As a mom entrepreneur, it can be challenging to find time to socialize, let alone attend networking events. However, networking is an essential part of growing your business and making new connections. I have seen this first hand at my own Ultimate Mompreneur event.
In this blog post, we’ll share some tips to help you make the most of your time at networking events and turn those connections into lifelong friendships.
- Be Confident and Authentic
The first step to successful networking is to be confident and authentic. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not or put on a show to impress people. People appreciate authenticity, so be yourself and let your personality shine through. Trust me, I was never as confident in what came out of my mouth when I was pretending to be what I was not at the beginning of my online business life.
Confidence is also essential when networking. You need to believe in yourself and your business to make a good impression. Your 30 second pitch is so important. Practice your pitch beforehand and make sure you can articulate what your business does and why it’s unique. This way, you’ll be more comfortable approaching people and striking up conversations.
- Attend Relevant Events
Not all networking events are created equal. As a mom entrepreneur, it’s crucial to attend events that are relevant to your industry or niche. This way, you’ll meet people who are interested in what you’re doing and can offer valuable insights and connections. For example, events where mom entrepreneurs like yourself will be present will be filled with women with the same challenges as you. They will also have a world of opportunity FOR YOU!
Do some research beforehand and find events that cater to your target market. Check out industry associations, professional organizations, and local business groups to see what events they have planned. You can also use social media and websites like Eventbrite to find events that are happening in your area.
- Set Realistic Goals
Before attending any networking event, set realistic goals for yourself. What do you hope to achieve by attending? Do you want to meet new people, find potential clients, or learn something new?
Setting goals will help you focus your efforts and make the most of your time at the event. It will also give you a sense of accomplishment when you achieve those goals. Just make sure your goals are realistic and attainable, so you don’t feel discouraged if you don’t achieve them all.
One goal I had at a particular event in New York was to introduce myself to at least 10 new companies, offer my services to them, and to get at least one paid contract after the event from someone I met. When all of those goals became a reality, I was so excited and proud of setting the goal in the first place.
- Listen More Than You Talk
When networking, it’s essential to listen more than you talk. This means asking open-ended questions and letting the other person do most of the talking. People love talking about themselves, so give them the opportunity to share their experiences and insights.
Active listening also shows that you’re interested in what the other person has to say. It builds rapport and trust, which are crucial for developing lasting relationships. One question you can ask is, “Wow! That’s so interesting! Tell me more!” Be present in the conversation and show genuine interest in what the other person is saying.
- Follow Up
After attending a networking event, it’s essential to follow up with the people you met. This could be as simple as sending a quick email or connecting on social media. Following up shows that you’re interested in maintaining the relationship and can help you stay top of mind.
Be sure to personalize your follow-up messages and reference something you discussed during your conversation. This way, the other person will remember who you are and why you’re reaching out.
I received a valuable tool from one of my mentors Pauleanna Reid. She gave us a system on how to follow up effectively. I use this tool monthly to stay close with my new and old connections.
- Volunteer at Events
Volunteering at networking events is a great way to get involved and meet new people. It also shows that you’re committed to the industry or organization and can help you stand out from the crowd. I scout Eventbrite regularly for events near to me and whenever I travel
When you volunteer, you’ll also have more opportunities to interact with attendees and build relationships. You’ll be working alongside other volunteers and organizers, which can lead to valuable connections.
- Attend Social Events
While business-focused events are important, don’t overlook social events. These could be happy hours, dinners, or other social gatherings. Social events (like The Ultimate Mompreneur Brunch :-)) provide a more relaxed atmosphere and give you the opportunity to get to know people on a more personal level. This can help you build deeper relationships that go beyond just business. Plus, it’s always more enjoyable to network when there’s good food, drinks, and conversation involved.
If you’re not sure where to find social events, ask the people you’ve met at networking events. They may be able to recommend happy hours or other gatherings that are happening in the area. You can also check out local event calendars or social media groups to see what’s going on.
- Be Patient
Building lasting relationships takes time and effort, so don’t expect to make lifelong connections overnight. It may take several interactions before you start to build trust and rapport with someone. Be patient and keep showing up at events, even if you don’t see immediate results.
Remember that networking isn’t just about getting something from someone else. It’s about building mutually beneficial relationships that can help both parties grow and succeed. So, approach networking with a mindset of giving and adding value, rather than just trying to get something for yourself.
Networking is a vital part of growing your business and making new connections. As a mom entrepreneur, it can be challenging to find time to attend events, but it’s worth the effort. By following these tips, you can make the most of your time at networking events and turn those connections into lifelong friendships.
Remember to be confident and authentic, attend relevant events, set realistic goals, listen more than you talk, follow up, volunteer at events, attend social events, and be patient. With time and effort, you’ll build a network of supportive, like-minded individuals who can help you achieve your business goals.
I found this Youtube Video to be quite inspiring this week. Check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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