Women’s Inspire Network – A Network Overview
I often think that going to networking events and meetings is a great way to understand business sentiment. Whether you realise it or not, you’re left with a feeling after each meeting. It might be glum, a little staid or it might be inspirational and upbeat. A lot of this depends on the members and the leadership shown through the meeting.
The reason I note this is that I also get this feeling from people I interview about the networks they are involved in. While I get the technical point of view and the facts, I don’t always feel an unabounding enthusiasm or energy from the person leading the interview and it tells me a lot about how the network will be run itself.
I recently interviewed the Tweeting Goddess herself, Samantha Kelly. Many of you will know her or of her due to her many contributions to Irish business, including her book, her Women’s Inspire Network and her Women’s Inspire Conference.
Life Before Women’s Inspire Network
Samantha has been somewhat of a global nomad, having lived abroad in Paris and in Hong Kong. She has had roles as diverse as working in banks to being a receptionist, in sales, working in customer service and so much more. As she says herself, she never settled.
Back in Ireland, Samantha then developed a product called the Funky Goddess and appeared on Dragon’s Den some years ago. Funky Goddess came from her realisation that there were no starter packs available for young girls starting their menstrual cycle, so she created something herself.
Although this venture didn’t work out, she sold the business and subsequently set up Tweeting Goddess.
On Becoming a Goddess
For some reason, it seems like Sam has always been on the scene, but she actually only set the business up in 2016!
Sam was working from the kitchen table. She was building her knowledge, spending time with industry thought leaders.
Although she was building up global connections, she was isolated and lonely. She felt that she couldn’t possibly be alone, i.e. the only women working from a box room or a kitchen table. She also knew that she wanted to learn as much as possible and be inspired by global leaders.
She’s a firm believer that online networking is real and viable. It leads to support, friendships and business.
‘One useful introduction can change everything for someone.’
Samantha wants to help women to become the woman I needed when I started.
It All Started With a Hashtag
As Twitter is her go to platform, she started with a hashtag, #womensinspire. Every Tuesday she coralled a group of female solopreneurs and business women to come together on Twitter. This grew and extended into a Facebook group, but it left Samantha exhausted. At its height, there were 8000 members of the Facebook group.
So Sam decided to build a network and attached a price tag to it with the view that if she created value and members perceived the value, the community would grow. And she was right. 200 business owners followed her over and it has grown to 484 members.
Membership – What You Need to Know
- Members span Ireland, America, Canada, Spain, New Zealand and UK!
- The age demographic tends to be between 35-60 years of age, although Samantha’s daughter, Leah Chung is working hard at lowering that average age! Members tend to have come to business later in life. They are typically sole traders and micro enterprises. Some are just starting out and others have been in business for a while.
- Women’s Inspire Network is a B2B and B2C network.
- It has an open seat policy (i.e. more than one person from the same profession can be involved)
- Covid saw a 28% increase in membership as the desire to stay connected grew with the pandemic.
Fabulous value at €20 per month.
- Members get the opportunity to tune in to a weekly webinar. Samantha focusses on member spotlights. She likes to make her members feel valued and special.
- 30 minutes of mentoring per month
- Access to a dynamic Facebook group
- Weekly webinars
- Virtual coffee twice a month
- Access to PR opportunities
- Access to one of 4 interview opportunities each month with members which is promoted on the Women’s Inspire blog
- 20% discount on tickets for the Women’s Inspire Conference
The Next Chapter – Women’s Inspire Network
Samantha founded the Women’s Inspire Network – a global online network for female entrepreneurs, a support network that connects and empowers dynamic women to get things done. They offer webinars on a huge range of digital and professioal topics to help female entrepreneurs upskill and stay current.
Each webinar is recorded, so members can watch them back in their own time. They also host regular online coffee mornings to brainstorm, discuss and sometimes just to catch up. They have an extremely engaged private Facebook group for additional support.
Originally an online support network, Women’s Inspire Network has also run twice yearly national conferences attended by over 370 female entrepreneurs and business owners.
Becoming an Author
Samantha wrote the Little Book of Twitter Magic, which is available from Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.
She started to get hired by clients to run their Twitter accounts and content. And all the while she kept up her online networks. She wanted to meet other women like her! And she had a dream to connect and network with like-minded women from across the world on a full time basis.
It’s safe to say that she has realised and continues to realise that dream. And her big hairy audacious goal:
To be powered by Microsoft. To run the most successful and engaged online community and network for women in the world.
Connecting in Conference
How To Get Social
Funnily enough you’ll catch Samantha on Twitter as herself, the Tweeting Goddess
and with the handle WomensInspireIE
And of course, if you’d like to chat and learn more, you can always email Samantha directly.
And Samantha is a member of the IABCN Network, across the pond in Philadelphia. You can read my review of the Irish American Business Chamber & Network here.
Connecting With NetworkingJean
You can reach out to me at email@example.com.
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