10 Networking Myths For Newbies-To-Networking
- Article reprint requirements:
¤ You may reprint this article, in it's entirety
in your ezine, magazine, newsletter, ebook or
on your web site.
¤ Include byline with active link.
¤ Courtesy copy of newsletter or URL is appreciated.
¤ Ask for changes you'd like made.
¤ Contact info: Maria Marsala, Small Business Builder,
Internet Veteran and former Wall Street Trader at
Summary: Business networking events are a way to
meet other business owners, gain and give referrals and
design profitable collaborations.
Word Count: 966
10 Networking Myths For Newbies-To-Networking
It's a given, isnt it? If you're in business, your number
one job is to market. If you keep your business a secret -
don't let people know how you can help make their lives
better and what you do, you won't be successful - because no
one will know that you're in business. How well you network,
which is the "letting people know how you can help them"
part, may well determine whether you succeed or fail.
There are four main types of organizations where networking
opportunities for business owners exist. There are 1)
business networking groups, 2) service-oriented groups
(Rotary, Elks, Soroptimist, for example), 3) our local
Chambers of Commerce, and 4) business-specific groups
(realtors-only, coaches-only, etc.)
Which one is best for you? Well, in all of the groups, you
are connecting with other business owners, getting to know
them personally and professionally, building trust, and
forging new relationships that can potentially bring you
business. However, with business networking groups, the main
focus, the primary objective, is to boost each member's
business. And isn't that a great objective?
Business networking groups are "exclusive," meaning that
only one member in each category of business can join. So
each group will have only one printer, one residential real
estate agent, one property manager, one web designer, etc.
For many women getting started in business, the business
networking options probably seem abundant. Online, offline,
via email, via telephone, groups meeting weekly, groups
meeting once monthly. Some are geared specifically towards
women business owners; others are not. Some groups are part
of a larger network of regional, national and international
association, while other groups are home grown. The
networking events or meetings are usually structured so that
women feel "welcome" and are designed to maximize
opportunities to meet others. Sounds good, right?
But what if you've never had to network before? Or if you're
an introvert? Like me!
Some people make networking look effortless, but here's a
secret: even for the most gregarious among us, networking
always requires preparation. Introvert who prepare,
practice, practice, and practice can become Networking
Queens. (And don't forget to breathe!) If youre a
newbie-to-networking, don't let these common myths about
networking de-rail your efforts to become well known in your
Myth #1: Networking groups are only for new business owners.
Truth: Many networking groups who show sustained growth have
a majority of members who have been in business at least 5
Myth #2: The only business owners who join networking groups
are unsuccessful ones.
Truth: See myth #1.
Myth #3: Men don't join networking groups.
Truth: In the small county I live in, men started 1/3 of the
business networking groups. One group is a women-only group
and the other groups are a mixture of both men and women.
Myth #4: Only home business owners or solo business owners
join networking groups.
Truth: Home business owners join groups quicker because
they're looking for community outside their homes. However,
many bricks 'n' mortar businesses join networking groups and
do extremely well, too.
Myth #5: Only business owners join networking groups.
Truth: Professionals, usually executives and agents who work
for existing companies, join to promote their companies'
services and/or products, too.
Myth #6: Multi-Level Marketing folks are not welcome at
Truth: If you are an MLM-er and attend meetings to sell your
products, you'll get a warmer reception if you're there to
talk about your products not to increase your downline.
Myth #7: Dues are so very high.
Truth: Membership dues vary from group to group - some
groups have no dues and others charge dues of $500 per year.
Find a group that fits your needs or start your own!
Myth #8: You must refer to those you meet at your meetings
Truth: No one wants to refer people they don't know well, so
your goal at these meetings is to get to know other members
until you're comfortable referring them. Sometimes, you may
have another associate/friend outside the group that you
refer instead of, or in addition to, one of your networking
Now, while you're usually not "required" to refer a
particular person, remember that referring business to other
members is part of the business networking process. (In a
few groups, not referring others is a big "no-no" and you
will be asked to leave; ask about the rules before you
Myth #9: You must attend all meetings.
Truth: The commitment of your time and talents to a group is
very important, since youll be part of a team of business
owners. In some groups, you - or a representative - must
attend all meetings. Most groups have a 75% mandatory
attendance of its members. A rare few groups have no
Myth #10: I have to join right away.
Truth: Each group has its own "flavor." Many groups allow
you to attend two meetings as a guest before you have to
decide to join or not. Pretty fair rule!
The bottom line is this: People like to do business with
people they know and trust. Relationships -- business and
personal -- take time to develop. Remember that networking
isn't about instant gratification - it's about long-term
partnerships. The opportunities are numerous business
networking groups are varied enough so that any woman can
find at least one group that feels like "home." Or two or
So go grab a cup of coffee and visit the list of online and
offline networking groups I've compiled over the years. It's
time to get out and become a Networking Queen! If I can do
it, you can, too!
©2005 Maria Marsala. Elevating Your Business makes the business
of business seem S.I.M.P.L.E.! Exceptional programs, informative
articles and training to support business success. Visit our
site for 2 reports www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com right now.