. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

5 Steps for Creating Virtual Events

Creating Virtual Events

Even before COVID-19 kept us "safer at home," virtual events were an important part of your business' networking strategy. You could meet new people, learn new things, and develop relationships with others from anywhere in the world.

Now more than ever, virtual events are essential for staying connected, generating business, and having some semblance of a social life. While it's fun and often educational to attend events, organizing virtual gatherings is an even better way to up your visibility, showcase your authority in your industry or niche, and make new friends.   

Here are the basics of producing a successful virtual event:

1. Determine the Purpose. Before you jump ahead to planning the event itself, decide your reason for having it. Is it a mixer to reconnect with friends, family, or colleagues? Do you want to host a webinar to share your expertise and promote your product or  service? Is it a party to celebrate your book's release, a holiday, or other significant event?

2. Decide the Details. Once you know the "why," the rest of the details will fall into place. Choose a date, time, and platform. The top choices are Zoom (for activity and interaction), a webinar solution (like WebEx), or Facebook, where you broadcast a livestream to a group or business page. Another option is to do a virtual party on Facebook and mix up short videos with conversation-starter posts and interactive activities.

You may want to create a panel or conference, and invite other speakers. Or start an ongoing podcast or video show. I will go into that in a later post.

3. Plan and Invite. Once you have your concept, plan it out. Make a short outline of what will happen and when. If you need a script for your event itself, that's fine, but remember to stick with bullet points. When presenting, casual is much more effective. 

Create a Facebook event, a meeting in Zoom, and/or an Eventbrite invite, whatever is appropriate. Then, write up your event and post it on your blog, which you - and others - can share via social media. Invite your friends, community, etc., via Facebook, through email, and in social media posts. 

4. Produce. If you've done all the planning, your event itself should be a snap.  Show up a little early. Greet your guests. And - especially in those mixer situations - keep the conversation going. And remember to have fun!

5. Follow Up. After your event, send a follow-up email to all of your attendees. Thank them for joining you, and also share a little more about who you are, what you do, and how they can connect with you to follow up and/or be notified for future events.

One more thing: After your event, take some time to review what went right and what could have been done better. That way, you can make changes accordingly and plan an even better event in the future.

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Are virtual events one of your 2020 goals? Have you already planned virtual events? Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments.

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Join  my virtual half-birthday party for Your Goal Guide on July 14 on Facebook. Details are here.

Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Event Goals

As I prepare for the release of Your Goal Guide in January, I have events on the brain. I'm looking to extend my reach and introduce my book to the world, which requires exploring different event scenarios, both as an attendee and a speaker.

Through my research and outreach, one thing is clear: the best live-event strategy is a multi-faceted approach. And the most effective way to make that happen: Set event goals! 

Here's how to do it:

1. Commit. As January approaches, look at your schedule to see what is your most feasible monthly event count. My recommendation is to commit to three events each month: Aim for one event per week, and take off one week a month. Obviously, if you can do more, that's even better. If you have to do less, that's fine too. Just pick what's doable and stick to it.

2. Discover. Reach out to friends and peers for recommendations of events to attend, groups to explore, and organizations where you can speak. Do your own research on top of the recs to find what may be the best fit for your needs and schedule. If you are curious about an organization or conference, and want to learn more before joining or paying to attend, offer to volunteer.  That gives you the best access to meeting the speakers and making connections.

3. Mix it Up. Events aren't limited to organized functions. A catch-up coffee with a former colleague or a fun night out with old friends is just as valuable as a speed-networking mixer, a workshop.  

4. Schedule. Once you find events that hold your interest, register, and mark out the time on your calendar. Commit to events the same way you do to deadlines and work meetings. As you attend regular happenings, you'll start seeing the same people, making to easy to form a bond and solidify that connection.

5. Connect. Exchange business cards and send a connection request and/or follow up - with a personal note - to everyone you meet.

Whether you speak, attend, or volunteer, event goals should be a normal part of your business routine. Above all else, remember, events should be fun. Your smile, your enthusiasm for your career, your passion for your topic should come through whether you are onstage, chatting, or just out and about. You will enjoy the events more, and so will the people around you.

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How do you find good events? What are your event goals? Please share in the comments.

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Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of The D*E*B Method: Goal Setting Simplified and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group.  Debra is the author of Your Goal Guide, being released by Mango in January 2020, as well as Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. She is host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and the Guided Goals Podcast, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

10 Tips for Networking

While a lot of writers prefer to stay behind the keyboard than go out and about, networking is an essential part of developing any business. It's a great way to find potential clients, publications, interview opportunities, and so on. 

Sure, there are numerous places to network online. And you should do those too! However, nothing compares to meeting people and developing relationships the old-fashioned way: IRL (in real life).

Don't just look for events that relate directly to your industry. Find things that relate to your other interests and hobbies, since you are more likely to discover a better cross-section of people with topics open to enthusiastic conversation.

Here are 4 ways to find events:

1. Search Online. Many good events are posted on the web. Make it part of your routine to search Meetup and Eventbrite for fun, local opportunities. 

2. Ask for Recommendations. Post a social media update that you are looking for events in your area and/or on a specific topic. LinkedIn updates will likely get more visibility and response than more cluttered social networks.

3. Go to Booksignings and Workshops. Search the calendar listings for your local bookstore, library, or coworking space. There's an added potential benefit. If you are able to make friends with the speakers/authors, they will likely want to reciprocate and go to your events too.

4. Keep an Eye on Your Friends. See what events your friends post about. Perhaps you could even go together. (Also see the next tip.)

These are 3 ways to meet people once you get there:

1. Bring a Friend. Events are easier when faced as a team. Team up with a wingmen (or wingwomen) when you go out networking and meet people together. You can even take turns finding events.

2. Make a Friend. See that nice-looking person who is standing alone? Go say "hi" and strike up a conversation. Then, go meet more new people as a team. This could be a win-win situation.

3. Volunteer. The best way to meet people at an event is to volunteer. Whether you are doing a check in, standing at the help desk, or assisting in any other way, people have a reason to talk to you and vice versa. This is perfect for shy people who are looking to get out of their comfort zones.

And 3 tips for following up. 

1. Trade Business Cards. Make sure to leave a business card with your new contacts, so you can stay in touch. Get their cards too. When you get home, make notes on the back of their card with any memorable details so you can make follow-up more personal.

2. Connect on Social Media. Within a day of the event send a connection request on LinkedIn or other social network. Be sure to include a note meeting them about the event and/or something that stood out in your conversation. That added touch could make a world of difference.

3. Continue the Conversation. Make a note on your calendar to follow up. If they ask for more info about your business, send it. If they are considering using your services, check in a week or two after the fact. If they have a potential referral for you, ask. These should be friendly (not hard-sell) interactions. The frequency and content will depending on the nature of your developing relationship.

Remember, networking should be fun. You will attract more people if you are having a good time, even if you have to "fake it til you make it."  You never know where a new relationship can lead.

What tips do you have for networking? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Guided Goals and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. 

She is the host of the Guided Goals Podcast and author of Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. 

Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

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