NETWORKING WITH AND FOR A PURPOSE
NETWORK, CONNECT, BUILD AND GROW
Networking is a great tool to grow and build both personally and professionally.
Here is a list of common benefits of networking
• Referrals, which means increased business.
• It aids in raising your profile
• You gain Positive Influence
• Gain knowledge
• Opportunity to help others as well
• Opportunity for collaborating with others as well as for partnerships
A , list of not so common benefits of networking. I think sometimes people think of networking only as a way of building their business or growing their careers, but when done correctly you can get so much more out it.
• Great friendships that benefits you outside of business or career.
• For example a self employed mom who connects with other self employed moms can prove to be something wonderful. Someone who understand totally what it means to be self employed mom. Or just the fact that you are both moms .
Thanks to the internet and especially social media networking is not limited anymore; you are able to network online as well. My personal favorite thing about networking is the relationship aspect. I am such a people person and I absolutely love connecting with people all sorts of people. Some of my greatest friendships were founded through networking!!! I have cultivated these relationships both online as well as in person. These are people I have been able to call on for advice, not just for business, but for personal as well, and they can do the same with me. I have been able to maintain a social relationship with them as well.
I truly believe why a few things that I have used that has helped me to with building such strong relationships through networking is.
Know your reason or reasons for wanting to connect and meet new people. Are you looking for long term or short term and or short term connections? Are you looking to connect for personal or professional reasons or is it both? This will help to gage you with the kind of people you should be connecting with or the type of atmosphere you should be around.
Yes respect for others. For example if you attend a networking meeting or connect with someone online for the sole purpose of what they can do for you to help you grow your business and not give thought to what you may be able to do to help them. Then your conversations will be one sided and it will not be long before others picked up on that. And give others a chance to speak, you cannot dominate a connection. (You know that person you meet and they do not give you an opportunity to speak, it is as if you do not have something as important to say) And that shows you are only in it for yourself. I know they say in business be bold, and I believe that, but does that mean you have to be rude? Absolutely not!
Be respectful of time: There is usually a start time set for these meetings, so be mindful of that, there is no being fashionably late here. Yes the chances of something unforeseeable happens to cause you be to be late is always a possibility and so for that reason if possible for you to have the phone number of the host so you can be in touch in case you will be late.
3. Be Prepared
You have to be prepared whether online or in person to tell someone who you are and what you do and make it as brief yet as concise as possible. You do not want to lose someone in a conversation as soon as it get started. And if you are at a face to face connection please have your marketing materials with you, business cards, fliers, brochures etc. Maybe have a list of questions to ask each person you connect with, questions could be based off of your purpose for networking or what you are looking for in business relationship or if you would like the relationship to social as well.
4. Proper Attire
When attending networking events, keep in mind it is for professional reasons unless otherwise stated. I mean a networking event can be a social event only, therefore if it is not; you want to dress comfortably, but appropriately.
5. Moms Networking
I totally agree and understand that our children are a big part of our lives, our journeys and our experiences and so when attending a networking event, just because it is for moms, do not assume you can bring small ones with you, you want to ask first the event allows for small ones. And please do not get upset if the answer is no. As moms we have to be honest with ourselves and sometimes the little ones can be distracting so for professional meetings you might want to find a sitter. Another thing , I have hosted and attend a lot of meetings with mothers and one thing that gets in the way is how much mothers like to spend time talking about their children and showing pictures and while nothing is wrong with that, you have to be mindful of where you are and why you are there. Perhaps you can wait until after the official meeting to get to know one another on that personal level. And please I do think it is a great and beneficial thing to do ..