BBWO: BLACK BUSINESS WOMEN ONLINE

Women are starting businesses more than ever and women seem to attend a lot of networking meetings.  However, I wonder if women really know what it means to network and how powerful it can be?

I say this because many business women share with me that they often don't get return calls when trying to connect with the women they met at networking events and when they do, it's all about buy their product or join their company.  Now, there's nothing wrong with sharing information about your products or services, but a relationship should be established first.  Don't you think?

Networking shouldn't be just about getting business cards and looking for the sale right away.  It should be about helping one another, creating win-win relationships and asking yourself the question, "How can I contribute my expertise".  Not only does this help in building credibility, but it also shows your sincerity to participate and give as well as take.

 

So, I ask the question: What Does Business Networking Mean to You?

 

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I love this post......had this very same conversation with a friend today who happens to be in the process of starting her own business.  I've been networking all day with the intention of offering and sharing as opposed to selling.  It is truly better to give then to receive.......getting a sale can happen at anytime.  Getting a true connection that can empower and benefit fellow business owners is priceless!
So true Joelle! An authentic connection can last a life time!
Good point Cynthia.....not to mention another way for sister's to support each other in our endeavors....for a lifetime.
Great question, Trina!  As someone who rarely networked in the beginning, I now clearly see how vital it is to the growth of my business.  So, what does it mean to me?  It means sharing my expertise, learning from others, creating partnerships, providing and receiving referrals.  I am currently planning a joint venture with another awesome business woman.  I just entered a bartering relationship with one of the best women coaches in Atlanta.  None of which would have happened if I wasn't networking.  I've even received new clients directly.  Did it happen immediately?  No.  Did I have to keep shoving my products and services in their faces?  No.  I just shared and became a resource.
Hi Lavada! Business growth, now you are talking MY language! :)

Love this question - I can say for the majority of the time I spent building my online networks and businesses I solely networked online at a great dis-service to myself. Meaning, it took longer for me to make connections and create collaborations because while some people new of me or saw me online they didn't really KNOW me until we spoke in person and create a real-world connection. I find value in networking offline for this reason. I also believe that while you do get a mountain of business cards, its about taking note of those people who you had the most thoughtful connections and conversations with. Was there the beginning stages of partnership, talk about further conversations or even people the two of you felt either of you should REALLY KNOW.

 

Taking buy my stuff off the table, I think effective marketing is about aligning yourself with people who are interested in who you are and what you do. At the same time getting to know people in your industry who are equally if not more interesting that you BUT you some how never knew before.

 

At least that is my take on it especially after going to the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit. I'm posting all my 'aha' moments and tips about this even on the SistaSense Blog using the tag - Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit.

Great point LaShanda. My friend Jewel Diamond Taylor says, "if you are the smartest one in your group, it's time to get a new group."  I love what you said about honoring those who took the time to notice you. Awesome tip!

Networking to me means, gleaning info from others, and pouring what expertise I have into someone else. It is an opportunity to learn and to return what I have learned into others.

It is a means of provoking and envoking awareness, encouraging, educating and enlightening.

 

Pastor BJ

Hi Trina. I think this is a great question. I must say, in your example above, at least there is ONE person making the calls even though there is no call back. In my experiences, most people encounter no follow up response from networking. I think it is because business owners are not properly trained on what networking is.

 

What networking means to me and my business is contacts, leads, joint venture partnerships, vendors, and more. I am a master networker and here is why. 1) I have a goal for attending a networking event. I study the event and potential attendees before hand. Just knowing the mission or purpose of the event helps to understand who might be in attendance. 2) I know what I am selling and who my target market is AND I can articulate that pretty well. 3) I take responsibility for follow-up rather than leave follow-up in the other person's hands. In fact, I rarely take traditional business cards to a networking event.

 

I agree with you 100 percent Networking is not passing out business cards.  Nor is networking about selling. I do suggest that everyone who networks has a call to action though. People like you who go into a networking event with the mindset to contribute to someone else will always enjoy results. Great topic! Great discussion!

Cynthia http://www.facebook.com/techdivasuncorked

YES Trina, networking is about establishing a relationship with the person and helping them! You get a high five and two thumbs up on this one!

This post is awesome.  That has been a question in the back of my mind for a minute now.  When I meet new clients or even talk to my old ones.  I don't always want to throw my products and services in there face; but i seriously be wanting to know how things are going if they need some help picking out a great baby gift or even planning the shower.  I really don't want to seem pushy!

I would just like to first Thank God, and then LaShanda Henry for giving us this platform in which to network with other women, and men in business.  I have never seen anything like this online where women, and a few men of all backgrounds could come and network with one another. 

 

We no longer have to worry about spending a large budget on Marketing our businesses.  All we have to do is create a few accounts using, Black Business Women Online, Twitter, Facebook, and other networking accounts to get the message out there about our business.

 

Having these platforms are priceless.  I am no longer just doing business within the United States.  I am also going across the Pond so to speak.  I am selling to people in Canada, The Neatherlands, Europe, and other places that I thought I would never sell to.  My mind was just limited to The United States, but God has openned the door through the Internet to other countries.

 

I am so grateful to everyone for their hard work and perserverance.  I know it wasn't easy, but it is sure worth it.  Thank you again LaShanda.  I'm learning so much. :)

 

Check us out online at www.kyrascloset.com or http://stores.ebay.com/Kyras-Closet-Consignment-Store?_rdc=1 or http://www.wix.com/kyrascloset/kyrascloset

 

I am so excited about the possibilities.  I just received my merchant account to be able to accept Master Card, Visa, and Discover for those who don't have a paypal account.  This is huge for me.  Don't give up ladies.  Don't give up. :)



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