Networking at Your Child’s school: Do and Don’t

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Back to school! Even for a busy professional like yourself, that can mean plenty of activities. School plays, concerts, home and away games, field trips, and let’s not forget Career Day. (Hopefully, nobody in your child’s class has an astronaut as a parent – everything’s a letdown after that!)

While you will be interacting with your children and your classmates a bit, you will also be interacting with other parents, teachers, school administrators, and staff. Are you going to reach out to them professionally? Of course, but you also don’t want to run the risk of making a school function about yourself. Here are some tips for making that effort without “crossing the line.”

DO have business cards. You may not keep your personal number or contact info on your business cards. That’s okay! There are situations where it’s appropriate to give out contact info to teachers, staff, and other parents. Writing it on the back of your card gives them the info and also creates a connection.

DON’T be too forward. Gear any personal conversations toward the other adults. Ask them questions about their professions. Focus on making connections first, clients last – you’ll find that it progresses organically that way.

DO respect everyone’s time. If you are taking part in an activity during school hours, remember that the other parents have likely taken time off from work to volunteer. As for teachers and staff, they ARE at work! At afterschool activities, people are there to focus on their children, and teachers are adding hours to an already long day. Do not try to manipulate conversations toward your business if they don’t go there naturally.

DON’T take on your child’s teacher as a client. At least, not immediately. While educators do have needs that you can help with, you also don’t want to create a situation where your business could conflict with your child’s education. Keep in mind that if you have a younger child, they may be assigned to the same teacher at some point in the future, or that same teacher may move on to teach a higher grade and your child could have them again. If you want to reach out to your child’s teacher, talk to them after the school year is over, and be informed.

Respecting the time and boundaries of school staff and parents may mean developing friendly relationships now, and reaching out to them at some later point, down the road. You can cultivate that relationship and maintain it through occasional greeting cards and other mail and email outreach. www.Marketing.Pro offers vibrant, relevant content that will help you maintain that bridge.

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