Laura Beck is an entrepreneur. She volunteers her time organizing networking events for fellow founders in Austin Texas during SXSW. For example, she runs point on an event called ‘Meat Up’ where SXSW attendees meet up at a Brazilian steakhouse. It attracts CEO’s, political leaders and a gambit of celebrities.
What networking experts do, intimidates most of us regular folks.
Lets examine some tips that have helped me network at events that I am not exactly invited in to… Lets palm press and pass our resumes off to executives so that they will recruit us or offer us a job on top of our existing job. Perhaps…
/1/ Value addedly RSVP-ing
People that host parties spend thousands of dollars so you can eat, drink and merrily pass your flyer. Or, as the tech startup scene prefers, stickers.
Lets reward those that host us by adding value by RSVP-ing for a party we were not invited to. For example, there is a SXSW party called ‘Keep Up All Night”. It is Saturday night at SXSW, March 8 at 8pm. They have marked it sold out and are accepting waitlist ticket ‘sales’. You can easily tweet your RSVP, “@kiip, looking fwd to your #sxsw and getting a pic with @brian_wong”.
You win either way. If they do respond, take a screen shot of your screen by pressing down on the home-button and power button, simultaneously. If they do not respond…
/2/ RSVP via a Gmail Alert
Brands all track brand mentions. When I say, “RSVP via a gmail alert”, I mean: ‘Write a WordPress blog post mentioning Kiip’s ‘Keep Up Past 11:11PM party and After Party’. The company executives will get an email that you have written a blog post.
Your blog post does not need to be a Paul Graham length essay. The best blog post is called the “Minimum Viable Blog Post” (MVBP). The formula for an MVBP is 16 sentences, 2 pictures and 1 focus. In this case, your focus is on RSVP-ing yourself by saying something positive, copy-pasting something they are promoting and announcing that you are putting on your calendar.
But what if everyone were to do this?!
RSVP-ing using my method falls apart in the easy details.
An easy detail to pass over is to forget to tweet your WordPress blog headline and cc the twitter handle of the host. In staying with the previous example of the Vancouver based founder, you would then tweet, “See my blog for @Kiip’s #SXSW w/ @brian_wong http://bit.ly/vc0311a”.
If you are not familiar with bit.ly’s short links, or even if you are…, you’re in for a treat!
/3/ bit.ly short link your way into a tidal wave of RSVP momentum.
This helps you go from party crasher or waitlisted RSVP guest who is not confirmed to VIP.
Let me repeat my point: You will now be a VIP where before you were no one they cared about. My party mentor talks about ‘working a room’. My entrepreneur mentor talks about ‘crashing an industry and having them thank you’. I combine both mentors advice (with a bunch of bit.ly’s!) and came up with timely SXSW advice. You should go from party guest outsider to VIP using the above steps.
A lot of people networking for a job have LinkedIn and hide their Facebook activity and completely neglect twitter. This RSVP process is based on have a Twitter account that looks optimal. I studied what the best of the best in my industry, venture capital, do. They have a ‘Minimum Viable Twitter Account’ #LCMVTA. It is
– bio with a real picture
– ten tweets
– follow 10 people
– bio is 10-12 words
– the ten tweets are 70% work magazine articles, two semi personal volleyball or Olympics and one retweet
Add the above article that you will need to bookmark and save. Because, SXSW may be too close and too expensive for you to attend, know that this signature maneuver of adding value to party RSVP’s has served me well. It has also orchestrated both of my mentor’s teaching and leveraged it for entrepreneurship and distribution, but that is a different article called, “Anchor Plus Satellite”. It is here on Yahoo.
In theory, all people that spent $2,000 would RSVP with value but in practice, the opposite has been true. There are services that automate the RSVP process. Unfortunately, the popularity of SXSW has caused rogue party lists that charge a subscription fee. This pattern previously occurred with superbowl parties in the Super Bowl’s host city. Yes, there are week of VIP parties the week before the Super Bowl and slick party promoters offer automatic RSVP services.