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16 Dietetic Networking Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

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16 Networking Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

 

Whether you are gearing up for the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Boston or just attending a local networking event, you definitely don’t want to make these networking mistakes. NutritionJobs reached out to dietitians and got their great advice and tips on what not to do when networking.


 

“Bring your business cards, yet don’t make it a ‘business’ handing out your card to everyone you meet. Talk Less and Listen more. Think about how you can help others succeed in their business and connect them to your circle of resources.”

Barbara R Baron, MS, RDN, CDN, “Be your own ‘MVP‘ with Moderation, Variety, & Planning!”

Twitter: @barbbaron


 

“Scared? Everyone is probably scared, too. Understand the value of putting yourself in a challenging situation. The longer you avoid something that scares you, the scarier it becomes. Jump. In. Network.”
Chere Bork, MS, RDN, founder of Savor Your Life Today
Twitter: @cherebork


 

“Don’t forget to follow up with new contacts after the first meeting. At busy networking events, I’ll write a note on the back of the person’s business card to remind me of something personal to say when I write the follow up email or befriend them on social media the next day.”
Stephanie Brookshier, RDN, ACSM-CPT, founder of Stephanie Brookshier
Twitter: @stephbrookshier


 

“Networking is a conversation that may lead to a relationship. It’s as simple as that. Networking is not about trying to sell yourself or your products. You are there to meet people who share a mutual need or interest or someone you can help solve a problem.”
Jean Caton, MS, MBA, RDN, Host of Color My World Confident Podcast
Twitter: @JeanCaton


 

“After long conferences like FNCE, wait a few days before contacting a colleague you’ve networked with.  When we’re out of the office, our email and voicemail inboxes fill up and we have a lot of catching up to do. There’s a high likelihood your message can get lost in the shuffle during that time frame.”
Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT, creator of Nutrition Nuptials
Twitter: @nutrinuptials


 

“One networking mistake is continuously checking your phone. Put the phone away. You want to be interested and engaged with others and not appear distracted by your phone.”
Lara Felton, MBA, RDN, Co-founder of RDelish Nutrition
Twitter: @lfreetrd


 

“Not following up with new connections. If you have a little pile of business cards post networking event, go home and email your new connections with a little note. Then connect with them on LinkedIn. Don’t wait a few months to do this.”
Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition
Twitter: @amygorin


 

“One networking mistake is having an elevator speech longer than 5 minutes. Keep introductions brief but memorable. Another mistake is having a stiff and unapproachable body language such as crossed arms or a frown. Smile and relax. If you’re enjoying yourself, others will, too.”
Jerlyn Jones, MS, MPA, RD, LD, founder of Jerlyn Jones Nutrition, LLC
Twitter: @jerlynnutrition


 

“Think of it as networking. Just have a conversation and get to know people. Make friends, not contacts.”
Jamila Lepore, MS, RDN, CPT, Founder of No Nonsense Nutritionist
Twitter: @n3_nutritionist


 

“The biggest networking mistake I see people make is forgetting to introduce themselves when they meet new people. Many times I’ve heard people simply say, “Nice to meet you,” instead of saying, “My name is Jessica Levings. Nice to meet you.” Failing to introduce yourself makes the other person have to go through the entire conversation without knowing your name and walk away without knowing who you are. Don’t rely only on your name tag if wearing one.”

Jessica Levings, MS, RDN, Owner of Balanced Pantry
Twitter: @balancedpantry


 

“Yes, it’s important to look good but wear comfortable shoes. I had to take the time to buy a new pair during my first conference. There’s nothing worse than not being able to walk, and there’s a lot of walking.”

– Sandy Nissenberg, MS, RDN, Senior Editorial Director, Cookbooks Publications International

Twitter: @sandynissenberg


 

“If your goal for networking is to build relationships of mutual value, don’t be too busy meeting lots of people at professional events. More time spent with a smaller number of people creates better connections and feels more genuine than collecting a bunch of business cards or gmail contacts.”
Michele Redmond, MS, RDN, Dietitian, Chef, and Taste Guide at The Taste Workshop
Twitter: @Taste_Workshop


 

“Networking mistake NOT to make: Not following up after meeting someone. Whenever you meet someone and exchange business cards, don’t let the connection stop there. Always follow up after the event with a personal email, referencing your conversation, and leaving the door open for communication in the future.”

Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CDN, CSCS, Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Twitter: @alissarumseyRD


 

“Don’t try to ‘over-network.’ Rather than walking into a room of 200 people and becoming overwhelmed, set a goal to connect with 5-10 people. Chat with people. If there is no connection, move on. Find those who you can really make meaningful connections with.”

Rosanne Rust, MS, RDN, LDN, Translating Data into Well-Reasoned Nutrition Advice

Twitter: @rustnutrition


 

“A networking mistake you don’t want to make is not reading, From Business Cards to Business Relationships: Personal Branding and Profitable Networking Made Easy, by Allison Graham. By far, one of the best books on demystifying the networking process.”
Sonja Stetzler, MA, RDN, CPC, founder of Effective Connecting
Twitter: @sonjastetzler


 

“The biggest networking mistake is to NOT GO to the event. Yes, it’s intimidating to go to an event alone when you don’t know a soul, but you have to ‘man up.’ Dietitians are actually super supportive. Not only do you leave the event with more contacts, but you will have more friends, too. Don’t be scared. Be excited. Networking events are the best.”

Caroline Susie, RDN, LD, Dietitian By Day; Foodie By Night
Twitter: @carolinesusieRD


 

And networking events really are the best. I’ve made my best contacts during networking events, so enjoy the next adventure you have.

Want to hear from the experts on what you should do while networking? Make sure to check out:

Sarah Koszyk is founder of Family. Food. Fiesta. A family-based wellness program and blog focusing on recipes, family health tips, and videos with kids cooking in the kitchen. She is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach specializing in sports nutrition and adult and pediatric weight management. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn.

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