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Working the Network:

Tips, Tricks and How to “Netwerq Your A$$ Off”

Written by: Jonna E. Capone

Recently I attended an event during Full Figured Fashion Week entitled Netwerq Your A$$ Off  and I have to say this was an event no one should have missed. As a model, influencer and public speaker I am constantly networking. Of course, I am a firm believer that you are never done learning and it is vital to attend such events as this run by creator of the Fuller Things in Life Aqila Mimi Benjamin. So what does it really mean to Network though and to do it well? Here are few tips and tricks I learned from the event and from my own personal tool box.

Elevate your Elevator Speech! The definition of Networking is as follows: “a process that fosters the exchange of information and ideas among individuals or groups that share a common interest. It may be for social or business purposes. Professionals connect their business network through a series of symbolic ties and contacts.” (Wikipedia) It seems pretty straightforward and I’m sure most of us have 

networked in all aspects of our lives. However, what if you were caught in the elevator with your business hero? What would you say? How would you promote yourself or your business? The event Netwerq Your A$$ off included a panel with well known names such as Mallory B. Richardson the 2017 Face of Full Figured Fashion Week and photographer Jose Pagan. Each of them discussed the importance of making a good first impression and working on your “Elevator Speech”. This is key especially when making initial connections with anyone you network with. As discussed in the seminar, it is important to have your “speech” prepared. Each panelist agreed, you want to be sure you state your name, and the name of your company. You want to be sure you are making eye contact and that you can give a short but straightforward and honest response about what your profession is.

event to network or if you are already at an event you should know who your host is. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in a room and someone has tried to network with me without even knowing why they are at the event. If you have time before an event and you know you are going to be networking, it is easy to Google a name or even a location to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Not only will you feel more secure and confident in your surroundings, but you will present yourself in a more professional manner. Aqila also spoke on something that really struck me because I believe firmly in this ideal as well. She said to “treat the janitor the same way you treat the CEO” This is incredibly important to remember. When you are networking you never know who you may be around. I urge you strongly to remember to treat others the way you want to be treated because it may cost you a future connection or job.

The more you practice, the better it will become to make a great first impression when networking.

 

Know your Stuff!  I am always preaching about research, research research! I can’t stress this enough. It is important when networking to know who you are networking with! Members of the panel and Aqila spoke strongly of this. If you go to an

Material! Material! Material! As a model I always carry my comp card with me or at least my business cards. There are many inexpensive options and companies you can find that will provide you with a business card. If you have different businesses then you should have different cards. Showcasing yourself and having a way to stay in contact with someone 

are the key elements of moving your brand forward. This includes social media sites like Instagram or Facebook. We all know that social media is now the new business card in some cases. However, it is important to keep your business and personal pages separate. This was an overwhelming consensus with the Netwerq Your A$$ Off Panel.

It is also important to keep your social media updated just as you do with your personal materials. If you don’t invest time in those sites, other businesses will see that and may be hesitate to invest in you.

A Network Captain was the title I was given for the event. I had the privilege of speaking with the attendees and also witnessing some great and triumphant connections. The Netwerq Your A$$ during Full Figured Fashion Week was truly inspiring and motivating for me. Personally, I made some amazing connections and learned even more about 

how to continue to network and grow my business. If you know someone who needs help with networking or would like to see an event like this come to your city be sure to go to www.fullersideofthings.com and find out more. Use these tips the next time you network and feel free to share with me your experiences! Follow and subscribe for more info and remember stay Curvy & Classy! We are #iamqueensize.  

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Jonna Capone ( @curvy_capone)

Queen Size Magazine ( @queensizemagazine)

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