Meet Nela Dunato
Nela Dunato is a graphic designer and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building brands and digital platforms for service based businesses and non-profit organizations. She’s also the author of the book “The Human Centered Brand”, a practical guide that teaches service based business owners how to create an authentic brand and grow meaningful relationships with their clients.
What does it mean to have a brand?
What it means is that there are people outside of your immediate social circle, people that you never met, but that they've heard about you, about what you do and they have formed some kind of opinion and impression about you. So that means that you have a brand because there there are people who have never met you but you've entered kind of their consciousness and their sphere of influence.
What exactly is the difference between a personal brand and a corporate or business brand?
A personal brand is, as the name says, it's related to the person and it follows you around. No matter where you work, no matter which company you're in, and it's an asset that you can use. Corporate brands are a bit impersonal. Sometimes we forget that there are people behind the brand, although people have made them but they really belong to a group of people or a business entity.
Do you have any tips that you can share with in regards to leveraging branding when it comes to networking so that people remember you better?
When you're meeting new people come up with a really short and clear and concise introduction. My tip is don't use industry jargon or buzz words. Talk like real people talk. Another tip that I give to people is to wear a signature color, like a detail or a clothing item that is in what I refer to "your color" because I'm sure most people have something that they feel is their color and double down on that.
Can you share with our listeners your most successful or favorite networking experiences that you've had?
My dearest and best client that I still work with, we met when we were teenagers, and we met accidentally on a bus while we were going to school. About 10 years later he started his own business and contacted me and asked if I could create a logo and website for him and six years later we're still working together. Don't discount those relationships that you make on a daily basis because you never know where they may lead.
How do you stay in front of or best nurture your community and your network?
I use a combination of showing up at local events in person to meet new people and to deepen the relationships that I already have with people in my community, and I use social media to keep these people updated on what I'm working on and just staying in touch. So it's a combination of in-person and digital.
What advice would you offer to business professionals that are looking to grow their network?
Go and find something fun to do around other people because networking doesn't have to look like business conferences or meetups or brunches. You can meet new interesting people at a book club, or an organized hiking trip, or cultural events, or anywhere that there are people that kind of like the same things that you like.
If you could go back to your 20-year-old self what would you tell yourself to do more of, less of, or differently with regards to your professional career?
I believe that I would do better if I didn't listen to so much other people's advice at the time and I would prefer not to have second guessed myself and my own decisions because that was a big issue with me in my 20s.
Are there any books that you're reading or podcasts that you're listening to or anything you want to share with our listeners?
I'm reading the book, No Logo, which is maybe a bit ironic for a branding specialist to read. It's Naomi Klein's critique of basically brands occupation of public spaces that happened in the 80s and the 90s. And I feel that it's important for people in marketing to examine the effect that our work has on society because individually, we're like tiny fishes in a pond. But collectively, we're a very strong force that shapes our society and shape our communities, and the marketing has done a lot of damage for society. So I think it's really important for us to kind of examine this ethical side.
Any final words or advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
I'd say, make sure to put in as much goodwill in relationships that you're growing as you can, more than you ask for in return. Don't be that person who sees every interaction as a transaction. Because people will quickly notice that and it creeps them out a bit when they see that someone just sees them as a way to get something out of you. So just go into relationships with your willingness to help and your willingness to do something for them, even if they never do anything for you.
How to connect with Nela:
Download a Free Chapter of Nela's book, "The Human Centered Brand: A Practical Guide to Being Yourself in Business" by going here: http://neladunato.com/books/
Meet Britt Bolnick
Britt Bolnick is a successful biz owner and magic maker living a life she loves in Maine. She has traveled a path from financial scarcity to financial independence, building a 6-figure business she loves, as a single mama working less than full-time.
Britt mentors women who are 100% committed to building thriving businesses that create visibility and wealth without compromising personal life OR sanity- teaching women to use authentic connections to build success, vs. high ad spend.
How do you go about teaching business owners who dislike networking to network comfortably?
So one of the things that I do is really pull back from the word networking to really talk about how networking is just about building relationships and just about forming connections.
What are some of your networking pet peeves?
So my pet peeve is when the focus is taken off of building connections and relationships and more about the hustle. How many cards can hand out or who you can tell about what you're doing.
So what are some of your favorite networking tips?
So one of my favorite things to do is to walk in with a bunch of questions that I want to ask other people. People love talking about themselves. And it becomes a really easy way to start a conversation that isn't just small talk and can kind of pass into real connection faster.
Can you share your most successful or favorite networking experience that you've had?
The networking that I love are smaller groups that are sort of centered around a conversation. Someone will pose a place where she's stuck or a question she has and we will kind of chime in to help. But it's a great way of networking, because it allows you to really be authentic and be of service, which is one of the best ways to get someone to really remember you and your work.
How do you stay in front of or best nurture your community and your network?
So I do it by doing the things that I love. I really love Facebook for its possibility for connection. I use social media as a way to connect with people. And that's something that I love doing on the day to day but then the other way that I really get in front of people and get visible is in small groups. I might do that by doing an in person workshop or by showing up at the smaller networking events that I really love.
What advice would you offer to the business professionals looking to grow their network?
So number one is be of service in an authentic way. Think of what your ideal clients needs. And then talk about that by giving tips and tools. Figure out how you can help people to get what they want.
Digital networking or traditional networking, which one do you find more value in?
Digital Marketing is easiest because I'm in front of my computer all day long. But I really use a mix of digital marketing and in person, live events because there's something that happens when you're in a room with people that cannot be replicated by digital marketing.
If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of/less of or differently with regards to your professional career?
