Episode 75 – #morethanadatabase: How to tap into the true power of your network with Zanade Mann

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What We Talk About

Whether you love networking or hate it… the fact of the matter is it’s an incredible way to grow your business. But only IF you do it right. Networking is no longer about thrusting your business card into the hand of every unsuspecting person at an event or spamming the inbox on your favorite social platform. It’s more nuanced, relationship-based, and a longer-term play than most people are willing to invest.

Zanade Mann is here to teach us exactly how to make this long-term play work for your business – no matter WHAT your business goal is.

Resources

Mentioned in the episode:

Yale Accelerator (to look for events)

Zanade’s Business Collective
On Facebook
On Instagram
On LinkedIn

Connect with Zanade on LinkedIn
Follow Zanade on Instagram
Find Zanade on Facebook

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:02
I love networking. I love it. I think it's so much fun. I get jazzed, then about two days, and I run out of charm. But that's the ambivert. In me. I also know that most people hate networking. They can't stand it, they don't know how to use it, they think it's draining, they want nothing to do with it. And because of that, they miss out on a really incredibly valuable opportunity for their business to grow. And to also make the connections that make you feel a little less alone in this entrepreneurial journey. That's why when we met Zenaida man, she's the managing director of the black woman's business collective and the founder of indefinite breakthrough solutions. But even more than that, she gets networking, not only how not to hate it, but how to use it to grow your business. So Zenaida, thank you so much for being here today. We're really excited to have you.

Unknown Speaker 1:05
So happy and grateful to be invited into this space. Thank you.

Alyson Lex 1:10
Why do you think that so many entrepreneurs and business owners hate networking the way that they do?

Unknown Speaker 1:17
It's a lot of work. Right? It really is, when you think about it, you have to have a strategy. And a lot of us go out. And I'm going to give you some preface that with some of my I'm from New York City, so some of my networking, tips and skills and the things that I do has come from the largest city in our, in our country where if you can network in New York City, you can network anywhere. So that was my training ground. And what I'll say is, it's so hard, because most of us go in thinking that others are open to networking, right? So you'll go in, and you're just like, I'm just going to hand out my business card back in the day, when we used to do that at events, when we could go out a home, we would do that. And we would just it was a transfer, it was more like a transaction. And that was like, Okay, I network, I'm good. And then you went to another event, there was no follow up. There was no, you know, real connection. Most of the time I've been at hundreds of events. But also with the difficulty of networking is not really knowing what your strategy is, or What's your goal? What is your why of why you're at networking, are you networking just to do it? Or are you going to this event or this virtual event to potentially connect with someone who could help you, or you can help them down the line? Like you have to go in with a purpose. And some of us don't go in with a purpose. So networking seems like it's a job, not a strategy. If that you know if you understand what I mean by that. So if we can normalize networking, and the process of it and know our why going back to that why, then it will be a little simpler, and you won't feel like okay, I got 100 business cards, or I'm on a zoom call with 100 people and are connected on LinkedIn. Now what, you don't really see the value in that. So really just figuring all that out.

Jennie Wright 3:07
I like that a lot. There's a lot of things that have changed since we started talking about networking or how networking used to, you know, work. I know that back in 2019. Allison, I believe went to like, I don't know how many events but six or more events, right? Because you were networking with people? Was it more than that?

Alyson Lex 3:26
So 2019 I actually pulled back my travel, but in 2017 I was I was gone all the time, at different events. So yeah. And I've been scaling back since

Jennie Wright 3:38
Yeah. But now that we're more online, networking seemed at the time, more of like a thrust my business card into your hand and hope and pray strategy. And we still see that happening in the the online world we get people dming us so they'll send us a friend request. Right. And they'll DMS right away. And that just seems like a bad strategy. But it leads me into my next question, which is, you know, how can we move into networking online? in a better way? What's the right strategy for this new approach for a lot of people?

Unknown Speaker 4:10
Oh, yeah, I would say first, the why. And because we are online. Now you just have to be you're forced to be strategic, you're not going to go on LinkedIn and connect with every single person that you see. That's just a bad strategy. What you want to do online Besides, before you even get to LinkedIn, many of us I'm assuming your listeners, go to the zoo there at the zoo events. Everything is a virtual event now. So when you sign on, I make it a habit to always introduce I won't I introduce myself through the chat or introduce myself verbally if the organizers allow you to do that. But I make it a habit to introduce myself twice at the beginning and right before I know it's about to end so I will go back in the chat and say this was such a wonderful event. I would love to connect with you all on LinkedIn. So now one I may not know everyone and what they do, but no Normally the organizers, the attendees or the host, or whoever, you know, whoever speaking, they're in that chat as well, we know that people are saving the chats. And they're they're making connections that way. So you have to actually insert yourself, right? connect directly to the speakers. This was this was an amazing whatever your you know, your 15. second pitch is, you have to give them that. And then you have to follow up. That's the other part, follow up through LinkedIn, which is always great. Sometimes I do it within the events, right. So while I'm in the chat, I'm talking, they see my name is Ethan ADA. And then all of a sudden, after the event, they go and check the email. And then it's like, Zenaida man wants to connect with you, oh, they make the they make the connection. Oh, I saw that name in the chat. And it automatically do it. By the time we end the chat. I mean, and the zoom or whatever organizers link we're on. I have already research certain people on the zoom. That's, that's one of my strategies like the speakers, if I didn't know who they were, or some of the participants, I will just go real quick. I mean, it takes a second copy, paste right to LinkedIn. And that's the power of Google tool, you just put it in Google and LinkedIn usually is indexed. First one, first one, second one. And then I'm like, oh, wow, they work there. Okay, cool. That's a that's on my strategy list. Like I am going to reach out to this person, I am saying strategy to you all. But I'm not talking about a 15 page marketing strategy. I'm talking about a sheet of paper, a post it and you literally say, I'm going to connect with this organizer, this participant. And here's my method, I'm going to do it through LinkedIn, but I'm gonna reference because everyone's head is everywhere. I'm going to say, that was a really great point, you said on XYZ event, or it was really cool to see you in the chat. Let's connect right? How can I be helpful? I like what you're doing, you know, something that personalizes those invites, and that's how I go about it. That's how that's how people can do it. It's It's very simple.

Alyson Lex 6:55
Now, I have to just say, I love LinkedIn, but I am not on LinkedIn that often. Can I take the same strategy and take it to Facebook or Instagram?

Unknown Speaker 7:07
Well, that's so it depends. Right? That I will have to say that, but let me let me tell you why I'm saying LinkedIn, you may not be it on be on it as often. But how often do you actually check it? Is it once a week, once a month?

Alyson Lex 7:23
When I get a message saying, I have a message,

Unknown Speaker 7:26
Oh, see, that's perfect. So at some point, you are going to get the message, the reason why I'm really driving LinkedIn. And I know there's chatter out there about how the usefulness of LinkedIn because of like spammers, and all that stuff. This strategy, here's the bigger strategy, I am creating a funnel for myself. So if for your listeners a marketing funnel, right, it's just how we get a customer or how we get a connection or something, I'm creating a funnel by sending you a message going directly to LinkedIn, you are going to get that email and say that someone wants to connect with you. Normally, what you should do is make sure that you edit your invitation, don't just send a blank one, literally say, I met you here, I heard you say this, how can I be helpful that I believe in your program, your organization, whatever, find what that is, when they get that message, they will go to LinkedIn, nine times out of 10, people are going to view your profile, this is the funnel. If you whatever reason your why of why you want to connect with people and or a certain person should be evident in your LinkedIn, LinkedIn profile, it should be evident 100%. Now if you have it set up that my goal is connect to connect with you. So I can you know, get you in my sales funnel, and have you buy I don't know my ebook or something, you should have all of your LinkedIn profile optimized. So I'm thinking on it as a larger picture more than I know, you're I know, for a fact you're going to land on my profile page, what is it that I want? What action do I want you to take when you land on my page? And if I have my featured section setup, you're going to be like, Wow, she does this, or Wow, this is colorful and beautiful. And I want to be involved or What is she talking about? And you're just gonna want to get into my ecosystem because I set it up for you that way. And I it has not failed me. yet. I've had some people not answer my thing, but that I don't consider that failure. Right. Failure to me would be someone responded, don't you dare spam me and whatever, right? But I'd be like, ooh, you know that that hurts a little bit. But setting it up that way. My goal is to transfer this this one second or two second connection by someone looking at your profile and going okay, approve. I want you to really get there and see my story or see what I'm selling, seeing what see what I'm offering see who I am to where you are interested in following up back with me and always had not okay, I don't say always nine times out of 10 it happens. And they say oh, this is really great. What do you want to like what do you do? Right? And then all sudden now you now you are developing a relationship with this person on LinkedIn. And then you can take them wherever it's just, you know, you may say, I'm not on LinkedIn a lot, I usually I use Facebook, oh, I'm on Facebook today, let's connect there, I love Facebook, like whatever and then you are moving, that's that you're moving them, it's like you are the you are creating the social media experiment almost for everyone that you connect with, because you're like, Okay, I want this person to go to my Facebook, set your system up. So by the time they get to your page, they will lead to Facebook, maybe they will lead to Instagram, because of your links or whatever you put in your, your profile.

