11 Leaders Share the Surprising Networking Move That Skyrocketed Revenue and Sales

Networking effectively can have drastic, positive impacts on your sales efforts. Take it from the following 11 women from the Dreamers & Doers collective. They’ve seen results such as increasing revenue by 30%, tripling their client bases, and driving their businesses based solely on referrals—all from working smarter, not harder, when it comes to networking.

These days, networking has the power to be about so much more than mingling at conferences or spending your day scrolling LinkedIn. While those methods can be effective, there are many other, potentially less conventional, approaches you can take to skyrocket your revenue while simultaneously cultivating new connections.

If you’re in the market for some fresh networking ideas that can double as revenue-building strategies, the following methods may be just what you’re looking for. 

Tara Zedayko

CEO of DIG Labs, a venture-backed startup changing the way consumers and enterprises interact with visual data to drive breakthrough experiences.

Tara Zedayko, CEO of DIG Labs headshot

Posting company updates on LinkedIn has skyrocketed my revenue. Before posting, I didn’t realize how applicable our pet health solutions platform could be if repurposed to broader consumer health care applications. By regularly posting about our company’s latest pet health updates, we were able to attract category-adjacent partnerships through organic inbounds from my network that didn’t overlap existing pet category partnerships. This provided completely incremental opportunities to our core business and propelled DIG to an amazing 50x revenue growth versus a year prior. This revenue growth has allowed us to continue self-funding the business amid the macro economic headwinds.

Maryana Grinshpun

Principal of mammoth projects, an interior design-build firm. 

Maryana Grinshpun, Principal of mammoth projects

Over the last year, we’ve really leaned into our identity as a woman-owned business, and shifted our networking goals to connect with other successful women in New York City. We’ve been able to grow our revenue by about 30% while reducing our customer acquisition costs substantially. But more importantly, the quality of our leads and customers has improved significantly. We spend less time converting leads to sales. And once converted, we have a buy-in from our clients that previously took months to establish. They trust us to do our jobs—to design and build their homes and offices. That frees us up to focus on our core competencies and deliver a better service. 

Hannah Nieves

Founder of Hannah Nieves Consulting, a creative consulting firm specializing in elevating and refining luxury lifestyle brands.

Hannah Nieves, Founder of Hannah Nieves Consulting headshot

The No. 1 thing that has worked has been actually going into the relationship asking myself, “How can I serve this person?” People can read the BS meter a mile away. Be intentional, authentic and actually care about providing value to that person. 

Monica M. Rivera

Business coach at YOU WANNA DO WHAT?!, a consultancy for women of color looking to market and monetize their existing skills. 

Monica M. Rivera, business coach at YOU WANNA DO WHAT?! headshot

I started telling everyone I meet what I do and make offers to help them. As women, we have been taught to play small, not to brag, and to diminish our successes so someone else doesn’t feel uncomfortable. I tripled the number of coaching clients by simply telling people what I do and made offers to help them reach their goal. We talk about CTAs (calls to action) in our social media posts or email messaging, but CTAs in real life are equally as important. It’s not enough to just tell someone what you do. You have to take the next step and tell them you can help them.

Ada Chen

Founder and CEO of Chuan’s Promise, a natural skincare line focused on sustainability and inclusivity.

Ada Chen, Founder and CEO of Chuan's Promise headshot

I’ve started to end my conversations with next steps and action items for both parties. This is easily facilitated by asking, “What can I do to support you?” which will often prompt the other person to ask the same in return. In many cases, this question results in a promise to reconnect in a few months. But it has also resulted in many introductions to potential wholesale customers and additional industry connections, which in turn has led to double-digit growth. 

Emily McDonald

Co-founder and CEO of My Founder Circle, a community that helps early-stage female founders launch and scale their businesses.

Emily McDonald, co-founder and CEO of My Founder Circle headshot

Making friends and giving before needing anything in return has really helped skyrocket sales. I have always been passionate about connecting with others and building an incredible network around me. When I branched out from the first company I founded and started coaching and consulting for female founders, I immediately had a list of clients. I started doing five-figure months immediately because I built this community and these relationships before I “needed them.”  

Cassandra Rose

Partner at Meritarc, a software platform helping enable businesses to realize the full value their people can create. 

Cassandra Rose, Partner at Meritarc headshot

I schedule 15-minute virtual coffee meetings with two or three LinkedIn contacts a week. It’s a great way to rekindle old connections and deepen those that may be second- or third-degree contacts. One particular coffee chat led to two new client engagements with Fortune 500 companies. I was able to double my sales that quarter because I invested in my own network.

Kristina Libby

Founder of LvL Studios, bringing ideas to life through art and storytelling. 

Kristina Libby, Founder of LvL Studios headshot

I offer to help people. So often people who network are asking for things. But I find that when I reverse course and offer things, I make more meaningful relationships and build a genuine sense of community. A network is good, but a community is better. 

Danielle Polini

UX Research and Strategy Consultant at Danielle Polini, working with early growth-stage startups to understand where to focus and how to win with customers.

Danielle Polini, UX Research and Strategy Consultant at Danielle Polini headshot

I joined local niche mastermind groups. This move helped me double my client list in a matter of months. I found that joining a mastermind with women in both my region and industry helped me not only network, but allowed me to get outside my head to brainstorm new ideas that pushed me to reach my revenue goals. When I shared my goal with the group I held myself accountable to reach my goal and, to my surprise, the mastermind group found my next client for me. 

Sydney Petite

Chief Strategy Officer at Royal Street Agency, a communications and brand strategy agency focused on elevating clients and aligning them to the fullest extent of their mission.

Sydney Petite, Chief Strategy Officer at Royal Street Agency headshot

About five years ago, I began to invest in paid networking communities that exclusively focused on niche groups. This allowed me to connect with members solely based on criteria such as gender or parental status. The virtual shift from the pandemic opened up more opportunities to connect with members not only across the country but the globe via platforms such as Zoom and Orbiit. Since then, my business has been exclusively driven by referrals and opened up opportunities into markets I would have otherwise never made. 

Dina Kaplan

Founder and CEO of The Path, a meditation community.

Dina Kaplan, Founder and CEO of The Path, a meditation community headshot

I take a big breath, a leap of faith, and join events and conferences beyond my budget for the inspiration they offer, the wisdom and knowledge, and the extraordinary network they can provide. People willing to pay for these events can then pay for the events my company offers, so it makes sense to find new clients and make new friends with inspiring people willing to spend more on their own growth and network. It is really a win-win even though it can feel scary to commit in the moment.

All individuals featured in this article are members of Dreamers & Doers, an award-winning community and diverse ecosystem amplifying extraordinary entrepreneurial women through PR opportunities, authentic connection and high-impact resources. Learn more about Dreamers & Doers and subscribe to its monthly The Digest for top entrepreneurial and career resources.

This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and we are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

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  • Originally published October 3, 2022, updated January 23, 2023