It’s one thing to network; it’s another thing to network like a rock star!
Recently, I attended a workshop at a conference I attended called “How to network like a Rock Star! “ The workshop discussed how to network effectively to ensure professionals receive a good return on their investment when they attend events to market themselves or their businesses. Since I thought the information shared was helpful for aspiring authors, I am sharing it in my blog post today.
What is the definition of networking?
Networking is the building of relationships to help you market and sell your book. It is sharing the value your book has to offer with people who can benefit the most from it. Your main goal in networking is not to make friends, but to build key relationships for when your book is published. To help you network effectively, following are three strategies shared by the workshop presenter:
1) Know who your target audience is before you attend a networking event. Remember “I want to reach everyone” is not your target audience, so be sure you’ve defined your target audience before attending a networking event. For example, my target audience is aspiring Christian writers, but my niche target audience is African-American aspiring Christian writers. Since the conference I attended was for African-American professionals, I knew there was a possibility I might connect with some of the members of my target audience, and I did.
2) Do your homework before you attend the networking event. Where is the event being held? What is the theme of the event you are attending? Who are the key people on the program? Are they key people you need to connect with? Doing your research before attending a networking event will save you valuable time because you know beforehand who to connect with about your book. For example, before I attended the conference, I looked over the agenda and purpose for the conference to learn more about who the keynote speaker would be, the workshops being offered and who would be teaching the workshops. Then I checked off the workshops I really needed to attend, and the presenters I wanted to connect with. Because I had done my homework, I was able to connect with the owner of a local bookstore, the conference coordinator, a business fund representative, and one workshop presenter.
3) Have a brief pitch about your book before you attend a networking opportunity? The standard question asked at most networking events is, “What do you do?”, so it’s important to prepare a brief pitch about your book before attending. For example, here was my response when I was asked, “What do you do?” “I write and publish devotional books and inspirational gift products, and offer training and consulting services to aspiring Christian writers. I recently published my second book which is a devotional for aspiring writers? Are you an aspiring writer, or do you know of someone who is that can benefit from my new book?”
4) Follow-up after every networking opportunity. Remember your goal as an aspiring author is not just to network, but to build relationships to help you market and sell your book. So be sure to follow-up within 24 to 48 hours after your event. The sooner the follow-up, the greater your chances are of building a relationship with the connection you’ve made for your book. For example, since my event fell on a Friday, I sent emails on Monday to all of the people I connected with to remind them of our conversation, and how my book and the other services I offered as part of my writing ministry could benefit them. Because they remembered our conversation since it had just occurred, I was encouraged to contact them for events to help market and sell my book.
Aspiring author, networking will be an integral part of the marketing and promotion of your book, and if you’ll decide to use the strategies above, you’ll find yourself not just networking, but networking like a rock star!
Sharing the journey,
Writer’s prayer: Father, thank you for teaching me how to network like a rock star. Amen.
Writer to Writer: Did you like the strategies I shared in today’s blog post to help you market your book? Let me hear from you!