When women come together for networking, we all get closer to reaching a heightened level of success.
Back when I created 10X Ladies, my purpose was to connect ambitious women to accelerate each other’s way to success.
Anyway, With these types of gatherings, women have the opportunity to create both powerful business partnerships and friendships.
But why is networking so important in the first place, especially among women?
Empowered Women Empower Women
When you take a step back and really look at it, the core of networking is support.
Yes, the perks of networking include contacts, contracts, and new business ventures. But when networking authentically, you and the other woman are providing full support to each other.
Now, my favorite definition of support is “showing active interest in the success of”. And when strong women meet with this purpose in mind, that’s when the real magic happens.
But there’s a few things you should know to make these interactions count.
Top 5 Networking Tips for Women
After many years of collaborating with other women, here are some of the most impactful lessons I’ve learned to form lasting connections.
1. Find Common Ground
Firstly, you need to understand that women network differently than men. While fellas approach networking with a short-term target in mind, ladies are in it for the long run.
Therefore, the foundation of networking with women is finding common ground to build a bond.
I’ll put this into perspective with an example. Let’s say you register for the next Build an Empire Mastermind where you’d love to connect with a potential business partner.
Instead of just mingling, go up to another attendee and ask meaningful questions that will help you figure out what you’re both passionate about.
Whether it’s philanthropy or a certain business industry, cut through the small talk and build upon the values you share.
2. Inspire Confidence
When you’re in these passion-driven conversations, don’t worry about being too enthusiastic. Not only will it boost your confidence, but it will also validate the other woman’s as well.
People are more likely to do business with those who make them feel good. The circle of confidence you create in doing so will further the friendship down the road.
Open the discussion with a big, welcoming smile that will put them at ease. Positivity is contagious, and she will immediately feel it coming from you.
3. Give to Get
Although you should always keep your networking purpose in mind, it’s essential that you offer before you ask.
After you’ve learned a bit about them in the common ground stage, see what you can do for them.
Keep the following questions in mind:
- What value can I provide to this person to help them with their pursuits?
- Do I have any resources I can direct them to?
- How can I continue supporting them down the road, not just right now?
Long-term business relationships are like marriages. The more you give, the more you get.
4. Embrace Authenticity
Keep it real. Not everything has to be structured all the time. You should go in with the mindset that, at the end of the day, you’re both human.
Don’t make it a transactional encounter, but rather one where you can both be yourselves and help each other out.
Authenticity is key when building these long-term connections because you show your true colors from the very beginning. As a result, the other person knows exactly who they could potentially be doing business with over the years.
Remember: no one is perfect. That fact alone will take the pressure off the whole idea of networking.
5. Mix Online and Offline Networking
Equally important is to take advantage of every opportunity for networking with other women.
Of course, there’s immeasurable value in communicating with someone face-to-face. However, you might not always get the chance to meet in-person.
If there aren’t any events coming up in your industry, you need to take the conversation online.
Social media is full of resources for building professional relationships. Facebook groups. Viral LinkedIn threads. Even commenting on posts with Instagram hashtags that are relevant for your business.
Instead of scrolling through your news feed, keep an eye out for these virtual opportunities and be intentional with the time you spend on social media.
How to Create a Strong Professional Relationship with a Fellow 10X Lady
Now that you have some solid pointers, it’s time to see how you can apply them in a real-life situation.
Here are three valuable actions to ensure each networking opportunity is successful.
Prepare Your Introduction
Before you attend an event or reach out to a new contact, write and rehearse a great introduction.
Think of it as a soft elevator pitch that includes everything the other person would be interested in knowing about you. Some examples you can include are:
- Who you are, what you do, and your company’s mission;
- A little bit about your background and experience;
- Fun details about you that showcase your personality.
Sum up all of the above in two or three sentences. Make them as clear, concise, and specific as possible. People have short attention spans.
Then, practice your introduction in front of the mirror. Even better if you can test it out with another person, such as a good friend or family member.
It’s great to be prepared, but it doesn’t have to be canned either. I recommend you don’t treat it as a script but rather a roadmap to guide you through the first part of the conversation.
Follow Up After First Meeting
Right after the event takes place, solidify the good impression you just made by following up. The sooner you do it, the better.
How you follow-up depends on the situation, but don’t be afraid to get creative.
For example, if you just met someone at an in-person event, you might want to send them a request to connect on LinkedIn. Add a personal note expressing your gratitude for meeting them and proposing to stay in touch on the platform.
On the other hand, an initial online exchange can be followed up with a phone call or offline get-together. Invite them out to lunch or an upcoming conference in your industry.
Cultivate the Relationship
Finally, the point of networking with women in the first place is to have long-time, repeated, and meaningful interactions.
To do so, you need to put in the effort to reach out, build trust, and keep the relationship alive.
You don’t have to pitch them every time you get back in touch. Small gestures like congratulating them for a new milestone on LinkedIn make a difference. Even Facebook birthday wishes count.
Regardless of how you touch base, prioritize these regular check-ins over time.
Collaboration Leads to Greatness
As a parting thought, an old-fashioned stereotype has been that women are so competitive among each other to the point that it becomes toxic.
But in reality, from my experience, the strongest women celebrate wins together and collaborate to create even more success.
Some of the greatest opportunities arise when connections form through shared experiences.
Collaborations like these are the ones that help everyone succeed.
Build and strengthen your empire along with other queens,
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