Alyson Lex 10:39
It's so funny because I do have a very similar strategy on Facebook, when they friend request me, because you get those friend requests that they just from, and you can on Facebook, edit the message like you can on LinkedIn. So that's a good reason to use LinkedIn. But I just messaged him, I say, Hey, thanks for the friend request. man asked what prompted you to reach out or connect or whatever, and I use the same one on LinkedIn. So if they don't give me a message, I use the same one there to get that conversation started. So I can find out. Like why. And, you know, eight times out of 10, they want to pitch to me. Right? All right, let's get the pitch over with. Let's get it. That's right.

Unknown Speaker 11:20
That's right. And then maybe there's something underneath the pitch. And maybe we actually work

Alyson Lex 11:24
together or whatever relationship. And I love that you really refer to this whole strategy is a funnel. And because you're right, when you have a funnel, you have a very specific action that you want your people to take, when they get to each page and thinking of your LinkedIn profile as a conversion point. It's kind of a game changer for me. And I think probably for our listeners too. One thing about funnels though, is you have to have the right traffic to go into them if you want them to be successful. So how do we make sure that we're meeting the right people, we're attending the right networking events, we're hitting the right zoom calls online, all of those things, because otherwise, it can be a total time suck.

Unknown Speaker 12:13
Right? So yeah, so here's the here is the opportunity that is in front of us, because of with all the horrible things in the world going on the opportunity for most, maybe 98% of companies and brands being virtual, because they have to, that's an opportunity for you. And I that's an opportunity for you to see what events they have going on that you can get into. So majority of them that I've seen have been free. There were a couple in 2020. I think I paid you know, it's like a couple of $100. But the women that they had, and the zoom calls and these conferences it was it was totally worth it. I think it was weird, or, you know, some conference out of Pennsylvania or something like that. But what I say is you have to actually here's the work part of it, it is hard you have to go if there is a group, whatever, you know, women, women lead organization, right, you go to their page, very simple stuff. You see if they have any upcoming events. Now, I would do that because my target market is women, right? You know, it's women and I have an even smaller market than that. I go to their pages, I see what events they have on I go to all of Yale Yale has. Yale University has accelerator events, free events with high network, nine net worth founders, that they just share all of their gems, it's free, I sign up for every single one that they have. And I sit in the room. There are, I don't know, 2030 people in there, they have you as a participant, but the speakers are talking, however, the chat is open. So all of the all of the organizers in the speakers can see your message. That's when I go to town. And I'm like, this is so great. Wow. Can I ask you a question? Can I, if there is someone specific in there that I want to connect with? And normally there is there's someone that said that they will say something, these events are powerful, we are getting the blueprint handed right to us in our homes by via a zoom link. Right? So you go in there, you say, oh, wow, this is a founder of an app. And this is really cool. You know what, I don't really know that too much. But I'm going to reach out to this person, maybe, or maybe not, they will talk to me. Usually if they're like speaker level, they may or may not. But you may be able to connect with one of the organizers and say, Look, I'm really new to this. This is great, which I have done up in my recent it's not even a strategy, but it's what I'm doing because I want to learn more. And then the organizers in your inbox saying wow, we have great events. Yeah, come to this one come to that one. It is an open market right now. And either you should be listening and looking for opportunities. Not either but you should be doing both, right. You're listening and you're looking for these opportunities to join In spaces that you probably wouldn't be in if we were in person. So if Yale had an event, they would not say, hey, Zenaida, here's your link, come join us and the fortune 500 founders and stuff, they wouldn't we have a great opportunity to go in there and decide what we want to come out of this, whether they connect or not. You still this is practice. So whenever it doesn't work for me, which is far and few between what, when it doesn't work for me, I use it as practice. Okay, well, maybe, maybe I need to say something a little bit more marketable. And, and really, it's just a, it's a part of targeting. I don't do that for everyone. I don't want to be connected to everyone. Everyone is not in line with my missions and my values or what it is that I do, right. So if you're like, anti women organization or some nonsense, then I don't need to be in your meeting. And I'm not looking to connect, but I am looking to connect with like minded or even someone new, who is in line with what I believe in.

Jennie Wright 16:02
That, I love that that should be our little manifesto in terms of networking, because I think that a lot of people, they need to learn which, you know, which events, I didn't know, I could attend a Yale accelerator event. I'm in Canada, but that would be cool if I could, because I never would be out there. Right. And there's so many opportunities, I landed a paid speaking gig in May of 2021, through a networking opportunity. And I've been using the new app clubhouse for networking. And what I find is, I'll connect with people on there. And then I'll send them a you know, follow them on Instagram, and I'll send them a DM on their Instagram and be like, Hey, I just heard you talk about such and such and such and such. And you know, exactly right. So following your cues, for sure. But I want to know where else we can find these people online and also in person. After hopefully, with both fingers crossed, the pandemic is done and we can return to some normalcy.

Unknown Speaker 16:57
Yeah, there. I tell you there there is something to be said about him person events. There was a time, I'm going to say I've attended over 100 events in a year when I was doing Media Relations work. And there's something else there it is a whole nother strategy. And if we have time, and you want me to tell you that that imperson marketing networking strategy, I will. But to answer your question, your your question was where do we where do we find these networking opportunities online?

Unknown Speaker 17:26
Yeah, exactly.

Unknown Speaker 17:28
Yep. So I would say one, in your, you know, your your listeners may be a part of associations and any type of groups, Facebook groups are really, really helpful, because it depends on a Facebook group, because sometimes the users can't post in, in the group and is just the the actual brand itself posting things. But there are some groups where people share more than enough as far as events, you know, they may say, we're looking at a $10 register for a $10 event. And you get to be in a conversation with women founders, right. There are there is a plethora of digital events right now, one strategy you could use, is to go on to Eventbrite, and you can actually put a keyword in there for what you're looking for. So if you say women's women's leadership, it's going to show you every single event that someone has coming up and depending on your budget, right, because that's it, that's a real thing for people depending on your budget, find the free ones, right and and see who's there and may not be, you know, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but you don't need that to network, you don't need that to make a connection to someone that could possibly help you with what you were doing. With your business or your your life in general. I've met many women who don't have the big names. People don't know who they are, but they may work for someone. And that's a part of my in person strategy, you know, connecting to people who maybe they're the deputy assistant or something right, or Deputy Commissioner or something, whatever, if you're doing governmental stuff, right, go on there and see another strategy. I have so many like this, to me, it's just it really is methodology. You know, you just set it up, what is it that you want, get online and start googling your tail off, and you can find it. So if you're in government, then you go to SBA, SBA, and this is for in America, SBA, you list they list the current webinars and events that they have going on. They tell you who the speakers are Google speaker, who's the speaker, okay, maybe this is someone you want to connect with. You want to do a pre connection before the event, you can do that, too. I'm really looking forward to you to speaking speaking at this event, about government contracting, I'm looking forward to learning more period, they either going to accept you or they don't. Normally people will accept my request off of that. And then when I get into these webinars and zoom calls, my name it resonates right because you're getting those one or two touches those touch points. It's like Oh, I remember I remember her she sent me a link Then requests or Oh, yeah, she followed me on Twitter. Even if they didn't follow back. It's just, that's really what I think about when it comes to finding finding these opportunities, Eventbrite, facebook, facebook groups specific specifically, and just see what people are posting, you can pretty much vet what's viable and what's not for you.

Alyson Lex 20:22
What do you think about organizations like BSI, or where it's a networking group that the does, it's designed to be a networking group do those work?

Unknown Speaker 20:36
They can, I'm smiling because they can. But it reminds me of my days, like 2008 2009 in these networking group events in New York City in New Jersey, and you walk in and it is 500 people there, I kid you not, we did tons of events in this nightclub out in the city. And it would be 500 people in this nightclub. And although it wasn't party time, it was networking time. Everyone's in their party and music is loud, 500 people 500 business cards. And if you were really fancy, you had more than one business card. So everyone's in here, just that's it. And you just literally it was like you would stand there and collect, you would leave out with a stack and me and my friend would say Where's your stack at right, you got a stack of cards. And then usually people would just go home and then like they would disappear. The thing is the follow up. So in these networking groups, you can expect that people are going to overly network you there, they're going to connect, and they're going to disappear. Because they are some of them may be one sided. So maybe they're now looking for collaboration, they're not looking for how you can help them but they're just like, I just, you know, I just want to tell you, I'm selling something, and I want you to buy. That's what you know, that's how some people think. But you have to take that stack, take the list of people in these groups and and really just do your due diligence and find out if they're in line or their whatever, whoever you're trying to connect with. Just see if these people fall in, in between and do outreach. And if they give you pushback, in a sense, where, okay, they're just literally trying to sell some Bitcoin stuff, I'm just gonna leave them alone and just move on. And that's how you can get the most out of these types of groups. Really, there are people like you and I in these groups that they know these strategies, they know what they need to do, you just have to kind of weed that part out. Because collecting a bunch of names just to say, you know, they're in my facebook group, and it's not leading down to anything else is is a waste of time for me. I want to preface that like for me, yes, yeah,

Jennie Wright 22:37
I I'm actually I'm on the same page with you. I've done the conferences thing and left with the stack. And then the stack, stay on the bottom of my bag. Right, it stayed in the wild do that. I wasn't I didn't have this Anita strategy, okay. I just had the elastic band and it went up. But there was a point where my you know, I used to get business cards, and then I would do all the follow up, I used to be a cold call road rep, selling wholesale memberships. And my job was the networking and the connection and you'd get your, you know, the business card, you'd write notes on them back and everything. And you would do these kinds of things, you would go to the association meetings, and I went to them in like, you know, different areas of the city and all that kind of stuff. And I wish I knew then what you're teaching me now, because I would have done so much better. It would have been so much more effective. And I think I would have done better. It's just in general and sales. And that brings me to a really good question. You brought up a little earlier that you have some strategy for in person events and networking. And I'm absolutely desperate to know what that is. And I want you to share your favorite one.

