Networking Tips for Freelancers: Prep for Business Matchmaking

CFC 2013 logoOn Day 1 of CFC 2013 (June 22-24 in SF), we’re trying something new: we’ll literally be lifting the wall between CFC and the InHOWse Design Managers Conference to bring creative pros and design managers into the same room for a networking — or business matchmaking — Happy Hour.

As promised, we will prep all participants for their best networking experience with CFC speaker, Dana Manciagli, whose session, “Cut the Crap, Start Networking” will take place earlier in the day. Dana has also offered to kick off the networking session to make sure everyone’s ready to make strong and lasting connections.

But it’s never too early to start practicing your networking. You have 4 months between now and June, so try some of these tips at local events (whether business related or not) so you’re ready when you get to CFC.

  • Set a goal for how many people to meet. Dana suggests starting with 10 high quality contacts.
  • Wear your name tag on the right side. It’s the natural side to look at when shaking hands.
  • Carry pen and paper to take notes on what you’re hearing and learning. Don’t mess up anyone’s business card by writing on it.
  • Ask if you can contact them again. Then let them move on. Don’t dominate their time.

And for those of you who don’t jump into conversations for fearing of not being able to get out (you know who you are!), here’s what Dana suggests:

  • Don’t look at your watch or lose eye contact. And don’t look around.
  • When there’s a natural break in the conversation (or when they finish their sentence) smile and say “Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure. I’m going to work the room.” That’s what everyone’s there for, after all!

Listen to the full podcast interview with Dana here. And as promised in the conversation, here is a post about another CFC-inspired accountability group.

What networking tips do you have to share?

Join us at CFC June 22-24 in SF! Get $100 off (CFC only) if you combine promo code “ILISE” + Early Bird rate before March 15. Register here