I believe that networking is a healthy part of your marketing strategy. People often ask me how I started building my network. It came natural for me because I like to talk to people everywhere I go, including on social media. Not everyone is like me though. The majority of people don’t want to go out and meet random strangers. We call it networking.
That usually changes when you need to find a job or start a business. Let me be very clear. Networking is a skill. I want to encourage you to understand how important new connections can be in our lives. One connection can change the game forever.
Networking excites me because I never know who I’m going to meet. Somebody could know somebody that knows somebody who can make a great introduction for me or one of my clients. I got myself out of my head a long time ago. Networking isn’t about you. It’s about getting to know others and showing them ways that you can add value to their lives. The more you give to others, the more comes back to you. Give it a try!
I’d recommend making a plan and preparing before going to any events. Make sure you have your short introduction ready. Have business cards handy. Leave your personal drama and worries behind when you walk in the room. Shift your focus to serving and being a blessing to others.
Ask people what brings them out to the networking event. It’ll help you figure out how to better serve them. You may be surprised by some of the responses you’ll hear.
It’s important to have a good digital presence. It’s just as important to have real live connections behind the computer screen. I’ve compiled a list of networking resources for women. Check them out here: Happy Networking!
Twin Cities Networking Resources for Women:
National Networking Resources for Women:
American Association of University Women advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. AAUW (formerly known as the American Association of University Women) is a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors, 1,000 branches and 500 college and university institution partners.
The American Medical Women’s Association is an organization which functions at the local, national and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women’s health. We achieve this by providing and developing leadership, advocacy, education, expertise, mentoring and through building strategic alliances.
The Association for Women in Communications is a professional organization that champions the advancement of women across all communications disciplines by recognizing excellence, promoting leadership and positioning its members at the forefront of the evolving communications era.
The Center provides knowledge about women business owners and their enterprises worldwide. It provides original, ground-breaking research to document the economic and social contributions of women-owned firms, and consulting and public relations services to maximize the benefits of this knowledge.
Financial Women’s Association is a nonprofit professional organization established in 1956 by a group of Wall Street women. Its goals are: to advance professionalism in finance and in the financial services industry with special emphasis on the role and development of women, to attain greater recognition for women’s achievements in business, to encourage women to seek career opportunities in finance and business.
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs is a nonpartisan, nondenominational, women’s volunteer service organization founded in 1890. More than 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and more than a dozen countries work in their own communities to support the arts, preserve natural resources, advance education, promote healthy lifestyles, encourage civic involvement, and work toward world peace and understanding.
Girl Scouts of the USA is an organization dedicated solely to girls, where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world. Girl Scouts’ membership has reached 3.4 million members throughout the United States, including U.S. territories, and in more than 90 countries through USA Girl Scouts Overseas.
Girls Incorporated is a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold. With roots dating to 1864, Girls Inc. has provided vital educational programs to millions of American girls, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas.
The League of Women Voters of the United States, a nonpartisan political organization, has fought since 1920 to improve systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy. The League’s enduring vitality and resonance comes from its unique decentralized structure. The League is a grassroots organization, working at the national, state and local levels.
Founded in 1972, the National Association of Female Executives provides education, networking and public advocacy to empower its members to achieve career success and financial security. Members are women executives, business owners, entrepreneurs and others who are committed to NAFE’s mission: the advancement of women in the workplace.
The National Association of Women Business Owners propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide by: strengthening the wealth creating capacity of our members and promoting economic development within the entrepreneurial community, creating innovative and effective change in the business culture, building strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations, and transforming public policy and influencing opinion makers
The National Council of Jewish Women is a volunteer organization that has been at the forefront of social change through championing the needs of women, children, and families — while taking a progressive stance on such issues as child welfare, women’s rights, and reproductive freedom.
The National Council of Negro Women is a council of national African-American women’s organizations and community-based sections. NCNW’s mission is to lead, develop and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities. NCNW fulfills this purpose through research, advocacy and national and community-based services and programs.
The largest organization of feminist activists in the United States, NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since its founding in 1966, NOW’s goal has been to take action to bring about equality for all women.
