Being part of a professional networking group for women in business and networking face to face with other women entrepreneurs is essential to growing your business and there are several types of groups to consider.
As a business owner myself and in working with thousands of business women over the years, it can be confusing and overwhelming to decide which groups to join.
Here are 3 powerful reasons to find a group to invest in and guidelines for selecting the right ones for you.
3 Reasons to Join A Professional Networking Group For Women Entrepreneurs
Build Solid and Trusted Relationships.
Often times ‘networking’ is looked upon purely as a way to get referrals and obtain leads for your business. While that is absolutely one of the benefits of belonging to a professional networking group, the way that happens is by developing the ‘Know, Like and Trust’ factor. If you find yourself attending lots of women’s networking events but aren’t getting the conversions to clients and resource partners, it could well be because you haven’t taken the time to let people get to know you, like you and trust you. Most professional networking groups have monthly or weekly meetings to attend which is designed to have you build those relationships over time. If you show up as a one hit wonder at several different groups, while you may not have had to invest in the membership fee to join the professional networking group, consider what you’re missing out on because you haven’t taken the time to develop the ‘Know, Like and Trust’ factor. (Be sure to read “How to Network Like Richard Branson” before you go to your next women’s networking event.)
Gives You The Opportunity to Share Ideas and Find Solutions
A good professional networking group will support you in networking to create and develop business connections. It will also give you a forum for sharing ideas and finding solutions to business challenges. At Women’s Prosperity Network events we include time for our members to mastermind on a targeted topic which always creates breakthrough results for the attendees. Whether you’re the one asking a question or the one offering a solution, you both experience growth and get huge value. After all, doesn’t it feel good when you get to be “The One” for another business woman who was stuck or frustrated and you were able to ease that for them? Talk about developing the ‘Know, Like and Trust’ factor! Our group members have shared that it is because they were “The One” to help find a solution for another woman entrepreneur that it resulted in them getting more business time and time again.
Provides Education So you Can Continuously Grow Personally and Professionally.
One of the things that will support you in steady growth for your business is your own growth! A good professional networking group will provide you with resources to expand your business skills as well as your personal skills related to communication, leadership and enjoying an overall better quality of life. Look for professional networking groups for female entrepreneurs that will give you educational opportunities in your chosen field as well as education on the current trends and strategies for marketing.
A question that often comes my way is: “How many professional networking groups should I belong to?” That is something you’ll need to decide on an individual basis depending upon your need, your budget (both in terms of time and money) and the types of quality networking groups you belong to. My suggestion would be that you belong to at least 2 or 3 professional networking groups and be clear in your reason for selecting the group to join. For example:
- Chambers of Commerce are great for building connections with local business owners and business women. They often provides educational opportunities through their speakers and sponsors.
- Referral based leads groups like BNI (Business Network International) require you to attend weekly meetings (which some people find too demanding) but that weekly continuity absolutely facilitates building the ‘Know, Like and Trust’ factor. So while it may feel restrictive at first, it supports you in moving beyond the typical business card drop and swap to build relationships that are more likely to convert to doing business with the members of the group.
- Women’s Prosperity Network (which clearly is primarily for women entrepreneurs, career woman and women with a purpose) provides you with the opportunity to develop personal AND business relationships by sharing ideas as well as in showcasing your business products and services, and gives you continuous educational opportunities so you can continue to grow both personally and professionally.
As a final note, being part of a professional networking group allows you to step away from the computer, get off social media and meet face to face with real people! Even for women entrepreneurs whose business model is based upon online marketing, actually getting out and meeting people will serve you well – after all you’re marketing online to people, right?
For more information on Women’s Prosperity Network and it’s blend of a forum to build solid relationships, share ideas and find solutions and providing education for you to grow personally and professionally go to WPNGlobal.com.