Each month at Maine Women's Network, we pose a networking-related question to all of our members on our website as well as LinkedIn and Facebook. The following are tips from MWN members and those who follow us regularly.
This summer, MWN hosted four webinars to help members learn more about branding themselves, using social media to their best advantage and how to better network through our Summer Technology Series. Here's what they got out of it.
Q:How do you like Maine Women's Network's Summer Technology Series? What did you personally get out of it? If you attended online and have a comment (and are a MWN member) we'll feature your business on our home page.
What a fantastic kick-off yesterday to the MWN Webinar series! Thanks to Vicki Worden for coordinating it, and Becky McKinnel of iBec Creative for such a useful and interactive event. Well done!
-Marianne Russo, Nellie's Teas and Gifts
The Five Personalities of Innovators: Which One Are You?
This recent Forbes article starts with: "Whenever I try to conjure up what innovation looks like, the same slideshow of images clicks across my mind: that photo of Einstein with his tongue sticking out, Edison with his light bulb, Steve Jobs onstage in his black turtleneck."
Read the article to see which one you are.
I think I'm the Mover and Shaker!
Absolutely the Experimenter as I like to take people with me. And black turtlenecks aren't entrepreneurial. That's following. Make your own mark with a pink turtleneck. :)
-Kate Thorne Meyers
Can see myself in 3 out of 5. Without a creative outlet and the ability to teach and share I'd be a very unhappy individual.
Forget networking: instead be a connector
The word "connector" comes from Malcolm Gladwell's fantastic book, The Tipping Point
Everyone knows a connector. She's the one who remembers that you're looking for a part-time assistant and sends an email to an acquaintance looking for part time office work. She knows the perfect person who makes beautiful cakes with a fast turnaround...the day before you need one for your daughter's birthday. A connector remembers tidbits of information and naturally brings people with varying needs together. This article from Entrepreneur Magazine better defines the connector role. "Gladwell describes them [connectors] as having an ability to span many different worlds, subcultures and niches." For some, the connector role is much more appealing that the word "networking" which many feel is a means to an end. As women, we're natural connectors, but even if you're not hard wired that way, you can learn to be. According to the above article, "Perhaps one of the most important attributes of a connector is a willingness to help and to reach out even if there is no obvious or immediate payback." That's how you start and eventually, the act of helping others comes back to you in good ways.
Please let us know if you've come across a particularly helpful group or resource online so we may share it with the rest of our members.
Networking Tip of The Month: How Has MWN Helped You?
Share your story of how MWN has helped you expand your business and/or professional network.
I love the Maine Women's Network because...as the owner of Nellie's Tea and Gifts, I've made so many connections that have become good resources for my business needs as well as my personal needs. I look forward to our carefully selected speakers at every monthly meeting as I always learn something important in my work and life and the attendees at each meeting are always great sources of information and get me excited about what I'm doing. I've found that the more involved I become in this organization, the more valuable it is to me. It is by far one of the best value investments of my time and money.
The Androscoggin MWN makes it SO easy to walk into a room full of people and feel immediately welcome! I never wonder who I'll talk to and never have time to talk to the folks I want to -- a great problem to have, thanks to MWN.
I've just joined MWN's (mailing list) and am looking forward to sharing information and networking with other women business owners.
Networking Tip of The Month: What is your cocktail line?
In one sentence that communicates both what you do and what you're fired up about in your career, what is yours?
And here are some of our members' answers:
I motivate my clients to start each day more fully engaged, inspired, enthusiastic and confident as well as charge up their life with newfound energy and passion .--Jayne Marsh
I bring science & art alive for children at DaVinci Experience Summer Day Camps --Judy Crosby
We help business owners achieve financial understanding and strategy. I love my career!--Hillary Dow
I empower women to step out, step up and step into their potential!--Denise
I help older Americans have a successful and secure retirement--Rae Ann
When you feel good in your own skin, you empower everyone around you.--Kimberly
Where would you be if you had teamed up with the creators of Proactiv Solutions? Would you like to join them on the Anti-Aging Warpath?--Amanda
Networking Tip of The Month: Supporting Local MWN Businesses: How Can You Help?
Our next Spotlight question of the month asks you: "How do you personally support other MWN entrepreneurs and businesses?" Coming up through the holidays, between office parties, "Buy Local" days, community shopping events and social media, share with us some of your own tips to promote the businesses of Maine women you know and trust.
By giving back to organizations like the Maine Women's Fund, Planned Parenthood, Dress for Success Southern Maine, A Company of Girls, etc. It's an investment in our future!
(Wondering how? Here's a fundraiser Dress for Success Southern Maine is throwing, with a talk by business consultant (and woman) Jane Hight McMurry).
What tips do you have for fall conferences and networking events that have really worked for you?
Whether it's a conference, networking event, trade show, etc., be sure to include a quick response code on your business card. They are catching on fast, here to stay, and a great way to ensure that while you business card may get filed away, your contact information will stay in that person's phone until they take the effort to delete it.
Quick response codes are pictures that are scannable by any smartphone, that will download your contact information into their phone, direct them to a website, etc. Generating them is easy, and there's many sites out there that will make custom response codes for you on the fly, for free. (See below link) They are also a great conversation starter!
Be memorable - put a qr code on your business card, banner, pamphlets and brochures, and all media!
What Is Networking And How Can We Make It Work For You?
Network: a group of people who exchange information, contacts, and experience for professional or social purposes.
Ask ten different people what networking is and you may get as many as ten different answers. A person's definition of networking probably depends upon their use of this important personal and professional activity. However, whether you network to make new friends, find a new job, develop your current career, explore new career options, obtain referrals or sales leads, or simply to broaden your professional horizons, it is important to focus on networking as an exchange of information, contacts or experience.
In any industry or career level, networking helps you make connections in a personal way and build relationships of support and respect to discover and create mutual benefits. It is a skill set no serious professional woman of the 21st Century can be without.
See below for articles on Networking that you may find useful in growing your business.
The Importance of Being Memorable
Have you ever attended a networking event, collected a bunch of business cards, and when you go through them the next day, you can't remember who many of them are? Or try to think of someone you met and had a conversation with, but you can't remember their name or their business to look them up?
Well, you certainly don't want to be one of those that other people can't remember, do you? It's all well and good to pass out business cards, but if people don't remember you well, they probably won't be calling you to follow up, and they certainly won't keep you in mind for their future needs or possible referrals.
Here are five tips on how to make yourself memorable (in a good way) when meeting other people face-to-face:
For the complete article, click here.
For the complete article, click here.