Networking… Some love the idea of it, while others cringe at the thought. I am one of those who loves it. I have always been a “social butterfly” as my mother says. I started to realize a few years ago that I was overextending myself with networking commitments. So, I have since taught myself to network with a purpose.
Each group I join or event I attend, I go with a goal. Leave with 5 business cards, talk to 2 new people, explain my company mission to 4 people, etc. These tangible goals help my nerves while I am mingling and overall help my business grow! Win-win!
There are many articles and strategies out there surrounding networking but I have recently discovered that the Entrepreneur.com website has a lot of useful topic discussions. Their discussion on “Networking” is among these useful topics.
“The trick with networking is to become proactive. This means taking control of the situation instead of just reacting to it. Networking requires going beyond your comfort zone and challenging yourself.”
Remember to not overcommit yourself. Each group should add to your business plan and not be a hindrance on your schedule. Do not be afraid to leave a group or devote less time to one if you deem it necessary. Always be mindful of your time and energy spent.
Last but not least, SHARE your experiences within these groups. Whether that be via social media, blog, newsletter, etc. This is a great story to share about how you are strengthening your business and keeping yourself up to date on the happenings in your industry and community.
On that note, I want to send a shout out to a few of my new favorite networking communities and volunteer opportunities. Each of these groups has and will help me grow as an individual and as an entrepreneur!
Women In Entrepreneurship – hosted by Booth Andrews with Knoxville Entrepreneur Center
It’s Time For You – hosted by Carrie M. Fashion Consulting