By Myleik Teele
With nearly a decade of successful project management & publicity experience working with clients such as Prince, Linkin Park, American Idol, Christina Aguilera, and Travis Barker, our resident social butterfly certainly knows a thing or two about networking. Read along or listen and learn from her podcast.
1. Be prepared when meeting people at networking events
I never would leave it to chance to spend my time going somewhere hoping that there's somebody there that I may want to connect with. I always think that you should spend more time doing your research to find out who the who's who of who you need to be connecting with and network with a plan. Otherwise just going to things is a waste of time.
2. Send an email after you get the business card
The first thing you want to do is send an email. You can speak highly of yourself or say some nice things about yourself that you may stutter over the phone with, especially if you're a little nervous. And there's nothing wrong with being a little bit nervous about meeting somebody that you've always been a fan of or that you respect or admire.
3. Give it some time before following up
I would send an email first and then I would give them one week to get back to you. If they don't get back to you within a week, then I would give them a call. If you get their voicemail just say, per my email I wanted to follow up with you about connecting and so on.
4. Responding to their response
So if they reply to the email, or they call you back or they answer (the phone), you want to set your date to network with them that day. Never say let me know when you're available. If you're really serious about locking this person in give them specific options. Keep in mind, you want to meet this person, they don't necessarily want to meet you.
5. Show some gratitude and respect
You want to start with just thanking them for their time. It’s a no brainer but some people just don't do it. The next thing is to let them know why you're such a fan of their work or why it was so important for you to meet with them.
6. Ask them about their story
People love to talk about themselves. Ask them their story and they will tell you. After that you want to just have regular conversation.
7. Casually ask for what you need towards the end
When I do my networking meetings I do it in that fashion and then I don't talk about what I need until the last 5 minutes. It’s so quick, they'd say yes or no or they'll think about it but I always say not to worry, I'll follow that part up with an email. Once you follow that up with an email, that's almost the tried and true way to make a good connection and get exactly what you needed.
As founder and principal of Art of Facts Public Relations in Atlanta, Georgia, Myleik has successfully executed media relations for music, lifestyle brands, consumer products, and special events.