By Andrea Lucille Pooler, Business Management Lead
These days, in the increasingly global, practically instantaneous world in which we all live, it is no longer enough to do “business as usual.” Growing your business, widening your reach, acquiring new customers while building on those you already have, all require meeting new people, enlarging your community and multiplying your touchpoints.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by joining some of the professional organizations, groups, and associations served by the jewelry, gemstone, and diamond industries. And there are many!
It’s harder than ever to meet new people, though. Between the challenges of the last few years, the increasing expenses of travel and trade show booths, and the pressure on your time and your calendar, how do you overcome these obstacles to expand your network nevertheless?
The answer is in connections.
In serving as head of the Mentorship committee for the Women’s Jewelry Association Metro NY chapter, through the events we organize, produce, and attend. I have met fascinating professionals I otherwise would never have gotten to know. Many of these have been virtual – Zoom, Microsoft Teams and all the other video conferencing and webinars have been technology’s gifts to our world! You can easily leverage these, often at little or no cost, to create your own new connections, to expand your professional and personal networks.
There are also so many new in-person opportunities. I’ve expanded my own horizons these last couple of years, joining organizations including Pure Earth, American Gem Society, Jewelers of America, and the Young Diamantaires (YDs). These and many others have created in-person and travel events designed to be extremely inclusive and welcoming.
For example, recently, a group of the YDs traveled to India. A “newbie,” I did not know any of my colleagues on the trip before flying the nearly 8,000 miles from New York City to Mumbai. Meeting new people worldwide, hearing so many unique professional journeys – and our much more similar hopes for the future – and getting to know each other for breakfast or a drink after a long day of touring diamond and jewelry manufacturers was priceless. A remarkable experience, and it was an honor to be among a professional group with like-minded individuals with a passion for the jewelry and diamond industries.
Joining a professional organization can positively benefit your personal and professional growth, provide networking with industry professionals, and create opportunities to which you would otherwise NEVER have been exposed. These have become even more important in a world where many work remotely, and virtual and in-person meet-ups have become crucial to attend to stay connected within our industry.
People do business with people.
When people get to know you, they form an opinion about your abilities and qualifications – and that can mean more business opportunities in the future. Networking and forging relationships will help you to be recognized by those who may become your:
These will help you to grow, and you also will become known as a Most Desired Partner, built from a foundation of a genuine and authentic connection. That’s why joining professional organizations are integral in helping you make connections and establish yourself as a credible source of knowledge or services.
Once you have made connections, grown your network, and made new friends, you can amplify your experiences through digital social touchpoints. If you’re not already on the most important and powerful social platforms such as LinkedIn, now’s the time to join! Sign up for interactive webinars, meet-ups, professional parties, or trips to boost your brand by extending the know-like-trust factor. Find the venues and scenarios that represent common ground with those with whom you seek to connect; and then share and post; be more present and engaged and reap the huge benefits as your connections grow. Know-like-trust represents the journey your potential clients make when they get to know you and your professional brand.
Building trust is one of the most important aspects of forming relationships with clients or potential customers – online and IRL (in real life). Participating actively within a professional organization allows those other members to learn more about who you are, helping them feel comfortable working with you, knowing they have vetted sources recommending your skill-set or services.
Getting involved in various professional organizations relevant to your niche market can open new doors professionally but also allow peers & prospects alike to see what kind of values & ethics underpin how you operate. By expanding your own circle, you will create new opportunities while simultaneously building trust and credibility.
If you feel out of your comfort zone on how to widen your own network, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, Our unparalleled team of experts have the deep industry knowledge, and the ultimate “little black book,” to help multiply your connections and move your business forward.
You can also join us on LinkedIn, Instagram or Youtube. We share all the latest industry news and advice to support and grow your diamond, gemstone or jewelry business. We’d love to connect with you – drop us a comment to say hello!
Andrea Lucille Pooler
Business Management Lead
PS: For the first time ever, the entire Hill & Co. team will be gathering in NYC April 27th and 28th, before heading to Kentucky for AGS Conclave May 1-3. If you’re going to be there and would like to talk shop, email us at email@example.com and we’lll work to make it happen.