Which is exactly what Ladies in Business in France did on Friday 21st March 2014. Ladies in Business in France is a 450 strong closed private group for female business owners in France. It would be completely impossible to organise one single destination for everyone to meet up. The group is visited daily by ladies posting questions about certain aspects of their business with advice and tips shared from how to promote your business to tax issues. Ladies can then join a number of business directory files so that their services are easy to find should anyone need them.
I had been toying with the idea for a few weeks about having some kind of networking event on line. Having read some online links about organising Facebook parties and looking at a number of regular #FacebookFridays that take place on business pages, surely it would work for a private group?
With International Day of Happiness and the arrival of the Spring equinox, Friday 21st March seemed an ideal day for a Facebook Friday. An invitation was shared with the group on Monday 17th with the theme of Spring so that business owners could share any new offers and chat with other page owners. With a key takeaway that we all share another business page[s] to our own and extend a bit more Facebook love. The event was open from 9.00am to 9.00pm to allow for working needs of the ladies.
The event was officially opened at 9.00am on Friday 21st March and the following 12 hours literally sped by. At 11am it was time for a virtual coffee break and at lunchtime an exercise sheet was shared as at this point 3 hours sitting on a chair can be somewhat uncomfortable on the derriere. Pages were being shared, conversation was flowing, as you would expect with a room full of ladies. Mid afternoon it was time for a cheeky cocktails and a bit of music to keep everyone on their toes. High fives were shared when pages reached significant number milestones. You could feel the energy and buzz of activity as if it were taking place at a physical location and we were all in the same room!
With timed posts on other groups throughout the week, the day saw an influx in new members joining the group and as they were welcomed, they were signposted to join Facebook Friday which was taking place in the events tab just a click away.
By 9pm 55 ladies had shared their pages. Over 110 posts were made in that 12 hour period and over 40 new members had joined Ladies in Business in France. With pages liked and increased understanding of other businesses, the week ended on a real positive note.
What this exercise really showed was the power of using an online network to good effect. France is a huge country. For many it is difficult to network with other likeminded businesses whether with fellow expats or the French community. Groups like this are a real lifeline when setting up or running an established business. Everyone has a different experience and knowing that there are others out there who have been through those experiences and are willing to share them can make a huge difference on your mindset. We will most certainly be hosting regular events in this way as the months go by.
If you are a female business owner in France and want to connect with other ladies, then please do visit Ladies in Business in France Facebook Group come and join us for a virtual coffee and a chat!