So, with business looking a bit slow in April so far, I thought I'd give networking a whirl. I've worked to capacity thus far but for some reason, business clients have no need of public relations or marketing from moi this month. Not relishing an April of spring cleaning, revamping my look, daytime TV or whatever else I resort to in an attempt to dull the 'Argh, I've got no work, which means no money, which means no food, bills and imminent homelessness' mood swings. Dramatic I know but being home alone everyday does things to a single mum brain!
So I put my name down for a local free networking event, put on my 'serious business' dress, grabbed a stash of business cards and set off to meet my potential new clients. I mean, after all, every business needs marketing!
"Hello, my name is Cameron and I'm in Marketing". Bollocks. First suited dude up and I am already feeling deflated. Within his two minute speech though he manages to offend every woman in the room by pointing out that they are all, me included, significantly older than him. Purple faced from the backlash, the poor kid points out that he is only 20 years old. Two and half minutes in and I am feeling back on top. Phew!
I kept my pitch short, concise and as non-salesie as possible. As someone with a low tolerance for direct sales people, the last thing I wanted was to sound like one of them. The others at the table nodded politely but it was clear that branding, marketing strategy, social media training (I know, who needs it with a kid over the age of 3 at home?) and the number of other business facets I offered were not what these particular individuals prioritised at this time.
I signed up to the group membership regardless, paid my monthly subs, accepted the goodie bag containing chocolate and vodka (my kind of group!) and then skulked back home.
Although disappointed, I rationalised that, so far, all my work has come via word of mouth recommendations so perhaps if I'd made a good enough impression then these lovely business people, suit dude excluded - lovely but competitive, might recommend me to others.
With my slipper sock'd feet up on the coffee table, a big fat brew in one hand, TV remote in the other and the remains of my sulk ebbing, I flicked on to watch Scoffie and Willoboobies. A half day off was a rare opportunity so took it whilst I could and tried to ignore the washing up screaming at me from inside the kitchen.
My phone rang after my first slurp. It was a fellow networker. After a couple of polite exchanges I began to get the feeling I was being 'sussed out'. Hhmmm.. She has a friend in need of Marketing and Events, am I looking for a business partner? Do I want to attend an invitation only speed networking event next month? Hhmmm... Looks like I did make an impression. As I penciled in the date, I found myself musing aloud to my utterly disinterested cat Sandy "Yep puss, its been a productive day!"
- Hi, I'm Lyndsey. I'm a 36 year old Mum from Wales. I have a Masters Degree in Marketing Communications and Public Relations and put it to good use in my work as a freelance Marketing & PR consultant. I also work part time as a fundraising coordinator for a Welsh charity which I absolutely love!! With two jobs, two children, two cats and a handsome man, lets just say I'm a busy lady. From 2006-2008, I wrote a column for the Denbighshire Free Press. I was so proud of the feedback I got for this, even the one angry ‘You Suck’ letter to the editor cheered me up no end; it showed that people took notice of what little ol’ me had to say. It’s good to know that people give a rat’s ass either way! So, succumbing to requests from my former fan club (ok, overstating there – readers who had nothing better to do on a Thursday afternoon) under the March 2014 archive you will find a selection of my early Free Press articles. I’d love to hear what you think on any of the subjects raised…you know, rat’s ass either way feedback ;-)