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Increase Your Social Capital, and Expand Your Network

Audrey Woodley

"Your Network determines Your Net Worth,” an old saying with new value. Today’s net worth accounts for more than monetary value, social capital adds new value when it comes to expanding your personal network.
 

Growing a professional network in today's creative economy is not only essential, it's necessary to compete with the barrage of well-branded millennials and others who are leveraging their personal brand and professional network to generate success, opportunities, and wealth. As a Brand Therapist, my first question to every single client, regardless of their background or profession is: do you have a solid professional network. Having a professional network is the foundation of leveraging relationships and identifying opportunities. No matter where you are in your profession or personal journey, here are 3 things to keep in mind as you increase your social capital and expand your personal network.

 

"It Goes Down in the DM," song lyrics implying that connections take place via direct message. Connections are what you make them. For those looking to expand their personal network, DMs are a great way to introduce yourself to people in your social network to grow your professional network. The majority of social media platforms are one-sided communication, where the user communicates to a mass audience. DMs are your opportunity to start a direct 2-way conversation. I recommend a friendly professional introduction that leads with who you are and why you’re reaching out, and that ends with an “ask,” the ask may be as simple as keeping in touch, or the ask may be an invite for coffee or a phone conversation if the person is not local.

 

Be Responsive- there are so many missed opportunities, simply because people are non-responsive. Whether it’s not responding to emails or not maximizing social media friend requests, being non-responsive is a habit that can severely decrease your social capital and shrink your personal network. Skim through your email to make sure you haven’t missed an opportunity to connect with someone that can be of value to you. Chances are you may have overlooked an email or simply ignored an email where someone reached out to you. Leave no stone unturned, you never know what opportunity exist behind the email you overlooked or didn’t deem important. The same applies for social media friend requests, take a moment to check out the person’s profile to identify if there are any synergies or traits that interest you, if so, go beyond accepting their friend request and send them a direct message.  

 

Go Alone- this is a golden rule for attending events with the goal of networking. Going alone forces you to converse with people that you may not have spoken to if you were with someone. Often times being with someone keeps us in our comfort zone and keeps us from branching out to meet new people. Make a commitment to attend a few events alone. It can be uncomfortable but the reward of making new connections and exercising your social skills, pays off significantly.

 

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Audrey Woodley is Brand Therapist who helps women identify solutions to their brand challenges. She uses new-age problem solving tactics, proven strategies and customized solutions to help women build and sustain a successful brand.

5 WAYS TO BE PRODUCTIVE AND CREATE A WORK LIFE BALANCE

Audrey Woodley

Living in a male-dominated where people are always on their jobs makes it difficult for women to maintain a work-life balance. So how can a career woman be a family woman as well?

Maintaining this balance is especially difficult during a career transition. Below are five ways you can build and maintain a work-life balance.

 1. Reading

Reading is essential because it helps you relax and it increases your knowledge and tolerance. When you are going through a transition in your career, reading at least one book a month will help you face the challenges ahead. You can read one page each day. So go to a bookstore and get books for training ambitious women.

  • Books you can read include:

  • The Effective Executive

  • Good to Great

  • Giants of Enterprise

  • Ignore Everybody

  • Leadership and Self-Deception

  • Thinking, Fast, and Slow

2. Engage in Team-Building and Regular Exercises

If you're a business owner, you can start an arrangement for team-building exercises. Allow your employees the opportunity to foster a sense of team Building Teamwork in the office. Let them depend on each other for support.

Working out personally and with your team will also help stimulate the brain and boost productivity. You'll have a healthy, happy life and as such, stress will be reduced to the barest minimum.

  3. Journaling

Boost your level of awareness by journaling your thoughts and feelings. It will help you identify and treat the problem. You'll be able to review your past and make amends for the future. Think about your ideas, career ambitions, family goals and write them all down. Write your setbacks and your success.

Journaling helps you pay attention to what matters and how everything came to be. It helps build your confidence; it builds momentum, and it deepens the level of connection and awareness in your work and life. It propels you towards what you want to accomplish. When you keep a journal you'll be mindful all the time.

  4. Community Service Project

Engaging in community service projects along with your team members. It will help boost team productivity and teamwork. It is relatively easy to start these projects. When you engage in community service, you feel happier, gain some experience, it offers more options and flexibility, and you'll be making a difference in the world.

 5. Delegate

It doesn't matter how strong you are; you can't do everything by yourself. You need to learn to delegate duties at home. If you have kids, assign each one to chore and certify them when they complete tasks. This is a good way to encourage them to keep helping you.

If you are an entrepreneur, you need to learn to delegate tasks to your employees. Let them work with you to make your business grow. Allow them to share their thoughts and opinions with you.  

No matter what, always remember that it's not a one size fits all situation. However, these tips will help you make productive decisions at home and work. Always have a plan!

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Audrey Woodley is Brand Therapist who helps women identify solutions to their brand challenges. She uses new-age problem solving tactics, proven strategies and customized solutions to help women build and sustain a successful brand.

7 WAYS TO LIVE FEARLESS & ATTRACT IDEAL CLIENTS

Audrey Woodley

Ingenuity is a gift that enables us to present a unique quality, idea, or character mostly without fear of failure. Here are seven ways to live fearlessly and attract client.

  • Be unapologetic about who you are

Never be sorry for who you are. Embrace what you can do and take full advantage of your gifts. Only then will you present something original and unique. Besides, talents are a complete package to success especially if you have your mind set in the right direction.

  • Have a strategic personal goal and business goal

Goals give us something to focus on. Our minds overflow with ideas we want to achieve, but without a specific target, even the simplest thing will be hard to acquire. Set a strategic personal target within your reach; a business goal simply gives you a starting point.

  • Have a cohesive digital brand, pictures, content, and marketing system

To attract clients, you need to communicate to them digitally. Use of social sites, blogs, SEOs, etc. help you virtually reach your customers. At least they can see your products via pictures, or videos. Once they are impressed, order requests in abundance of your products follow suit. A strategic marketing system will see you rise above and beyond.

  • Have balance and work life

Create time for relaxing; go to the gym or unplug from the real life. The business world comes with a lot of challenges; some threaten our sanity while others pull the life out of us. Breaking monotony brings balance in our lives such that, we are fresh when dealing with clients and become confident while making important decisions.

  • Create marketing and a PR game plan

Marketing is part of a business that is vital when you want your product out there attracting and appealing to customers. Therefore, you need to have a strategic plan. The public will respond when they find your presentation appealing which means, a good PR plan will score you a favorable public image.

  • Have a live event or webinar that adds value to clients

A seminar or an exhibition gives you an opportunity to engage with your customers and attract more. It shows you are confident about your creation and customers have nothing to worry about. Applying ingenuity will only guarantee you a successful conference whether it’s over the internet or otherwise.

  • Create products that solve products

Producing products in abundance will not guarantee you huge profits; quality and creativity, however, will push you towards growth. Aim at creating something appealing to people. Though not all will be impressed, a majority will fall for your creation. All the more reason for you to stick to your God given talents. Besides, doing something that’s imprinted in you is much simple, stress-free, and it comes naturally. Operate within your gifts instead of trying to be someone else. There is no need to wake up every morning to regret it. Only you have the power to make millions or lose them. Fear creeps in when you live in someone else’s world.