Tag Archives: networking

Pay It Forward Networking Revolution!

Just over 2 years ago I started a Networking group for women who owned their own businesses in the Twin Cities and named it Magnetic Business Women Community.  Little did I know that it would turn into a group of currently over 700 members.

My reason for creating it was two-fold.  One reason was I want to support women to be successful and become financially free.  The second reason was I wanted something different from I had been experiencing in the networking groups I had visited.  I wasn’t interested in the kind of networking where people come up to you, hand you a business card and proceed to talk in great detail about what they do, and walk away without asking about you and your business.

The vision behind my group has always been:

This is a group for women business owners and entrepreneurs. Magnetic Business Women have an unusual power or ability to attract. According to the Law of Attraction we attract to us like vibrations, so what if a group of women with the same intention got together and created a magnetic force for success for all of us! Together we attract! Just by being a part of this group your attraction to success grows.

At Magnetic Business Women we are creating a culture of connection. This is a networking group where women can become successful, strong and empowered through our connections with each other. Women create successful businesses through relationship building and that is what the group will be about. Building relationships means you show up, not just once but often so that people get to know you and feel comfortable working with you.  If you currently have a business you want to grow and develop or if you are looking for one, this will be a great group for you.

This group is not just about getting someone else to be part of your business. It is less about that, though that might be the outcome, and more about nurturing business relationships with women, that can develop over time and be strong and lasting.

I believe in the Law of Attraction where there is no lack and we attract to us those people who are most in alignment with us. Because there is no lack we can support an allow for everyone’s success.

Even with this mission statement I often saw a sense of lack from some members.  It showed up as taking much more time than the 1 minute allowed for check in and a sense of urgency when talking about their businesses.  There were also instances where someone would call someone from the group to get together for coffee, not telling them that their real agenda was to recruit them into their business.

My mission is to create a different culture in the world of networking and that is not it.  As I said in the mission statement, I believe there are more than enough people on the planet that we can all be successful and not worry about competition.

Several days ago I was journaling and my guidance was to explore the idea of “Pay it Forward Networking”.  I did a Google search and found very little.  That night I woke up in the middle of the night flooded with what Pay it Forward Networking would look like and what it would mean for the group.  I wrote the following declaration at our meeting yesterday and sent it to all the members by email.  The response was over-whelmingly positive.  In fact there was no one who didn’t like the idea.

I want to declare 2012 the year that Magnetic Business Women practice Pay it Forward Networking, which means, we focus more on what everyone else is doing in their businesses and less on our own.  It means finding ways to support each other to be successful.  It means listening to what each other is saying rather than thinking about what we want to say next.  If we were to do this we would see magic happen in our own businesses!  A tsunami of support would come our way while we were supporting someone else.  Magnetic Business Women Pay it Forward!

How exactly does Pay it Forward Networking work?

First, there are two key questions you want to be asking people:

1-What are you currently working on or focusing on in your business?

2-What can I do to help make that a success?  or How can I help you to succeed?

The other part of the equation is using social media to support each other.  Instead of tweeting, Facebooking or talking on linked in about ourselves, we are talking about each other!

Let me ask you a question:

How do you feel about talking about your own business on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.  Does it feel uncomfortable?  Do you feel like you are spamming people?  Do you get the kind of response from people who you were hoping for or do people usually not say anything?

How would you feel if someone else talked about your business on their page and expounded on what you do?  Awesome right?  And what kind of response do you think that would generate?  What if several people were talking about your business on their pages and popping a comment on your page about how awesome your business was?  Wouldn’t you did that?

Here are some examples:

I write on my Facebook page:

“OMG, I just wrapped myself with the Ultimate Body Applicator and lost 3 inches!  I am so psyched I think everyone should try it!

Yes there would be eye rolling and people saying ” oh there she goes again, trying to sell those wraps!

What if this appeared on someone else’s page:

“OMG, I can’t believe it! I just tried Katelyn Mariah’s (link to website) body wrap and lost 3 inches!  I was really surprised and it happened in just 45 minutes!  I know it was the wrap because I didn’t do anything else, in fact I was watching TV the whole time!”

People are going to notice, maybe ask a few questions, go to your website.

The best form of advertising is word of mouth.  Someone elses mouth!

SO, LET’S START A REVOLUTION IN NETWORKING AND START PAYING IT FORWARD!

This is what it looks like in Magnetic Business Women Community :

Paying it Forward in Group Setting

In our monthly meetings we have breakout sessions with 5-6 at a table.  Each person has a 7-8 minute brainstorming session where the other 4-5 people ask what they are working on and need support on and find ways that they can provide support.  We also find ways to include social media as a way to support each other.  Five people tweeting or Facebooking about you can have a big impact.  We can offer really affordable specials to each member at the table, barter or give out samples of something we would like them to try.  Each person commits to saying something about the 4-5 people in their group on social media.

It could look something like this:

You swap services with someone and you each commit to saying something on Facebook.

You post on your page:

” I had a fabulous chiropractic session with Dr. Katie at The Healing Loft (link) and my back has never felt this good in years!”

