Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to generate buzz and to establish your authority in your industry. For professionals and entrepreneurs who are offering services catered to ladies, women's networking should be an integral part of your marketing and public relations efforts. Here are a few ways to get started.
Trade or commerce groups are meant to facilitate contact and networking among businesses and individuals who are engaged in similar businesses. Trade events are usually sponsored by local governments, nonprofit organizations or companies. Trade events enable you to meet with suppliers whom you might need to source raw materials or resources for your business. You will also meet other businesses that might be in need of services and products that you offer.
Several professional organizations and associations cater specifically to women. Some examples are the American Business Women's Association, American Medical Women's Association, American Women's Society of Certified Public Accountants, Association for Women in Computing, Association for Women in Science, and the like. These organizations usually provide assistance and guidance in advancing the professional development of its members. For business-oriented individuals, these provide valuable contacts that you would find handy when you need to deal with several companies or institutions that have employees who are members of your organization.
Some women's organizations are not necessarily specific to any profession, but rather dedicated to bringing together women from different fields of interest. Some examples are Advancing Women (http://www.advancingwomen.com), Bella Online (http://www.bellaonline.com) and eWomen Network (http://www.ewomennetwork.com). These organizations help connect women with each other to promote their businesses across the globe. Networking organizations also hold business expositions where various topics are discussed, including new business ideas, marketing, investing, and business management.
Local and international women's civic organizations.
Certain organizations also focus not only on business and professional advancement, but also civic involvement. An example is Zonta International, which has different ?Zonta Clubs? in various countries, states and cities. Zonta often runs projects that cater to humanitarian and developmental needs. While these civic organizations focus on non-profit activities, members include professionals and businessmen in various fields, and being in touch with such people would be helpful to your business in one way or another.
Online women's groups.
Social networks are meant to connect people from various backgrounds. However, most social and professional networks also let you set up and join sub-groups that share similar interests. Social networks also let you connect to former classmates, colleagues and join alumni and professional groups, where you can find potential clients, suppliers or business partners. Some networks, like LinkedIn, are meant for establishing your professional profile, and connecting to others on a professional level. Some social networks, meanwhile, are directly targeted towards women, and these include iVillage (http://www.ivillage.com), Caf? Mom (http://www.cafemom.com) and Parents Connect (http://www.parentsconnect.com). These would be useful, particularly if your business caters specifically to women. For instance, if you sell services related to parenting, you can find potential clients on the parenting-oriented networking sites.
Taking part in these networks can help boost your professional profile, and will be helpful in establishing rapport with both new and old contacts. You can use these to the advantage of your business or career.
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