Ask any woman in business and she’ll tell you that entrepreneurship is largely a man’s world. Many women are juggling multiple priorities between work and family, so business networking isn’t at the forefront of their minds. Today, we’re covering a few ways of how female entrepreneurs can make better connections without spending too much time on networking.
Focus on Giving
Try not to confuse leveraging network connections with getting what you want. For one, this can be damaging in building long-term relationships. These relationships need to be built and earned and not freely taken. Instead, focus on what you can give. In other words, give what you want to get. Give support to others without the immediate need or anticipation of getting something back in return. Remember to always keep in touch with people in your network even after your need is met. You can help to connect them with other people they are looking to connect with, and in doing so you make yourself available and visible to important connections even without being part of regular networking events. A bonus tip: leverage the use of social media to your advantage for visibility.
Join Relevant Business Associations
One of the best ways to network is by enrolling yourself and your business in important business associations. If you have the extra time to give, consider taking up a role within the association; this will give you better access to more connections. Your network doesn’t grow by itself, but by tapping into the pre-existing connections of a business association, you have many more resources available to you that you didn’t need to build from scratch. When you are part of a group, it’s important to stand out. Your expertise alone isn’t enough, and availability and an affinity for people are key factors in determining if people will refer your name.
Build on Your Niche
If you have expertise in a certain area, start there and build on it. The message that you share into your circles should be clear – identify the main categories of your work and create connections around those. This will help people contact you with a clear goal and you can connect with people whose requirements match your needs. Additionally, you can affirm your expertise by becoming a speaker on the subject.