Welcome, everybody, this is Karl Diffenderfer from Higher Impact, we are a business coaching organization, and this is our Business Breakthrough Radio our goal of this is to help you as a business owner go to the next level to maximize yourself to go to have top performance in everything you do, and so, we’ve selected people from all over the world that are going to talk through different topics that we run into as business owners. Today we have a great topic to discuss with a friend of mine named Chris Gittings, and we’re going to talk about Networking and how to maximize that inside of our business I’ve been a master networker for many years, but I recently realized something that I think you guys are going to find very valuable today.
Now I also want to share that if you’re a business owner and you find yourself at a spot where you feel stuck about something, I’d be happy to meet with you, just to talk through that it could be me or one of my coaches, we’re here to serve and that’s the whole purpose of this podcast is to serve you from that we’d love to build trust with you, and if we can ever help you process through something that you’re stuck with then maybe you can get some value from that and introduce just introduce us to somebody, that is somebody that we can help on a long-term basis just being real, I know we do something to get something and yes I’m doing this to get something, but the intention is how can I help you so as we process through things together on this call and in the future in our different episodes in the future, I challenge you to think about what is the biggest thing, the biggest challenge that’s holding me back right now. So let’s dive into things here, and we’re going to have Chris join us, and then we’re going to dive right into it. Here we go okay, Chris you there?
I am good to be with you Karl.
Welcome, so today we’re going to be talking about something, and you kind of like we recently were talking about this, and our topic today is Networking and How we maximize our time with networking. Now you seem to be like: Karl I got this figured out and I know it probably wasn’t that confident, but it was like Karl we should talk about this but, I’m first going to start, do you mind if I start with just sharing a little backstory of my networking background.
That’d be okay.
Okay, so networking to me is the opportunity to get in front of a person. It is a form of marketing actually to get in front of a person to build a relationship and from there decipher if you can help them in their business or if they can help you and your business. I’ve been part of many BNI groups and PRE and all these different groups over the years, and very valuable to meet a lot of great people still I’m friends with a lot of those people. But as time has gone by I’ve come to realize that the people that I need to meet aren’t always in those rooms, and so I’ve had to ascertain, okay, is this the right fit for me right now, I recently just left the BNI group that I was part of for five years, I’ve been part of BNI over 10 years now and it was a big decision it was hard a lot of friends there a lot of business came through that group.
I’ll never forget my first year in BNI I got 40 000 in revenue great year it was good but what I realized so through covid I don’t know about the rest of you but when covid hit I said all right I’m going to 10x things I’m going to ensure that I don’t have a downturn like some other people may experience through covid and so I started doing meetings left and right and I started networking in groups like yours Chris and what happened through that was a lot of meetings and a lot of meetings, and it was just like why am I doing this like I need to find a way to move these meetings into meaningful results for them and for me and so in my studies I found that some people like to look at it this way they want to have what’s called a Fair Value Exchange I want to do this for you to help you and I’d like you to do this for me to help me and the fair value exchange is a great idea but executing it is pretty hard to do.
So I had all these meetings. I think it might have generated two clients. I did 500 meetings covered a year, 500 meetings with people I’d never met before on top of my normal meetings that I do, so you can imagine it was like back-to-back, and my wife’s like you’re crazy, and well I did it met a lot of great people though, and that’s one of the things about networking you get to meet a lot of cool people, and you get to have relationships okay so now I’ve set the stage, Chris, how would you say I need to reevaluate my paradigm to shift into a new spot.
I think it all comes down to resource management as part of your business holistically. You have a limited amount of financial resources, you have a limited amount of time, and one thing that we really don’t speak about a lot is the limited amount of energy. Yeah so oftentimes, you find people say I don’t have enough time, I say don’t have enough time, the reality is I don’t have enough energy because I could make more time there gets to you hit a wall you get to a point where you’re working so hard trying to do so much that you begin dropping things and you begin getting exhausted to begin, becoming less efficient so thinking about those with your three bars of which you have a certain currency, it’s unique to you every person has different facets to how they manage the energy and time and the quirks in terms of what works best for them.