The National Women’s Business Council is a bipartisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The Council’s mission is to promote bold initiatives, policies and programs designed to support women’s business enterprises at all stages of development in the public and private sector marketplaces, from start-up to success to significance.
Women Impacting Public Policy is a national nonpartisan public policy organization that advocates for and on behalf of women and minorities in business in the legislative processes of our nation, creating economic opportunities and building bridges and alliances to other small business organizations.
Women in Technology International is a trade association for tech-savvy women, empowering women in business and technology to achieve unimagined possibilities. WITI has programs and partnerships that provide connections, resources, opportunities and a supportive environment of women committed to helping each other.
The Women’s Sports Foundation is a national charitable educational organization dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women of all ages and skills levels through physical activity.
The YWCA is one of the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organization in the world. Across the globe, the organization has more than 25 million members in 106 countries, including 2.6 million members and participants in 300 local associations in the United States. The YWCA’s mission is to eliminate racism and empower women.
Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. With more than 31,000 members in 66 countries and geographic areas, members volunteer their time, talents and support to local and international service projects as well as scholarship programs.
9to5 is a national organization dedicated to putting working women’s issues on the public agenda. 9to5’s constituents are low-wage women, women in traditionally female jobs, and those who’ve experienced any form of discrimination. Find out more about your job rights by contacting their Job Survival hotline at www.9to5.org/resources/helpline. www.9to5.org
AWNY’s mission is to provide a forum for personal and professional growth; to serve as a catalyst for the advancement of women in the communications field; and to promote and support philanthropic endeavors through the AWNY Foundation. www.awny.org
AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. By joining AAUW, you belong to a community that breaks through educational and economic barriers so that all women have a fair chance. www.aauw.org
ABWA’s mission is to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education; networking support and national recognition. www.abwa.org
The American Medical Women’s Association is an organization which functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women’s health. They achieve this by providing and developing leadership, advocacy, education, expertise, mentoring, and by building strategic alliances. www.amwa-doc.org
The mission of ASWA is to enable women in all accounting and related fields to achieve their full personal, professional and economic potential and to contribute to the future development of their profession. www.aswa.org
Alliance for Women in Media is a non-profit, professional organization of women who work in the media and allied fields. Their mission is to advance the impact of women in the media and allied fields by educating, advocating and acting as a resource to their members, the industry, and the public. www.awrt.org
The Anita Borg Institute seeks to increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology, and increase the positive impact of technology on the world’s women. anitaborg.org
The Association for Women in Communications is a professional organization that champions the advancement of women across all communications disciplines by recognizing excellence, promoting leadership and positioning its members at the forefront of the evolving communications era. www.womcom.org
The purpose of the Association for Women in Mathematics is to encourage women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences, and to promote equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences. www.awm-math.org
AWIS is a national advocacy organization championing the interests of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics across all disciplines and employment sectors. By breaking down barriers and creating opportunities, AWIS strives to ensure that women in these fields can achieve their full potential. www.awis.org
The AACU is concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Their members are committed to extending the advantage of a liberal education to all students, regardless of their academic specialization or intended career. www.aacu.org
Catalyst works with businesses and the professions to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business. Catalyst seeks a world that supports and encourages every woman in her career aspirations and places no limits on where her skills and energy can take her. www.catalyst.org
The primary mission of C200 is to foster, celebrate and advance women’s leadership in business. Through targeted outreach and support to future leaders, C200 also helps to ensure that women will continue to take evermore significant and visible leadership roles. www.c200.org
The Conference Board operates as a global independent membership organization working in the public interest. It publishes information and analysis, makes economics-based forecasts and assesses trends, and facilitates learning by creating dynamic communities of interest that bring together senior executives from around the world. www.conference-board.org
Dress for Success is an international, nonprofit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire and personal support in helping women not only find jobs but also thrive in the workforce. Each year they reach more than 40,000 women in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the Netherlands. http://www.dressforsuccess.org/home.aspx
Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that studies the changing workforce, family and community. As a preeminent think-tank, FWI is known for being ahead of the curve, identifying emerging issues, and then conducting rigorous research that often challenges common wisdom, provides insight and leads to change. www.familiesandwork.org
The Financial Women’s Association brings together high achieving professionals from every sector of the financial world. They are dedicated to developing future leaders, enhancing the role of women in finance, and investing in the community. www.fwa.org
Emerging and established women leaders work together toward a common goal through the Foundation for Women’s Resources – to advance the personal, economic and professional status of women. This organization is headquartered in Dallas at the Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future. http://www.womensresources.org
Girls Incorporated is a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. With roots dating to 1864, Girls Inc has provided vital educational programs to millions of American girls, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas. www.girlsinc.org
The International Women’s Forum is advancing women’s leadership across careers, cultures and continents by connecting the world’s most preeminent women of significant and diverse achievement. Through this global organization, IWF members come together across national and international boundaries to share knowledge and ideas, to enrich each other’s lives, to provide a network of support and to exert influence. www.iwforum.org
NAFE has a rich history of providing education, networking, and public advocacy to empower its members to achieve career success and financial security. Members are women executives, business owners, entrepreneurs and others who are committed to NAFE’s mission: the advancement of women in the workplace. www.nafe.com
NAWBO propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide by strengthening the wealth creating capacity of its members and promoting economic development within the entrepreneurial community; by creating innovative and effective change in the business culture; and by building strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations. www.nawbo.org
The National Council on Women’s Health, Inc. (NCWH) is a non-profit, volunteer partnership of professionals dedicated to educating girls and women about informed health-care choices. www.ncwh.org
Founded in 2003, the NLBWA exists to promote, develop and support the growth of Latina business owners and professionals. They are working to increase representation, networking and mentoring opportunities for Latinas in the business world. http://www.nlbwa.com
The National Women’s Business Council is a bipartisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the president, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on vital economic issues to women business owners. http://www.nwbc.gov
SWE is a not-for-profit educational and service organization that empowers women to succeed and advance in the field of engineering, and to be recognized for their life-changing contributions as engineers and leaders. http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org
The WBDC is the oldest, largest, most comprehensive, and successful women’s business assistance center in the United States. They deliver business services and financial assistance to empower women towards entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency. www.wbdc.org
The Women’s Council of Realtors is a network of successful realtors empowering women to exercise their potential as entrepreneurs and industry leaders. www.wcr.org
Founded in 1999 as the first and only company devoted to a comprehensive array of recruitment services for women, Women For Hire offers signature career expos, inspiring speeches and seminars, a popular career-focused magazine and customized marketing programs. www.womenforhire.com
Women Grocers of America (WGA) serves as an information and advisory arm to the National Grocers Association. Membership in WGA is open to any woman affiliated with a retail, wholesale, manufacturing/ service supplier company or state/local association that maintains membership in the National Grocers Association. www.nationalgrocers.org/WGA/WGA.html
WICT develops women leaders who transform the telecommunications industry. As the oldest and largest organization serving women professionals in this field, WICT is at the forefront of an industry undergoing constant change. www.wict.org
WGR is committed to the advancement and empowerment of women at all career levels of government relations. By offering leadership opportunities, mentoring, partnerships, networking and educational programming, WGR cultivates its members’ personal and professional growth. www.wgr.org
WITI’s mission is to empower women worldwide to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and economic prosperity. www.witi.com
The Women’s Sports Foundation—the leading authority on the participation of women and girls in sports—advocates for equality, educates the public, conducts research and offers grants to promote sports and physical activity for girls and women. www.womenssportsfoundation.org
Women’s Entrepreneurship Partner Groups
- Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)
- Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC)
- National Association of Women in Construction
- National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB)
- National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO)
- National Women’s Business Council (NWBC)
- U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC)
- WEConnect International
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
- Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)
- Women’s Presidents’ Organization (WPO)
Visit the SBA for additional resources to help women launch and grow businesses!
Here’s the link: https://www.sba.gov/content/women-owned-businesses
If you would like to add resources to this list, please contact Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org.