To network effectively as a DJ, you must first put yourself in the right places. By getting involved with “the right” organizations, you will come in contact with many people.
As you shake hands and talk with these folks, you will likely learn about where they work, their job title, and something about their personal lives.
While the person with whom you are speaking may not personally hire the entertainment for their organization, she/he is likely to know who does. And that’s a BIG DEAL.
Popular networking organizations include the Chamber Of Commerce, Rotary Club, Lion’s Club and Business Network International. Here are some other general categories of organizations where formal and informal networking can occur:
- Business associations
- Religious organizations
- Special Interest groups
- Fraternal societies
- Charitable fundraisers
- Employee events
- DJ Associations
Many people join organizations for the sole purpose of seeking out referrals and sales opportunities. It’s quite obvious to the people you meet if this is your primary goal.
There is a way to network “properly” and I call it “Relationship Marketing.” This implies a long-term commitment rather than a quick “How do you do. Can you bring me some business?” And…it works much better!
Focus your networking efforts on meeting people with the purpose of learning about the quality products and services their companies provide. Why? So that you can authentically recommend them to your friends, family, acquaintances and business associates. This philosophy of generosity will be appreciated by everyone with whom you network and will likely translate into referrals.
Another way to make rapid contacts within an organization is to be the person who greets people at the door for functions. Volunteer your time for some of the group’s activities. Join a visible committee and, of course, offer your services to emcee announcements at events. All of these strategies can pay off in the number of contacts you make and the good impression people retain of you for future reference.
Here are some tips for making the most out of networking functions:
- Arrive looking your best.
- Wear your name tag on your shoulder, so people can read it as they hear you say your name.
- Develop a distinctive “signature” such as a snazzy tie, hat or piece of jewelry.
- Develop an unforgettable greeting such as “I help people have fun for a living.”
- Keep others’ business cards, and send a note and brochure to the people you have met. Let them know you are passing their name along for them.
- Travel with your own “P.R. agent” by attending with an employee or friend. This person can start the good word about you with others.
- Ask quality questions to start conversations. (Make sure to avoid controversial topics, if you do not know the direction the other person might lean.)
- Have something to say that is of interest and topical, but make it positive and light. Dreary subjects do not promote a feeling of well-being in other people about you.
- Show a sincere interest in the person with whom you are speaking.
A final piece of advice is to give qualified leads to other members. Those that give the best leads to others usually receive the best leads in return. Remember, being memorable starts with repetition. Just like in advertising, repetition builds reputation.
Happy networking! What are your thoughts on the subject?