When it comes to partnerships, Afua Osei is equipped with the secret sauce! As one of the co-founders of She Leads Africa, Osei knows a thing or two about building a digital platform from the ground up. She Leads Africa is the ultimate digital lifestyle platform curated with the millennial multicultural woman in mind. To date, it has reached more than 800,000 women across 100+ countries.
When she isn’t mastering her own brand, Osei is helping others to achieve the partnerships of their dreams. Her role as a partnerships strategist is to assist digital entrepreneurs with building the skills, systems, and confidence needed to work with any corporate client that they choose. From Facebook to Google to Nestle to Samsung and beyond, this mastermind has helped brands of all shapes and sizes to create culturally relevant and data-driven campaigns and now she can help you do the same.
Here are 5 tips on networking and curating the partnership of your dreams by way of Afua Osei:
Master The Art Of The “Follow-Up”
“It’s important to get people’s business cards, but it’s even more important to follow-up afterward,” is a word of advice from Osei who says that it is vital to master the art of the follow-up. The process doesn’t even have to be treated like rocket science either, simply send a brief follow-up email to everyone you meet and include a clear subject line so that the recipient won’t assume that the note belongs in the spam folder.
If possible, share a detail from the event that’s special to your interaction, and don’t be bummed or too aggressive if they don’t reach out, her suggestion is to “be persistent, yet respectful.”
Always Have A Game Plan
So there’s a huge networking or work event coming up and you know that it has the potential to change the trajectory of your career which means that you’ve got some planning to do!
Don’t head into the event with a goal or mission to speak to everyone because it’s just not humanely possible. Pinpoint the people that you must connect with versus the people who you think would just be nice to chat with and from there do your research so that you can approach each conversation with a nugget on the person’s background and/or interests.
Gain Confidence By The Food Table
For those who aren’t always comfortable making an introduction to people, Osei says that it may serve you well to hang out by the food table.
“Food is always a great conversation starter,” Osei notes. “If you see someone picking up that lovely mini cupcake you just tried, go up to them and say: ‘Those cupcakes are absolutely amazing. You should definitely try one.’” From there you can also naturally introduce yourself creating a conversation without the awkwardness that can come from being shy.
Don’t Solely Set Your Sights Upon The Main Attraction
At the conference or event, when an important person arrives, everyone will be trying to capture their attention which is why Osei notes that it is important to look around and find the people that they arrived with and target them.
“That person is way more accessible than the important man or woman, and they may be able to secure a meeting with them in the future,” she notes. “Plus, they may be able to teach you a thing or two.”
It may seem super cliche, but it is so important to ask the right questions.
“Many people think that networking is all about trying to impress people with your amazing accomplishments, but it’s just as important to listen to other people and try to learn more about them,” Osei adds.
Click here to learn more about partnerships by way of Afua Osei.