Unknown Speaker 23:47
Oh, so I I have to say that a lot of the events that I attended, always had us a celebrity or a high profile person at the event. So it wasn't like a big group of just people in your networking. So they would it would be pretty pointed. So as you would, let's say, go on a zoom call to hear a founder talk about their experience. Just imagine that in person. So now what I would normally do on the phone, I'm so sorry, my dog is here. I'm sorry. She's upset that I'm talking ignoring her. But um, what I was saying let me start again. I would attend these imperson events with these founders. And you knew that they were the stars of the show. Usually stars of the show, have an assistant, they have someone with them or they have a team they never I mean these, you know these figureheads never go to these events alone at all. So I would spend my time talking to the assistants talking to the photographer, I would walk around and literally become friends with the photographer. My strategy was, I'm going to get a picture with somebody. So the funnel for me, the in person funnel was I'm going to get a picture with someone important. I'm going to put that on my Facebook. Now remember, we're talking about like, 2007 2008, or whatever, I'd put that on my Facebook, other people would go, Oh, well, she knows so and so. And I really didn't I just happened to be hanging out with a photographer who was just like, Oh, yeah, I'm going backstage? And would you like to join me? What I'm trying to tell you as an answer is, the real key is to not only in person focus on whoever's on the panel, see who's around, really is it goes back to treating everyone respectfully, and knowing that we're all important in our own right. And that has always helped. And I used to say that to people who are just like, wait a minute, they didn't expect that strategy. I'm like, No, if you you know that, you know, you know that Oprah Winfrey is gonna be there, she has an assistant, she might have five of them were fine, whoever circling or hovering around the the said important person, and network with them. It always because they want to be seen a lot, there are people who are unsung and unseen. Those are the people that I would network with. And it always has helped I would network with an assistant. Next thing, you know, I'm invited to an exclusive event a couple of weeks later, or you know, it could be could be a month or whatever. But developing these relationships with lesser, I hate to say lesser known people, but you understand what I mean by that lesser known people has been really effective. For me. That's the first part. For the second part. If you are, if you are an attending an in person event, that's more of a networking 500 people in a room, what I would say is one, connect with the organizer and whoever is hovering around that person. Right. So if you're going to an association event, which I would go to there was one called New York women in communications. Whoever the organizer was, I always hovered around them start conversations, because they're kind of standing around just watching. They got the 30,000 feet view, right there watching what's going on in the room? Well, usually there's people hovering around them, and it becomes a social interaction in person. And next thing you know, you're connected with three or four people has not failed me. It really hasn't. So glad you asked that question. So I really do miss it, I miss.

Alyson Lex 27:18
So much. I really miss it so much. And I really liked what you said about it becomes a social interaction, because that's my favorite strategy. When I go to events, I typically go to educational conferences where they have different sessions and things like that. And I tell you, hashtag transparency, I don't go to a single session, I am working the floor the whole time. I hit the sponsor booths. I speak with the sponsors. And I hang around that coffee cart. I am around that coffee cart all day. And that has nothing to do with how much I love coffee, which is a lot. I'm making friends in the line. And just striking up a little conversation, it inevitably turns around to them asking me. So what do you do? Do? You go? And now I'm in? And have I landed a ton of clients from these? Yes. Have I met a lot of people that have not become clients? Yep. But I have the stack of cards, mine all have marks because I follow up. And I keep them in a box. And somebody will say, Oh, you know, I'm really looking for XYZ. And I think, oh, gosh, you know, I think I met that person in Denver. When was I in Denver, I was in Denver in 2018 and 2016. So it's one at so I grabbed my to Denver stacks. And I flip through and I find that resource. And now I've been a value to my existing network. And I've solidified a relationship with somebody new. So that's my favorite strategy, coffee cart. And keep those cards.

Unknown Speaker 29:11
It sounds like we have similar we have similar big themes and what we do that and that's important. But you know what, that's the part. That's hard. You know, when we were when we first opened this conversation, that's the part that was hard, right? That's a lot of work. I've heard people say that like, wait a minute, you take the business cards and go through each one and send a personal email. I do. And I also connect on LinkedIn. And if they don't, I keep the cards and then two weeks later, I file a follow up if I don't hear from them. Yes, that does take a lot of work. But it's the same thing. If someone tells you to do a social media strategy, you can just go out there and connect with a bunch of people. And that's it. Imagine if brands did that. They only that only touchpoint was when you follow it and that was it right now you have to continue that engagement with them. And this is just what we do. When we're when we're out there hustling at networking events, it's fun, I actually find it quite entertaining. Right? So if you don't go out there with and I heard you say, you build that relationship because you're not you worry about a coffee cart, hoping that someone bought whatever you're selling not at that moment, you knew you knew the power of building that relationship, inserting that relationship in. So when they eventually get down to whatever your funnel is, they would reach it, but they would reach it with that, that friendliness, that warm introduction that you've created for yourself, which is lovely, I get so hyped up by networking.

Alyson Lex 30:40
Well, and it's so because really, once I hit two and a half days at an event, I am completely out of charm. And so I fly in, and I fly out two and three quarters days later. Like I'm gone, I'm out I Irish Goodbye, it that's my new my new thing. I leave without saying goodbye to anybody. I'm just out. But you go in with this. I'm here to make friends. And I do I have goals like I'm here to look for clients. I'm here to look for potential JV partners, I'm here to look for XYZ. Those are my goals. But my mindset, my attitude is I'm here to get to know people. Which kind of leads me to my next question, right? We've got some connections. And we're we know we have to build the relationship, how do we actually make the sale or the JV or the ideal outcome? How do we like bring that up? Can we just say, hey, I want to JV with you.

Unknown Speaker 31:48
You got to stop, you said you had started by saying sale sell. And I would actually say the opposite. stop selling. So if you get know, when we're talking about marketing funnels, you're knocking you go, you have to lead, right. So you get the lead, you got the man, you're at the cart, you got to get the coffee cart, you got them into an app, your atmosphere of whatever that is, you all are talking y'all exchange cards and numbers, then you have the follow up email, there's a response. Usually, it's your touch point, they touch back, you touch again. Now that third one, where you're trying to Okay, I have to lead them over to what I want to do. That's not where you sell. If we're talking about networking, that is not where you're selling, you still need to continue that, which could look like a quick zoom call. Oh, you know, do you have 15 minutes? You know, I would I loved your energy at the event or whatever. And I think I feel like sometimes it doesn't come across, um, effectively through email. So do you have like 1015 minutes, we can just talk, I always say 1015 minutes, I guarantee you, I have never had a 1015 minute call ever. And that's that's, that speaks to your own personality, right? Like, how can you guide a conversation past 1015 minutes now, I've been on calls that were maybe 20 minutes or so because they had hard stops. But mostly, once you've built that friendliness, and that social connection, it's like 1015 minutes, or you make it you make it worth their while, right? Five minutes, let's get on the phone for five minutes real quick. I just want to, you know, whatever. Let's chat it up. And then you get them. Let's say you do get them on the phone. I'm just going to tell like, tell me some more about what you do. This is this is you selling whatever you're going to sell later on down the line, stop selling your product right now on that phone, and just ask them the types of questions that's going to have them talk about themselves, which is what people like to do. So what some people so you get on that phone, and you're just like, we have a Why are we what brought you to the conference, I go to a lot of conferences, what brought you over to this conference? Oh, I do this. And I said, Oh, you sell such and such and such. Okay, how's that going? I also i'm also in sales. And yeah, so I know how complicated that can be. Yeah. Well, I'm thinking that, you know, I'm going to go to the California conference, because there's good leads there. Okay, well, I don't know if I fit in that market. You see how we're kind of just, we're talking but we're deepening the relationship. That is what you have to get out of in person events, social media events, zoom calls, all of that, how can I I'm going in and just remember, this is all with good intentions. It's not like, Oh, I'm gonna go in there. And I'm getting these leads and no good intentions that I want to know more about you because I'm a people person. And that's what sales is about. It's not about how many items you can sell. How many people did you convince to buy from you? Who believes that it's okay to buy whatever it is that you're selling? So your job is to go from that third touch point when it comes back to you and they're just like, Oh, this is so great. Yeah, thank you. Let's keep in touch. We know most people don't. Let's keep in touch. What are you going to do for the third touch? Are you going to sell or are you going to try to deepen a relationship? Right? What other conferences do you go to? Because I you know, I'm new. I'm trying to learn like I I used to pull that card years ago. Um, I was gonna actually I wasn't new. So I was just learning. I'm just like, I don't really know, like, what should I google it? They're just like, oh, read this book. Okay. Do you like that book? Yeah, mentor shared that book with me. And it's a great book. And like, oh, wow, maybe the next touch point is two weeks later, I just read that book and blew my mind. Oh, my goodness, thank you so much for that. What like what other? I think you're so cool. Can we talk like you have 10 more minutes or what? It's all strategy, there's no one, one way to do it. Whatever that first interaction is, if you really want to deepen that relationship to a potentially move to a sale, then you need to strategize how you're going to do that. Wait for that touch point back. Because you don't want to spam people either. So you don't want to keep on emailing. Oh, I'm not sure that they've ended up at some point either went into the spam box, they're intentionally ignoring you, they don't have time, whatever the case may be, sometimes let that go after a while. But for the people who are engaging you That's what I'm talking about. This is how you should do it. You should not be selling right away. Even if you want you know, even if you want them to, you just have to you need to the point is to get people in your ecosystem. How do you get that? You cannot I always tell people at the mall without going into trying to sell me. I am you cannot sell you cannot sell to me. And I laugh about it. I'm like, there is literally because I'm a master at this stuff. There's literally nothing you can say to me right now. That's gonna make me buy that. And I test them sometimes. And then you know, they'll start talking. They'll laugh Oh, listen, I'm trying here. I'm like, yep, I know how that is. Right. I was young selling perfumes too. And I develop that relationship too. I used to do that to find talents. Right? Like you're out here trying to sell your perfumes at the vending spot in the mall. And I'm just like, I see your drive. Because you're laughing, you're personable, I see your drive. And now I'm trying to get in your ecosystem. So eventually, you might see what I'm doing. And you're just like, you know what, that'd be cool. I'd love to work for you, you know, contract work or work for you part time or something like that. So it's really just a big old game, a big old game is a

