This week I went to one of my favorite networking groups. Why is it one of my favorite groups? The women all support each other.
This particular group has not met during the summer months, so it was great being able to catch up with everyone. There is a new leadership in the group and they did something I thought was fabulous and had to share it with you.
When you signed in there was a deck of cards. You had to choose a card and the number on your card corresponded to the table you would be sitting at. This was done so that no one gravitated to the people they already new. Great idea!
I have to admit there have been some networking groups I’ve attended where it was hard to find people to talk to because they were in their set groups and not willing to have anyone else join in the conversation. It’s times like that you move on to someone who is open to starting a conversation.
Once we were at our tables (there were four of us), we all talked a little bit about what we did. This was more relaxed. It wasn’t your 30-60 pitch. I really enjoyed getting to know the women at my table and find out some of the challenges they were facing. For example, two of the women were blogging. Of course, you know I was thrilled to find fellow bloggers. Here’s the best part. I was able to do what I do best. Offer them some great advice on blogging to business success!
One of the women (who’s a doctor) said she’s writing some really great articles but no one is responding. She was finding that to be discouraging. No wait—some people are responding but they are all spammers! That’s a problem I had, and so I mentioned using CommentLuv. Once I started using that WordPress plugin it made a huge difference in the amount of spammers that got through. My suggestion to them was to also have their comments set so that they have to “approve” the comment before it goes live.
We then talked about having the posts shared I mentioned another plugin “slick social share” that enables people to share your posts on any number of social media sites.
Here’s the tip: I made a suggestion—one that would build business relationships. Why not support each other by commenting on each other’s posts!
In my opinion, this is a form of networking that’s not being utilized enough. Everyone talks about networking but what comes to mind is events such as the one I attended today. The truth is there are a variety of ways to network. Networking is about finding out how you can help the other person. If they need or want comments on their blog, what a great way to help them and build a business relationship!
I’m not one to let the moss grow under my feet, so you know what I did? I came home, found those blogs and made comments! It’s one thing to talk about ways to network but it’s another thing to take action.
Your big take away should be to reach out to other business owners who have blogs. They are trying to do exactly what you are. Build a community, build relationships. Reach out to them and offer your support and tell them it would be great to have theirs as well! As a matter of fact when I do my next workshop on Wednesday in Tampa I’m going to find out who in the audience has a blog and start interacting with them. This is all part of the art of networking and building business relationships.
Before I end this, I also want to mention that at this group I found out about a local TV show that’s not shown in my area. I’m going to pitch them to get on the show. If I hadn’t gone to this networking event I would have never known about it.
The moral of the story? Get out and network! Don’t hide behind your computer. Find unique and creative ways to network and be a support to other businesses. They will appreciate your time and help and doesn’t it feel good to do that?