You want to be thinking always within you know if I’m going to take this meeting with a new person or if I’m going to be introduced to a new individual. How is that going to affect the amount of time I have, you know the energy that I have, the financial, you know resources I’m gonna have access to and you what to being a good networker is maximizing the impact of what you do on those three categories, and not only is it better for you it’s better for the people that you meet because being a good networking partner means making an investment in the people that you come across and say you want to collaborate with yeah so when you manage your time effectively when you manage your energy effectively that means you’re able to better make introductions for the person that you get introduced to be a resource to them um as well as being able to accept their help.
Yeah, and so there are a couple of points to touch on inside of there. Yes, I agree a lot of people look at it, so if everybody asks you, what I’m going to ask you this question on the fly here, what actually creates wealth?
There are so many ways to answer that, and that sounds smart, I think wealth is the wrong optimization, it’s life satisfaction.
I agree 100% with that.
Yeah, okay, so monetary wealth. What creates monetary wealth is its value extraction which oftentimes can be sourced from value creation.
Okay, so now if we look at it from the rich dad poor dad paradigm, what would you say wealth is then?
What is that paradigm?
Okay, so you haven’t read that book I’m sorry, so Robert Kiyosaki wrote a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad, and in that book, he talks about the cashflow quadrant, and one of the quadrants talks about making money work for you. Now what I’ve found though is it’s not what you make, it’s actually what you save that creates wealth. It’s your margin that’s the same in business too, you can’t run a business with more money, you can’t spend more money than you make, but the same is true of our time and our energy, and so if we don’t have margins in our time, if we don’t have margins in our energy, we’re always going to feel depleted because we’re going to be living at 100 percent and that 100 always requires 120, there’s no margin, and so you’re spot on I agree with you 100%, but part of this too is not just how much you’re meeting but who you’re meeting with too right?
Talk to me about that.
When the answer to that particular question is very different depending on who you are. Okay, right, and I think it is easy to sometimes say, here is a blanket statement for what people need to know when it comes to meeting people, I think that oftentimes leaves people down the wrong path because something that works for one person is not going to be right for another right? I’m in an industry where anybody I meet could be someone I end up working with because I am a professional that is involved in helping people build relationships, and anyone no matter who you are is going to need to build relationships that’s someone I can work with, so the way that I’m going to approach networking is going to be different from someone who installs garage doors because not everyone needs a garage door installed right correct, but they might be networking too because they want to meet people who are going to know people who are purchasing a new home and need to install a garage door right, so I would go a little bit farther and say when you network, it almost always starts with you meeting a person. Everyone has that first person they met who introduced them to the hidden web or world of networking, right this is like a shadow world where all these people from all walks of life and all places know each other and are connected across the country and sometimes, across the world each when you start so you get that first person who starts introducing you to other people and all sudden you’ve met maybe 10, 15, 20 people who do all kinds of different things may or may not have any relevance to you I think it is okay and healthy to go through the process of initially building up a group of connections that you know who are just good connectors and good people regardless of what they do, and you get to a point in that journey it’s almost like the entrepreneur’s journey where you start your business, and there’s a dip and then there are things that improve and there’s like different steps along the way you need to account for different things, there comes a point when you’re a networker universally where that wave of networking grows and grows and grows because each person you meet introduces you to two more people, yeah you can it’s an exponential function you get to a point where the networking process becomes really overwhelming.
And once networking’s controlling your life rather than you controlling your life, it’s preventing you from being a good networker and a good partner to people okay, the first step of networking of course is meeting people, the second step is really identifying who might represent a good partner to you because not every person you meet is going to be someone you’re going to match with on a personality level on a professional level on a strategic level, you want to be conscious of one the kind of introductions you’re asking for, but two picking out the people you meet and identifying in your meetings with them, like it’s almost like a job interview is this person and don’t ask like oh are you going to drive me business right try to get a sense of them as a person, and identify is this someone I’m passionate about collaborating with? And that’s really the big question and when you say yes or no to that determines the way you invest in my relationship going forward this actually brings me to one thing I really wanted to share which is the importance of having a personal CRM.
Many people think of a CRM as something that’s really just for sales I have a pipeline and I put people in it and I move them along the path and then I have a deal closed at the end or then there’s like a customer relationship management pipeline as well, there should also be a process that you use a tool that you use that allows to keep track of all the people you’re meeting because that process will quickly become overwhelming, and with each person you meet again if you’re going to be a good resource to them you want to collect key important information on who they are, what they do, and how you can help them that you have on hand that you can use to maintain a relationship you want to get their address and their birthday if you can don’t do it in a weird way, but if it comes up naturally get it right these are these are things you can use to maintain a touch process going forward people like birthday cards they really do it’s something often times in the world of business, and especially sales you always want to be the places other people aren’t and sometimes that means looking back to old traditions that are dying out and embracing them.
