This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
Hanging with the right business crowd
Business is a lot like the high school cafeteria now.
For our business, our clients (“customers”) come from word of mouth. Others who are talking us up. And for that we are grateful. Through our service level (behaviour) we try not to have people talk badly about us (much like how it happens in high school).
Since graduating from University and launching my business in 2008, I’ve ‘hopped’ from different business associations to see which ‘crew’ fits me best. It’s not just about common interest, but how the organization might help ‘talk’ me up. And some are better than others. It’s the difference between acquaintances and friends.
There are two that we have settled on for 2015. One is LOCO BC, which advocates for and shares our value of doing business locally (eg. getting business cards printed locally vs. using the cheapo online Vistaprint). We’ve been a member for 2 years. How has LOCO talked me up? A welcome tweet resulted in a prospect contacting us and doing a PR campaign in 2013.
If I do a Google search for my business on their website, the first entry is the blog that featured me, and second is our member discount, followed by other mentions, likely resulting from the directory listing.
The second business organization, eWomenNetwork, I have been talking about and attending events as a non-member for almost six years. Before you roll your eyes and think it is just another women’s business association (yes, there are tons in the Lower Mainland alone), hear me out. The CEO of eWomenNetwork, Sandra Yancey, who resides in Dallas, is an incredible speaker. I had the privilege of attending the first Women’s Business Summit in 2010 and still have the notes I took from her talk. I didn’t join as a member because I didn’t see an industry niche, but over the years I’ve recognized it as the only local business organization that has connections across North America. So whenever I came across clients or colleagues who have businesses that aren’t limited to Vancouver, I’d say, “join them – they’re your tribe.”
Fast forward to end of the year 2014 – I’m finally dreaming bigger and feeling like I need to form more relationships with media across North America. I need the right client to do that, but also a network to get me there. SVI and Social Venture Network (now Social Venture Circle) are amazing networks, but SVI is only anchored by events, and SVC requires $2 million in revenue to join. My colleague (an eWomenNetwork member) tells me that if I put the work into it, eWomenNetwork can be that network to help lift me up. And my intuition starts firing up in a positive way, so I follow it and join immediately.
Which brings me to the present moment. My first 2015 eWomenNetwork event will be in February, but in the meanwhile I’m able to connect with members in Victoria, Seattle, and beyond through the online member directory. And I have a profile on the eWomenNetwork directory so members can find me. So I don’t even have to lift my ass out from my chair to network. This is awesome!
I’m not endorsing membership in LOCO or eWomenNetwork for you – I’m saying check out other crews. Stop being a loner. Build up your peeps, and find the peeps who will do the same for you. It’ll take time because we’ll need to get to know one another, but I for one am so excited to join “the premier women’s business network in North America” and “the largest women’s business event company in the world.” Who else has those creds?