Network Noun. System of connections
Verb. to socialise for professional or personal gain
Being part of several online groups I often see the newly self-employed already disheartened that their visit to a local networking event didn’t result in an immediate influx of work. Wouldn’t it be great if that was just how it worked? My own experience with networking is quite different.
Early 2017 I was researching local networking groups and found a local(ish) Derbyshire based group that combined networking with walking. I booked myself a place on a February walk at Lineacre Reservoir, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience – this was a million miles away from the other ‘This is what I do, here’s my card’ networking events. Two years later, and the group has evolved into MOTUS, a paid membership group of women in business who support each other in more ways than I can ever have imagined.
My experience of networking
I’m lucky to have found MOTUS because rather than just networking, I have developed a great network of connections. The element of networking which builds trust and respect to turn contacts into potential clients is still there, but also the chance to build relationships with entrepreneurs whose skills I can employ myself, on both a personal and professional level – whether it is Brand Photography, Graphic Design or Website work, or Life Coaching, Health Kinesiology and other personal development courses (to name a few).
In addition, there’s the ability to attend training and mentoring sessions to expand my own knowledge, and a group of women I can approach for input and advice. I’ve laughed (and cried!) with them, walked miles with them, eaten copious amounts of cake with them and learnt so much about myself and others with and through them.
And, just in case you are wondering, I have got some clients amongst these awesome ladies.
But that really isn’t the point.
Not all networking groups are created equal.