Jennie Wright 37:04
game. It's actually that that last strategy that you just said, was how we used to recruit new salespeople, like road reps for what we were doing. We would see somebody and we're like, oh, they're awesome. They're great with people, like you'd see them in the mall. And be like, so tell me about this job. You're doing? Oh, it's just a summer job and blah, blah, blah. Oh, yeah. How would you like to maybe apply for something that's a little bit more permanent. Right? Bring people onto your team. And we, that's a great way to to do that. And I love I do this too, on the phone where somebody is just like, Hi, I'd like to talk to you. But I'm like, So first, I congratulate you on the attempt. Second. I'm in the same field. So I'm not going to be buying anything today. But if you still have the rest of your pitch to go through, I'll I'll politely listen. But we're good. Like, you can stop now. It's all good. And sometimes you'll get the person who just doesn't clue in, you know, because some people just see the script. And they know they have to get to the end. And that's the only thing that they have to do. And then other people are like, yeah, yeah, this sucks. But you make that relationship. There's a lot that you said today, which is incredible. And before people, before we let everybody go today that are listening, we want to make sure that they can find you. So tell us where we can find you. How can we connect with you? Tell me everything Sinitta, please?

Unknown Speaker 38:28
Yeah, so ever. I've been doing this for a long time. So everything online, if you can, you can do one of two things or both. If you're interested in my past work and everything I've done my current work, a simple Google, really that corny line where people tell you to Google them seriously, if you google z, A and A D, everything that I'm currently doing or have done in my past is there, I encourage you, here's the second part, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, I'm there and I'm on all the time. So I will eventually if you send me a message under 24 hours, I will nine times out of 10 respond back or connect back with you. And for my you know the website, I mean, you will see all of that. And that's that's the what I want your listeners to do is to take what I said and see it when they go to follow me somewhere, they'll see the funnel, they'll see everything and I don't see it as a funnel because I'm trying to sell you anything. I want you to learn about me. That's my goal. And my goal is to get you in my ecosystem. So when you follow me or you look at me even if you don't follow me, look at my stuff online. You're gonna go Oh, wow, you're gonna go from here to here to here because I've designed it masterfully.

Unknown Speaker 39:38
So thank you. Yeah,

Jennie Wright 39:40
I follow you on all the platforms. And I see how it all kind of interacts with each other with each other. Like I said, I wish I had you. I wish I had you in my ecosystem. I

Unknown Speaker 39:52
wish I had me when I started right. Like, like hindsight is like man, what I will say I will add that It took the spirits of the grind, I noticed that, you know, sometimes the words and words change every so often, but the hustle spirit, the, the grinding spirit of, I don't have a choice. You know, I am someone who grew up in inner city areas in New York City, the opportunities weren't there. For me the privilege wasn't there for me. And I knew because of my grandparents and how they talked to me about business and entrepreneurship, and all this other stuff, and just, you know, networking, they taught me how to network when I was a kid, you know, get out there we go to the supermarket, I'm not speaking for you. You tell the cashier what you want, right and making me use my voice. I have always been after, you know, always chasing something greater for myself to reach my you know, my higher goal. But there is something to be said about designing the life that you you want designing the the business that you want. And for me, this is years in the making of me knowing that you're probably not going to respond back to my email, because it's a cold call email, but you're going to go and search me. And when you do everything that I probably was going to say on that five to 10 minute phone call, you're going to see you'll you'll see it. And if you're meant to see it, you will and if you know we have to learn, I wanted to make a comment about how you said the sales, you know the person with the sales pitch and stuff. The reason why they only see the script is because the brand or employer that they are working for has only inspired them to see the script. So I think that's the biggest difference with someone like Steve Jobs, he literally inspired his people. There wasn't a sales script, there was inspiration. I want you to be inspired enough to say this woman is something else. Let's go and check her out. What is she talking about? You know what I mean? And if you do that, if you inspire your sales people, and this is why you think they have all these conferences with with motivational speakers, because you got to be inspired to go out there and try to sell to someone who's going to say, Okay, enough, I already noticed sales pitch. I'm not buying it. You got to have some thick skin to handle that. How do you flip a no into a yes. How do you flip a no to a maybe. And that may be could be a follow me on LinkedIn. And when you go there to be nosy at two o'clock in the morning, you'll see what I want you to see.

Jennie Wright 42:12
Yes. Okay. I'm like, I'm like, nobody can see my face. who's listening. But I'm wide smile practically giggling because I love everything that you just said about that is so good. And the things that make us rise, right? So lacking the privilege, lacking the opportunity, having somebody who said I'm not going to speak for you, you speak for yourself and ask, you know, those are, those are foundational things that carve and create and mold a person. And it's made you tenacious. It's created that drive, which I think I so respect. And I think it's wonderful. And it makes me think that I I love this episode so much. And I want to share that everybody needs to go and check out Sunita, I follow her everywhere. I think she's phenomenal. And then I want you to check her out. There's also four things I want you to take from today's episode that I think are intrinsically important. So if you're listening to this, write this down. Number one, what can you do online right now to build your network? What can you do in the next 24 hours or even 36 hours to start building out that network based on what Sangeeta was sharing? Number two? How can you create or improve your current networking strategy slash funnel? Take a look. Take a look at sonidos. It's incredibly curated. It's authentic. She's not faking it, it leads you through a very interesting path. all paths lead to Zenaida. And so they should. So take a look at where your marketing and where your networking potentially has holes and gaps and start filling in fixing those. Number three, how can you follow up on any previous connections? Maybe those stack of cards, and you haven't, like connected with them? And how can you network and build on those relationships? We need our relationships right now so badly. Those are the things are going to create those long term connections and possible sales in the future. So how can you actually take that and make that happen? And then the last one is, how can you get inspired with your networking and look at it as a positive as a fun thing, something you can enjoy? If you're an ambivert like Allison and I, there's only so much energy that goes out before we need to retract and rebuild that energy. How can you effectively do your networking without completely draining that battery? So those are four things that I really want you to look at, based on today's episode. And I want to take a moment to thanks Anita, so much for being part of this. We really appreciate you.

Unknown Speaker 44:43
Thank you so

Unknown Speaker 44:43
much. I'm like beaming, I'm trying not to being too hard. But this is great. I love talking. I love learning and I do love talking as you can tell. I love talking. I love learning and I love to hear the synergy so this is just beautiful. This is where I thrive.

Alyson Lex 45:00
Yeah, we knew the when we met you, we had so much fun getting to know each other. And I think we all left that original call was big smiles on our faces, and we're gonna do it again. So thank you for being here.

Jennie Wright 45:13
Yeah, it was wonderful. Thank you so much. And thank you everybody who's listening. If you haven't already, please do go and subscribe to the podcast wherever you're listening to this podcast. And if you haven't already, we would love for you to leave us a review. And just let us know what you think and how you feel with the podcast and also share with us anything you'd like us to cover in the future. We do read all the comments, and we'd love to implement these into our future episode ideas. So thanks so much for joining us, and we'll be back again soon answering another big question.

