October 14, 2016

Add Sweet Reverb to Your FounderCon Mix

Musicians know that reverberation, or “reverb,” can make the difference between a song being heard and a song being felt… it is the quality and persistence of the sound after the sound is produced that counts. Next week FounderCon comes to #StartupCincy, and you as founders will have an opportunity to make connections with investors, partners, and customers from around the world. Here are a few tips on how to be sure your networking efforts aren’t just noise, but music to your audience’s ears.

Stick Out Your Hand

First, remember that the attendees are visitors. They’re our guests. Stick out your hand, and introduce yourself. Be curious: ask questions about what brought them here. Most of all, offer to be helpful. A good restaurant recommendation (or pointing them to the nearest Graeter’s) can go a long way.

Relational, Not Transactional

When you meet someone for the first time, it is usually not a good idea to pitch them on the spot. Cincinnati and Techstars have a shared philosophy of #GiveFirst… it is better to start by looking to help others than help yourself. You never know what opportunities will evolve over time.

But You’re Not Good at Networking?

You may think, “I’m just not a networker.” I bet you are! As a founder, building a network is part of your job. Some people have the wrong idea about networking. When it’s done right, networking engages a spirit of curiosity – a desire to learn something new. You became a founder at least in part because you were curious. Take that same approach to meeting new people, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Next week is a great moment for us to share the progress we’ve made at #StartupCincy and learn from our visitors how we – as startups and as a community – can improve. Introduce yourself, be helpful and be curious. We’ll discover connections that will reverberate for years to come.

PS… Want help making a connection? Comment below and I’ll be sure to make it happen. ~Tim