Many stay-at-home moms think networking is not for them. Often they think it’s just too much work or creates too much trouble — and they have some reason to think so. Networking has a very business-oriented connotation.
Photographer and blogger Cassia Denton’s first thoughts about networking were “meeting or socializing with potential business associations.” Lots of moms agree with her. But what if networking can have a broader reach?
In a previous MOMentity article we talked about the importance of learning to “mom network.” What if we change our entire perception of networking altogether? What if it’s not about preparing for some professional goal in the future? What if it’s about right now?
Networking is about making connections and finding out what we can do to help each other. It’s about service. Everyone — especially stay-at-home moms — can benefit from making new connections and expanding their networks.
So how do you make connections that last? Here a few tips:
- Maintain an online presenceBe reachable. Be contactable. Be where the masses are. That doesn’t mean you need to post pictures of your pets or describe what you ate for lunch if you don’t want to, but having an online presence allows new contacts to keep in touch with you.Using social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or even Instagram also allow old friends to find you when they are working on expanding their connections. I know I’ve spent a good deal of time searching for old, dear friends online, but some of them are nowhere to be found.
- Keep your contact information handyI know toting around a business-like card, or “mom card,” sounds silly, but I highly suggest it! Mom cards are very affordable. You can get business cards online for only the price of shipping, even less.Mom cards are empowering too. Say you meet a new mom during your daughter’s dance class. How much more confident would you be if you could whip out a mom card with your email and phone number rather than scratching it all down on an old receipt from the bottom of your purse?
- Serve othersReally, whether you come from the business world or the cul-de-sac, networking is all about finding out what you can do to serve others. We want to always have the mentality of, “What can I do to serve you?”One of our MOMentity moms, Vicki Wight, put it best when she said, “Networking isn’t always about myself. It might be connecting two people I know together to accomplish something they are looking to accomplish.”
- Follow up with new contacts
You may think following up would be the easy part, but it’s not. Life gets busy and we forget.
If you say you’re going to call your new acquaintance and get together for lunch, call her. If you said you’d email the name of your favorite pediatrician, send the email.
You may not know right now why you are maintaining relationships. It might never be more than for just a play date in the park, but it could also lead to a whole lot more. Then when it does, you’ll be glad you made those connections when you did.
This article was originally published in Motherhood Matters on KSL.com
The stock image used is from www.freedigitalphoto.net