Now that people are not using snail-mail anymore. Snail-mail is an amazing way to add an extra touch point to relationships for people.
Not that you’re gonna generate sales but it does create talking about touch points.
Yes, so you know I have one friend who sends a card to every person they meet after they have a networking meeting like a personal handwritten card, I’m just thanking them for the call.
And again, she’s the only one I know who does it, but it’s a way that you differentiate yourself, and every person is going to have a different thing that’s going to be that thing for them when you meet a person you want to you know almost have a checklist on your second monitor of what you want to get through in your conversation to keep yourself focused.
And you want to you know one of the questions you want to ask yourself, either on the caller when you get off is how often do I stay in touch with this person right is this a relationship that I want to maintain, where I’m checking with this person twice a year, once every three months, once every month, once every other week, once every week right hopefully not more than that.
Want to set a cadence and there are tools that can actually help you keep track of your relationships to maintain networking cadences to check in with people and see how they’re doing, and see how you can support them and remind them that you exist and there is one tool that I love called UpHabit, it’s a phone app for apple and android a friend of mine wrote it in retirement actually.
So he built several companies in his career and in retirement just couldn’t stop, so he’s like all right, I want to build this personal CRM and it’s a free app, it’s a free tool and what I love about it is it lets you essentially set a cadence for each person you put in that it says how often should I check in with this person and then when you open the app you actually see a list of all the people who you’re due to check in with and then that could be a Linkedin message it could be an email could be a call whatever it is that you can use to just say, hello you swipe them away, and then two weeks or a month or two months later they’ll show back up, and then they’ll be on your list of people to check in with again.
Oh well that’s cool, I’m excited to check it out.
Right, yeah, so that’s an example of something that again outsources a lot of the work of trying to keep track of your relationships because tracking relationships is ultimately the downfall of networking. You start going around and meeting tons and tons and tons of people, and you forget them even if you write notes on all those meetings right, so you want as long as you trust yourself to make good judgment when you first meet a person around, how often you want to stay in touch with them and oftentimes, it is pretty evident early you know who you want to meet who you want to maintain a relationship yeah yeah um setting a cadence is a great way to ensure that you’re actually maintaining the relationship and that extends personally, as well as professionally, if you are using certain tools to maintain professional relationships. There’s another jump you should make. I know this is a little bit off-topic to say why aren’t I doing this with my family, right? Why aren’t I doing this with my personal friends from college and high school who want to maintain a relationship? You know that if you don’t check in with that friend from college every six months or every year, you’re going to lose contact because they’re going to move and they’re going to forget to tell you where they moved or that their phone number changed and you’re not able to find them again so include that in your personal CRM.
Yeah, that’s a good point.
Put it all in one place. It’s all part of your life, and it’s important to separate work from your personal life, it’s also important to stay organized across both of those places and to be intentional.
Yeah, it’s all intentionality.
So now the one thing that’s coming to my mind here there’s a couple of things throughout, what you just said that I want to maybe build on top of or at least say hey this is spot on the first one is I think that part of networking is we need to limit the number of meetings that we do have each week, so what I was doing was giving people free spots whenever they wanted, and then I was finding that my whole week was just full of meeting with people from networking can’t do that, so you gotta define okay, am I gonna do four meetings a week, how long are they gonna be, they’re gonna be half an hour, and then set up your calendly to give them that block this is when I meet, and that’s okay, and if that doesn’t meet yeah that doesn’t work sure find another time but limit the amount you have each week so that you’re controlling your calendar, and your calendar is not controlling you. The next thing is a buddy of mine and actually, I think it was it was a famous author who said you need to be interested, and interesting in networking calls in other words you need to care about the person and say okay you know what what’s going on in your world how can I help you what tell me some great stories about yourself but then the interesting part is you need to cause them to say oh wow I can’t remember that guy he did X on our call like I noticed a guy on a call the other week he had had his guitar out he’s like strumming away on his guitar that’s great. I find people find it interesting when I say that I’m a classical pianist they’re like oh wow I don’t know I’m a classical pianist who cares, but today to them they do and then the other thing too is you need to align your values, you know you need to say okay are we on the same track as human beings not saying that you need to agree with their political point of view or their religious point of view or anything like that I’m saying more, so how you handle your business has to be in alignment otherwise there’s no point in you guys trying to do business together or help each other, now is that all that good you’re probably on board with all that right?
