Since I’m headed off to the RWA National conference like many other writers, I thought I’d offer up some tips on networking!
Conferences are one of the best ways of not only improving your craft skills, but also provide wonderful opportunities for meeting new people and expanding your contacts. That kind of networking is invaluable in today’s publishing climate.
So what are some things you can do to accomplish that kind of networking?
- 1. Get out of your room and down into the common areas. Mingle and don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone who is sitting beside you or standing alone in the lobby if they seem open to communication.
- 2. Know when not to approach. If two people are standing there talking, heads close together or directly facing one another, they probably don’t want to be interrupted. Also, don’t hover by expectantly. Step away and approach only when they are ready to invite another into the discussion. How do you know that? Look at their body posture. People standing side-by-side or not directly facing one another have not closed themselves off to others.
- 3. Make sure you have business cards. If you’re a published author, have one card for business contacts and another for fans and readers. The first should have detailed contact information and the latter should have info on your books as well as your website.
- 4. If you’re published, have bookmarks available to hand to fans and readers, but not to publishing people. They don’t need your goodies, but do need your business card.
- 5. If you want to submit to someone, see if they are attending and wait for a good time to approach them. In the few minutes before their workshop is not a good time! Also, remember they are people as well. They likely will appreciate some general talk and getting to know you first. Let the conversation segue naturally into talk about what you do and your submission.
- 6. Be positive! Negative talk is a total turn off so always try to look on the bright side of things and always offer a smile and a thanks. Positive vibes are always welcome.
- 7. Last, but most importantly, have a good time! Meet new people and reinforce old friendships.
I hope you enjoyed today’s Tuesday Tips. We’ll be traveling tomorrow, so look for some photos and updates on Thursday.