It’s never too late or too early to start networking. Whether you’re a woman in business, climbing the corporate ladder or still in your “figuring it out” era.
It’s important to invest time in building meaningful connections that will help you reach your goals.
I’ll be sharing my top 4 reasons why networking and building relationships are important for YOU and offer some tips on how to effectively and practically start networking.
Why a boss-lady like you should start networking?
- Networking… builds a supportive community
The beauty of networking lies in meeting people and building relationships, you get to connect with like-minded and completely different individuals that can provide a strong support system and access to mentorship opportunities.
Where do you find these individuals? By attending events and conferences, you can connect with potential clients, investors, mentors, and collaborators that can provide a strong support system and mentorship opportunities.
If you’re wondering where to start looking for networking events, start by signing up for an events “gig guide”.
- Networking… opens doors
We’ve all heard the quote, “your network is your net worth.” and this quote has stood the test of time. Being associated with someone can get you into boardrooms, meetings and spaces that may be difficult to approach on your own.
- Networking… gives you access to resources
Knowing people who have certain skills and expertise makes life easier. If you need help with a legal issue and you have an attorney or lawyer within your network, you can simply reach out to them for help.
You could need funding for your business and meet someone who can assist you in getting a meeting with “the right” person, there is an abundance of opportunities when it comes to networking and building a community.
- Networking… establishes your brand
Building a personal brand is what I call “social currency” or “social leverage”, networking can be an effective way to build your personal brand and establish yourself as an expert in your field or a thought leader.
Positioning yourself as someone who can offer valuable insight and knowledge often builds trust within your network and potentially leads to more clients, collaborations and opportunities.
“HOW DO I ACTUALLY NETWORK?”
There’s a framework I use called: The 3 P’s of networking (Prep, Pursue and Post-networking)
Don’t go in completely unprepared; research who will be attending and whom you’d like to approach.
Prepare 2-5 standard questions you can repetitively ask each person. Remember to be yourself and seek genuine connections.
Step 1: Greet, Compliment, Ask and Listen
Tone and body language are very important: be friendly, genuine and make direct eye contact
Step 2: Authentically Pitch
While they were speaking did you notice something that resonated with your business/career/interests mention it and sway the conversation in your favour
Step 3: Add Value
Here’s where you exchange business cards and do it on the premises of adding value, this is your differentiator.
P= Post networking
You have to reach out after you’ve made the connection and maintain it through communication.
Tip💡: Ask them to follow you on social media and vice versa or send a message there a then so you have direct contact.
Lastly, always remember to give back: Offer your expertise or resources to them,hether it’s through service exchange, mentorship, volunteering, or offering to connect them with someone in your network.
Giving back can help you build stronger relationships and establish yourself as a valuable member of the community.
In summary, networking, building relationships and communities are essential for boss babes who want to grow their businesses and corporate climbers who want to achieve their goals.
By attending events, joining online communities, hosting events, following up, and giving back, you can build strong relationships that will help you access new opportunities, gain mentorship and support, establish your personal brand, and access a valuable resource.