Oh absolutely, okay, yeah.
Do you have something to add? or can I take us into another conversation?
I was realizing that we need four episodes to get through everything we want to cover here, but it’s like, well, it’s not the cut a lot out, and it is what it is.
Maybe we need to do more. I’ll tell you what, everybody who is watching, even if you watch this later, comment in the comments and tell us, “I want you to talk about this with networking or whatever,” we’d be happy to talk with you about it. So one of the things I realized probably about 10 years ago, is that the people I was networking with, need to actually be in the pain of my customer. My ideal person with whom I should be networking should be able to have the trust of the customer and they should be talking about whatever pain that I can fix but they can’t. Then it sets up this referral partner, to look very successful, for example,financial advisors are great for me. You might say, “why?” I’m a business coach, I go in and help business owners on the day their business runs their business to the maximum. A financial planner came in and proposed to give help with the business’ financial planning. And he does the vision casting, dreaming session with them, and in that vision casting and dreaming they talk about all their pains inside their business and then what happens is the financial advisor says that he knows somebody that can help you. And you go and talk to that person who you think can help you, and I’m sorry everybody it looks like we’re having some bandwidth issues here, hopefully, I didn’t cut out too much there, but in that, they go. Then you go to that person, talk to that person, and as the advisor said that he can fix this problem for you, so you go. Then he starts to fix the problem. He makes you more money, you’re wildly successful and what do you do? Well now you have investment money to go back to your financial planner. It’s a win for everybody. Chris, what are your thoughts on finding the right people for your networking?
I think it’s something that’s going to be a little bit intuitive to each person, and again different for every industry, but one thing that I’ll share is it’s important to train your partners, so you want to identify who your partners are, I kind of think of it like an onion which is you’ve got your core inner circle of people who they know either they’re in your corner circle of people, and you have a partnership with. There are people who you know and like outside of that circle who you want to maintain relationships with, and then they’re just people you know on the outer right.
And then the way you might have several more rungs depending on who you are, what you want to do is your process that’s a simple model to follow, when you know to find someone you want to partner with, it’s a two-way relationship, and it has to be buying from both sides it’s like dating, right? So you approach someone and you essentially say hey I really want to work closely with you to support each other in our businesses I really value you and what you do for these different reasons and you as a person for these different reasons and here’s how I see us potentially working together you set the rules of engagement.
You also want to actually train each other, and how to make really effective referrals in one process, and again this is not my original idea, but one that I really love is once you and that person agree, I want to do this, you set up a meeting on one another’s calendars, so they set a meeting on your calendar you send me on their calendar, and the meeting that they set up on your calendar is a meeting for you to pitch them on your service as if you’re pitching anybody to give them the full. You know the deal of what that pitch would look like and likewise when you sit on their call for them to give you the full run down as well, so it’s you taking all the time you need to fully amass yourself and understand that other person’s business you’re not actually trying to sell each other, but you’re trying to give each other the full experience of knowing how this process works and this actually came to me from a financial advisor friend financial advisors have a challenging process because they’d be, so careful with what they put in writing, so they have to do everything through group management through relationships through talking, and they have a complex sale it’s why do I use this financial advisor versus another there are a lot of nuances to what makes a financial advisor, an effective resource or someone you want to refer to someone else, so this is especially effective for people in the industry when they make their partnerships and say here’s the process I want to go through with you so that we both thoroughly understand each other can effectively support one another and when they buy into that process and they say yes and they don’t have to again allow them the opportunity to say I don’t want to commit to this right because that’s healthy you only want partners that are bought in and there might be good reasons why it’s not gonna be the right fit for them, but once you go through that process with somebody that’s where you begin building a strong referral relationship, it’s an investment, but a relationship’s an investment and it’s a strategic investment, and there’s a reason why you invited that person to go through the process with you because you believe that this could work.