Listen Now:

What We Talk About

Whether you love networking or hate it… the fact of the matter is it’s an incredible way to grow your business. But only IF you do it right. Networking is no longer about thrusting your business card into the hand of every unsuspecting person at an event or spamming the inbox on your favorite social platform. It’s more nuanced, relationship-based, and a longer-term play than most people are willing to invest.

Zanade Mann is here to teach us exactly how to make this long-term play work for your business – no matter WHAT your business goal is.

Resources

Mentioned in the episode:

Yale Accelerator (to look for events)

Zanade’s Business Collective
On Facebook
On Instagram
On LinkedIn

Connect with Zanade on LinkedIn
Follow Zanade on Instagram
Find Zanade on Facebook

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:02
I love networking. I love it. I think it's so much fun. I get jazzed, then about two days, and I run out of charm. But that's the ambivert. In me. I also know that most people hate networking. They can't stand it, they don't know how to use it, they think it's draining, they want nothing to do with it. And because of that, they miss out on a really incredibly valuable opportunity for their business to grow. And to also make the connections that make you feel a little less alone in this entrepreneurial journey. That's why when we met Zenaida man, she's the managing director of the black woman's business collective and the founder of indefinite breakthrough solutions. But even more than that, she gets networking, not only how not to hate it, but how to use it to grow your business. So Zenaida, thank you so much for being here today. We're really excited to have you.

Unknown Speaker 1:05
So happy and grateful to be invited into this space. Thank you.

Alyson Lex 1:10
Why do you think that so many entrepreneurs and business owners hate networking the way that they do?

Unknown Speaker 1:17
It's a lot of work. Right? It really is, when you think about it, you have to have a strategy. And a lot of us go out. And I'm going to give you some preface that with some of my I'm from New York City, so some of my networking, tips and skills and the things that I do has come from the largest city in our, in our country where if you can network in New York City, you can network anywhere. So that was my training ground. And what I'll say is, it's so hard, because most of us go in thinking that others are open to networking, right? So you'll go in, and you're just like, I'm just going to hand out my business card back in the day, when we used to do that at events, when we could go out a home, we would do that. And we would just it was a transfer, it was more like a transaction. And that was like, Okay, I network, I'm good. And then you went to another event, there was no follow up. There was no, you know, real connection. Most of the time I've been at hundreds of events. But also with the difficulty of networking is not really knowing what your strategy is, or What's your goal? What is your why of why you're at networking, are you networking just to do it? Or are you going to this event or this virtual event to potentially connect with someone who could help you, or you can help them down the line? Like you have to go in with a purpose. And some of us don't go in with a purpose. So networking seems like it's a job, not a strategy. If that you know if you understand what I mean by that. So if we can normalize networking, and the process of it and know our why going back to that why, then it will be a little simpler, and you won't feel like okay, I got 100 business cards, or I'm on a zoom call with 100 people and are connected on LinkedIn. Now what, you don't really see the value in that. So really just figuring all that out.

Jennie Wright 3:07
I like that a lot. There's a lot of things that have changed since we started talking about networking or how networking used to, you know, work. I know that back in 2019. Allison, I believe went to like, I don't know how many events but six or more events, right? Because you were networking with people? Was it more than that?

Alyson Lex 3:26
So 2019 I actually pulled back my travel, but in 2017 I was I was gone all the time, at different events. So yeah. And I've been scaling back since

Jennie Wright 3:38
Yeah. But now that we're more online, networking seemed at the time, more of like a thrust my business card into your hand and hope and pray strategy. And we still see that happening in the the online world we get people dming us so they'll send us a friend request. Right. And they'll DMS right away. And that just seems like a bad strategy. But it leads me into my next question, which is, you know, how can we move into networking online? in a better way? What's the right strategy for this new approach for a lot of people?

Unknown Speaker 4:10
Oh, yeah, I would say first, the why. And because we are online. Now you just have to be you're forced to be strategic, you're not going to go on LinkedIn and connect with every single person that you see. That's just a bad strategy. What you want to do online Besides, before you even get to LinkedIn, many of us I'm assuming your listeners, go to the zoo there at the zoo events. Everything is a virtual event now. So when you sign on, I make it a habit to always introduce I won't I introduce myself through the chat or introduce myself verbally if the organizers allow you to do that. But I make it a habit to introduce myself twice at the beginning and right before I know it's about to end so I will go back in the chat and say this was such a wonderful event. I would love to connect with you all on LinkedIn. So now one I may not know everyone and what they do, but no Normally the organizers, the attendees or the host, or whoever, you know, whoever speaking, they're in that chat as well, we know that people are saving the chats. And they're they're making connections that way. So you have to actually insert yourself, right? connect directly to the speakers. This was this was an amazing whatever your you know, your 15. second pitch is, you have to give them that. And then you have to follow up. That's the other part, follow up through LinkedIn, which is always great. Sometimes I do it within the events, right. So while I'm in the chat, I'm talking, they see my name is Ethan ADA. And then all of a sudden, after the event, they go and check the email. And then it's like, Zenaida man wants to connect with you, oh, they make the they make the connection. Oh, I saw that name in the chat. And it automatically do it. By the time we end the chat. I mean, and the zoom or whatever organizers link we're on. I have already research certain people on the zoom. That's, that's one of my strategies like the speakers, if I didn't know who they were, or some of the participants, I will just go real quick. I mean, it takes a second copy, paste right to LinkedIn. And that's the power of Google tool, you just put it in Google and LinkedIn usually is indexed. First one, first one, second one. And then I'm like, oh, wow, they work there. Okay, cool. That's a that's on my strategy list. Like I am going to reach out to this person, I am saying strategy to you all. But I'm not talking about a 15 page marketing strategy. I'm talking about a sheet of paper, a post it and you literally say, I'm going to connect with this organizer, this participant. And here's my method, I'm going to do it through LinkedIn, but I'm gonna reference because everyone's head is everywhere. I'm going to say, that was a really great point, you said on XYZ event, or it was really cool to see you in the chat. Let's connect right? How can I be helpful? I like what you're doing, you know, something that personalizes those invites, and that's how I go about it. That's how that's how people can do it. It's It's very simple.

Alyson Lex 6:55
Now, I have to just say, I love LinkedIn, but I am not on LinkedIn that often. Can I take the same strategy and take it to Facebook or Instagram?

Unknown Speaker 7:07
Well, that's so it depends. Right? That I will have to say that, but let me let me tell you why I'm saying LinkedIn, you may not be it on be on it as often. But how often do you actually check it? Is it once a week, once a month?

Alyson Lex 7:23
When I get a message saying, I have a message,

Unknown Speaker 7:26
Oh, see, that's perfect. So at some point, you are going to get the message, the reason why I'm really driving LinkedIn. And I know there's chatter out there about how the usefulness of LinkedIn because of like spammers, and all that stuff. This strategy, here's the bigger strategy, I am creating a funnel for myself. So if for your listeners a marketing funnel, right, it's just how we get a customer or how we get a connection or something, I'm creating a funnel by sending you a message going directly to LinkedIn, you are going to get that email and say that someone wants to connect with you. Normally, what you should do is make sure that you edit your invitation, don't just send a blank one, literally say, I met you here, I heard you say this, how can I be helpful that I believe in your program, your organization, whatever, find what that is, when they get that message, they will go to LinkedIn, nine times out of 10, people are going to view your profile, this is the funnel. If you whatever reason your why of why you want to connect with people and or a certain person should be evident in your LinkedIn, LinkedIn profile, it should be evident 100%. Now if you have it set up that my goal is connect to connect with you. So I can you know, get you in my sales funnel, and have you buy I don't know my ebook or something, you should have all of your LinkedIn profile optimized. So I'm thinking on it as a larger picture more than I know, you're I know, for a fact you're going to land on my profile page, what is it that I want? What action do I want you to take when you land on my page? And if I have my featured section setup, you're going to be like, Wow, she does this, or Wow, this is colorful and beautiful. And I want to be involved or What is she talking about? And you're just gonna want to get into my ecosystem because I set it up for you that way. And I it has not failed me. yet. I've had some people not answer my thing, but that I don't consider that failure. Right. Failure to me would be someone responded, don't you dare spam me and whatever, right? But I'd be like, ooh, you know that that hurts a little bit. But setting it up that way. My goal is to transfer this this one second or two second connection by someone looking at your profile and going okay, approve. I want you to really get there and see my story or see what I'm selling, seeing what see what I'm offering see who I am to where you are interested in following up back with me and always had not okay, I don't say always nine times out of 10 it happens. And they say oh, this is really great. What do you want to like what do you do? Right? And then all sudden now you now you are developing a relationship with this person on LinkedIn. And then you can take them wherever it's just, you know, you may say, I'm not on LinkedIn a lot, I usually I use Facebook, oh, I'm on Facebook today, let's connect there, I love Facebook, like whatever and then you are moving, that's that you're moving them, it's like you are the you are creating the social media experiment almost for everyone that you connect with, because you're like, Okay, I want this person to go to my Facebook, set your system up. So by the time they get to your page, they will lead to Facebook, maybe they will lead to Instagram, because of your links or whatever you put in your, your profile.

