Tech-Savvy Networking: How I Use Tech for Networking

Apr 5, 2024 | Career, Personal

As a techie, I use tech as a networking tool to enhance my personal brand. Learn about how my LED name tag became my professional superpower.
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Personal branding, networking, and technology have always been important to me. They are so important that my personal mission and superpower is to help high-achieving professionals and solopreneurs connect the dots between personal branding and digital technology.

Through my career and personal endeavors, I blend my four passions: developing people, creativity, strategy, and digital technology to help people own their identity and make a living by being themselves. I like to spread the word and educate others on personal branding and technology while looking for creative ways to apply these concepts in my own life. After all, I am the best proof that I can show people that what I am saying actually works.

Harnessing the Power of Digital Tools

Every person has a personal brand, and, in the 20th century, every brand needs digital technology. Being deliberate about how you use technology to own your presence on and offline is a regular business practice nowadays. In this post, I will tell you about a networking tool that I stumbled upon and how I have been using it to enhance my personal brand.

Since I am just getting back into my creator journey, a few years ago, I decided to try out livestreaming on a platform that was separate from my main social accounts to get my feet wet. On this platform, I experimented with different types of streaming topics and trends to gauge what content people might like to see from me.

In livestream culture, it is common for streamers to display the names of their top gifters while they are streaming. They might use a whiteboard, pictures or shapes hung on the wall behind them, LED boards, or LED name tags to do this.

As I started to gain some traction, I purchased an LED name tag from Amazon to easily display the names of my top gifters while streaming, as I had seen other streamers do. It was a successful purchase for my stream that encouraged people to try to get to the top of my gifters list so that their names would be shown on my name tag. Everyone loved it!

How My LED Name Tag Became My Professional Superpower

While testing out this livestreaming platform, I began working as a server at Omar’s Show Bar on Fridays and Saturdays, which allowed me to return to the food and beverage industry. The dress code for this job was black attire, including a black shirt, pants, and shoes. Despite the all-black dress code, I could be creative with my outfits as it was a club scene. As I was already experimenting with different content topics for my stream, I decided to do a regular “Get Ready with Me” stream on the days I worked.

During my first week as a server at Omar’s, nobody realized I was new since they hadn’t had a server there in a while. One day, I remember poking fun at a customer for going to the bar instead of allowing me to serve him at the tables on the floor. When I questioned his decision, he said to me, “I didn’t know you were there! You’re tiny, have on all black, and it is dark in here.”

This interaction made me realize that I needed to find a way to make my presence known to customers. That’s when I had an idea: I should wear my LED name tag! Not only would it help customers know my name in the noisy environment, but it would also allow them to spot me when they wanted to order.

When I started wearing the name tag, customers loved it! After a while, I needed more than just the name tag, so I later bought some runner lights that I wore on my wrists and ankles while working. People loved my lights so much that one day, when I planned to leave work early and took off my lights, a customer begged me to put them back on and offered to pay me for it. It made me feel accomplished that people appreciated my quirky idea.

The Impact of My LED Name Tag on Networking Success

After I stopped working at Omar’s, the next time I used my name tag again was at a conference. As my time as a student at Focus: HOPE’s Information Technology Center was coming to an end, the program director asked me to register for the CARS conference. The conference was intended to provide students with prospective job opportunities and education about the auto industry. They needed more people to sign up, so I decided to attend, even though I wasn’t particularly interested in it. However, I saw it as an opportunity to network if nothing else.

As I was preparing for the conference, I made sure that I had packed my LED name tag, my Linq digital business card, and copies of my resume to hand out if the opportunity arose. When we arrived at Traverse City to attend the conference, we were provided with name badges and some other conference materials. To simplify the process of sharing my business card with others, I placed it at the back of my conference name badge and attached my LED name tag to my shirt so it was easily visible to others.

As I walked through the hotel’s halls during the breakout sessions and food breaks, I wasn’t particularly interested in approaching people to converse. Since I had no inherent interest in attending, I didn’t know what to say to those around me. Instead, I preferred to hang out at the tables in the hallways either alone or with some of the other Focus: HOPE students who had come with me.

While I was in the hallways, several people approached me to initiate conversations about my name tag, which they found intriguing. This was a frequent occurrence throughout the conference. Rather than me having to approach people to start a conversation and struggle to break the ice, people were approaching me willingly to discuss my name tag, which then led to discussions about my interests and reasons for attending. It was a fantastic experience!

Final Thoughts…

After attending the CARS conference, I felt my new networking techniques were validated and worthwhile. This experience motivated me to continue networking and to find ways to improve. I had developed a solid networking plan! From that point on, whenever I attended a conference or networking event, I made sure to wear my LED name tag and bring my digital business card with me.

Now, when I attend networking events, I always use my digital business card and LED name tag to showcase my tech-savvy persona. These tools help me make a strong professional impression and stand out in a crowded room while helping people recognize me as a true techie! Professionally, if I’m not known as “the girl with the name tag”, I am known as “the techie girl with the name tag and digital business card” at every event, and I couldn’t be happier!

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Desiree' M. Slaughter

Desiree' M. Slaughter

Creative Professional, Solopreneur, Digital Creator

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