We hear it all the time, ‘networking can take your business to the next level’ or ‘networking helped me land my last sale’. Networking is something entrepreneurs do all the time; while it comes naturally for some, it may not for others. One of the first things people will do when you approach them is ask you what do you do.
So what is networking? Networking is defined as an ‘interaction with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.' Sounds easy right? It can be, when your vision is clear.
Here are five steps your ‘Ask Me What I Do’ merch can help create new networking opportunities daily.
1. Your Elevator Pitch
Success happens when preparation meets opportunity. When people read your shirt or hat because they will ask, your elevator pitch needs to be conversational. An elevator pitch is a brief speech or statement that can spark interest in your organization or product.
Imagine you go to a friend’s highrise downtown, and hop on the elevator to head up to the fourth floor. Someone gets on after you, presses the button for the third floor. They catch a glimpse of your hat or shirt which reads, ‘Ask Me What I Do’, so they take you up on your offer. Now you have 30 seconds to grab their attention and become interested in what you do. Is your elevator pitch clear, succinct, and unique? Well if it is, have your business card, which includes your social media handles, website, and number, because they just might buy your product or refer your service. This technique takes practice.
Take time to write your elevator pitch, record yourself, and ask others for feedback. It won’t be perfect the first few tries, but your confidence will grow with repetition. Be sure your elevator pitch includes how your business or service is different.
What sets you apart from competitors? Are you more affordable, do you use high-end products, or do you have experience with V.I.P clients? You may have written the best pitch in the world but the delivery makes a difference. That is why we recommend to voice record yourself, listen to yourself, then adjust. Once you rehearse on your own, try it on friends or trusted colleagues. Have them give you feedback on your body language and eye contact.
2. Got a Card?
Once someone inquires about your ‘Ask Me What I Do’ merch, you give them your elevator speech and if there is time they will most likely ask you follow-up questions. At this point, you want to give them a way to stay connected. Having a company card or even a sticker to give clients is another way to show that you are serious about your business and craft. Though that interaction may not manifest into a sale at that moment, you’ve planted a seed. We all know it takes time for seeds to blossom, but you reap what you sow.
Just like your elevator pitch was clear, concise, and unique; your marketing materials should be the same. Your ‘Ask Me What I Do’ button or hat initiates the conversation, but it doesn’t do all the work. The merch is the alley-oop, but you are the one that makes the dunk. We are in a digital age, everyone requests a follow on the ‘Gram, but a tangible contact card is still an effective way to connect with clients. When a potential client sees the card sitting in their center car console or in their purse, it will trigger the memory of the encounter. That might be the day they find your Facebook page or Instagram account to ask about your amazing car detailing business.
3. Wear It With Intention
Wear your merch everywhere! Literally, there's even accessories with ‘Ask What I Do’ just in case you got a dope fit but you still want to network. From a phone case, button, or hat, there are so many options. Wear your merch everywhere to ignite a conversation and build your network. Standing in line at the coffee shop, you decide to pay with your phone, and the cashier sees your case. What do you think the cashier will do? You guessed it, they will ask what you do. Taking your dog out for a walk around the block?
Grab an ‘Ask What I Do’ hat and your keys. Once you are at the dog park, there is someone bound to ask you not only about your fur baby, but also the statement on your cap. The buttons make it even easier, pop one on your favorite denim jacket or pin it to your backpack. Once the button is in place, you may forget it’s there until a bypasser obeys the button and questions you about what you do for a living.
4. Time For A Photo-Op
If you don’t post it on the ‘Gram did it really even happen? Grab your phone or your bestie who is a weekend wedding photographer and start snapping away. There are more options than just sporting a t-shirt, You can pick from items like a button, mug, or notebook, you can film yourself wearing ‘Ask What I Do’ merch in any scenario. Think about what you do in a day. How do you get your day started, is it with a cup of tea or coffee? A morning photo-op using an ‘Ask Me What I Do’ mug, snap a flick after your morning workout with your ‘Ask Me What I Do’ phone case, or get a video of yourself packing orders in your ‘Ask Me What I Do’ hoodie.
Coffee Connect Collaborate Mug
Wake up, grab the coffee, and make sh*t happen…The best part of waking up is the My Networking Apparel “Coffee. Connect. Collaborate.” Mug. Grab it when you wake up or keep it at the office for a professional conversation starter.… read more
Once you have a list of opportunities, take a picture in your merch doing what you do, with good lighting, and it reading from left to right. You know what to do next, share it on social media and of course tag us @mynetworkingapparel !
5. Hashtag It
One of the amazing aspects of social media is sharing. Hashtags allow more users to see and interact with your content. Hashtags also create a community. For example, if you are searching for a real estate agent in your city, typing #realestate in the search bar can yield so many options. When people see ‘Ask Me What I Do’ merch, a simple search on Twitter or Instagram is another way for people to find your business.
When you tag #mynetworkingapparel or #askmewhatIdo, we are able to share your content, exposing your product or service to a larger audience. When you become an entrepreneur you quickly realize you can’t do it alone, enlisting the help of others can elevate your business. We want to be that stepping stone for you, helping to make your business more visible to an untapped audience. Who doesn’t want free promotion and new business?
We are here to tell you networking is not only attending an industry event or corporate happy hour. Networking happens all around you and in everyday moments. There are so many potential partners and sales around you, wearing ‘Ask Me What I Do’ merch will help untapped those overlooked opportunities.