Tips for Mom Entrepreneurs: How to Stay Connected to Your Network

As a working mom, you may already feel overwhelmed, juggling dual responsibilities of work and family. When it comes to networking – yet another task – you may feel that “the time I’ve spent at networking has never really paid off.”

Creating a personal and professional network is essential for your work + life success. That’s why working moms need to approach networking with a different paradigm, explained below as a three-part process.

Relationship Building
Networking isn’t just about collecting business cards from people you think may help you. It’s about planting seeds and nurturing long-term relationships that mature over time.

As a mom, you may understand this process well because it calls upon the same nurturing skills you already use with your family.

Empowering Actions
How many times have you attended networking events and seen others jabber on about themselves and frantically hand out dozens, if not hundreds, of their cards? This frenetic approach only makes them look weak. As a working mom, draw on that “Mommy” authority to engage in empowering, networking actions. Continue reading

Three Steps to Your Ultimate Marketing Message

Have you created a core marketing message to use throughout all of your marketing efforts?

I’m not talking about some catchy slogan or play on words using the name of your business or the service you provide. It’s not some meaningless phrase like “we do it right” or “quality service you can trust.” Anybody in business can say those things and they’re really basic expectations anyway.

A core marketing message clearly and concisely communicates what you’re out to do and for who. It speaks to your ideal target market and gets them to respond and seek more information.

So many small business owners and professional service providers never take the time to create this for their own business. Most are creating a new message with every new “marketing campaign.” They’re constantly trying new ideas. And each new idea becomes a new chance to try and come up with that home run message that gets the phone ringing off the hook like never before. Continue reading

On Networking Groups ( Part Five )

Online networking web sites. Are they really networking and are they really working?

They have been springing up all over. They are based on contact management. They are direct in messaging, emailing, and even in the six degrees of separation. They go by many different names and have various methods of finding people. The problem with these sites is that they are not really networking. Do you disagree?

To be effective in networking requires building a relationship with another person. This is difficult to do through messages and email. If you have ever had a discussion with a person through email or instant messaging, I would like to ask if you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to actually pick up the phone to find out what a person was really talking about? Continue reading

On Networking Groups ( Part Four )

What is a leads group? Leads groups seem to be the most popular form of networking judging that comment by the fact that there are more leads groups in existence that have been around for a long time than most other types of groups.

Leads groups are often referred to as closed groups. This means that there can only be one type of a business represented in a group. Lets say that I am a web designer. In a closed group I would be the only web designer represented in the group. Other web designers would be allowed to visit, but if they wanted to join the organization they would have to find a group that did not have a web designer. If there was no opening in an existing group for a web designer, the person would have to go on a waiting list until an opening became available, or a new group was formed.

Most leads groups meet once a week. There are some that only meet once a month. Leads groups offer something that a lot of people need. Structure and discipline. What do I mean by this? Continue reading

On Networking Groups ( Part Three )

I am about to share with you something that I talk to people about a lot. It is focused networking.

In each business, we have a target market or the perfect prospect. If you have been in a particular business for any length of time, you should know what type of person or business owner falls into this category for you. If not, it is time to figure out who this might be.

In networking for business it is important to have a well rounded networking schedule. You should attend many different types of groups in order to reach a broad spectrum of people. If you only attend a business after hours, you may run into several people who provide the same product or service as you. In this environment, it is important to know what makes you different from them. In most cases this is not a company thing, but a personal thing. When you have reached the point that you can relate what makes you different, you will do very well in a competitive environment. Continue reading