Yeah, I do that already in the sense of and I find that it’s great for me to do a complimentary coaching session with any of my referral partners, so they get a feel for it we’ve got to do one ourselves here Chris sometime, and after that, they’re like wow okay this is amazing, and they’re more inclined to actually refer me to people then, and I agree 100% with that precisely all right what’s next this is a good conversation.
Oh, I do more.
I’m sure you do.
I have a very strong case to make that anybody who networks needs a personal monthly newsletter. I make a really strong case for this and many people will say well, I already have a newsletter Chris or I hate newsletters. I get so many of them. Why would I want to make one and contribute to the clutter? You as a person have a brand that is distinct from the brand of your company even if you are a solopreneur, and it needs to be nurtured in the same way that your professional brand needs nurturing.
Generally speaking, when someone makes a deal with you in the B2B world they’re making a deal with you because they trust you with the project not because they trust the company or any of its features or products, they know that you are going to get this done right for them that you understand their needs right that’s your personal brand at play your partners, or at least the way I like to network there are very effective processes for transactional networking and oftentimes you’ll see those played out most in the financial world in real estate and in the financial sector there are also really great ways of building relationships that are based on an investment you have in one another’s success that is emotional and sometimes people are afraid to allow that part of life to exist here, but I think it’s a valuable piece I am only going to take on someone as a partner when I’m really excited about them and their business and their personality and all facets of who they are as a person.
And what their cause is like what drives them to do what they do?
That’s so important, yes.
I have a friend that has a hot sauce company and with every bottle of hot sauce that he sells, he’s able to donate a meal to a local food bank in his area right, so it’s selling food to fight food insecurity that’s super cool, and that’s just one aspect of that person that I really appreciate I also appreciate them on a personal level and on a networking level, and so you know just like you’re hiring you to need somebody to have a variety of towns they need to be organized they need to be punctual, they need to be talented creative good team players, right whatever it is you need the whole package if there’s a component that’s missing it doesn’t matter how good everything else is but you find that person and you say hey if this is someone I’m really invested in who I want to maintain as a close partner, I would like a monthly update from them on how they’re doing over email because that is a lot simpler than me having to get on a call with them every single month or every single two weeks it’s not realistic you have a job beyond just meeting people right, so if networking is only a small part of your job you want an easy process to maintain relationships parasocial, rather than always just through calls or through direct messages, and a newsletter is a great way to provide a personal update to all of your partners at once what about all your partners do the same to you that can be part of your newsletter.
Right, sure like you say you record the video and put it in there do you think it’s important to have a video over text or maybe both or what do you think because some people are going to read you know at 2 a.m in the morning when they’re looking at their emails.
Frankly, it is a personal choice I don’t think it’s going to impact the results very much it really comes back down to your style and what’s gonna be easiest for you to get the newsletter out, so if you’re more natural over video and that’s just the way you like to communicate record a video, and use a tool like Loom or BoomBoom to send out your emails otherwise right, but the personal newsletter I believe can include a few components that are really key to helping your partners maintain a relationship with you and again for also you just keep track of the people you know because this isn’t really just going back to your partners it’s going out to everybody.
The family as well yeah.
