If you’re like me, you’re pretty fresh in the world of professional digital marketing. Sometimes the idea of networking can be a bit daunting. You’re still getting acquainted with the world of digital media and internet marketing. You might picture a stuffy event where you have to wear a business suit, then you stand awkwardly waiting for someone to approach you. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are a few myths that I’ve busted about networking events:

#1. Professional attire is required.

WRONG. Well, in some cases. It all depends on what networking events you choose to attend. If you thrive in a more casual environment, you should make an effort to seek more casual events out. A coffee shop meet and greet may be more your speed compared to a cocktail social at your area’s fanciest hotel. Some networking events are even held online!

#2. I’m the only one who has networking nerves.

Sometimes you might think that you’re the only one that is nervous about talking to people. You’re mistaken. If you’re at an event and happen to look around, you’ll notice that there are PLENTY of people who are standing around, drink in hand, waiting for someone to talk to them; just like you. Take a deep breath and try approaching someone first. Trust me, they’ll be grateful that they didn’t have to do it.

#3. Every networking event is the same.

This couldn’t be more incorrect. Each event will have different nuances depending on the location and the focus of the event. Try to seek out events that might involve something you haven’t experienced before like a restaurant that you have never been to or a local company that you haven’t heard of. Our local business improvement district, The Ballston BID, frequently hosts events with the local animal shelter. They bring puppies. What could be better than puppies?

#4. Nobody understands digital marketing.

This might be slightly true If you’re at a general networking event. You may find that not everyone you talk to will understand exactly what you do. That is okay! That could be your opportunity to explain the value of search engine optimization or paid media to a potential client.

However, if you are attending a digital marketing networking event, you’ll be in your element! You can get nerdy with fellow digital marketers. You could talk SSL Certificates with a neighbor SEO or learn about the latest social trends from the guy at the agency down the street.

#5. It’s hard to find digital marketing events.

As if. You’re a digital marketer! You live and breathe the internet so use it to your advantage. Doing a quick google search could help you find digital marketing events near you. If you live in a rural area, finding an online community might be a better bet for you!

When we host networking events at Knucklepuck, we put them on MeetUp. There are loads of other tools that you can use to find networking events as well.

Here are a few places to look for networking events:

  •      MeetUp.com
  •      Facebook Events
  •      LinkedIn
  •      Eventbrite.com

Start Networking Now

Now that we’ve busted a few myths about networking, get out there and find a networking event that interests you! You could generate business opportunities, make connections for future collaborations or even make a new friend.