Networking, networking, networking. That was all I heard from professors, parents and counselors while approaching graduation. I would nod my head, say “yes, yes” and then completely forget what they were even talking about an hour later.
It wasn’t until I was in the “real world” that I started to understand what they were trying to tell me – it’s all about connections. Are you one of those people? That won’t listen to anything until you have to try it yourself? Yeah, me too. I realized I could email and call as many people as I wanted, but I wasn’t getting the benefits that face-to-face connection creates.
I searched for a networking group that fit my needs for over five months. Seeking a group I could relate to, but also learn from all of the members and their insight that they had to offer. Once I found my tribe, I started to reap the importance of networking and all the doors that it opened for me.
Whether you work from home, started a business or you’re searching for a group of women that lift you, networking is definitely important for your career. If you’ve been thinking about joining a group, but worried it’ll take up too much time or you’re not sure how it’ll benefit you, i’m going to share the importance of networking and how it’ll drastically change how you think about business.
There are many online groups that are available to entrepreneurs. Communities like Facebook Groups, Masterminds, Instagram pods, but nothing quite compares to the connection you make with someone when meeting them in person. Instead of typing behind a screen, you get to create a personal bond with each person you meet – and it’s not all about business! By going to a networking event, you can mingle about where you grew up, your background, what you like to do on the weekends and find people that like the same things as you.
How many times have you met someone and have been able to connect with them on a more personal level and then when their name gets brought up again, that tie comes up in your mind. This is where meaningful connections are made! You are more likely to contact someone once you put a face to a name and develop a personal link with that person.
There is no support like the support you get from other women in business. Am I right? Going to networking events opens up a whole new side of friendships that benefits both your business and your sanity. Knowing that other women are going through the same thing as you is a breath of fresh air and shoulders to lean on. You create meaningful connections with people that understand your business and are cheering you on. It’s comforting to know that you are not alone.
From new business owners to biz veterans, in a networking group there are wide ranges of stages that people are in their business. Everyone is different and has gone through many obstacles to get where they are today. If you are having an issue or are not sure what you’re doing (me!), chances are there is someone that can offer advice on how to solve it. You can google everything you want, I know I do, but there’s nothing like listening to someone that has experienced your same problem and helping you pull through it. Everyone has something to offer that you might not have heard before and this new knowledge could help tremendously in your business.
I’ve spent lots of time on my website, hours on planning my social media and money on ads and campaigns to try to get clients, but nothing has proved to be more successful than interacting with people and word of mouth. After all the marketing that i’ve done, the sole source of where I get my clients is word of mouth and I know that it has 100% to do with all the networking i’ve done. By going and making that face to face interaction, you meet people that either need your product/service or know someone that does. Say there are 30 people at the event and you talk to every single one and give them your card. Whether it’s immediate or a few months down the line, your name could possibly get brought up and someone will want to hire you. They’re your free marketing team!
My favorite part about having a business is the amazing people that I meet. I love meeting at coffee shops, business happy hours and networking events because that’s where I meet the most meaningful connections. Everyone is cheering you on and hoping that you are successful!
I’d encourage you to look for networking events near you. There are micro Meet-ups, monthly membership opportunities or quarterly events where people speak and you can meet other business owners you might connect with. It’s important to know that you are not alone!
After searching for months for the perfect networking group I finally found Dames Collective. Dames Collective is the ultimate networking group for this generation’s female leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators. I have made amazing connections with the women in the group and their support means more to me than anything! They are expanding in 2018, so we could be coming to a city near you!
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