25 Feb The Power of Networking
“Networking is a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.” (Dictionary.com)
I have been a proud member of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Exchange (We2) networking group for many years.
“The WE² system is more than just a business card grab, it’s a community of like-minded women – entrepreneurial, professional, creative, intelligent, supportive & compassionate – who gather to share our experience & strengths.” (from the website)
I have learned most of what I know about social media and marketing thanks to the presentations I have attended at We2 networking events and at workshops by fellow members. My profile photo is thanks to a fellow member Wanda Malfara. http://www.wandamalfara.com/
Getting up at 7am to attend meetings is not always easy, but I always leave with a sense of accomplishment and inspiration. We2 also holds valuable lunch-time talks and specialty workshops. Most events are open to non-members. Meetings are a great way to get known and to get to know fellow entrepreneurs and inspiration seekers!
Recently I joined the We2 program Focus5™. “This group is a mix of a mastermind program and a business-building road map, taking us from dream to implementation and action – designed to give us the accountability we need, with a fresh and honest look at our businesses.” (from the website) I have often heard of the benefits of joining a mastermind group and I am quickly discovering the power of the group!
A few tips about networking that I learned from the incredible Sarena Miller, founder of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Exchange and creator of Focus5™:
1. Show up.
2. Make eye contact.
3. Smile and have fun.
4. Give first.
5. Support fellow members for gifts and services.
7. Connect and be a connector.
8. Be positive.
9. Have 2-way conversations.
10. Follow up.
11. Be polite; ask permission to put people on mailing lists.
12. Come prepared. Be aware of how you can HELP people & add VALUE.
…and a few Don’ts
1. Do not pre-judge
2. Do not complain.
3. Do not assume.
4. Do not pounce.
5. Do not hog the conversation.
6. Do not send unsolicited emails after a meeting.
7. Do not be in Sales mode.
Start by StARTing Tip: Find a networking group in your area that fits your style. Go as a guest to a few different ones to see which one feels right.