One of the things we women do well is developing relationships with other women. We love sharing our lives, business experiences and expertise and it’s usually over a cup of coffee.
At the beginning of the year I joined Venus. A network for New Zealand women in business. The community is designed to help women in business achieve profitable, sustainable growth in their business. Since joining their local group in Napier I’ve experienced growth not only in my network but also in other areas of my business.
I thought I would share with you three things I’ve been learning from networking with these lovely ladies.
1. People refer people
As a small business owner, I believe collaborating with others and making referrals is the best way to grow your customer base. Referrals come about as we get to know one another. It’s easier to refer someone you know personally, have experienced their services first hand and have built that trust and credibility. I think small businesses can have an advantage over larger organisations by providing a service that is personal. People like to deal with people. People they know and can trust.
2. Communication is key to success
Another lesson I’m learning is the art of communication. As a graphic designer, by trade, I consider myself a visual communicator. I’m a bit more reserved when it comes to talking about myself. Being a part of this group has helped me be clear on the purpose and intent of my business so I can relay that to others. Each time we meet we are encouraged to talk about our business in specific ways. We ask questions like: What’s your unique selling point? What products or services do you provide? What describing words would you use to express the experience you want your clients to walk away with. Being able to clarify the details will make it easier for the others in the group to communicate your message when they make referrals on your behalf.Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life. Brian Tracy
3. Growth comes by sharing what you know
In more recent times, I’ve been sharing with the network group about my blogging journey. Over the past year, I’ve learnt how to set up a website using WordPress, create content for blog posts, then publish them to social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
I use this website as a platform to showcase my business. From it I can share my knowledge of publishing and print advertising. I hope to help professionals solve problems they might have designing for print and web.
Last week, I was given the opportunity to speak about blogging at a local workshop. That in of itself was a new experience for me but I enjoyed the process. A great way to network, grow, develop my communication skills and showcase my business while helping others grow there businesses too. I like that!“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill