Our professional success is rarely based on the work and drive of ourselves alone; it is also grounded in the relationships we have built, and the support given by our networks and communities. It is not always easy, however, to build long-lasting, meaningful relationships. Where can we find mentors who are truly interested in helping us advance our goals? Where can we like-minded women who are as driven as we are?
At the most recent Women’s Accelerator event, Founders Diane Reichenberger, Margie Moreno, and Laura Probst provided its members with the opportunity to learn all about Effective Networking – Using ALL Your Channels for Receiving Support, Giving Support and Living the Life You Deserve. Held on May 10th, 2017 at A&E Networks | Lifetime, the event featured a fantastic panel consisting of: Valerie Mosley, Chairwoman of Valmo Ventures; Michelle Blondin-Hershey, Marketing Manager, Demand Generation at LinkedIn; and Melinda Moore, President of Moore Media Ventures, Co-Founder of Tuesdaynights, and Creator of DRIVEN, and was moderated by Diane Reichenberger.
How had relationships and networking early in your career made a difference?
Valerie: One of the most important relationships is the one you build with yourself. Have you spent time looking at yourself in the mirror? Do you feel good about yourself? If you don’t have self-confidence, self-love, and internal affirmation, you can crumble very easily. This is the network I built first.
Michelle: It means being your full self and being authentic and genuine. It also means having humility – seek help when you are struggling, and have open, honest conversations with your network.
Melinda: You’re the collection of your closest connections. Elevate the things you really believe in. Another important thing to remember is that you need to contribute and give back to these relationships.
How do you balance your authentic filter and build authentic thrust in your relationships?
Valerie: When you feel good about yourself, a light emanates in you, and people can feel it. I know I can add value, so I brought it with self-confidence. There are things we need to screen out based on their values. It is important to know what you want and what you don’t.
Michelle: With regards to LinkedIn, my advice would be to look for customized messages that have a personal touch. Respect people and build a network that is authentic – it is not about quantity, but quality.
How are you building your brand with tech?
Melinda: I want to use my huge network to inspire people. I use Facebook Live to share my videos from my show Driven, where I converse with various CEOs in an Uber. I leverage them all into a single show. For your brand and content to have a global reach, make sure you use the right metadata to amplify your reach.
How do you nurture your network and show gratitude to it?
Valerie: I take genuine interest in a person. Don’t interact only when you need something. Show appreciation and keep in touch with your network.
Michelle: A handwritten note goes a long way. Be a connector; show up to events; be brave, and say yes. You never know where it will take you.
Melinda: You have to give in order to get. You know when someone is being genuine. Curate out who you don’t want – it is perfectly fine to say no.
What are your top two must-do’s for building a successful network?
Melinda: First, be creative and think outside the box. Second, love and know yourself.
Michelle: Ask yourself: What do you want to be known for – and build yourself as a brand. The second thing is to show up, be brave, and say yes.
Valerie: Forgive yourself because that will allow you to take risks. Decide who you want to know, then think of a creative way to get their attention. Listen to them and be authentic.