Reviewing Your Face to Face Networking Techniques

Liz Goes, Lorelle Guest Posts, Lorraine Gets Control

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When we’ve got a lot to do, we rely on friends to help us out and over the mound of work that we’re facing. I was delighted when my dear friend, Lorelle, jumped in to help me by writing a guest post for the time I’ll be gone to SxSW.

But as relationships work, sometimes our friends come with their own circle of relationships. A few months ago, Lorelle and I invented an alter ego of hers named Lorraine, who keeps popping up when Lorelle writes certain kinds of blog posts.

Well, Lorraine caught a thought that Lorelle was writing about networking for me and you. Lorraine’s fabulous street-wise, huge-size ego could not allow Lorelle to write that post on her own. Next thing we knew, Lorraine had taken over . . .

Lorelle and I want you to know that we hope you’re in no way offended by Lorraine’s take on the subject. She’s . . . um, er . . . direct and sometimes a little colorful. Enjoy!

Reviewing Your Face to Face Networking Techniques

by Lorraine, alterego of THE famous Lorelle VanFossen

Who are you more willing to come to aid of? A complete stranger or someone you’ve met?

Okay, so we know the answer. People are typically more willing to help those they know than total strangers. So it helps to know as many people as you can so you will get help if you need it, right?

Attending a business conference is about turning strangers into acquaintances into friends. You want to work with your friends, people you trust, people who trust you, and the ones you know can get the job done as well as help you get your job done. Right?

You want the experts and you want to get to know the experts.

Oh, wait. At a business conference, especially one on blogging, you are also the expert. People want to know you. You are the one they are waiting for to come to their aid. This is your chance. Are you ready? Are you trained? Are you prepared for the moment when the moment to perform arrives?

The Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon) is the place where experts come to rub shoulders with other experts – no matter what your expertise.

Are you ready to share your expertise and meet the experts at SOBCon in May?

Let’s review your preparation techniques.

  • What to Wear:
    Yes, clothes make the first impression, so what should you wear to be your best at such a powerful business of blogging conference? The first impression is your best networking tool so you want to look your best. At SOBCon though, we’re a bunch of bloggers. We are people who dress for success for the public and work in our underwear. Choose something in between that represents you and your blog while dressing for warm temperatures and hotel air conditioning. Chicago is warm in May. Informal, clean, with a spot on the left shoulder for a name badge.

    Wear something that says, “Hi, I’m a blogger but I’m a successful and outstanding blogger.”

  • Practice Your Smile and Handshake:
    I know you are used to virtual meetings and social networking, so you probably haven’t practiced your smile and handshake in a while. Take some time to rehearse in the mirror and practice on a family member or pet. You want the smile to not look like you have the hemorrhoids that come with blogging. Make it natural, fun, coy, and endearing. Like on television when the sick and dying child looks up and smiles to let you know that it will be okay, don’t worry, mommy and daddy. Make the handshake strong and firm without ripping off their arm. And wipe those sweaty palms.

    Be a professional networker now.

  • Practice Your Babble:
    Repeat after me: Hi, my name is [your name] and I blog about [your blog purpose and goals]. Wait, how many words does it take to define you and your blog? Can you do it in less than 200 words? If you can, work harder. Prune it down to 10 words or less and you have a powerful tagline to kick off a conversation with. Get your blog goals and purpose on paper and rehearse it. Practice introducing yourself and giving your spiel. You are going to get asked, so be ready for the moment.

    You’re there to get known, so if you can’t tell them what you do, who wants to know you?

  • Pry Open Your Brain:
    Crack open your virtual skull and get ready for new input. You’ve come here as an expert to learn from the experts. Get your head ready to fill with exciting thoughts, ideas, business techniques, tips, and the tools you need to ratchet your blog up 10 notches.

    The inspiration can’t get in unless the brain is open. Pack your can opener in your suitcase so you’re ready.

  • Remove Brain Filters:
    Yeah, yeah, heard it, read it, bought the book and the t-shirt. Stop that thinking right now. Clean out all the filters on your brain that thinks there is only one way to do this blogging thing. Get ready for new tips and techniques to drive themselves into your gray matter and come out with clearer blogging, networking, and marketing skills.

    Remove preconceived notions and cobwebs and get ready for new input to strain through the sifters in your skull.

  • Remember What It Means to Make Friends – Real Friends:
    Living online, we often forget the nuances that turns acquaintances into great friends. Remember how a look could fill say a paragraph of meaning and intent with your friends in the real world? I know the skills are rusty, but you can do it. Practice clever witticisms and comebacks. Work on that sly grin. Be ready to poke a little fun – appropriate fun – in the moment that will turn a chance meeting into a life-long relationship of working and playing together.

    It’s these little things that you do that change a stranger into a friend.

  • Did Someone Say Networking Means Business?
    You’re not just there to meet and greet. You attend these things to make money. You can make money by meeting the people who have money to share, or learn from those earning it hand over fist. It’s not just about the money. It’s about the money-making connections. What skills do you not have that you wish you did? Find someone who does and maybe you may have the skills they don’t have. SWAP! Pushing into the consultancy business? Then you better have a vast list of resource folks to help fill in the missing parts of your business services. Start collecting business cards and getting to know those missing parts people. NETWORKING!

    The more people you know with the right skills and resources, the more likely you are to sing in harmony to “Blogs Will Keep Us Together.”

  • Spread Yourself on Everyone:
    Become like jam. Be prepared to spread yourself everywhere during the conference. You want to be in all the pictures, podcasts, live blogging, and videos. You want to be the one who stands up and asks the brilliant question that gets everyone talking about you, you smarty pants, not the speaker. You want to be mentioned in every report from the conference as the witty, wise, and wondrous person who stole everyone’s heart with your dazzling brilliance and networking skills. After all, it’s who you know not what you know that can make all the difference in your blogging career.

    Start spreading your who around.

  • Be Thinking Blogging Every Moment:
    You know by now that anything can be a blog post, so keep your note pad near you at all times and jot down every blog post moment you can think of to blog about the event and the lessons you learned when you get back to your blog. You’re an expert now. You know that the networking doesn’t end with the face to face handshake and smile. It’s back to the blog salt mines where the real networking begins.

    Start your linking!

The power of online social networking is amazing. You meet people you would never run across in your daily life. You rub virtual shoulders with the whose who of the web. It’s a never ending network of connections as you find new sources of information daily, and others find you as their source.

However, the potential in these networking possibilities only show up when you show up. Show up.

Lorelle VanFossen writes for Lorelle on WordPress,
Blog HeraldTaking Your Camera on the Road where you’ll also find
Lorelle’s Family History Blog. Order Her Book Now! Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging

Lorraine is usually locked away where she cannot cause harm.

Thanks, Lorelle!

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz to get over your networking phobia!!

Work with Liz!!
SOBCon08 is May 2,3,4 in Chicago. Register now!


  1. says

    Love your list, Lorelle!

    When I get to a conference, I often wish I’d spent more time researching the speakers and the people I want to meet. Planning out networking before I leave plan gives me confidence and direction.

    In your case, I don’t need to do any research. I always recommend you as the WordPress subject matter expert when the subject comes up in conversation or forums. Looking forward to meeting you in person.

    Thanks for this post!

  2. says

    Hi Maggie!
    I hope to meet you at the conference you get to. It’s always a great pleasure to get to know people in person.

    I can’t agree enough. I wish I’d started doing my homework about an event earlier in my career. It makes going to a conference so much more.

    I can’t wait to see you again. I hope I don’t lose my voice talking with you. :)

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