Alyson Lex 10:39
It's so funny because I do have a very similar strategy on Facebook, when they friend request me, because you get those friend requests that they just from, and you can on Facebook, edit the message like you can on LinkedIn. So that's a good reason to use LinkedIn. But I just messaged him, I say, Hey, thanks for the friend request. man asked what prompted you to reach out or connect or whatever, and I use the same one on LinkedIn. So if they don't give me a message, I use the same one there to get that conversation started. So I can find out. Like why. And, you know, eight times out of 10, they want to pitch to me. Right? All right, let's get the pitch over with. Let's get it. That's right.

Unknown Speaker 11:20
That's right. And then maybe there's something underneath the pitch. And maybe we actually work

Alyson Lex 11:24
together or whatever relationship. And I love that you really refer to this whole strategy is a funnel. And because you're right, when you have a funnel, you have a very specific action that you want your people to take, when they get to each page and thinking of your LinkedIn profile as a conversion point. It's kind of a game changer for me. And I think probably for our listeners too. One thing about funnels though, is you have to have the right traffic to go into them if you want them to be successful. So how do we make sure that we're meeting the right people, we're attending the right networking events, we're hitting the right zoom calls online, all of those things, because otherwise, it can be a total time suck.

Unknown Speaker 12:13
Right? So yeah, so here's the here is the opportunity that is in front of us, because of with all the horrible things in the world going on the opportunity for most, maybe 98% of companies and brands being virtual, because they have to, that's an opportunity for you. And I that's an opportunity for you to see what events they have going on that you can get into. So majority of them that I've seen have been free. There were a couple in 2020. I think I paid you know, it's like a couple of $100. But the women that they had, and the zoom calls and these conferences it was it was totally worth it. I think it was weird, or, you know, some conference out of Pennsylvania or something like that. But what I say is you have to actually here's the work part of it, it is hard you have to go if there is a group, whatever, you know, women, women lead organization, right, you go to their page, very simple stuff. You see if they have any upcoming events. Now, I would do that because my target market is women, right? You know, it's women and I have an even smaller market than that. I go to their pages, I see what events they have on I go to all of Yale Yale has. Yale University has accelerator events, free events with high network, nine net worth founders, that they just share all of their gems, it's free, I sign up for every single one that they have. And I sit in the room. There are, I don't know, 2030 people in there, they have you as a participant, but the speakers are talking, however, the chat is open. So all of the all of the organizers in the speakers can see your message. That's when I go to town. And I'm like, this is so great. Wow. Can I ask you a question? Can I, if there is someone specific in there that I want to connect with? And normally there is there's someone that said that they will say something, these events are powerful, we are getting the blueprint handed right to us in our homes by via a zoom link. Right? So you go in there, you say, oh, wow, this is a founder of an app. And this is really cool. You know what, I don't really know that too much. But I'm going to reach out to this person, maybe, or maybe not, they will talk to me. Usually if they're like speaker level, they may or may not. But you may be able to connect with one of the organizers and say, Look, I'm really new to this. This is great, which I have done up in my recent it's not even a strategy, but it's what I'm doing because I want to learn more. And then the organizers in your inbox saying wow, we have great events. Yeah, come to this one come to that one. It is an open market right now. And either you should be listening and looking for opportunities. Not either but you should be doing both, right. You're listening and you're looking for these opportunities to join In spaces that you probably wouldn't be in if we were in person. So if Yale had an event, they would not say, hey, Zenaida, here's your link, come join us and the fortune 500 founders and stuff, they wouldn't we have a great opportunity to go in there and decide what we want to come out of this, whether they connect or not. You still this is practice. So whenever it doesn't work for me, which is far and few between what, when it doesn't work for me, I use it as practice. Okay, well, maybe, maybe I need to say something a little bit more marketable. And, and really, it's just a, it's a part of targeting. I don't do that for everyone. I don't want to be connected to everyone. Everyone is not in line with my missions and my values or what it is that I do, right. So if you're like, anti women organization or some nonsense, then I don't need to be in your meeting. And I'm not looking to connect, but I am looking to connect with like minded or even someone new, who is in line with what I believe in.

Jennie Wright 16:02
That, I love that that should be our little manifesto in terms of networking, because I think that a lot of people, they need to learn which, you know, which events, I didn't know, I could attend a Yale accelerator event. I'm in Canada, but that would be cool if I could, because I never would be out there. Right. And there's so many opportunities, I landed a paid speaking gig in May of 2021, through a networking opportunity. And I've been using the new app clubhouse for networking. And what I find is, I'll connect with people on there. And then I'll send them a you know, follow them on Instagram, and I'll send them a DM on their Instagram and be like, Hey, I just heard you talk about such and such and such and such. And you know, exactly right. So following your cues, for sure. But I want to know where else we can find these people online and also in person. After hopefully, with both fingers crossed, the pandemic is done and we can return to some normalcy.

Unknown Speaker 16:57
Yeah, there. I tell you there there is something to be said about him person events. There was a time, I'm going to say I've attended over 100 events in a year when I was doing Media Relations work. And there's something else there it is a whole nother strategy. And if we have time, and you want me to tell you that that imperson marketing networking strategy, I will. But to answer your question, your your question was where do we where do we find these networking opportunities online?

Unknown Speaker 17:26
Yeah, exactly.

Unknown Speaker 17:28
Yep. So I would say one, in your, you know, your your listeners may be a part of associations and any type of groups, Facebook groups are really, really helpful, because it depends on a Facebook group, because sometimes the users can't post in, in the group and is just the the actual brand itself posting things. But there are some groups where people share more than enough as far as events, you know, they may say, we're looking at a $10 register for a $10 event. And you get to be in a conversation with women founders, right. There are there is a plethora of digital events right now, one strategy you could use, is to go on to Eventbrite, and you can actually put a keyword in there for what you're looking for. So if you say women's women's leadership, it's going to show you every single event that someone has coming up and depending on your budget, right, because that's it, that's a real thing for people depending on your budget, find the free ones, right and and see who's there and may not be, you know, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but you don't need that to network, you don't need that to make a connection to someone that could possibly help you with what you were doing. With your business or your your life in general. I've met many women who don't have the big names. People don't know who they are, but they may work for someone. And that's a part of my in person strategy, you know, connecting to people who maybe they're the deputy assistant or something right, or Deputy Commissioner or something, whatever, if you're doing governmental stuff, right, go on there and see another strategy. I have so many like this, to me, it's just it really is methodology. You know, you just set it up, what is it that you want, get online and start googling your tail off, and you can find it. So if you're in government, then you go to SBA, SBA, and this is for in America, SBA, you list they list the current webinars and events that they have going on. They tell you who the speakers are Google speaker, who's the speaker, okay, maybe this is someone you want to connect with. You want to do a pre connection before the event, you can do that, too. I'm really looking forward to you to speaking speaking at this event, about government contracting, I'm looking forward to learning more period, they either going to accept you or they don't. Normally people will accept my request off of that. And then when I get into these webinars and zoom calls, my name it resonates right because you're getting those one or two touches those touch points. It's like Oh, I remember I remember her she sent me a link Then requests or Oh, yeah, she followed me on Twitter. Even if they didn't follow back. It's just, that's really what I think about when it comes to finding finding these opportunities, Eventbrite, facebook, facebook groups specific specifically, and just see what people are posting, you can pretty much vet what's viable and what's not for you.

Alyson Lex 20:22
What do you think about organizations like BSI, or where it's a networking group that the does, it's designed to be a networking group do those work?

Unknown Speaker 20:36
They can, I'm smiling because they can. But it reminds me of my days, like 2008 2009 in these networking group events in New York City in New Jersey, and you walk in and it is 500 people there, I kid you not, we did tons of events in this nightclub out in the city. And it would be 500 people in this nightclub. And although it wasn't party time, it was networking time. Everyone's in their party and music is loud, 500 people 500 business cards. And if you were really fancy, you had more than one business card. So everyone's in here, just that's it. And you just literally it was like you would stand there and collect, you would leave out with a stack and me and my friend would say Where's your stack at right, you got a stack of cards. And then usually people would just go home and then like they would disappear. The thing is the follow up. So in these networking groups, you can expect that people are going to overly network you there, they're going to connect, and they're going to disappear. Because they are some of them may be one sided. So maybe they're now looking for collaboration, they're not looking for how you can help them but they're just like, I just, you know, I just want to tell you, I'm selling something, and I want you to buy. That's what you know, that's how some people think. But you have to take that stack, take the list of people in these groups and and really just do your due diligence and find out if they're in line or their whatever, whoever you're trying to connect with. Just see if these people fall in, in between and do outreach. And if they give you pushback, in a sense, where, okay, they're just literally trying to sell some Bitcoin stuff, I'm just gonna leave them alone and just move on. And that's how you can get the most out of these types of groups. Really, there are people like you and I in these groups that they know these strategies, they know what they need to do, you just have to kind of weed that part out. Because collecting a bunch of names just to say, you know, they're in my facebook group, and it's not leading down to anything else is is a waste of time for me. I want to preface that like for me, yes, yeah,

Jennie Wright 22:37
I I'm actually I'm on the same page with you. I've done the conferences thing and left with the stack. And then the stack, stay on the bottom of my bag. Right, it stayed in the wild do that. I wasn't I didn't have this Anita strategy, okay. I just had the elastic band and it went up. But there was a point where my you know, I used to get business cards, and then I would do all the follow up, I used to be a cold call road rep, selling wholesale memberships. And my job was the networking and the connection and you'd get your, you know, the business card, you'd write notes on them back and everything. And you would do these kinds of things, you would go to the association meetings, and I went to them in like, you know, different areas of the city and all that kind of stuff. And I wish I knew then what you're teaching me now, because I would have done so much better. It would have been so much more effective. And I think I would have done better. It's just in general and sales. And that brings me to a really good question. You brought up a little earlier that you have some strategy for in person events and networking. And I'm absolutely desperate to know what that is. And I want you to share your favorite one.

