Breaking into the Right Crowd is very Important for your Business
For every entrepreneur looking to make a head way, you have to break into the right crowd! Lagos, for instance, is Nigeria’s business hub, with a large population of start-ups and medium scale businesses. With Lagos, breaking into the right crowd is very important for your business. And in the beginning, you get one chance to break in big or stay trying (and maybe one day, seven years of hustling might pay off).
For all of you considering this Lagos move or in Lagos already and seeking ways to break into your market, I have documented networking tips that will come in handy. They will guide you in this “crazy business landscape” that is Lagos.
Know your crowd
Research, research and research! Who are the folks you want to meet? Who do you want to know and be known on a first name basis? Do you have their numbers on your phone? What do they do? What businesses do they run? Where do they gather? What do they eat? (Okay, that’s too much info). Get info, stay off the gossip blogs please.
Use the social media
Say hello, follow, mention, be in their space without seeming desperate, retweet and commend. Thankfully, social media bridges gaps. Don’t spam. You can ask genuine questions about what they do. Successful business men like to talk about their businesses.
Make use of event apps
Download one today, download two for efficiency. As a matter of fact, download it now! Search online for events, what’s happening? Where is it happening? Who is coming? Register for events that suit you. Please, if you happen to be bus hopping, go early and don’t arrive there sweating.
Look the part
A typical Lagosian will size you up only by how you are dressed before they even say “hello” and hear what you have to say, these people are aliens! They listen first with their eyes. Dress like where you are headed, not where you are coming from. No cheap weaves too, Lagosians (male and female) can smell cheap weaves from a mile away, if you can’t afford real weaves, stick to braids. Trust me, as superficial as this sound, this is important, especially in Lagos to dress exactly how you want to be addressed.
Do you have your elevator speech ready
An elevator speech is a 30-45 seconds marketing pitch of your business. Have one ready! When asked “what do you do?” Know your business and mind it. You have 30 seconds to get it right, please, skip the “emm”, “you know”, “you get”, “err”, as each of those has cost you 10 potential networks! Write one now and practice in front of a mirror, sound like you know what you are doing. And I beg of you, don’t sound like you crammed the speech.
You own this town, look the part. Nobody has time for a slouching, shy business man or woman who refuses to make eye contact. Lagosians are very careful who they give business and money to. Be confident, talk confidently and leave an impression – a good one.
Use nice and professionally done business cards
Your cards sell you long after you have left the building, you may want to invest a little money in getting nicely and professionally made business cards. One more time for emphasis, nice and professionally made business cards.
Be so good, they can’t ignore you
With this rule, you may get a chance to skip several of the above. Offer excellent services, do your work diligently, make trends. They will come to you.
- Ized Uanikhehi is Content Creator and Social Media Manager. Follow her on twitter: @zegbua