Three components yeah that’s right um but the first component I feel is important is a personal life update just one paragraph on how you’re doing something you’re looking forward to in your life a hobby you’ve taken up something completely unrelated to work and this is something that’s very difficult for some people to do but you can kind of think of it like a short Christmas card people your partners genuinely want to know how you’re doing just as you want to know how they’re doing again without you having to have a call every month just to check in right and the reality is you know I have a psych background people feel like they’re staying in touch with you when they’re being kept in the loop on things that are going on in your world even if you don’t get to talk yeah so take that opportunity share that your nurturing and developing your personal brand from there you want your newsletter to have a central value-added component which is an article or a video or some piece of content you put together that is couched in your professional expertise as a professional, but is universally interesting or useful information and the example that might apply are gonna be different from every single person you know and what industry they’re in like let’s say you’re a plumber, you might go what am I gonna talk about it’s gonna be interesting to people couch to my professional expertise as a plumber well you could talk about how fountains work and the different type of fountains and the plumbing involved and creating fountains or you know how the world’s biggest fountain works there are water parks in Germany that the old elites used to make in victorian times that were like these crazy water parks with extremely elaborate plumbing that still exists today that you can visit you could write a story about that right, so universally entertaining couching your professional expertise or say you know three steps every person should take when they clog the toilet we all do it nobody talks about it, here’s what you need to know before you call a plumber right, yeah or here should you consider installing one of those food mixing machines under your sink that like you know where like some people have drains where they collect food particles and then toss them away into their trash can, and other people just let the food go down the drain and there’s like a little machine that like squares it all up, yeah it’s like what are the pluses and minuses of either of those methods of dealing with food waste near sink right, before again you have to call me because you have a clock this is all information anybody would want to know anyone would be entertained by anyone would benefit from that is couching your expertise and this allows people to refer you more effectively not just your core or your core circle of partners but other people you know too because you’re going to get referrals from everywhere regardless not just from your core partners and you want someone referring you you know Joe the plumber as you know the guy who I keep learning new and interesting things from all the time who taught me that I should not be using one of those food mixing machines under my sink because it doesn’t actually cause problems to the city water supply right, and you should meet them that is a much stronger introduction than just saying you should meet Joe’s a cool guy and that’s what a personal newsletter allows you to do it allows you to educate your audience on how to refer you more effectively and also helps to understand, what you do better so that they can identify situations where you might have a business.
Why isn’t everyone doing this?
I don’t know, I’m gonna do that’s a great concept and idea. I’ve always you know I know so many people, but it’s like how do you keep in front of them not to like just try to sell them, but more so just be present, and I think that’s what it’s all about it’s about relationship, and there’s no reason I can’t share about what’s going on in my world yeah it’s a great idea I like it.
There’s something I hear a lot which is people saying that they met a friend an old networking friend, and the friend says hey I had this opportunity for you last week, and I didn’t think of you I can’t believe this that would have been perfect I can’t believe I didn’t refer you that opportunity.
A new monthly newsletter is the right cadence to make sure that never happens because it’s just enough to keep you on top of people’s minds to the point where they’re not going to forget about you when those things pop up.
That’s good I like that a lot, that’s cool, so what’s next? This is good, I’m enjoying this, I know you have a whole big list there.
Oh, I do, well there’s more to the newsletter component because I’m not done, and there are two other components that are really important there’s a third component to the newsletter which is a call to action, it is okay for part of your newsletter to be an ad just not the whole thing, and when people hate newsletters they hate them because the entire newsletter is an ad, it’s like jump mail nobody wants a junk mail. The third component of your newsletter is you making a very specific, easy to follow ask of your audience that could be this article that’s here in the newsletter I also posted it on Linkedin could you please comment on the Linkedin post and let me know what you thought of the article.
That’s where you’ll engage on your Linkedin post, it could be. I’m trying to figure out a topic for next month, and I’d be interested in the questions you might have about plumbing. Can you please email me back with a question you might have or it could even be I’m trying to meet people in the water treatment space because I have synergies with them, if you know anyone in the water world can you please refer me so you’re going to…
Have more examples of business you’re asking them for things simple.
Easy to follow ask and the reason why this is so important is when people do something small that helps you they become more invested in your success, when I refer somebody who I’ve met I’m like oh you need to meet this other person, the act of me putting in a little bit of effort to support them makes me care about them more this is another psychology thing and even though I’m aware of that technique I still feel it, yeah and I just let it be I’m like hey I do like this person more because I’m helping them you know what I’m going to own it um don’t be like you need to do it there’s always an ass you can make even if you can’t think of anything you need make the ask to engage your community the last and most important piece of this whole newsletter thing okay is to not just take your whole list of people you ever met off of Hubspot and add them to your newsletter, okay it is to use a mail merge tool and there are free ones out there to message each person individually, saying hey Sam I’m starting a personal monthly update that’s going to where I’m going to be sharing information about you know what I’ve learned from my 20 years in plumbing and some personal updates of my life, I would be really interested in including you is an email you’d prefer that’s you can steal that anyone watching you send that out to every person you’ve ever met and what you’re doing is giving them agency you’re allowing them to make the choice do I want to be part of this journey with this person or not it’s kind of like a more informal version of forming a partnership, but it’s one-dimensional or one-directional, and what you’ll find is a surprising number of people may be roughly 60 to 90 percent of the people you send that to are going to reply saying yes, I’d love to receive the updates here’s my preferred email and when they do that when they make that choice the engagement rises five-fold versus if you didn’t take this step, so that’s email open rates that’s people actually reading your article is people actually doing the call to action because they decided for themselves, they wanted to be in this journey for you they’re looking out for your email in their inbox they’re looking forward to reading it and it’s such a huge difference, so it’s not even about the ethics of emailing it’s about your audience having the opportunity to make the choice to be engaged with you.
