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    6 Networking Trends Women Business Leaders Should Follow

    Networking is a concept most people don’t give serious thought to — but in today’s economic climate, it can and should be an important part of your business plan.

    I know that as a woman business leader and entrepreneur,  I must network … but to be honest, it’s not something I initially embraced. However, if you are committed to networking — do it well and evaluate the time you spend doing it. I evaluate my time  in three ways: socially, with family and friends; personally, finding opportunities to help others; and through business contacts to further my business’ success.  I found this list from Sandy Jones-Kaminski, Six Networking Trends for 2011 – WomenEntrepreneur very helpful in pinpointing specific ways to improve my networking skills — I am sure you’ll find it helpful as well.

    1. Quality over quantity
      If you take the time to get to know the person sitting across from you, the other person will have likely learned a lot more about you, too, and will know what connotes a good prospect or partner for your business.
    2. People admitting they could use help
      My advice is to go to events with the intention of offering whatever help you can. But also be prepared to share what it is you’re looking for in your life or business.
    3. Everyone has a business card — some people have two
      You can’t attend an event these days without receiving a card from almost everyone you meet. But you might not see that second card unless you find out about their life outside of business. 
You may be able to convert a second business into a networking possibility, too.
    4. Companies will sponsor or host events for group
      I was able to get a wine sponsor for a networking event I recently hosted. The company was eager to participate as a sponsor and came through with a spectacular selection of wine; it received some great PR and brand awareness in return.
    5. Companies will become more mindful of their social capital
      Sharing quality links and helpful content are what will increase your social capital and attract more people to you or your business today.
    6. Networking is a great way to reinforce your personal brand
      As an entrepreneur and professional in your industry, you undoubtedly recognize that a big part of your job is to be an ambassador for your company and your personal brand — both inside and outside the office. A savvy entrepreneur gets clear on the reputation and values she wants to cultivate and then works hard to demonstrate them every day.

    2 Responses to “6 Networking Trends Women Business Leaders Should Follow”

    1. [...] The bottom line is that we all know we need to surround ourselves with smart, empathetic and engaged people. But, the point is this: You need to be thoughtful and deliberate when you create your networks because these are the people who will be critical to your eventual success. I’ve outlined more networking tips in my blog, “6 Networking Trends for Women Business Leaders.” [...]

    2. [...] The point here is that networking is all about relationships. And when you have a relationship, it must be nurtured and cared for in order for it to grow and prosper. I’ve written about the importance of networking in the following blogs: “3 Networking Ideas for Women Business Leaders,” and “6 Networking Trends Women Business Leaders Should Follow.” [...]

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