Networking is an essential and necessary part of being in business. Half of the time we don’t even know we are doing it. Most of us cringe at the thought, but it really is an important part of progressing your career, especially if you are starting your own business or side hustle.
Remember when networking meant a couple of hours of wine or coffee, lovely chats and catch ups? It seems like a lifetime ago now doesn’t it?
COVID19 has removed our ability to connect with other people in this way, at least for now and the foreseeable. So how do we do it now that we can’t go out? If it’s so essential to grow in our careers and develop our businesses what happens now? We can’t just give up can we?! That wouldn’t be our style!
Here’s our tips for Networking from home effectively:
Find networking that works for you. Not all of them will. It makes lots of people feel uncomfortable – getting put on the spot for a pitch or a referral. Being on screen in front of a load of strangers in a forced environment is not for everyone. On the other hand – some people love this! They love the opportunity to sell and talk in front of people (we don’t meet so many of those!)
There are lots of options out there for you. Structured sessions with accountability, national audience, local groups, women only, industry specific. Figure out what you like and what works and get signed up for that.
We’re not saying that MPWR Business Club Networking is perfect for everyone either. But it’s not necessarily what you would expect. We’re more focussed on making connections not sales. (though they do come too!)
Do your research. Find out what the format is. There’s nothing worse than joining an event to speak to a specific person only to discover it’s a free for all and that the break-out rooms you were promised are nowhere to be seen.
Set yourself some goals or at least have an idea about what you want to achieve from networking. Now more than ever being part of a community is essential for all of our wellbeing. Just having some human interaction is key – maybe this is the main reason you want to network. If it is, come along, don’t put any pressure on yourself, just enjoy getting to know others and having a chat.
Have you got a load of ideas and want to bounce them around with some other women in business? Then do that? Ask them what they think of your ideas… they might just have that something that helps you make some decisions.
Have you lost your job? Wondering what to do next? Is the side hustle ready – whatever it is, you can get value from networking. Getting and receiving advice and support from people just like you, more senior than you or more junior than you all has it’s benefits.
“When you’re making a connection with someone, you are connecting with their whole network. Their family, their friends, their gym buddies, someone they meet at the supermarket… if they like you, they’ll recommend you – that’s what making connections at MPWR is all about.”
Tracy Burleigh, CEO, MPWR
Use LinkedIn: LinkedIn is an excellent business networking tool. Think of all of those people you have once worked with and connect with them. You can do this even if you have only met them briefly. Follow a hashtag, join groups, but most importantly engage with people.
Remember to Listen. People love to talk. Especially about themselves. So get started, ask one question and then listen. You’ll soon be chatting away but give the other person space to speak.
Commit to it. Regular networking within your industry can have a huge impact on your reputation. Your name will get known and you never know who might be on the next interview panel or on the look out for what you do or provide.
At MPWR we ask our members to aim to get to at least one networking meet a month. We don’t monitor that or tell you off if you don’t make it, but it’s really about staying accountable and showing up. You won’t get true value from any community you join if you don’t give it some of your time.
In this video Tracy Burleigh, Founder of MPWR talks about what it’s like to network with MPWR, why it’s different and why it gets results.
So what do you think? If you want to give networking a go, then come and join us and try it. If you want to see if the MPWR Business Club community is for you then sign up, we offer a 14 day money back guarantee, so you can try it risk free.