Yeah, also, I’ve seen a couple even politicians that will send out a quick email that says, hey, I’m working on keeping my database up to date here’s my most recent Vcard, can you take a moment to send me your contact information to make sure I’m up to date and then the people that don’t respond you know that they’re not engaged similar concept just a different way to do it yep I like that.
So the bar you want to set for your newsletter because this is really important, okay is it’s not good enough until somebody in your network approaches you out of the blue, unprompted, and says you know Jerry, or you know Sheila, I want to let you know that every single time I see your newsletter it brightens my day I always look forward to reading and until somebody says that your newsletter is not good enough, okay so keep working on it to make it really more personable more interesting until it gets to that state it’s a very interesting bar you’ll know when it happens because this is meant to be a high-quality thing, and it is effortful, but you know what it’s once a month, and it is so much less effort versus what it returns than almost anything you could possibly do as long as you’re someone who does a decent amount of networking because if you’ve you know met five people in five people in your newsletter, maybe not but if you have over a hundred that’s a point where it becomes worth using this to keep you know keep track of your relationships okay or rather to build a community around yourself.
So now I’m gonna press into this for a moment to seek your consultation with me, but also I think for the listeners too, how do we know what is too much content? And what is too little content?
You mean like within the newsletter?
Yeah, in the newsletter so I’ve been thinking here like, boy I’m writing blog posts every month I’m doing podcasts like this I almost feel like the newsletter should be like here’s my update here’s a blog on how to do networking, and just really kind of giving them a choice a buffet of this is what I want to read about or watch if it’s a video or whatever I’m almost even going to the level of a digital magazine format where it’s like the page turn, and oh you want to read this article go ahead or you want to watch this video go ahead would you go to that level or not.
The reality is most people don’t have podcasts, most people don’t have blogs, and most people don’t have these other things, so this is a little bit situational.
The reason I phrase that whole process the way I do is this is something that would work for every person, but then you get into well if I’m doing an interesting podcast every month, if I’m putting out another interesting piece of content every month, couldn’t I use that instead because that would save me time and that’s content I’m proud of that I think my audience would engage with the answer is yes, you can absolutely do that you can absolutely swap that in or add it as another piece there is no like beyond the template which you don’t even really need to use the most important takeaway here is ask your network before adding them to your newsletter to get them bought in and wait for people to begin replying to you saying how much they love your newsletter.
And everything else can be changed right, so as long as there are people who really appreciate it and always want to be a part of it and value it that’s when you know you’re doing a good job, and I think absolutely you can include your podcast you can include your blog updates you can even make the newsletter cool to the point where you create the original piece of content that then becomes your blog post, so you use the newsletter to hold yourself accountable to create original content you build up a library of content and then that’s also part of your social media strategy, so just like I was talking about before they go on Linkedin and comment on the article there you can either take the entire article, and begin posting it formatted differently for every platform, or you can actually take it apart and create sub pieces of your article, and turn those into different posts this should be the cornerstone of your social media strategy quoting that.
Great way to go, yeah, yeah.
One thing that many networkers struggle with is like, hey, social media can be a huge time suck, it’s just really tough to keep up with right that’s one of the things that they’ll share and it’s true right, they’re absolutely right packages all together you maximize your impact by you know creating one thing that serves multiple purposes, create the content for your newsletter and then you know just repackage it to go everywhere else and then you’re done, you don’t need to be posting several times a week, you can post once a week, take your monthly newsletter put it into four pieces and put those outright, or you could do something different, but the point is at a bare minimum I really want to take people who are doing nothing and help them do something in a way that’s not going to take over their lives or feel like unapproachable.
Okay, yeah, I agree with all of that I yeah, you’re spot on so far this is good all right, what do you got next?
