One of the biggest misunderstandings in establishing new business, lead generation, and gaining valuable exposure is the advent of niche referral groups. Although these groups, like BNI (poorly named in my opinion), can be effective for many people, they lack the basic most powerful component-networking. Networking is not handing out unqualified, poorly connected, referral slips for a one time shot at connecting. Networking is creating, over time, a relationship that will attract business.
One of the biggest secrets that really isn’t a secret is how active woman business owners have become in networking off line in the real world. Women-centric networking groups outnumber men’s groups by a wide margin in our Northern California region and I suspect it to be the case in many parts of the country.
You do not have to limit your networking to industry specific organizations or groups. Stretch out and aim to meet community leaders, political leaders, and other top notch organizations in your area
The following is a list of women-centric networking groups who support women business owners, provide fantastic exposure, great connectivity, and resources:
1.National Assoc. of Women Business Owners: NAWBO is a national organization with pull
2.Women’s Council of Realtors: WCR has many fantastic industry specific resources
3.Women in Consulting: WIC provides a great measuring stick for fee structuring, training, and resources
4. Schiff Hardin Networking Group: SH LLP is a regional organization with power
5. Webgrrls International: Webgrrls has 100 chapters around the country
6. American Business Women’s Assoc: ABWA is a stalwart in networking
7. American Assoc of University Women: a great chance to reconnect with alumni
8. Commercial Real Estate Women: CREW is another solid choice
9. National Assoc For Female Executives: NAFE is anther source of powerful executive women
10. Women in Housing and Finance: WHF is another source of partnership opportunities
More resources go to this link for 29 more organizations