As women in business, one thing we need to get better at is mastering the art of successful networking. It’s one of the fastest ways to grow your trust, credibility and business. In today’s new economy, there’s no doubting the power of attending live events to boost your personal brand value and grow your business.
In fact, according to the Event Marketing 2019: Benchmarks and Trends report, the majority (84%) of leadership, Vice President and C-Suite, believe in-person events are a critical component of their company’s success.
So, one thing is clear…
Being a confident and skillful networker will absolutely grow your influence, reputation, leadership and presence in a meaningful, lasting and authentic way.
In this week’s video, I share with you my top strategies for successful networking to elevate your personal brand value and grow your business. + you can Download the free Networking Planner I’ve created to help you focus on Networking to elevate your personal brand and grow your business. 🙂 Download it here >>
As women we need to learn how to network in a deliberate way…
There is this belief out there in today’s hyper-competitive world, that you must be seen everywhere to make an impact and grow your business and brand. And maybe you feel this way too. I understand how this can make sense, because as professionals there is so much pressure today to be seen, heard and noticed in your industry. But this advice can just make you feel completely overwhelmed at thought of networking at all.
In fact, for many professional women, networking is a real challenge and the fear of attending events is totally horrifying! That little internal voice questions, “Who am I in this room? Where do I fit in? Who will I know? What do I say when I introduce myself? Will I sound interesting? How do I talk about myself, my services or my business without being too salesy in my approach?
As a coach and mentor for women in business, I’ve realised even the most competent and experienced woman can still cringe at the very thought of entering a room full of strangers on their own, for the purpose of networking. Especially if they are the only female in a room full of men! They feel they lack the confidence to ‘work a room’ effectively, to truly own their voice and walk into a room radiating the energy and presence of the leader they want to be.
Add to the fact that networking is still widely perceived as an opportunity for many adopt a ‘hard sell’ approach to gaining business, referrals and generating leads and you will see many professional women run for the hills! We just don’t like ‘putting ourselves out there’ or talking about ourselves in boastful ways, unlike men who are so much more conditioned to seek business through networking. (…Sorry guys, but it’s true! )
But ladies networking today is just so much more!
Networking – it is your golden opportunity to shine as a woman in business, to truly own your voice and step out of the shadows and take control of what you want to be known for in both your life and business. And with the right insight, strategy and planning you can start to choose the right events to attend that will serve you and those around you with greater purpose and success. And this is so important, as let’s be honest, as high-performance women, we don’t have much spare time in our busy work-life schedules to attend hundreds of random events.
Yet, if there is a balance that needs to be found. Because the reality is if you want to be a leader in your industry then you must get serious about networking efficiently and effectively.
That’s why my 3rd pillar to becoming a Woman of Confidence is how to Be Noticed! People are the grassroots of everyone’s life, business or career! So, I’d like you to make a conscious decision today, to stand out and step out to join like-minded professionals and influencers to engage, share, inspire, educate and motivate!
All successful female leaders use networking to grow their influence. Being seen at the right industry events in their market shows they are current, engaged, in touch and care about contributing to the businesses, communities and groups they serve.
When I quit my job at 50 and started a new business, my networks, relationships and the deep connections I had built over the past 25 years (without the internet!) formed the foundation of my new brand and business. But it didn’t just happen! I had to work at it! For years I had attended events, gave referrals, free talks, worked for and nurtured a community of other successful people and businesses that I believed in and who in turn believed in me, trusted me and even better, wanted greater success for me!
So, successful networking can help you too! You can empower yourself, career or business by building your own ‘tribe’ of like-minded people, professionals and businesses who know, like and trust you, who will support and follow you no matter what you do in your life and career.
You will build your personal brand value through brand association, face-to-face recognition, partnerships and greater leadership opportunities. You will grow your influence and reputation fast to show people who you really are and what you stand for.@suzie_lightfoot shares her approach to successful networking to elevate your personal brand value and grow your business! Click To Tweet
Here Are My Top 10 Tips On How To Network And Grow Your Brand And Business.
1. Complete Your Pre-planning Networking Check List!
BEFORE you step out to attend an event, back yourself up with a current profile, bio and image across all of your online platforms.
2. Research Who’s in The Room
Look up the VIP’s attending, speakers and any other colleagues and stakeholders. Google their names and see what comes up.
3. Work on Your Social Pitch!
If you don’t have a compelling answer to “who are you?” and what makes you unique, you will not be truly heard as the woman you want to be!
4. After You Meet! Nurture the Relationship.
Follow up your connections via email, phone or LinkedIn within 48 hours of meeting them for the first time. Read their articles or blogs and be aware of your mutual connections.
5. Nurture Mutually Beneficial Brand Associations
Being aligned and associated with like-minded and respected brands will elevate your own personal and business brand value.
6. Educate and Connect with Your Current Network
Plan deliberate ways to re-engage, educate and communicate with your current contacts.
7. Be Bold and Establish New Connections:
Establish a wishlist of people you want to meet. Research key people of influence in your niche market or industry and plan how to reach out to them.
8. Network on Multiple Levels:
Make a list of online and offline events, training, networking, special interest groups or social club meetings, membership and community forums, where you can share ideas, learn, present or be on a panel.
9. Set Yourself A Target
Set yourself a target of events to attend each month and allocate both the time and budget to your networking plan. The more deliberate you are the faster you will grow your relationships.
10. Gather Your Tribe & Be A Connector
Be seen as a ‘people connector’. Start hosting events or gathering a team of people to attend events on your table and quickly position yourself as a leader and influencer amongst your tribe and peers!
If you’re ready to gain greater clarity around how to better Be Seen, Be Heard and Be Noticed as a leader and receive the greater recognition you deserve, then download the free worksheet that goes with this video