Tag Archives: how to network

My new role with the Ladies Who Latte networking group

I am very privileged to have been asked to become the Leader of the Ladies Who Latte networking group for Folkestone and Hythe, Kent.

We all know how important networking is to your business and if done correctly you will see a significant growth in your business (read my networking tips). It can be quite daunting when you first start out and that’s why I have always loved these meetings as they are so supportive and friendly and I come away from each one feeling completely motivated and like I can achieve anything in my business! 

Ladies Who Latte because there's no point being fabulous on your own!

Because there’s no point being fabulous on your own!

Ladies Who Latte is a national network with over 50 free meetings a month all over the country and the concept is simple, you turn up grab yourself a coffee and network. I have been attending my local group for just over three years and have learnt so much from the other inspirational business women as well as making some wonderful friends along the way.  As a leader, my role is to support women who would like to start their own business or grow an existing one offering friendship, advice, contacts and business leads.

In 2007 Sharon Connolly set up Ladies Who Latte after a career change and seeing a gap in the market for ladies networking at a ‘mum’ friendly time.  The meetings are therefore child-friendly and during the school holidays, Latte groups can still run with children welcome.

One year after setting up Sharon asked “Networking Queen” Mary Flavelle to hop on board and assist with the running and promoting of the organization which continues to thrive and grow. Sharon has since relocated to Singapore where she has also introduced LWL.

Sharon says: “We have amazing success stories of women making connections and being given opportunities that they could never have dreamed of finding on their own. We are women with imagination, drive, enthusiasm and hope and we are enjoying sharing out success because It’s no good being fabulous on your own.”

I’m very much looking forward to helping the women in my area grow their businesses.  If you’re interested in Ladies Who Latte you can find a group in your area or join Folkestone and Hythe

Seven reasons to network

Why network?

Networking is essential to building your business and I have gained the majority of my clients using this method.  There are lots of free groups out there and I suggest you attend a few and then stick with the ones you feel most appropriate and where your target audience can be found. Attend them regularly so that you can get to know people, this all helps with building trust and gaining a great reputation for your business (Read my blog for tips on how to master networking).

Here are my seven top reasons for networking:

1.  Networking will help you to build relationships. You will start to build up trust with each of the members and this will help you to gain new business. You will also gain knowledge from others and probably make new friends!

2.  You will learn new skills. Other members may provide training that you can sign up to and learn from. Exchanging skills with others will not only help you make new contacts but also add value to your business.

Practice your pitch

                              Practice your pitch

3.  Some groups will allow their members to provide a short talk on their area of expertise. If you can do this it’s a great opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and promote your business.

4.  You may find businesses that compliment your own work by offering a service that you don’t but that will be useful to your clients. Referrals and collaboration can be used here to help each other out.

You'll even make new friends

You’ll even make new friends

5.  You will have the opportunity to practice your pitch (elevator speech). Try and create a 1-minute speech to tell people what you do and how your business can help those in the room. Sticking to a minute makes you look professional and keeps people’s interest.  Doing this over and over gives you the chance fine-tune your words and grow your confidence.

6.  If you’re looking to expand your business then networking can be a great way of recruiting. You’ll have built up relationships within your networking group so it’s a good place to start when looking for new team members.

7.  The final reason to network is so you get the chance to socialise. Being in the company of other like-minded business people will motivate and inspire you. It’s also a great opportunity to bounce ideas off each other.