Online networking and presenting has become a vital skill in our hyper-connected world, especially for CPG and food business owners looking to forge strategic partnerships and create stronger brand awareness in the United States and Globally.
From my 35+ years of experience in food and cpg strategy consultancy combined with my 100’s of online meetings and over 200 videos on YouTube, I’ve found three main aspects that hold the key to successful online meetings: mastering the technology, prior preparation, and delivering unmatched value.
Tune Up the Tech
Audio: Crystal clear audio communication lays the foundation for a successful meeting and is the #1 indicator of quality in video. I recommend and personally use the Shure MV7 USB microphone for its reliability and clarity. Ask for Zac at Sweetwater for more information.
My quick tips for your audio success:
Position the mic about 6 inches from your face, use the included pop filter, and secure it with a solid arm or microphone stand. If you’re just beginning, use the SHURE included MOTIV app and place settings on AUTO until you gain more experience with the microphone setup. Investing in these details can make all the difference in ensuring that your voice is heard clearly and professionally.
Lighting: Proper lighting doesn’t have to be expensive but must be done with care. Here are my tips to achieve a professional and credible look, your kids likely already know this stuff:
Use a variety of light sources. This will help to create a more natural and flattering look.
Use diffused, reflected, and soft light. Direct light is perceived as harsh and unflattering.
Position the lights so that they are not shining directly into your face. This will create shadows and make you look tired and highlight imperfections.
Use a reflector to bounce light back onto your face. This will help to fill in shadows, create a more even look, and hide wrinkles. A reflector can be as simple as a white wall or white poster board.
Experiment with different settings until you find a look that you like. There’s no one right way to light a video; the best way is to experiment and find what works best for you and your content.
Get Daylight Light Bulbs in your lamps if you’re not buying professional lighting equipment. The Daylight bulbs, available on Amazon or Home Depot, measure between 5,000K and 6,000K, producing light that is perceived as bright white.
Combine low-cost LED lights with diffusers or reflectors. Reflective umbrellas or white sheets can also be utilized to create the soft and evenly spread light needed for professional online meetings and video.
Preparing an Outline and Agenda
To ensure a productive online networking meeting, it is essential to prepare an outline and agenda. Knowing who you’re meeting and having several ideas on how to serve them can make the interaction more engaging and fruitful.
Consider introducing them to others in your network, sharing their information on social media, or exploring joint marketing, podcast or video interviews, and projects. Always follow up and continue to provide them with valuable insights relevant to their niche market.
Being of Massive Value and Service
Networking is not just about what you can gain, but how you can provide value to the other party. Most people are so unorganized they hope the new connection will benefit them. If you’re not organized and providing tremendous value to your existing network, think again about adding to the quantity. Going deep with your network instead of going wide yields big results. Always ship a hard copy of your book, if possible, prior to the meeting, as it can make an amazing impact.
In a world where we’re continuously connecting online, these strategies can transform your online networking game, making you not just another face on the screen but a valued connection, ready to build meaningful relationships.
In a world where screens separate us, it’s the personal touches and our planning that bring us closer. Whether it’s preparing the right tech setup with Shure audio and simple lighting solutions or providing valuable content to others, online networking can be close to as rich and fulfilling as in-person connections and in some cases surpass IRL.
Online networking isn’t just about expanding your contacts; it’s about fostering relationships that resonate with authenticity and value. By moving beyond the screen you will transform your online networking game.
If you are invested in the CPG and Food marketing and distribution space, Let’s meet! Book an appointment at www.timforrestmarkets.com, and let’s explore how we can create value together.
“Hi I’m Tim, and I love the food business! I’ve been helping large and small companies and entrepreneurs achieve success for decades. My consulting projects have contributed to major successes for my clients, including many with 100%+ year-over-year growth rates. I enjoy sharing my expertise, and hope you find these blog posts enlightening. Please reach out to me with any questions or comments.”
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