As an entrepreneur building and maintaining your network is extremely important. Not only do you need this network of other entrepreneurs and business owners to help you build your client base, your network can be your go-to for support. As we have said before being a entrepreneur can be a lonely gig. It is so important to find that group of like-minded people that can be there for you and you for them.
Here are 5 ways we have found that can help build your network as an entrepreneur:
1. ATTEND EVENTS
We know this might seem overwhelming to some people. Going to events where you don’t know anyone ~ it can bring back horrible nightmares of the junior high lunch room on the first day of school! But, don’t worry! Networking events aren’t as scary as you think….at lest the right ones aren’t. They can be very welcoming, inviting, and inclusive. Make sure you come prepared with how you are going to explain your business to people. In some events (like WCE’s networking events) you will have 30 seconds- 1 minute to be able to introduce yourself. Make sure you can get what you offer and a little about yourself in that time. Practice at home, it sounds silly, but it helps! Also, don’t just talk business!! We know this may seem counter productive, but you’re not necessarily trying to find clients, you’re trying to make human connections for your network. You want to build relationships. Be yourself and you will find ways to connect with those at the event.
2. JOIN ENTREPRENEURIAL ORGANIZATIONS & FACEBOOK GROUPS
There are so many great networking and support groups for entrepreneurs on social media and online (we may be bias, but WCE is our favorite). To find some, we suggest by looking for local neighborhood groups on facebook. Once you’re in those you can ask if anyone knows of a good networking group in the area. There are other speciality Facebook groups you can join too that aren’t necessarily for entrepreneurs, but they usually have days that you can post about your business and you can start making connections with the business owners in your area on those days!
3. TURN SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTIONS INTO REAL LIFE RELATIONSHIPS
Now that you have made connections in your online groups start making real life relationships with your connections. For example, on Mondays WCE offers Social Media Monday on Facebook and Follow Back Monday on Instagram. Say you comment on those posts and you follow the other business owners that have posted too. Make sure to reach out to them and thank them for the follow back and continue to actively follow them on those platforms by liking and commenting on their posts. You may even make a strong enough connection that you can meet in person! Which leads us to number 4…
4. COLLABORATE WITH OTHER ENTREPRENEURS
Collaborating with other entrepreneurs is so good for your business! It helps both parties grow their potential network of customers. You can find business owners in your industry that compliment what you do ~ or you can find connections completely out of your industry, but still compliment your business. For example, say you’re a boutique owner, but you collaborate with a photographer. Together you could do a mini fashion shoot at your boutique! For a certain price women can come with their friends, pick a cute outfit from your store and get a photoshoot with their friends. You could even add a makeup artist and hairdresser too! Think outside of the box on how you can work with others to grow your businesses TOGETHER!
5. BE CONSISTENT
None of the above will work if you don’t stay consistent. And we know this can be hard because there is so much work that goes into owning a business, but consistency is what truly works.
These don’t seem too hard and lucky for you Women’s Council of Entrepreneurs can help you with all of them! Yay!!! Go to our Upcoming Events tab to see our events near you (we also hold virtual ones too!). You can join our FREE Facebook group HERE to connect with women entrepreneurs all over the U.S. And you can also check out all the benefits of being a member of WCE HERE. As we mentioned before we have so many days on both Facebook and Instagram where we encourage connections and collaborations ~ so make sure you’re following us on all the platforms
Our goal here at WCE is help you find ways to make your business life easier! And we hope this helped you! If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org