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Conversation Tips for Approaching Agents at Conferences

A reader asks:

If we communicate with agents through their agency/personal blog or other social media, do we mention this when approaching the agent at a conference (eg Hi, I’m wishful writer from the agency blog)? Or would the agent stare at us blankly during a really awkward pause after which said writer quietly slinks away? I’m asking because I will be in this exact situation later this year and would rather not make a fool of myself at introduction (I’d like to at least get some conversation under my belt before doing that).
I LOVE when authors approach me to discuss the blog or other social media. I’ll admit, I don’t often take compliments well. For whatever reason “thank you” never feels like quite enough, but I’m not always sure what to say beyond that. However, that’s my problem, not the authors. Typically I’m able to recover and hold a pleasant conversation (I hope).
I think it’s a great idea to give an agent a reference point when you’re first meeting. Talking about social media is a great opening for conversation. Feel free to remind her of an exchange you had, a blog post you enjoyed, or just compliment their Twitter profile. I suppose there’s always the possibility of an awkward pause, but truth be told, sometimes agents are as awkward and uncomfortable as authors when it comes to networking events so I wouldn’t take awkward pauses personally.
Enjoy your conference and thank you for the question.

Category: Blog

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One comment

  1. It’s easy to forget that agents might be as awkward and uncomfortable as authors at networking events. Nice to know that social media is a way of breaking the ice and giving the conversation a starting point, rather than seeming stalkerish =)

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