Some years back, my daughter started with a basketball training and development organization. She was no stranger to being the new kid in a group, be it for a new school, summer camp, or extra-curricular activity. So, I knew she wouldn’t have any trouble fitting in. In a smart networking and publicity move, she wore her new gym t-shirt to her first practice…
Why was the 7th grade gym shirt a stellar idea?
1 – The gym shirts for her school were personalized, so her name was written across the front allowing people to learn it and remember it.
2 – Wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the school’s name would provide an opportunity for other players to exchange notes on what school they go to.
3 – She wasn’t starting Jr High for a few days, this was potentially pre-promotion for her first days at school. Wearing the t-shirt would help her to potentially meet new people and therefore, know more connections once she started school and had to face 100’s of new students.
The t-shirt was a conversation starter, a name tag, essentially a business card, and something that made her standout.
How does this relate to your own Networking & Publicity?
Way too often, I experience others as closed off and disinterested in group situations that would allow for valuable networking and even camaraderie. Being open to connecting helps us grow our business and, further, can help us grow as people. Making networking easier on ourselves can be facilitated by providing an ice breaker. What can you bring to the table at your next interaction with a new group? Here are some thought-starters:
-make it darn obvious that you are open to meeting new people
-give people a reason to talk to you
-provide others with some information that will create a connecting point
-help others to know and remember your name
Turns out, she wore it because “wearing clothes from your Jr. High looks cool“. Ok, so my future CEO didn’t put that much thought into it. But I thought it was ingenious.
So, should we all go around with our name on a t-shirt that tells others where we’re from?! Hahaha. Maybe not. Whatever works for you. Feel free to share ideas!