Fantastic Ways To Grow Your Network This Week

By Brianna Elefant

Nowhere is the need for a strong and authentic network more apparent than in tech.

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With women outnumbered by men when it comes to starting companies and raising venture capital, the strength of your network can mean the difference between success and failure.

But let’s face it, it takes time to prioritize network-building. Throw the working-mom hustle into the mix, and it can almost always seem like something else should come first. But as my fellow networking-enthusiast Kelly Hoey recently said to CNBC: “Start thinking of networking as muscle. Use it regularly in a variety of ways to achieve your goals.”

Networking needs to be high priority for women in tech. Throughout my career in executive leadership and sales roles at tech companies, my network has been a powerful tool for creating value and closing deals.

I recently became the Chief Revenue Officer of Voray, a company dedicated to cultivating authentic professional relationships, because I believe so strongly in the need for a solid network of professional relationships– especially for women.

How do you get started in building your own power network? Here are the three key things.

SET UP A WEEKLY QUOTA AND AUTOMATIC REMINDERS.

Organization is KEY when you’re networking! How many times have you gotten a card and tossed it in your jacket pocket, purse, or wallet thinking that you will put it in your files later, only to lose it – and the connection you’ve made? Sure, places like LinkedIn make it easier to maintain a personal CRM, it’s helpful to set some weekly goals around networking.

One story that struck me was that of Alison Mass, a partner at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and co-head of the investment banking group. She told The Wall Street Journal that she sets up reminder alerts on her computer to stay in touch and keeps a list of her important people at eye-view by her desk.

“It reminds me by looking at their names if I haven’t spoken with them in a while,” says Ms. Mass.  Morra Aarons- Mele, host of Hiding in the Bathroom Podcast and founder of We Are Women Online, shared that she commits to “10 touches” a week, whether it’s exchanging email, engaging on Twitter, or setting a coffee. Whatever your system, make sure you commit to one.

DIVERSIFY.

Female Entrepreneurs

I’ve always found that networking is 50% getting in the room, and 50% getting in DIFFERENT rooms than the ones you’re in every day. It’s important to meet people – yes, but if you’re always meeting the same people the ability to propel yourself forward and leverage connections will fall short.

Much like in the boardrooms or when hiring for your company, as studies have shown time and time again, diversity is key. Try to meet with executives in other industries, other cities, and yes with men too. The broader your reach, the more access you have to different insights, information and contacts.

DO HOMEWORK.

You wouldn’t go to a business meeting unprepared. Or walk into a job interview without researching the company. So why would you go to a luncheon or networking opportunity without doing a little digging on who will be there, and what you want to accomplish?

Source: women2.com

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