New Year's Resolution: Use 12 Benefits in 12 Months
Welcome to 2016! Here's hoping much success to you. As your 2016 President, I want to share our unique value proposition, and what better way than to highlight one benefit a month!
January: Pay attention to your member profile. According to the recent Women's Council survey, 56 percent of members made one or more referrals to another member in the past year and 31 percent report receiving one. All this referral activity equates with an average of $13,217 in paid commissions. That’s some real business potential! You will want to log-in to your Member Expertise Profile and ensure your information is up to date. Your current cell number should be your main phone number. Include your designations and hobbies, specialties and areas you serve in your profile, and add a current photo. The more information you put in, the more likely you are to get a referral.
February: Attend a local chapter meeting. There are likely 1,500+ local chapter activities annually across the country in 2016. Chapter meetings at the local level are designed to be fun, interactive, have good networking, with timely industry topics, all in a friendly environment. It is never easy to take time out of our busy schedules and step out of our comfort zone, but I encourage you to do so! Make the time investment to attend some events.
March: Volunteer. After you’ve updated your profile and attended some meetings, why not volunteer at your local chapter and invest your time, talent and expertise. It may connect you to the community, deepen relationships with professional colleagues, and doors may open up that you may not have imagined.
April: Check out free resources on www.wcr.org. The Women's Council website is a treasure trove of mostly free information designed to provide resources that help grow your business. The business resources section in the Member Center has recorded webinars (over 20 last time I counted), all with unique topics with nationally acclaimed speakers. There are leadership skills training modules and profiles of leading women in the industry to get inspired.
May: WCR Legislative Meetings. By spring, hopefully you have attended several local events, volunteered, and enjoyed the online resources at www.wcr.org. Hopefully you’ve sent and received referrals as well. Now is the time to go to a national meeting and network with colleagues from around the country! The WCR conference in May is held in conjunction with the NAR meetings in our nation’s capital, and attracts over 700 attendees. The low $230 registration fee allows you exclusive access to dozens of innovative seminars with nationally acclaimed speakers, a welcome reception, a breakfast meeting, and other high-energy activities. You will find a friendly and welcoming environment, and I hope to meet you in person as well!
June: Enroll in a PMN course. Women’s Council has a designation, called the Performance Management Network (PMN) Designation. This business leadership designation offers a variety of courses in topics such as leadership, running a business, negotiation, and networking and referrals. June is the time to begin the coursework so that you can apply for the designation in the fall. If you already have the PMN, then enjoy the benefits it brings, such as: a private Facebook networking group, exclusive reception at national meetings, deeply discounted banner ads, and free webinars.
July: Invest in a banner ad. Are you getting any referrals yet? If not, set yourself apart from the crowd and purchase a banner ad so that your name is more visible in the referral directory. For only $200 or $16 per month, you can advertise yourself in up to six cities, customize your ad with your photo and business logo, and your name will appear at the top with an eye-catching banner ad. If you are a PMN, then a year-long banner ad is only $140, which well offsets the annual dues. Make yourself more visible to your Women’s Council colleagues, and the buying public!
August: Become a WCR leader. In March I emphasized volunteerism, but I’d like to challenge you to become a Women's Council leader. With over 250 chapters, there are ample opportunities to serve and to put your leadership skills into action. Every August, WCR holds a leadership academy for next year's officers (2017) in Chicago, and we spend two and a half days with nonstop seminars and activities designed to give you all the tools you need to become an effective leader, both at a local chapter and in other areas you may want to exercise your leadership. The event includes plenty of fun, and you will leave the event inspired and connected to future leaders from across the country.
September: Apply for the PMN. Back in June, I challenged you to take some PMN courses, and if you've taken 3 courses you should now apply for the designation in time to be recognized at the November conference. Applying for the PMN designation gives you enhanced visibility and credibility, and you will be further recognized as a business leader.
October: Follow our social media pages. Our Facebook page has 50,000 fans and growing. We highlight leaders and influencers in our 77 year history, give business tips, and have fun posts designed to motivate you. Social media is a primary method of communication between the meetings and a place to network, share, and enjoy the unique collaborative culture of the Women’s Council.
November: Attend the WCR National Conference. Every November, WCR has a “conference within a conference” of the larger NAR Conference with 20,000 attendees. In November it will be in Orlando, Florida and includes world-class entertainment, education, and a massive expo.
December: Time to renew for 2017! If you follow my 12 benefits in 2016, by this time, you will be the first to renew for 2017. But don’t forget to remind your colleagues and clients why you are so dedicated to Women's Council. We do more business. It is an unparalleled support system and an outstanding referral network.
If you’ve volunteered, attended meetings, developed your leadership skills, and developed the camaraderie and support system that I've enjoyed as a Women’s Council member, you will realize that Women's Council is an essential component to your personal and professional life. In reading our surveys from members who attended our recent conference, one person said “Women's Council has changed my life, both personally and professionally.”
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