How to introduce yourself at a networking event

Networking events have been around forever, and yet, people still haven’t really mastered how to properly introduce themselves. How many networking events have you been to where you feel like there was no benefit to showing up? You either gravitate towards the same people because you don’t know what to say to new faces or you feel that telling people what you do doesn’t garner the right reaction you’re looking for.

“Hi, I’m Maya Elious. I’m a web and graphic designer.”

What do you think of when you hear “web and graphic design”? The title leaves things into so much interpretation. While my job title seems so obvious, everyone has their own understanding of what a web and graphic designer is or does. When I used to introduce myself as a web and graphic designer I used to get questions like:

“Oh, so can you create apps?”

“Oh, so do you design t-shirts?”

“Oh, do you make mixtape covers?” (This is generally when I know one of us is at the wrong networking event.)

Introducing yourself by your job title can stop conversations before they even start. Or even worse, they can initiate the wrong assumptions.

What is the end result and benefit [for your clients] of what you do? A more effective introduction would be:

“Hi, my name is Maya. Maya Elious. I help entrepreneurs strengthen their brand identity so they can reach their ideal target market.”

Result = Strengthened brand identity. Benefit = Reaching ideal target market.

Now this can open the conversation up to questions like:

“What exactly is brand identity? How is it different from branding?”

or

“I have a friend in need of assistance rebranding his non-profit. Would you mind if I passed along your information?”

I am very clear about who I work with and the results + benefits I offer.

Let’s say you’re a health & wellness coach. Before having a chance to actually network with some health and wellness coaches, I had no idea what they did.

“Hi, how are you? My name is Brittany. I’m a health and wellness coach at _____.”

Now, me, being ignorant to what a health and wellness coach does would just smile nicely and nod my head then keep it moving.

If Brittany would’ve said, “Hi. My name is Brittany. I help young men and women develop healthier lifestyles so they can have more energy.”

Result = Healthier life. Benefit = more energy.

Hmmm. Well it would be nice if someone could coach me out of drinking tequila and pizza every weekend. I really don’t have the willpower to do it by myself and I know it effects my productivity. Sign me up.

Here are some examples on good introductions.

Copywriter. “Hi. My name is _____. I write compelling web and email copy to help drive sales for my clients.”
Financial advisor. “My name is George, and I help people identify the truths about where they want to be financially so they can .” (My client – who is a financial advisor – shared his introductory elevator pitch with me. This is a portion of it.)
Inspirational blogger. “My name is _____. I motivate people to live purposeful and intentional lives through my inspirational blog.”

How you introduce yourself could make all the difference at the next networking event you attend. What is the benefit and value that you offer to your clients?

How will you introduce yourself the next time someone asks what you do? Would love to hear! Leave a comment below.

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