Unknown Speaker 23:47
Oh, so I I have to say that a lot of the events that I attended, always had us a celebrity or a high profile person at the event. So it wasn't like a big group of just people in your networking. So they would it would be pretty pointed. So as you would, let's say, go on a zoom call to hear a founder talk about their experience. Just imagine that in person. So now what I would normally do on the phone, I'm so sorry, my dog is here. I'm sorry. She's upset that I'm talking ignoring her. But um, what I was saying let me start again. I would attend these imperson events with these founders. And you knew that they were the stars of the show. Usually stars of the show, have an assistant, they have someone with them or they have a team they never I mean these, you know these figureheads never go to these events alone at all. So I would spend my time talking to the assistants talking to the photographer, I would walk around and literally become friends with the photographer. My strategy was, I'm going to get a picture with somebody. So the funnel for me, the in person funnel was I'm going to get a picture with someone important. I'm going to put that on my Facebook. Now remember, we're talking about like, 2007 2008, or whatever, I'd put that on my Facebook, other people would go, Oh, well, she knows so and so. And I really didn't I just happened to be hanging out with a photographer who was just like, Oh, yeah, I'm going backstage? And would you like to join me? What I'm trying to tell you as an answer is, the real key is to not only in person focus on whoever's on the panel, see who's around, really is it goes back to treating everyone respectfully, and knowing that we're all important in our own right. And that has always helped. And I used to say that to people who are just like, wait a minute, they didn't expect that strategy. I'm like, No, if you you know that, you know, you know that Oprah Winfrey is gonna be there, she has an assistant, she might have five of them were fine, whoever circling or hovering around the the said important person, and network with them. It always because they want to be seen a lot, there are people who are unsung and unseen. Those are the people that I would network with. And it always has helped I would network with an assistant. Next thing, you know, I'm invited to an exclusive event a couple of weeks later, or you know, it could be could be a month or whatever. But developing these relationships with lesser, I hate to say lesser known people, but you understand what I mean by that lesser known people has been really effective. For me. That's the first part. For the second part. If you are, if you are an attending an in person event, that's more of a networking 500 people in a room, what I would say is one, connect with the organizer and whoever is hovering around that person. Right. So if you're going to an association event, which I would go to there was one called New York women in communications. Whoever the organizer was, I always hovered around them start conversations, because they're kind of standing around just watching. They got the 30,000 feet view, right there watching what's going on in the room? Well, usually there's people hovering around them, and it becomes a social interaction in person. And next thing you know, you're connected with three or four people has not failed me. It really hasn't. So glad you asked that question. So I really do miss it, I miss.

Alyson Lex 27:18
So much. I really miss it so much. And I really liked what you said about it becomes a social interaction, because that's my favorite strategy. When I go to events, I typically go to educational conferences where they have different sessions and things like that. And I tell you, hashtag transparency, I don't go to a single session, I am working the floor the whole time. I hit the sponsor booths. I speak with the sponsors. And I hang around that coffee cart. I am around that coffee cart all day. And that has nothing to do with how much I love coffee, which is a lot. I'm making friends in the line. And just striking up a little conversation, it inevitably turns around to them asking me. So what do you do? Do? You go? And now I'm in? And have I landed a ton of clients from these? Yes. Have I met a lot of people that have not become clients? Yep. But I have the stack of cards, mine all have marks because I follow up. And I keep them in a box. And somebody will say, Oh, you know, I'm really looking for XYZ. And I think, oh, gosh, you know, I think I met that person in Denver. When was I in Denver, I was in Denver in 2018 and 2016. So it's one at so I grabbed my to Denver stacks. And I flip through and I find that resource. And now I've been a value to my existing network. And I've solidified a relationship with somebody new. So that's my favorite strategy, coffee cart. And keep those cards.

Unknown Speaker 29:11
It sounds like we have similar we have similar big themes and what we do that and that's important. But you know what, that's the part. That's hard. You know, when we were when we first opened this conversation, that's the part that was hard, right? That's a lot of work. I've heard people say that like, wait a minute, you take the business cards and go through each one and send a personal email. I do. And I also connect on LinkedIn. And if they don't, I keep the cards and then two weeks later, I file a follow up if I don't hear from them. Yes, that does take a lot of work. But it's the same thing. If someone tells you to do a social media strategy, you can just go out there and connect with a bunch of people. And that's it. Imagine if brands did that. They only that only touchpoint was when you follow it and that was it right now you have to continue that engagement with them. And this is just what we do. When we're when we're out there hustling at networking events, it's fun, I actually find it quite entertaining. Right? So if you don't go out there with and I heard you say, you build that relationship because you're not you worry about a coffee cart, hoping that someone bought whatever you're selling not at that moment, you knew you knew the power of building that relationship, inserting that relationship in. So when they eventually get down to whatever your funnel is, they would reach it, but they would reach it with that, that friendliness, that warm introduction that you've created for yourself, which is lovely, I get so hyped up by networking.

Alyson Lex 30:40
Well, and it's so because really, once I hit two and a half days at an event, I am completely out of charm. And so I fly in, and I fly out two and three quarters days later. Like I'm gone, I'm out I Irish Goodbye, it that's my new my new thing. I leave without saying goodbye to anybody. I'm just out. But you go in with this. I'm here to make friends. And I do I have goals like I'm here to look for clients. I'm here to look for potential JV partners, I'm here to look for XYZ. Those are my goals. But my mindset, my attitude is I'm here to get to know people. Which kind of leads me to my next question, right? We've got some connections. And we're we know we have to build the relationship, how do we actually make the sale or the JV or the ideal outcome? How do we like bring that up? Can we just say, hey, I want to JV with you.

Unknown Speaker 31:48
You got to stop, you said you had started by saying sale sell. And I would actually say the opposite. stop selling. So if you get know, when we're talking about marketing funnels, you're knocking you go, you have to lead, right. So you get the lead, you got the man, you're at the cart, you got to get the coffee cart, you got them into an app, your atmosphere of whatever that is, you all are talking y'all exchange cards and numbers, then you have the follow up email, there's a response. Usually, it's your touch point, they touch back, you touch again. Now that third one, where you're trying to Okay, I have to lead them over to what I want to do. That's not where you sell. If we're talking about networking, that is not where you're selling, you still need to continue that, which could look like a quick zoom call. Oh, you know, do you have 15 minutes? You know, I would I loved your energy at the event or whatever. And I think I feel like sometimes it doesn't come across, um, effectively through email. So do you have like 1015 minutes, we can just talk, I always say 1015 minutes, I guarantee you, I have never had a 1015 minute call ever. And that's that's, that speaks to your own personality, right? Like, how can you guide a conversation past 1015 minutes now, I've been on calls that were maybe 20 minutes or so because they had hard stops. But mostly, once you've built that friendliness, and that social connection, it's like 1015 minutes, or you make it you make it worth their while, right? Five minutes, let's get on the phone for five minutes real quick. I just want to, you know, whatever. Let's chat it up. And then you get them. Let's say you do get them on the phone. I'm just going to tell like, tell me some more about what you do. This is this is you selling whatever you're going to sell later on down the line, stop selling your product right now on that phone, and just ask them the types of questions that's going to have them talk about themselves, which is what people like to do. So what some people so you get on that phone, and you're just like, we have a Why are we what brought you to the conference, I go to a lot of conferences, what brought you over to this conference? Oh, I do this. And I said, Oh, you sell such and such and such. Okay, how's that going? I also i'm also in sales. And yeah, so I know how complicated that can be. Yeah. Well, I'm thinking that, you know, I'm going to go to the California conference, because there's good leads there. Okay, well, I don't know if I fit in that market. You see how we're kind of just, we're talking but we're deepening the relationship. That is what you have to get out of in person events, social media events, zoom calls, all of that, how can I I'm going in and just remember, this is all with good intentions. It's not like, Oh, I'm gonna go in there. And I'm getting these leads and no good intentions that I want to know more about you because I'm a people person. And that's what sales is about. It's not about how many items you can sell. How many people did you convince to buy from you? Who believes that it's okay to buy whatever it is that you're selling? So your job is to go from that third touch point when it comes back to you and they're just like, Oh, this is so great. Yeah, thank you. Let's keep in touch. We know most people don't. Let's keep in touch. What are you going to do for the third touch? Are you going to sell or are you going to try to deepen a relationship? Right? What other conferences do you go to? Because I you know, I'm new. I'm trying to learn like I I used to pull that card years ago. Um, I was gonna actually I wasn't new. So I was just learning. I'm just like, I don't really know, like, what should I google it? They're just like, oh, read this book. Okay. Do you like that book? Yeah, mentor shared that book with me. And it's a great book. And like, oh, wow, maybe the next touch point is two weeks later, I just read that book and blew my mind. Oh, my goodness, thank you so much for that. What like what other? I think you're so cool. Can we talk like you have 10 more minutes or what? It's all strategy, there's no one, one way to do it. Whatever that first interaction is, if you really want to deepen that relationship to a potentially move to a sale, then you need to strategize how you're going to do that. Wait for that touch point back. Because you don't want to spam people either. So you don't want to keep on emailing. Oh, I'm not sure that they've ended up at some point either went into the spam box, they're intentionally ignoring you, they don't have time, whatever the case may be, sometimes let that go after a while. But for the people who are engaging you That's what I'm talking about. This is how you should do it. You should not be selling right away. Even if you want you know, even if you want them to, you just have to you need to the point is to get people in your ecosystem. How do you get that? You cannot I always tell people at the mall without going into trying to sell me. I am you cannot sell you cannot sell to me. And I laugh about it. I'm like, there is literally because I'm a master at this stuff. There's literally nothing you can say to me right now. That's gonna make me buy that. And I test them sometimes. And then you know, they'll start talking. They'll laugh Oh, listen, I'm trying here. I'm like, yep, I know how that is. Right. I was young selling perfumes too. And I develop that relationship too. I used to do that to find talents. Right? Like you're out here trying to sell your perfumes at the vending spot in the mall. And I'm just like, I see your drive. Because you're laughing, you're personable, I see your drive. And now I'm trying to get in your ecosystem. So eventually, you might see what I'm doing. And you're just like, you know what, that'd be cool. I'd love to work for you, you know, contract work or work for you part time or something like that. So it's really just a big old game, a big old game is a

