Networking Blues: How Do I Dress For Events

Networking in person is a really good way to quickly build trust and credibility. Being able to make direct contacts, engage in active conversations and dialogue, steers the process in the right direction. But, as you are meeting new people, it is extremely important to have a professional presence. Thus, dressing appropriately, respecting business, social and cultural protocols increases your likeability and trust factor with colleagues and potential clients.

Listed below are helpful and practical tips for creating a dynamic physical image.

Sound Advice

Before you select your next outfit for an event, consider asking for advice. You can reach out to the organizer or host of the function, Google the suggested business attire or ask a friend. Taking the time to seek out additional support will not only properly prepare you but builds your confidence and comfort for the event.

The Observer

Another good idea is to take into account how your colleagues have dressed for past events. Look at individuals who represent your gender, age, profession, etc. to gain insight on the standard for dressing well. You can even go a step further by picking certain individuals who mimic your preference or style.

Additional Factors

Last but not least, you can gauge the climate of the event but considering a few factors. Where is the event being held? What time of the day will it be conducted? Who is expected to attend? These are great ways to choose an ensemble that is suitable for the function.

Definitely use these tips to properly dress for events. Keep in mind that being professional adds to your credibility and builds a sense of trust for establishing quality and fruitful relationships.

Networking for Women Business Owners

Networking is a critical piece to a growing and successful business. Being a business owner, it is important to have a plan and make time for building relationships, making connections and staying competitive. This article highlights key tips which women entrepreneurs can use to maximize their networking efforts.

Listed below are simple methods for gaining the most from attending events and linking up with others.

Shatter the Myth

Do not believe the hype. As a woman business owner, you do have time to network. As a matter of fact, you can do double, triple even quadruple duty networking. Be creative and strategic in the way that you manage your time and finances. Use networking as an extension of your business. Also, reach out to loyal customers or clients to help in your objectives for getting referrals, leads, introductions etc. Do not miss golden opportunities or overlook chances to advance.

Partner Up

Collaborate with other business owners to share resources, save time and generate business. Look towards like minded individuals with varied skill sets which complement your networking agenda. Find ways to cross market, cross sell, cross network etc. As mentioned above, these colleagues can also be your customers, clients, mentors, proteges, sponsors etc.

Lead the Way

Consider joining established organizations, boards or associations to enhance your leadership skills. This can offer an excellent platform for promoting your business and other interests. It also allows you to add value to individuals and organizations. Having this type of platform can also give you recognition through awards and other accolades.

Hopefully these tips can encourage you to take ownership of your networking for business success. Use these practical strategies to excel in your business endeavors.

The 5 C’s of Business Networking

What’s the best way to market your small business? The best results mostly come from face to face business networking. As an enthusiastic and very successful networking expert, this form of marketing has been featured in various articles I have written on B2B information. However within networking, like all parts of business, changes happen and you can always learn new ways to become more and more effective in how you deliver your message.

So to honour of my favourite form of marketing, here are the 5 C’s of networking to help you achieve greater success:

C is for Create. Create opportunities. How? Think about how you start a conversation with a new connection at an event. What do you usually ask: “What do you do?” Are you not totally bored with this overly used networking chat up line? Next time you engage with a new business owner at an event, why not open up the conversation with this: “Tell me about your business…” or “What challenges are you facing right now/ “What recent success stories can you share?” These exchanges create opportunities to explore in greater depth, giving you the chance to find out more about how you can position your business solution.

C is for Consistency. The saying, “out of sight, out of mind” rings very true when it comes to networking. People who turn up once or only occasionally run the risk of being forgotten quickly and/or can be seen as not serious networkers. Admittedly not every style of networking meets with an individual’s personal choice. However successful networking is built upon reliable, strong relationships, which equals consistency. Good relationships take time and effort to develop and grow. Attend once and expect instant results? You’ve got to be kidding!

C is for Collaboration. Two heads are often better than one, so they say. Once you’ve established yourself in one or more networking groups that meet your objectives, it is a positive step to explore potential collaborative partnerships. Consider linking with others who do what you do, with a different slant/experience perhaps. Collaborations are ideal to expand thinking, to bolster support and motivation, and to enhance prospective work opportunities.

C is for Choice. One of my favourite things about being a self-employed networker is the fact that it is my choice with whom I connect and work with, and it is my choice as to the frequency of where and when I network. Choice allows you to be selective and it gives you a freedom which an employed networking professional typically doesn’t have.

C is for Connector. With networking as my primary focus to market my services, one thing I have learnt is to see networking as an opportunity to connect others. Rather than adopting a “selfish” attitude, however do have a strategy for what you want to achieve, think broadly when you speak with people and consider how you can connect them to other business owners you know. When you become known as a successful connector, people will flock to you and respect you for your knowledge, support and expertise.