Have you been thinking you need to network but are not quite sure how? How many of you think that you are actually good at networking? Let’s talk about why networking is important for women and touch on a few reasons why networking can help your business.
First we must know why networking is important. Do you know why? Because networking leads to job offers, networking leads to industry knowledge, networking leads to new sales and new clients and networking builds lasting relationships. When we don’t extend ourselves and reach for new opportunities, our existence withers. Women tend to understand networking better when we refer to it as “Helping.” Do you all know how to help others? Yes, we all know how to help others! Basically, networking is helping. So let’s look at how we can help others and how by doing so, we are helping ourselves as well.
Here are the top 5 networking strategies that can benefit your business!
1. We all know that women are nurturers by nature. We like to empower and help others succeed. Helping others succeed at their business, will ultimately help you succeed at your business. Start by helping and introducing as many people as you can to one another. Be a Connector!
2. Are you living in your comfort zone? Is it nice and cushy there? Are you afraid to step out? This is not going to help your business and in fact it will ultimately hurt your business. Start by taking baby steps outside of your comfort zone. Invite others to connect with you, attend events you normally would not attend, introduce yourself to people you do not know. When you actively build new relationships, inevitably your network and career will grow.
3. Sometimes in the business world, women are not asked about their career as often as men are. We are more likely to be asked about our family first. Value other women in business by asking them what they do for a living. Show your interest in learning more about what she does for a living so that you can best refer her in business when out and about in the community. Becoming “others focused” will always reap huge rewards down the road as women naturally desire to pay it forward.
4. Women in business must be an open-source to other women in business, but we must also pay close attention and work smart at the same time. Do remember the old saying, “One hand washes the other.” Don’t repeatedly ask for favors without giving back at least as much as you get.
5. Women are encouragers. Encourage other women to network. Share discussions on how networking and different strategies have worked for you. This is always very uplifting and positive and allows you to celebrate your “Wins” together!
Remember that people do business with who they know, like and trust. Connecting, sharing and building lasting relationships will lead to more referrals for your business. Plus, we all know the best marketing tool of all is the everyday word-of-mouth referral from family and friends!
We challenge you to look at your calendar and see how many networking events you have planned for the future and aim to add at least one more each month over the next 6 months. Focus on building relationships and connecting with others by implementing the above into your networking strategy. There are many networking events to choose from, be sure the events you choose align with who you are and how you want to build your business. Don’t worry about how many business cards you hand out or contacts you make. It’s not about quantity, but more about the quality of contacts you make and how you plan to follow up to build those relationships.