3 rules for dusting off your “analog” networking
In the tech industry, I do so much marketing and networking digitally, that face to face networking can seem foreign. Even in this digital time, it’s still important to engage in old fashioned “analog” marketing. And it’s really important to understand the line that exists between the two and modify your strategy accordingly.
I recently attended a venture capital startup/entrepreneur meetup in Cambridge and was pleased to network face to face and hear many interesting ideas. Here some observations I was reminded of:
1. Less hype
In real life, you can’t treat every conversation as a business opportunity. No one does business with the person who tries to hijack the conversation to give a sales pitch. While many would argue that should be the case with social media as well, it’s clearly not. Face to face keeps the sales pitch honest.
On Twitter and LinkedIn, you can be selective with whom you engage. However, in real life, there is serendipity. You can get stuck talking to someone by chance just by something as random as where you chose to sit or stand. Because of this you have to be higher level with your messages. In real life, the pool of people you can engage with at an event will be smaller than online, so you have to be more flexible, and try and have a meaningful conversation with whoever happens be approachable.
3. Less direct
Listening to people can be very effective in-person marketing. Online, it can be hard to truly know who is listening. In real life it’s easy.
While networking face to face is a bigger time commitment, the quality of the engagement can be greater and longer lasting than an exclusively digital introduction and interaction. When geography isn't an issue, it should be key to your marketing strategy. And it should integrate — meet with someone, make a connection, and then reconnect online.
By: George Robertson