Recently I attended a networking event, a breakfast event of women in business in my local area.

There were over 55 people in the room, we were standing around waiting to get our coffee before the meeting started.

Picture this….

As I was standing there, an older woman walked up to me.

“Oh, hello, I’m Lorraine*, and who are you?”

I said, “My name is Bron Watson.”

She said, “What do you do?”

I said… “I’m in the business of social media and marketing.”

And as I stood there looking at her, waiting for her to continue the conversation, I saw her eyelids flutter and look at me with that… oh another marketing girl look.

She turned and walked away. Now little did she know, I’ve already met her before, and I knew who she was.

In that moment, I was immediately triggered about this, I took great offence right then because there are so many marketers and agencies around, and being lumped in with everybody else as little workers on social media was simply not on…no offence.

That is not the way we roll in marketing!

AND THEN….

The ‘itty bitty shitty committee’ in my head went off…’See I told you Bron not to bother with local networking events.’

Another committee member (in my head) loudly said…’this is crap, what a waste of time!’

The third committee member then went on and on about why this is the exact reason why we tell you not to attend networking events in the first place Bron, when are you going to listen woman??!!

I sat down and thought about this, thank god for caffeine is all I can say.

From there, I was able to reflect on this scenario, and think about where the story came from…something where I based my belief on and events from the past, of which I thought this has happened before.

RESPONSIBILITY

The thing is, once I stopped and reflected upon what had happened, I realised that I was the one with the problem.

I was the one with the trigger.

All she did was what most people do when they attend a networking event, which is walk up to someone and say, “Hi, I’m Lorraine, what do you do?”

And a step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

It’s up to me how I act and react when someone asks these questions.

I can either believe my own story and beliefs around networking being a waste of time, everyone just hands around business cards which end up in the bin.

Of feeling not good enough, of feeling like a fraud and not fitting in with the lovely dressed women around me.

Perhaps I could have planned it a little better, when I re-read the words I have typed here…’I’m in the business of marketing and social media’ no wonder it made no sense to Lorraine, because it could not be further away from what I really do.

IT’S UP TO ME!…THE TACTICS FOR NEXT TIME

TACTIC ONE

Rather than focus on what we do, I can focus on how my clients feel when they solve their challenges in marketing and social media, the good stuff they learn with me.

How does my customer feel when they work out how to show up online, how to be consistent in the game of social media marketing and how they feel when the cash is flowing as a result of their efforts of marketing the right way.

It changes businesses, it changes families and the future of this country.

Think about what your customers say to you once you have solved their challenges, let’s use their language when meeting someone new…both on and offline I might add.

Get out a pen and paper, start writing down all the things your customers and colleagues have said to you in the past, this is what we should be focusing on, not the made up stuff in our brains.

People do not care about what you do, they care about how you make them feel.

TACTIC TWO

Like anything, connecting at a local or online networking event will have a much better outcome if you have a plan.

Who is the one person you are meant to meet at the event?