Networking: Finding Your Niche

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On a typical weekday night, there are usually a few options of things to do for the average working human, most of which involve food, either the making of or the ordering in of. For the entrepreneur, this list expands to include networking events.

I have a love-mild annoyance relationship with networking events. By nature I am a hybrid of an extrovert and introvert; I enjoy being out and about and connecting with others, but I also love and crave my alone time. So for me, networking events present a great opportunity to connect with others and continue to grow awareness for my brand. They also can be taxing, especially when you are attending multiple in a week.

My Approach to Networking

Defining your work-life balance is hard. When to stop thinking about work and just enjoy yourself or vice versa. At this point in my business, networking is a necessity. There are not hordes of people banging on my door to work with me (not yet at least), so I have to put myself out there and mingle. I could choose to hate it, bemoan the fact that I have to strike up conversations with strangers, but I don’t. I actually love it.

At the heart, my business was born from wanting to connect with others. It is not some cookie cutter service, where everyone is treated the same. Every step of the process is personalized, so I approach networking events the same way. I would rather go to an event, meet 3 people out of 100 and have a deeper connection with those 3, then meet 50 and only scratch the surface. Personal connections build trust, and trust builds business.

Networking

Finding Your Niche

So do I attend any and all networking events going on? Hell no. That’s way too much work and not a good use of my time, to be honest. Just like my business is tailored to each individual and brand, so are the networking events I choose to attend. I have found my niche of the type of networking events I like to attend and the ones that I can build those relationships in. The She Rocks 2017 event I attended on Thursday of last week is a perfect example of this. It was full of women who were seeking to have fun while networking, not just passing around their business cards like confetti. That night, I connected with about 5 women out of the 100+ there and I call this a win. I distinctly remember the conversations I had with them, and I am confident that they remember them as well.

networking

PC: Lindsay Marie Photography

Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes I attend events and make only 1 connection, but I never call the experience a bust or a waste of my time. I always learn something and can apply it for future events. I also never go into networking events “searching” for that one special client or connection. When I start looking for something, I never find it, I just have to live my life, enjoy myself, and everything miraculously falls into place.

 

Xo,

 

Katelyn

 

P.S. These are some of our favorite networking events

Lady Killas

Boss Babes Brunch Club

She Rocks 2017

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Showing 15 comments
  • angela
    Reply

    Completely agree! I try to apply quality over quantity in as many aspects of my life as possible! In the end you have a better chance of remembering those 3 people and vice versa which is a total win.

  • Joelle
    Reply

    It’s thanks to a networking event that I had the pleasure of meeting you! And I totally agree..if I can make a connection with 3ish people at an event it’s a WIN for me!
    p.s. how do you find events to go to in the area?

    • Katelyn McCullough
      Reply

      Yes!! I actually have a friend who has shown “interest” in a lot of events on FB, so I check those out, but I know she goes through Eventbrite every week to see what looks cool. 😉

  • Debra
    Reply

    So accurate! I get really anxious in big crowds so I always prefer small groups too. It is much easier to connect in a smaller group anyway. These look like some amazing events though, so wish I had made it to She Rocks!

  • Jax
    Reply

    As a new business owner myself, I feel it’s imperative that I get out and mingle. In the last two weeks I have attended 3 networking events and I never consider them a waste of time, however, I totally know how taxing it can be whether that’s on the time I’m taking away from other things I need to do for my business or just out of my wallet. Everyone needs to make money, and these networking events aren’t always free. Thank you for listing the ones you find are your personal favorites!! I’ll be checking them out. Great post. <3

    • Katelyn McCullough
      Reply

      You go girl!! Yes I totally look for the groups that the money seems worth it because it will have the clientele or the market I want to connect with! It’s not always easy and a lot is trial and error, but that’s also part of the business 😉 xo

  • Katherine Evans
    Reply

    Love THIS “Personal connections build trust, and trust builds business.” and I believe it whole heartedly! Your kindness in reaching out to me at the TT meeting and then your follow up is what made me pass your name along to like three people that very same week! It was because I WANTed to because I saw your genuine desire to connect and your passion for your job 🙂 Way to inspire other creatives friend!

    • Katelyn McCullough
      Reply

      Oh you are so sweet! Absolutely loved connecting with you and cannot tell you how much I appreciate that. xo

  • Becky
    Reply

    Great points, Katelyn! Love looking at networking a bit differently! I love to go and make those who are feeling awkward, feel less awkward!

    • Katelyn McCullough
      Reply

      Exactly! It’s all about having a good time! xo

  • Erica
    Reply

    100% totally the conversation I had with something this week!! Networking is great and exhausting all at the same time lol

    • Katelyn McCullough
      Reply

      Totally! A necessary evil 😉

  • Michelle
    Reply

    I’ll be honest, networking events make me massively nervous. I’ll have the opportunity to attend some when I go to a conference in August.

    • Katelyn McCullough
      Reply

      I always just go in to have a good time. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, because if you just go in to meet people and get to know them, you will get business connections, without having to search for it. You’ve got this! xo

  • Madison
    Reply

    YES. I feel the same way!! Always quantity over quality. And it’s a million times better when you make ACTUAL connections with real people who connect with you and your brand. Couldn’t agree more!

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