Going into an event can be difficult when you are flying solo and don’t know anyone at the event you’re going to. Amiright?
If your goal is to network, meet new people, gain clients, find a mentor, or just make new friends- one of the best ways is to show up at events in real life.
Not knowing someone at the event can be hard enough to deal with- but going solo too?!
The first thing I always recommend when going into an event solo or not, is to breathe. Let go of the drama and the negative crap that keeps playing in your head and just breathe.
Sometimes boosting yourself before walking into an event can be helpful. Finding an uplifting practice before going into an event or upon leaving your house can be very helpful.
I will sometimes get my favorite latte on my way to a big event or wear my favorite shoes or earrings. In the car I’ll pump so really loud or sassy music to loosen up a bit, and I arrive at my destination feeling good and feeling ready.
Your mood and your attitude and your demeanor is so important when going into events where you may not know anyone. It easily can make or break the start of a conversation as well as a relationship. Just remember that you’re in control and everything is going to be a-ok.
Now that you’re in the parking lot and ready to go inside: simply walk into the building with your head held high, your shoulders back and relaxed and a warm smile on your face.
Once you get inside, make sure your body language is strong, open and inviting.
Do not cross your arms, display a beautiful RBF (resting bitch face) or cross your legs away from people. It is uninviting and makes you look unapproachable and standoffish. #notthegoal
For those of you who are nervous to approach people (see my previous blog posts on this), you want to focus on looking warm and approachable so you don’t have to do all of the work at first. Once you get your flow going and feel more natural shaking hands and introducing yourself, always come back to your body language and posture.
Your posture and body language say SO MUCH when you are meeting new people and building connections- first impressions are important and most communication is purely nonverbal. Do not sleep on body language or posture. People don’t know they are reading body language and being read by others, but they are and it happens at the speed of light.
The next thing you want to do is remember your strengths. When networking, we occasionally might have a co-pilot or wingman/wingwoman to co-sign our good features and selling points. Our friends help boost us and vice versa.
But if there are no friends there to help co-sign for your intelligence/passion/resume/track record, then you have to fend for yourself and boost your own accolades.
This can be done by listening.
It sounds counterproductive but if we listen to people and see a need or a place where we can help- remember that you are good at xyz and tell them if/how/why you can help them.
Listening is what we all want and solutions are what most of us need.
Listen first, remember who you are and why you’re there and help others with the things they say they are struggling with or looking for.
This does not mean sell to people who complain about xyz, this just means be helpful where you can and do your best to provide value to everyone you meet when it is fitting and appropriate.
People who genuinely care about others and about connecting the right people to the best people out there are the ones who people remember.
Lastly, I want you to fake anything that you are struggling with until it feels natural and second nature.
Fake it ’til you make it.
Somewhat annoying saying to me, but it works. I pretend like I know what I’m doing and like I know where I’m going and somehow it gets me to where I want to be faster.
All I’m saying is try it.
Fake it until it feels good and until you feel free and unencumbered by the thought of whatever makes you nervous.
I usually pretend like I know someone at the event that is either already there, in the bathroom or on the other side of the room.
Sounds kind of like an imaginary friend thing, but this is a tactic that immediately takes the pressure off of me feeling alone or scared of being in a room with a bunch of strangers who I feel are all looking at me at the same time and judging me in the worst kind of way.
This tactic helps me stay out of my head and into my vision and goals.
If I don’t feel alone or nervous, I can focus on why I showed up to that event or being of service, or calmly ordering a drink. I can focus on literally anything else by faking it until I feel ok.
Your issue may be different than mine, but I encourage you to figure out a way to put that issue on the back burner or to the side and ignore it until it no longer bothers or stifles you.
After a few minutes at an event, when I start to feel better and more comfortable, I no longer need to fake it- I am in the zone. I am networking and introducing myself. I am shaking hands and making connections. I am working the room and feeling incredible.
It’s just those first few minutes where you need to help get yourself into the zone and out of your head.
Find what works for you and do it. You will win and you will come out on top. I promise.