Does the idea of networking make you feel icky? Does having a root canal seem more desirable?
I recently participated in a LinkedIn conversation with a woman entrepreneur who described marketing as “icky,” mostly because she was tired of the forced referral model and getting badgered to join someone’s team.
I get it. I networked for years and then stopped, mostly because networking felt out of alignment, like I was jamming a square peg in a round hole.
If this sounds like you, please keep reading because I have some ideas on why networking may feel icky for you—and how to remedy it.
Ask yourself what about networking feels icky
Take out a sheet of paper and list all the reasons why networking feels icky to you. There are no right or wrong answers; just listen to your heart and jot down what comes up.
Knowing why networking feels yucky will help you figure out how to “de-yuckify” networking for you. Look over your list. How many of these reasons are ones that can be changed, such as having to pay for lunch or driving to a meeting? If it can be changed, then change it!
Masculine and feminine energy
Some networking groups are steeped in masculine energy; others, feminine energy (while others, of course, mix both energies). Let’s break down how masculine and feminine energy can show up during networking:
- Masculine energy focuses on doing, often characterized by achievement, goal setting, and competition. Masculine energy shows up when organizations require referrals or host competitions on how many guests a member brings to a meeting.
- Feminine energy focuses on being, often characterized by empathy, creativity, and vulnerability. Feminine energy can show up in networking meetings through inspirational speakers, agenda-less meetings, and workshops (instead of traditional networking meetings).
I have found that many women entrepreneurs crave more feminine energy in their networking. They love the conversations, connections, even the creative exercises, but balk at the rigid attendance policies or having to refer members’ businesses every week.
If this sounds like you, ask yourself: Have I been networking in an environment that doesn’t have enough feminine energy? If so, now you know what kind of networking groups you should look for. Conversely, you may be in networking group with too much feminine energy for your taste. If that’s the case, seek a more masculine energy group and see if it feels better.
Find the right networking group
Now you have some information:
- A list of what felt icky about past networking experiences
- An idea of what kind of energy (masculine, feminine) you’d like in your networking experience
Armed with this information, search for right-fit groups. You may have to start with asking a fellow entrepreneur. When asking, be sure to specify your findings, something like, “I would like to attend a networking group for entrepreneurs that doesn’t have any referral or attendance requirements.” This will help your colleague point you in the right direction.
And, if you’re looking for an online networking experience that’s full of feminine energy (with a touch of masculine energy), please check out Virtual Networkers. You can be a guest up to three times before deciding on membership.
Networking is an essential part of building your know, like, trust factor, but you have to like your networking experience. Don’t settle. Find the right networking group for you, and you will discover that networking can be less icky and more illuminating!
Here are some other resources that will help you with your marketing and mindset:
My book, That First Client, which will teach you how to create an effective marketing system that will always attract clients to your business
My book, Loud Woman, which will inspire you to get Louder in your life and business
Check out my latest blog post about marketing, getting clients, and the Law of Attraction
Virtual Networkers, my global online networking organization for women entrepreneurs
Get More Clients Track, a year-long program that will teach you how the fundamentals of marketing so you’re always attracting clients
Manifest More Clients Track, a year-long program that will teach you how to use the Law of Attraction in your marketing
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