The Fascinating Headline,
. . .drew me in. It called my attention to something I had been searching for for a long time. The reason AWI exists and what it has to offer women in our particular ‘niche’ population.
So what is the headline that fascinated me. . .
Small is beautiful. How to make the most of an intimate networking event with 7 rules to do so is important. . .
Why “Small & Intimate”?
At various times in my life, I’ve been part of a multi-level marketing business. Sponsors and up-line folks encouraged me to be out networking as the only means to grow my business (and their’s as well of course!). And the urge was to attend as many large events as possible where I was most likely to meet folks in my target market. Shyer than I like to admit, the thought of arriving alone to a room of 100 people or more was more than I could bear. I tried it and it simply didn’t work for me.
But being shy was not the only obstacle to gaining what I wanted. I instinctively knew that if I was to be successful growing my business; I had to build relationships with others – mainly women, because it’s about getting to know, like and trust.
Even before I read that oft-quoted phrase, I knew real relationships are the bedrock of a successful business strategy. As a young girl, I saw my Dad and his partner build a successful auto repair business because they built relationships and those folks knew, liked and very much trusted Daddy and Bud!
The large networking events were not the place to build relationships. Set an appointment to meet over coffee or talk on the phone. . . maybe. But usually nothing more than handing each other a business card with the ‘promise’ to “get in touch”; which rarely happened.
Besides, the beads of sweat on my brow and knots in my stomach were not worth it. . . even if an actual coffee date or lunch became a reality!
So WHY small & intimate? Because I’m not the only business woman in the world with the same disposition, sweaty brow and knotty stomach!
I’m also not the only business woman who knows an environment that lets me really begin to get to know another person – and they me, is more likely to produce the results I’m looking for in the short term.
And if it doesn’t, I’ve lost nothing, gained friends and probably a slew of qualified referrals I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to receive!
After all, it’s not about the short term. It’s about being patient enough to build the relationships with folks who truly become friends and trust I can be counted on to do business honestly and with integrity! And I have the same experience of and with them!
Small, intimate events, with like-minded folks, are just what wise women in business know are key to the success they desire!
NOW, it seems the business guru’s have discovered it too!
“Digital Marketers” and “Micro-Communities“
Not long ago it was “micro-businesses”. Businesses with less than 5 employees. In fact, most micro-businesses are solo-entrepreneurs. It was – and perhaps still is the, the newest ‘wrinkle’ in the business world and where marketers want to be. ‘
Now it’s “micro-communities”. Small, intimate groups of folks called “niche communities” made up of like-minded people who have migrated from BIG to small for very good reasons. Small let’s me get to know you. And you me. Small means I’m not lost in a sea of others who may or may not be of the same mindset as me!
And “small” means, that as a Christian woman in business, I can ‘hang out’ with other believers with whom I can grow professionally, personally. . . and spiritually. We have that in common among other things; but that one thing is very important to us both!
I Need To Say More. . .
I need to say more about this newest phenomenon which grabbed my attention; but time is of the essence. As is the length of this blog post.
I need to say more because more than anything else; the “small is beautiful” approach to business is who AWI is. It’s how we want to be. We want to be small, savvy, approachable, honest, intimate and a source of inspiration, motivation, education and information for Christian women in business. You don’t have to be a believer to hang out with us; but just open to the fact that it’s who we are and the firm foundation on which AWI, The Neighborhood and COFFEE in the NEIGHBORHOOD rests.
So over the next few weeks, I’m going to unpack this thing called “small is beautiful”, niche markets and “micro-communities”.
If you are just half as fascinated with the concept as I am. . . you might want to make certain to visit the AWI blog in the ensuing weeks and learn what we’re up to and why it’s something you might want to be part of!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building a Community of Christian Business Women
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