On Dr. Katie’s page you would say ” Dr. Katie, I am so glad I came in to see you today! I haven’t felt this good in a long time!  You are awesome!’

Paying it Forward doing One on One

Find one or two people each month to have coffee with and you can interview each other and talk about what you learned about them and their business on one of your social media pages.  You can also swap referrals.

Example of making and exchange with a fashion consultant:

The two of you go to a clothing store, the fashion consultant gives you a mini consultation and finds you the perfect outfit which you may or may not buy.  You take photos and post them on Facebook and say something about your experience.  You both win because one got a consultation and one got word of mouth advertizing!

You can do the same thing at Happy Hour events or Business Breakfast events.  Connect specifically with a couple of people and get to know them and their business and agree to support each other in some way.  You could say something about your experience on Facebook.

Attend each other events and free talks

In our group a lot of women do retreats, free talks and workshops.  Find one, attend it and talk about it on your Facebook page.  Do forget to pop a comment on theirs too so their friends can see it.

This list of opportunities to support someone else is endless!

Are you interested in joining the Pay It Forward Networking Revolution?  Wouldn’t you love to have a tsunami of support flowing in to your business?

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Filed under Entrepreneurship, Just thoughts

There is an Art to Networking

Just over three years ago when I started with It Works Global, I knew it would be important to go to business networking events if I wanted to build a strong foundation for my business.  I had never done networking before and it was a daunting thought.  I have found this to be true for most people when they start networking.

I did some research and found a couple of meetings that sounded appealing and put them on my calendar.  When the time came for the first meeting, I scratched it off my calendar and didn’t go.  The second date came and I reluctantly pushed myself to get in the car and go.  I went into this room packed with people, looked around, grabbed a couple of appetizers and left.  When I reached the parking lot I gave myself the ‘high five’ for going!

It got easier after that. I was part of two women owned business networking groups for over a year and went to several other groups periodically, including a group for Latinos.  Each meeting helped me gain confidence in my networking abilities.  My point is, for most new business owners, it doesn’t come naturally.

During my second year I created my own group, Magnetic Business Women because I wasn’t satisfied with what I was finding. I wanted a group that was more laid back than many of the groups I attended, yet with some structure so we could make meaningful connections.  Many of the groups I attended were “hit and run” networking, where someone comes up to you, puts their business card in your hand, gives you their schtick, vomiting style and walks away without asking you what you do, or if they do ask, they are not listening and are searching the room for their next prospect.  Those cards go in the round file when I get home.

I often have women who are new to the group say they are nervous the first time.  That is usually when I throw my own networking story out there.

I think part of my own nervousness around networking was that it was the old form of networking, like I mentioned above. I am not comfortable being in a fishbowl, having people seek me out for what I can do for them. I have learned and believe that in order for networking to be effective it has to be based on relationship building.  Networking is about building , not hunting for leads and collecting business cards. The art of networking is simply about establishing relationships with people as a result of searching for mutual benefits and by making yourself useful.  The best relationships begin with mutual respect and are nurtured over time, though getting to know each other as people, not just as a business.

In building relationships emphasize quality, not quantity.  What good are stacks of business cards if you don’t know anything about the person they belong to.  Rather than scattering your energy throughout several different group it is more effective to focus on meeting with a few people more frequently or sticking with a couple of groups consistently. Find ways to support others in the group by making referrals, sharing with others what people are doing and finding ways to connect with them outside of the group

Networking is about creating and developing opportunities through meeting and creating a net of contacts. Over time as you build rapport and trust, these relationships lead to other contacts, relationships and opportunities.  In an atmosphere of mutual support everyone’s business grows! People buy from, collaborate and want to hang out with people they know and trust.

Two other key factors to affective networking is being authentic and being present.  I want to know who someone really is, not every detail about the company they represent.  Testimonials about your products are more interesting to me than facts and statements from the company.

When you are with someone and they are telling you about themselves and their business be present.  This means listening to them without and internal dialog about what you are  going to say next or who you are going to talk with next.  Pure listening and asking questions about what they are saying so they know you are listening.

At Magnetic Business Women we are creating a culture of connection. This is a networking group where women can become successful, strong and empowered through our connections with each other. Women create successful businesses through relationship building and that is what the group will be about. Building relationships means you show up, not just once but often so that people get to know you and feel comfortable working with you.

This group is not just about getting someone else to be part of your business. It is less about that, though that might be the outcome, and more about nurturing business relationships that can develop over time and be strong and lasting.  In the group I have seen many new collaborations start over the past two years that are beneficial to everyone involved.

Tip to Build Network Relationships:

  1. Provide genuine assistance to others.
  2. Be open-minded.
  3. Remember personal details.
  4. Respect cultural differences.
  5. Research people and companies before you go to the group if possible. Know their goals and interests.
  6. Reciprocate.
  7. Introduce people to other people that might benefit them
  8. Be genuine
  9. Be present and listen actively

I believe in the Law of Attraction where there is no lack and we attract to us those people who are most in alignment with us. Because there is no lack we can support an allow for everyone’s success.

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Filed under Entrepreneurship, Law of attraction in business