Jennie Wright 37:04
game. It's actually that that last strategy that you just said, was how we used to recruit new salespeople, like road reps for what we were doing. We would see somebody and we're like, oh, they're awesome. They're great with people, like you'd see them in the mall. And be like, so tell me about this job. You're doing? Oh, it's just a summer job and blah, blah, blah. Oh, yeah. How would you like to maybe apply for something that's a little bit more permanent. Right? Bring people onto your team. And we, that's a great way to to do that. And I love I do this too, on the phone where somebody is just like, Hi, I'd like to talk to you. But I'm like, So first, I congratulate you on the attempt. Second. I'm in the same field. So I'm not going to be buying anything today. But if you still have the rest of your pitch to go through, I'll I'll politely listen. But we're good. Like, you can stop now. It's all good. And sometimes you'll get the person who just doesn't clue in, you know, because some people just see the script. And they know they have to get to the end. And that's the only thing that they have to do. And then other people are like, yeah, yeah, this sucks. But you make that relationship. There's a lot that you said today, which is incredible. And before people, before we let everybody go today that are listening, we want to make sure that they can find you. So tell us where we can find you. How can we connect with you? Tell me everything Sinitta, please?

Unknown Speaker 38:28
Yeah, so ever. I've been doing this for a long time. So everything online, if you can, you can do one of two things or both. If you're interested in my past work and everything I've done my current work, a simple Google, really that corny line where people tell you to Google them seriously, if you google z, A and A D, everything that I'm currently doing or have done in my past is there, I encourage you, here's the second part, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, I'm there and I'm on all the time. So I will eventually if you send me a message under 24 hours, I will nine times out of 10 respond back or connect back with you. And for my you know the website, I mean, you will see all of that. And that's that's the what I want your listeners to do is to take what I said and see it when they go to follow me somewhere, they'll see the funnel, they'll see everything and I don't see it as a funnel because I'm trying to sell you anything. I want you to learn about me. That's my goal. And my goal is to get you in my ecosystem. So when you follow me or you look at me even if you don't follow me, look at my stuff online. You're gonna go Oh, wow, you're gonna go from here to here to here because I've designed it masterfully.

Unknown Speaker 39:38
So thank you. Yeah,

Jennie Wright 39:40
I follow you on all the platforms. And I see how it all kind of interacts with each other with each other. Like I said, I wish I had you. I wish I had you in my ecosystem. I

Unknown Speaker 39:52
wish I had me when I started right. Like, like hindsight is like man, what I will say I will add that It took the spirits of the grind, I noticed that, you know, sometimes the words and words change every so often, but the hustle spirit, the, the grinding spirit of, I don't have a choice. You know, I am someone who grew up in inner city areas in New York City, the opportunities weren't there. For me the privilege wasn't there for me. And I knew because of my grandparents and how they talked to me about business and entrepreneurship, and all this other stuff, and just, you know, networking, they taught me how to network when I was a kid, you know, get out there we go to the supermarket, I'm not speaking for you. You tell the cashier what you want, right and making me use my voice. I have always been after, you know, always chasing something greater for myself to reach my you know, my higher goal. But there is something to be said about designing the life that you you want designing the the business that you want. And for me, this is years in the making of me knowing that you're probably not going to respond back to my email, because it's a cold call email, but you're going to go and search me. And when you do everything that I probably was going to say on that five to 10 minute phone call, you're going to see you'll you'll see it. And if you're meant to see it, you will and if you know we have to learn, I wanted to make a comment about how you said the sales, you know the person with the sales pitch and stuff. The reason why they only see the script is because the brand or employer that they are working for has only inspired them to see the script. So I think that's the biggest difference with someone like Steve Jobs, he literally inspired his people. There wasn't a sales script, there was inspiration. I want you to be inspired enough to say this woman is something else. Let's go and check her out. What is she talking about? You know what I mean? And if you do that, if you inspire your sales people, and this is why you think they have all these conferences with with motivational speakers, because you got to be inspired to go out there and try to sell to someone who's going to say, Okay, enough, I already noticed sales pitch. I'm not buying it. You got to have some thick skin to handle that. How do you flip a no into a yes. How do you flip a no to a maybe. And that may be could be a follow me on LinkedIn. And when you go there to be nosy at two o'clock in the morning, you'll see what I want you to see.

Jennie Wright 42:12
Yes. Okay. I'm like, I'm like, nobody can see my face. who's listening. But I'm wide smile practically giggling because I love everything that you just said about that is so good. And the things that make us rise, right? So lacking the privilege, lacking the opportunity, having somebody who said I'm not going to speak for you, you speak for yourself and ask, you know, those are, those are foundational things that carve and create and mold a person. And it's made you tenacious. It's created that drive, which I think I so respect. And I think it's wonderful. And it makes me think that I I love this episode so much. And I want to share that everybody needs to go and check out Sunita, I follow her everywhere. I think she's phenomenal. And then I want you to check her out. There's also four things I want you to take from today's episode that I think are intrinsically important. So if you're listening to this, write this down. Number one, what can you do online right now to build your network? What can you do in the next 24 hours or even 36 hours to start building out that network based on what Sangeeta was sharing? Number two? How can you create or improve your current networking strategy slash funnel? Take a look. Take a look at sonidos. It's incredibly curated. It's authentic. She's not faking it, it leads you through a very interesting path. all paths lead to Zenaida. And so they should. So take a look at where your marketing and where your networking potentially has holes and gaps and start filling in fixing those. Number three, how can you follow up on any previous connections? Maybe those stack of cards, and you haven't, like connected with them? And how can you network and build on those relationships? We need our relationships right now so badly. Those are the things are going to create those long term connections and possible sales in the future. So how can you actually take that and make that happen? And then the last one is, how can you get inspired with your networking and look at it as a positive as a fun thing, something you can enjoy? If you're an ambivert like Allison and I, there's only so much energy that goes out before we need to retract and rebuild that energy. How can you effectively do your networking without completely draining that battery? So those are four things that I really want you to look at, based on today's episode. And I want to take a moment to thanks Anita, so much for being part of this. We really appreciate you.

Unknown Speaker 44:43
Thank you so

Unknown Speaker 44:43
much. I'm like beaming, I'm trying not to being too hard. But this is great. I love talking. I love learning and I do love talking as you can tell. I love talking. I love learning and I love to hear the synergy so this is just beautiful. This is where I thrive.

Alyson Lex 45:00
Yeah, we knew the when we met you, we had so much fun getting to know each other. And I think we all left that original call was big smiles on our faces, and we're gonna do it again. So thank you for being here.

Jennie Wright 45:13
Yeah, it was wonderful. Thank you so much. And thank you everybody who's listening. If you haven't already, please do go and subscribe to the podcast wherever you're listening to this podcast. And if you haven't already, we would love for you to leave us a review. And just let us know what you think and how you feel with the podcast and also share with us anything you'd like us to cover in the future. We do read all the comments, and we'd love to implement these into our future episode ideas. So thanks so much for joining us, and we'll be back again soon answering another big question.


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Some links contained on this page may be affiliate links. We never recommend any product or service that we haven't personally used or found to get good results for our clients and network. You are always free to search and purchase directly from the company withOUT using our link if you so desire.