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professions, it’s a requirement for licensing. Professional organizations offer benefits to their members, making it easier to do their jobs and solving common problems for members. Most importantly, joining a professional organization instantly associates you with the most serious people in the industry and adds to your credibility as a professional. Membership in a professional organization isn’t a luxury, it’s respected and important enough to be deemed as a legitimate tax write-off. Here are a few more great reasons to join a professional group: • Meet great, like-minded people • Showcase your experience through peer-to-peer discussions or public speaking. • Learn about industry and economic trends • Free or almost free training - most of the organizations have meetings focused on educational content • Increase others awareness of your company • Gets you thinking outside of the box • Discover what other companies are doing Just attending association meetings isn’t enough; you need to make the most of your time while your there. Here are some strategies to maximize your professional association membership. Some might seem obvious but rarely practiced: 1. Use and read the information gleaned from your professional newsletters. Information is a critical key in business development. Find out more about: • Hot topics and issues to be current • Know the key players (people and companies) • Vendors who might help you

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2. Have a strategy for attending the meeting. If you are shy, try to make this a time to go to a meeting with a friend 3. Pre-determine a goal for the meeting. “I am going to meet 2-4 new contacts.” Collect their cards. Write brief notes about them on the back to jog your memory. The notes could be both personal and professional in nature. 4. Get involved in the association on a deeper level. Join a committee. Most associations have a version of the following types of positions: • Program • Membership • Events • PR/Marketing/Outreach • Professional Development 5. Keep membership in a variety of related groups (in order to have a mix of ideas, personalities and companies). 6. Write an article if you feel you have some expertise. This catapults you into the role of expert. Professional memberships will always keep you fresh. Through professional associations, you will have an opportunity to learn and grow your business. Dorothy Wolden Creative Intuition • cistudio.com Years as a NAWBO member: 3 Years in Business: 10

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NAWBO NEWS

InBusiness - NAWBO - 1112  

National Association of Women Business Owners

InBusiness - NAWBO - 1112  

National Association of Women Business Owners

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