How To Use Business Networking Tips And Not Be Sleazy

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Business relationship networking is a necessary evil that can go very well or very wrong. The best networking tip for small businesses and big is this: 
own it.
networking tips for small businesses

How To Dive Into Networking Like A Pro

Women in business have to make a conscious decision to go big or go home. This always—yes, always—means learning how to use business networking tips. Some women find this difficult to do. In order to get past this hurdle, women have to get over their assumptions about what networking looks and feels like. VProud intern and millennial working woman Caitlin Kells reflects on powerful business advice given by marketing strategy consultant, Dorie Clark. We found it incredibly inspiring to see a successful woman from one generation learn from an empowering woman from another generation. Read on to hear what Caitlin gleaned from Dorie's advice. We think she's spot on.

—The VProud Team

how to network

Savvy Or Sleazy: You Decide

Surviving the business world is tricky. It can definitely can feel like every man—or woman— for him—or her—self. In order to make your business boom and thrive in today’s society, you must have help from others and that is where networking comes into play. Now, there definitely is a sleaze factor that is involved with networking, but that is just something we all have to overcome if we are going to make sure that the ball keeps rolling. As marketing strategy consultant Dorie Clark explains, networking is all about meeting people for a very specific reason: to get something from them. Often people can feel uncomfortable knowing that the sole purpose of socializing with certain businessmen and women is to get something from them because this makes them feel like they're mooching. What we all need to keep in mind is that this is absolutely okay to do. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

There's a difference between a business relationship and a social relationship and that line can't be crossed when trying to network. It's vital that you lock up all your tendencies to chat about your personal life and stick to the basics. Talk about your career or your common interests but stay away from the 5 b’s (booze, boys, Barack, bible and bitches). If you want the person you’re trying to impress to take you seriously, you’ll stick to professional jargon.

Woman Up, Find Success

Another thing you need to make sure you have is confidence. When appealing to the CEO of a big company, the last thing you want to be is timid. You can't care what other people think of you. I hate to say it, but there are going to be people out there that you just don’t get along with. Their loss. Don’t take it to heart. As Dave Roos of "How Stuff Works" reports, you should pick a magic number. Set a goal number of people you will talk to at a certain event and don’t let yourself give up until it has been reached. This is a good tip for those small business owners who might be intimidated by the big bad dogs of corporate business. 

My final takeaways are: There isn't a right way to network. Every networking opportunity that presents itself is going to be different from the next. And while the basics—a full resume and tons of experience—will bring you far, networking will take you just that much further and potentially launch you into major success. So ignore the sleazy feeling and get networking.

About the author: Caitlin Kells is a VProud intern.

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how to network
Career Guru, Dorie Clark, talks networking: 
Do you feel sleazy when you network?

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