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7 networking tips for women

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One of the most influential and efficient ways to raise your profile in the business world is through networking. However, networking will only help you if done strategically. As with most things, there are certain do’s and don’ts when it comes to networking. Here are our top 7 networking tips that every woman in business should know:

1. Dress appropriately

Make sure you are wearing the right outfit for the right event; you definitely can’t turn up to a breakfast event in a cocktail dress. Yes, it is good to stand out — and you need to in order to be successful in business — but you don’t want to be standing out for the wrong reasons. Make sure that people are thinking about what you are saying and not about what you are wearing.

2. Don’t avoid men

Many women have a tendency to go to functions that only other women will attend, which limits the benefits of networking. You need to think strategically and ask yourself ‘Why am I going?’ … the answer should be ‘to make as many valuable connections as possible to further my success’.  And the best way to do so is with women AND men.

3. Events are for business, not for friendship

When at a business event you need to make sure you are remaining as professional as you possibly can. If you are having a conversation with someone, make sure it is about business. You can reveal your personality and interests in ways that enhance your branding, but DON’T descend into superficiality or emotion. You are there for business first and friendship second (if at all).

4. Connect beforehand

Something you should do before every event is research any guest speakers and connect with them on sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn. This will allow you to approach them once you’re at the event, and let you build valuable connections.

5. Don’t stay too long

It is better to leave earlier than stay too late. If you are the last person to leave, you run the risk of appearing as though you have nothing better to do.

6. Treat everyone the same

This is a BIG one. Make sure you aren’t intimidated by high-powered people and be sure to treat those with small businesses the same as those with large ones. Apart from it being simply good business manners, in the future their tiny startup could be the ‘next big thing’ — and you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity on working with them because of your earlier attitude.

7. Don’t eat or drink at an event

US Vogue editor Anna Wintour never eats or drinks at any of the events she attends. This may seem a bit odd but when you think about it, it makes sense. When at a business event, it’s smart to not eat or drink simply because you always run the risk of getting food on your mouth or spilling something on yourself. In addition, talking while eating is a difficult trick to pull off with poise. Also, it’s smart to not drink alcohol at events. No matter how confident you think you are when you’re drinking, you’re actually not. Alcohol undermines your judgement after even one drink, and after a few you will seem unprofessional — or even obnoxious. Another benefit to not drinking at an event is that you get to see what people are really like, and whom you would want to work with.

These are far from being the only networking tips that can help you, but they are the most valuable ones. And if you don’t follow them, don’t expect to be taken seriously or get the optimum value from networking.

About Amanda Rose

Founder and CEO of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit www.amandaroseofficial.com.

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1 Comment

  1. crimson997@gmail.com'

    Nick

    September 30, 2014 at 6:26 am

    What a load of tripe! This epitomises the very heart of what I hate about modern business and this perceived stereotype of what a successful businesswoman should be like.

    Don’t eat in case you might get a crumb on yourself, how utterly pathetic. Are you an emotionless machine? In what world do people agree with this? I am a man and I personally would never trust anyone (male or female) that doesn’t enjoy their food and drink. Avoiding excess drink is of course common sense, and if you have religious grounds, even better. But, to avoid even a sip and then observe others behaviour like animals in a zoo.. lovely..

    What a facade! I do business with people I trust, i think most other people do also. Those that don’t let themselves go and withhold their personality are either hiding something or parenting to be someone they are not. Unless you are a good actor it stands out a mile.

    The only good thing about people that follow this advice is that there will be more food and drink for me and other likeminded individuals that know how to do business and enjoy themselves.

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