I have a feeling you’re going to say that I’ll keep going when you’ve got partners and oftentimes, to become again emotionally invested in your partner’s success, and you try to support the back in a few ways you try to make their referrals, you try to help them meet people who like them to meet try to give them professional advice, you workshop your businesses together you might send them a gift in appreciation for something that they’ve done for you might send them a holiday gift, one thing that people don’t think about doing is recommendations on Linkedin and you might say well Chris wait a second I have recommendations on Linkedin I’ve given other people recommendations we’re talking about most recommendations that are given because a person asked for them or because someone gave you a recommendation and you wanted to give them back as well right, so they’re always prompted by something. There was a time a few months ago all the ideas I share well the newsletter is my idea, but almost everything else is someone else’s I just repackaged them because people do brilliant things I’m the aggregator right to help other people to get into that knowledge, somebody, randomly who I know out of the blue who I hadn’t talked to recently left me a really thoughtful Linkedin recommendation and it made my day, I know it’s never going to translate to business for me it’s not like someone’s going to read you know my profile and then see this one quote and they go oh my gosh I’ve got to use Chris now right but it was just something where that person essentially wrote me a message more so than a recommendation saying here’s why I value Chris right you know he helped me with these different things he’s really smart in these areas, he’s genuine and caring, and it was really a statement that she was almost addressing to me saying what I meant to her this is such an easy thing for you to do that will have a major major impact on your network letting everyone know what you think about them and how much you care about them publicly because when you say it out into the world it kind of hits differently, right take two hours someday in the next few weeks and set them aside on your schedule, and they’re your two hours to go through as many people in your network who you care for as possible, and to randomly leave them a thoughtful recommendation that lets them know what they mean to you, and that will be one of the most impactful two hours you’ve ever spent, and one of the most productive two hours you’ve ever spent because that can hit harder than sending someone a hundred dollar gift basket, or anything else you could do for them sometimes even more so than a referral, so it’s something again everyone should be doing and nobody’s thinking about.
Yeah, so when you say recommendation, you’re talking about it’s almost like a review at the bottom of their Linkedin page also just as a sub-note for those of you that haven’t done that before it’s actually at the end asks them to do the same for you it’s all automated inside of Linkedin from what I gather at least, so you probably will get recommendations in return as well then which is very nice.
It could happen, and another thing is when you give someone a recommendation Linkedin will not add it to their profile until they’ve approved it, yeah so you’ll never get a recommendation that’s a bad review because all reviews go through you, yeah, but one of the side effects of this is it ensures that the message you put out for somebody they see next time, they log into Linkedin links is going to make sure, they see this and like is it okay, if we post this is okay, if we post this they’re going to see your recommendation, so it’s not like when you leave a google review and you don’t even know if the business of c’s or appreciates what you wrote for them, they’re going to see if they’re going to know, and they’re going to appreciate it, and it’s best when it comes out of nowhere don’t do it because you had a call yesterday do it systematically for everybody at a random time they wouldn’t expect.
I agree that’s all great stuff, Chris this has been awesome, it sounds like you have more so, but I do think we need to start to wrap up for the sake of our future conversations today, with other people, but I guess let’s close with. What would be your final parting word in this conversation, and let me also ask you, should we plan on doing another one of these part two?
If you’re down, I’m down absolutely.
I’m always down, yeah, this has been a great conversation, I learned some good stuff, and hopefully, you seem smart enough that I didn’t teach anything new, but that’s okay you’re a smart cookie, I’m excited to continue to get to know you so what’s your parting word of wisdom?
My parting word of wisdom is that it’s always healthy to sit back occasionally and marvel at how crazy it is that we exist. I know this is probably left field. No, it is, it does and everyone here needs a reminder that you need to go sit on a park bench at some point, and just marvel at how incredible life is and how special it is and to allow that wonder to guide your day-to-day experience.
Wonder that’s a great word, it’s important for us to wonder because that creates the space for us to dream, but it also creates thankfulness and gratitude in our hearts, which creates contentedness, and I think a lot of us are after peace and contentedness and joy so great advice, good word, okay, well Chris, we will meet again here very soon, I appreciate your time today, awesome and we’ll be having more of these in the future keep tuned in they also end up being a podcast at the end right, now we’re doing a live cast but it becomes a podcast, so watch out for that we’re also going to have shorts so be aware that there’s going to be little shorts that we’re sharing as well thank you, Chris, we’ll talk to everybody soon and take care to have a great weekend.
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