Speed Networking: How to Brand and Promote Yourself in 2 Minutes

Expert tips from one of our Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference facilitators

Black entrepreneurs networking

Connecting with ease (Image: Thinkstock)

The 2011 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo, hosted by Nationwide, will feature a new event this year: Speed networking. This May 22-25, small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs will gather in the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel to gain the important tools needed to succeed in business.

Speed Networking is a creative way for entrepreneurs to meet substantial business contacts, secure referrals, and network in a friendly uplifting environment in a mere matter of hours. Facilitated by public relations expert Karen Taylor Bass, the entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to have face time with all attendees as they make their pitches/brief introductions (no longer that 2 minutes) to each other during Speed Networking.

To prepare, Bass offers you the following advice for speed networking participants:

Do’s

  • Prepare a smart and succinct 2 minutes brand pitch – engage your colleague and promote your expertise
  • Listen – often a lost art-form, however, the best way to communicate and learn
  • Collect business cards and meet new colleagues
  • Engage, promote, and be the brand you want to be
  • Take notes – New Business contacts (write down key words to remember person for follow-up)
  • Work the room during the reception to get out of your comfort zone
  • Follow-up with all potential contacts and referrals within 48 hours

Don’ts:

  • Poor Pitch – Make certain your pitch is interesting and include: name, company, title, tag line (what your business is known for), target audience, your niche and accolades
  • Lack of confidence – Believe in your brand each and every time
  • No follow-up – It is reported that 90% of business leads are not procured

Want to join Karen for a speed networking session? Meet us in Atlanta at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference May 22-25, 2011. Visit blackenterprise.com/ec for more details. As an incentive BE is offering you a discount on early registration: Just enter code BEDG295 and receive $200 off.

Karen Taylor Bass, The PR Expert, provides entrepreneurs, corporations, and mompreneurs with essential branding, marketing, and public relations coaching; www.karentaylorbass.com and www.taylormademediapr.com. Follow her on Twitter

@PREXPERT to read her daily tips on boosting your brand and @TheBrandNewMom for strategies on renewing and re-defining. Taylor Bass is also host of the BlackEnterprise.com video series Brand New You.

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