Black Girls Gather | Los Angeles and Networking Tips

10/05/2017


Conversations in support of sisterhood and community |

Last weekend I attended "Black Girl's Gather" forum hosted by Kim Foster, owner of the website and blog ForHarriet.com.

I saw this as a chance to engage in a sisterhood that was focused on the social-political needs of black women, much like my blog, and I thought it might encourage me to write and produce more content. I'm not one to attend networking events alone but I realized later that if I didn't get out there no one was ever going to love and appreciate my blog as much as I do. Since my blog is geared toward deconstructing social-political issues surrounding black girls and women I knew Black Girls Gather - Los Angeles was going to inspire better blogging content.

I stumbled across the event twice, one on Facebook and another on the site. I decided it would be great for me to go yet the original event at 2pm sold out. I was devasted knowing that I'd miss out on a good opportunity. Then, Kim opened another session and I snagged my $20 ticket will my dollars were free-flowing. I wanted a friend to go with me but she was too slow and I needed to secure my spot. After obtaining my ticket, I waited a whole month and then realized my ass waited until the day before to produce and print my business cards.

This was my FIRST networking event ever so I just want to give you a few tips.

You can print your own business cards:

Avery 5371 Laser Business Cards are the best. I know you might not have a Laser printer but you can go to any University or Community college and use theirs. I would suggest creating your cards in a word document. Mine are front and back so I created two templates, one for the front, and then one for the back. I followed the instructions and flipped over the paper for the back.

Make sure you print out enough and have a place to hold them in your purse.

Don't go around giving out your card. Only give people your card who ask about your personal information.


Bring a notebook/pen, cellphone, and (portable charger):

I wish I had recorded the whole thing. I should empty out my old phone and get it a new battery. I would suggest that if you have any old smartphone you're not using to clear it out and start handling your business on that phone. Currently, I have two phones and I do business on one and then I have my serviced one where I connect with my full-time life. It's so important for me to separate the two because I get so caught up in things like Facebook, Instagram, etc. I just have to keep them separate. Anyways, this is a good way to digitally keep everything in one place...I would even consider getting myself a personal iPad for this.

If you're going to do social media on your phone always bring your external charger because the last thing you want to do is have your phone die at an event where you know no one and it's not near your home.



Have an elevator pitch for your business/blog:

Having a rehearsed speech about your blog makes talking about it a lot easier. Know your audience and make three points you feel will draw them into your content. Even though you'd rehearsed your pitch don't rehearse your personality. Allow yourself to be true to who you are in the conversation and ask them questions. You will get to know more about your audience by asking questions. I felt like Kim really did a good job a this. The forum had a power point and she listed questions for the audience members to answers. Once we were on our 10-minute break I just continued the conversation from those questions or I simply asked people about themselves. Remember, people love to talk about themselves.


Don't focus on the speaker:

I know it's hard if the person is a celebrity but remember, there is an entire room full of people who are all trying to talk to the speaker. The best thing to do is be memorable. If the speaker wants to talk to you then that's when you're winning at this networking thing. Until you reach that level of expertise get to know the people in the room because you might find out you're not the smartest or most informed one. The key here is to grow.

Volunteer:

If you want to spend more time with the speaker ask the event coordinator if you can volunteer by assisting them with something such as the event set up. Kim reached out to everyone before the event and asked if anyone could volunteer their time. I saw at least 6 volunteers, three at check-in, one video recording/taking pictures, one assistant, and one running the power point. I'm sure all of these ladies had a chance to work with Kim before and after both sessions and that's something to write on a resume.

Dress appropriately:

It's always good to ask the event coordinator what the setting requires because the last thing you want to be is uncomfortable at an event. Always bring a light blazer in case you have a tendency to get cold. Don't wear a lot of perfume because some people are sensitive to smell (yes, I made this mistake).

Smile and introduce yourself:

Bring a great attitude to the event and people will be attracted to your genuinely open appeal. Introduce yourself by stating your name and any additional information you feel is needed. Ask people their name and what brought them to the event.

I saw few girls at the event trying to take a group self and offered to take their picture but, they insisted on taking it. But, the point is friendly and help others because it's a good way to start a conversation, in this case, it didn't happen but I quickly moved on to take a group picture with a few other women who interested in my volunteering experience with Foster Youth.

Ask if there's an online community:

Thankfully, Facebook allows for all kinds of online networking opportunities, so ask if there's a way for everyone at the event to connect online. Kim offered to post a link to the very private group with I joined. Once I was in the group I let people know I was happy to have attended and feel free to connect with me via facebook.

I hope you find this helpful,


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This blog is NOT geared toward sexual orientation or gender classification. This blog is based solely on the blog authors experience and research. This blog is geared toward promoting a mixture of masculine and feminine attire and with an integrated genderless lifestyle.

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4 comments

  1. I would love to attend the next event. This is very encouraging and inspiring to see so many of us gathered together to uplift.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Yes it was amazing. I loved hearing the stories of other women. I hope Kim keeps doing this annually or has a conference in mind. Thanks for commenting. Best wishes, come back! Androgynine, Sonja Sky

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  2. These tips are spot on! Like yourself I have been reluctant to attend blogging networking events but I’ve finally accepted that my blog is more than just a hobby. Love the point you made about mingling with other attendees, not just the host or speaker.
    Tisha x

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    Replies
    1. You should really get out there because if you do it once it becomes easier. I'm glad you came to accept it because that's the first part to growing your audience and eventually your social media power. Yes, I just made an observation of people running to the speaker and just to each other. I was like why can't we just network with each other because we're closer on in purpose. Thanks for commenting. Best wishes with your blog, come back! Androgynine, Sonja Sky

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