Before jumping into this blog, it’s only polite that we introduce ourselves. We’re Alpha Digital, a Fortitude Valley based Digital Marketing Agency which specialises in SEO, Paid Search Marketing (AdWords), and Social Media.
A few of our staff will be attending the AMPed networking night on the 24th of August. We will also be hosting an AMPed upskilling workshop on the 22nd so make sure you’re able to attend either event if you’re keen to ask us some industry questions! Onto the blog!
5 tips to nail industry networking
In today’s job market, finding the right position can be more than challenging, with a high level of competition in Advertising, Marketing, and PR you may struggle to stand out. Attending workshops, job/career fairs, and networking events can be a fantastic way to work your way into an agencies line of sight. As an agency, we are always on the hunt for the best, because naturally we want to provide great results to our clients. And there’s nothing more motivating to us than having students approach us with fantastic questions so that we can have a truly insightful conversation.
1. Do your research:
The most important part of any mission. If sharks could research where the tastiest fish in the ocean were, they would. So why would you neglect to do your research before attending a networking event?
You should be finding out which firms will be at your event and who you plan on targeting. Once you’ve determined this, stalk them (on LinkedIn or on their company website) and at the networking event. Finally, attack them with the questions you want to ask. They’ll likely be impressed (or flattered) that you’re aware of who they are and want to have a well-informed chat.
The research doesn’t stop there. When you’re at the networking event engage in conversation with the professional. Ask them open-ended questions to try and make a strong connection. Find out what you have in common and talk about that. This is a great way to get the conversation started.
2. Ask the right questions
Networking events are the perfect place for you to meet potential employers, but don’t forget, you won’t be the only student there attacking them with questions. You need to stand out and the best way to do this is to stop bombarding them with the wrong questions. You should consider targeting your questions specifically to the professionals, their company and their industry, otherwise they’re not going to bite.
These professionals will be looking for employees/interns that are interested in their line of work so surprise them by asking difficult questions. Instead of asking “What do you do day-to-day?” or “did you know you always wanted to do xyz?”. Ask them interesting questions to get them talking such as “In your opinion, what is the first area of a website that you focus on optimising when a client comes to you?”, or “What do you think are the 3 most important ranking factors?”. These questions will get you started when talking to someone working in SEO. Tailor your questions to their job description as much as possible.
3. Pick your moments
Attack confidently and strategically. We’ve all seen videos of how long a lion watches its prey before pouncing. The same goes at a networking event. Pick your moments so you can get someone’s attention at the right time. Don’t try and talk to them when they have a mouthful of food or waiting in line for the bathroom. These times are slightly inappropriate. Try and approach them when they are walking around the room looking for someone to talk to, or have just finished a chat with someone else. During these times you are likely to have their full attention and this is the optimal situation. In saying that, don’t be afraid to become a part of the feeding frenzy that often occurs when students flock around a professional at networking events. Sometimes this is a good time for you to stand out of the crowd by asking the right questions.
4. Ask if you can connect on LinkedIn
This is often a daunting proposition for a student to consider, but asking a professional if you can connect on Linkedin can open many doors. Alpha Digital staff for example will always share job opportunities, and support each other’s industry blog articles by posting them to their wall. Use this as an opportunity to keep track of what positions are available and connect with other employees. If someone has written a fantastic blog article, comment on their post, or send them a DM making note of what you found interesting. That’s how you stand out.
It is also a great way to show that you are genuinely interested in working in that field of business and you are determined to do whatever it takes to get there. Make sure you are considerate when asking someone for a social connection because some people may be touchy about it. Be open and understanding and offer them your email address instead. (Or a student business card!)
5. Don’t be scared to work alone
Some of the best predators work alone. While you might attend a networking event with a group of friends, make sure you don’t stay huddled together all night. Going up and talking to a professional by yourself not only shows them that you are interested, but also that you are a confident individual who takes the initiative to get what they want. A lot of employers desire this trait and even if they aren’t thinking about this at the time they are more likely to remember you because you were the student that broke away from their group of friends to capture their attention.
Hopefully you find these tips helpful for your next networking event. If you remember to employ these strategic tactics then you are more likely to successfully nail your next network opportunity.
As mentioned earlier, Alpha Digital will be at the AMPed networking night on August 24th and also the AMPed Up-skilling Workshop on the 22nd. Try and surprise us by employing these tactics. We’re on the hunt for some interesting conversations!