As advised by a friend I connected with the Limerick Enterprise Office and the Women In Business Network Ireland. This turned out to be a fantastic resource for any woman (or man) setting up their own business. I was then invited by the WIB/LEO to their networking event in the Castletroy Park Hotel on Wednesday March 9th. Held as part of Limerick Business Week, guest speaker Aisling Nelson from Three Thought Bubbles gave an insightful workshop on how to humanise your blog and therefore market not just your business, but yourself, better. (This blog post takes inspiration from her talk.)
I was nervous going to this event. I really did not have a clue about how to network. What was I supposed to wear, to say, to do? Armed with a stack of business cards my boyfriend got delivered just in time (thanks hun) I donned what I thought was a "business-casual-but-don't-hide-my-personality" type outfit and headed in.
When I found parking and navigated my way to the conference rooms in the hotel, I was greeted by friendly, welcoming faces from Limerick Enterprise Office. I spoke to a lovely lady named Ciara who ran the social media pages for LEO. We chatted about our work and discovered we both did our Masters in Mary Immaculate College at the same time. We swapped information and other women joined our table. More introductions, more chatting, more "what do you do" and then it clicked with me, this is networking. It is not some big scary business exercise, it is being a human being, having an interest in other people and their passions and being open about your passions too. There is nothing to it, I do it every day at Canteen, I chat to customers, we have a little banter, if we wish to know more about each other, we swap information. Simple as that and I didn't even realise it.
Throughout the night I mingled with other ladies and I felt a sense of community with these other women finding their way in the business world. Not only did I take home the valuable information imparted upon us by Aisling Nelson, but the event dispelled the fear I had around networking. Many of the skills I developed, and continue to hone, in Canteen help me to network and market myself better. I now feel more confident in my skills and my ability to make Best Copy work for me and my clients. I would advise anyone to get involved with their Local Enterprise Board, you never know how it may help you.
Following Aisling's advice Best Copy is now on Instagram. Follow Breenymeany (Best Copy was already taken boo!) for a behind the scenes look at my work, my inspiration and the things that keep me sane.