I went to South by Southwest and all I got was a stinking t-shirt and a bunch of Zone bars….oh yeah and a kick ass part time job offer and publisher interest in my book. Yes, this is another post about why you need to step away from your laptop and meet people face to face. My extended weekend in Austin for SXSW is proof of this.
It’s so easy to spend all our time behind our laptops without ever having to meet anyone. You might even be able to earn a very good living doing so. I did this for several years and was perfectly content to never have human contact.
Until the day I decided to be brave.
- I joined local networking groups
- I attended conferences
- I met with potential clients face to face
Things changed for me. My business picked up and I received more lucrative offers. I wasn’t trolling the job boards each day because the people I met remembered me and contacted me on their own.
This past weekend, I attended a conference in Texas, many miles from my family. The reason I do these trips is because I believe in the power of talking to people face to face. Conferences are hard for me because I’m really not into crowds and parties, and I don’t like being away from my guys for too long but sometimes they’re worth it. Like this time.
On this trip I:
- Spoke with reps from a stock photo agency about offering a major discount to the FWJ community so they can use affordable stock photography for their blog posts and articles.
- Spoke with a rep from a publishing company to pitch my book.
- Received a part time job offer, one so nice I don’t think I can refuse
Would I have been able to have these conversations if I didn’t attend the conference?
I think not…
- The stock photography thing came out of a conversation I was having with a representative. It wasn’t something I would have even considered doing this if not for an idea sharing moment
- Would I have been able to get interest from this publisher if not for attending SXSW? Maybe, but maybe not…and not this quick, that’s for sure. I was able to talk to the publishing company rep because two people took me to a publisher party and got me an introduction. Nothing may come of it, but if something does it will save a lot of pitching, hunting for agents, making phone calls and more. That wouldn’t have happened if not for my trip.
- The job offer probably wouldn’t have happened if not for a dinner I attended with the owners of said business. If we didn’t have a face to face conversation they wouldn’t see the passion I have for what they do. I wasn’t even looking for a job with this organization. We were out that night as friends. If not for face to face, we wouldn’t have talked about the things we talked about and I’m almost positive I wouldn’t have had such an awesome job offer
Can you be successful and never have to meet anyone or talk on the phone? Absofrigginlutely. You can stay at home and do what you do and still be productive and profitable. For me, I always achieve new levels of success after meeting with real, live people.
On a limb with Claudia says
Thanks for this great post. I’m always amazed at how the ‘old school’ marketing techniques still work. Silly me! 😉
Good luck with the book and the new gig!
.-= On a limb with Claudia´s last blog ..Ever wonder why salad is expensive? =-.
Kerrie Flanagan says
I agree that face-to-face networking is invaluable and conferences are a great way to meet people.
.-= Kerrie Flanagan´s last blog ..Going Straight to the Editors =-.
Bob Zwicj says
I fully agree with the value of F2F. I’m sure there will be addition benifits from your interactions at the show.
“Show me the money”. What was the expense of attending vs the returns you’ll see?
hey you don’t need to convince me — I’m lonely all day 😉
.-= allena´s last blog ..Freelance Writing Jobs with the Federal Government =-.
KEITH BIRMINGHAM says
Just reading your post “Yet Another Post About Why Face to Face Networking is So Important”. Fact is most of my last 6 days were spent networking face to face. I was stuck in a rut about my lack of employment. I now have a direction that I think will work, and feel good about at least 3 prospects. I could have applied on line, but I wanted them to know me up close and personal. Surprisingly, my last employer seems to be the one most interested in the direction I want to go. But, then again, they know my work ethic. Face to face is still the best way to conduct business. But, I am glad we now have the internet for the times when face to face is not possible.
.-= KEITH BIRMINGHAM´s last blog ..Add Beauty To Your Home With Floral Canvas Prints =-.
Great post. I have a conference coming up, but I do not know a single person in this industry. Any advice at networking at a conference when you are starting from scratch? Like you, conferences are hard for me because I’m really not into crowds and parties.