I definitely would have believed in myself a little sooner. It took me a long time to believe in myself, and I think I could have done so much more.
We've all heard of the six degrees of separation. Now who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with. And do you think you can do it within the sixth degree?
I also started a nonprofit dog rescue about three years ago. And it's really my heart and soul in so many different ways. It would probably be Tia Torres of Pit Bulls and Parolees, or Jon Stewart, who also does a lot with animal rescue. But someone who could really help us with our mission in terms of getting more eyes and funding.
What book are you reading right now?
"Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon Sinek. I really love his book but I can't read it without a marker in my hand. Because I really love what he's saying about really connecting to the "why" and letting that be your fuel.
Any final word or advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
I just really encourage people to think of how you can connect to and serve other people. There's not a single person on this planet that you cannot connect with in some way shape or form. So it becomes this kind of magical invitation to find the way to connect with the person in front of you.
How to connect with Britt:
Meet Chris Yoko
Driven by an indefatigable determination to make the world a better place, Chris is focused on helping people, and the organizations they belong to, pave the road to a more utopian world. He primarily does this by helping these like-minded organizations build and champion themselves using their most powerful asset, their web presence. When Chris isn’t fearlessly leading, you’ll likely find him playing hockey, reading, or playing and exploring with his incredible wife and two daughters.
Can you share with our listeners, one of your most successful or favorite networking experiences that you've had?
Yeah, so my favorite networking experiences I'm actually a part of, I'm just outside of DC and there's a group here called Qadri DC. Sometimes people have a negative connotation with that word networking and they wanted to flip that on the head. So it's a little bit more what can I do for other people and karmically that comes back around.
How do you stay in front of or nurture these relationships that you've built?
That's something I think all of us struggle with. Having people join us for other events that are going on has been a really good one. It's a great way just to make sure you stay in touch with people even if they can't make it. The the fact that you want to offer to take them as a guest is I think a huge deal.
What advice would you offer the business professional who's looking to grow their network?
Nothing seems to replace just getting out there and doing it. And a lot of people think like, oh, I gotta go to the classic like networking events and stuff like that. But just about every really good opportunity I've had has come from me reaching out to a couple people that I didn't know or barely knew and asking, hey, it looks like you've built something really cool, accomplished something really cool or, whatever the case might be and ask if they would be game for me to buy a drink, catch up and maybe learn a little bit more about how you did that and mostly asking questions and listening.
Digital networking or traditional networking, which one do you find more value in?
I've certainly found value in both. I've met people, especially, it's a weirder time now, especially social media wise just because it's so ubiquitous and so many people have it. I think it's just a little bit more a matter of now do you have to put in the effort on either, whereas before, you could kind of get away with less effort on digital. And now it's such a crowded, noisy place that you've got to put just as much maybe more effort into digital to break through as you do in person because obviously, a face to face interaction lasts longer than a tweet or a Facebook post does.
If you could go back to your 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of less of or differently with regards to your professional career?
The biggest takeaway I could give myself is just think about what you want to accomplish what that end goal is whether it's a purposeful exit strategy or a non-purposeful exit strategy or here's the objective and work backwards from that because a lot of times it's easy to get into something and then follow whatever path opportunity gives you but if you're not in control that path and you don't know where it leads, you can find yourself some some some weird places as a as you go through your journey.
We've all heard of the 6 degrees of separation...Now, who would be the one person you'd love to connect with and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?
So the one person I think I would love to connect with is I'm a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's writing so I would love to bump into him and I have to feel like there's probably six degrees that would get me connected to him.
Any final word of advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
Supporting and growing, the network is just carving out time to go do it. The compound interest on relationships is probably greater than just about anything you'll do. But you have to be intentional about it, you've got to carve out the time to do it.
How to connect with Chris:
Naresh Vissa is the Founder & CEO of Krish Media & Marketing – a full service e-commerce, technology, development, online, and digital media and marketing agency and solutions provider. He has worked with CNN Radio, Clear Channel Communications, J.P. Morgan Chase, EverBank, The Institute for Energy Research, Houston Rockets, Houston Astros, the American Junior Golf Association, Agora Financial, Agora Publishing, Stansberry Research, and TradeStops. He is the #1 bestselling author of FIFTY SHADES OF MARKETING.
What do you think the future of freelancing and small business is under this economy?
A college graduate they need to really be paying attention to this because the idea of having a job is it's really kind of an older generational idea. And so they should not be thinking, Okay, how do I get a corporate job? How do I get a job? Because those jobs are starting to disappear in the freelance job. It's all about value, or it's all about value creation and skills. Skills are today's currency in the workplace. So it's about building up your skill set so that you can then promote your skills and utilize your skills to help a company's bottom line.
What are examples of these skills?
Well, it can be anything it could be speaking, it could be the old school soft, soft skills. But I think the most important skills are the technology skills. And by technology skills, I mean, the ability to use a computer, a cell phone, a tablet, proficiently and efficiently, knowing how to use all the different applications and software and technologies within these technologies.
You're also very into podcasting, so what drew you into podcasting? And do you have any tips to that novice podcastor?
The point of podcasting is building up a listenership and making money. Helping grow your business or selling your product, that's really the point. There are three revenue drivers. The first revenue driver is advertising which is not the primary revenue driver. The second revenue driver, which is the most important revenue driver, is using the podcast as a lead generator or a loss leader. And then the third revenue drivers premium content. So that's like a paid subscription type of podcasts.
Lane Kawaoka currently owns 3,500+ units across the US. He lives in Hawaii and recently quit his day job as a Professional Engineer with a MS in Civil Engineering & Construction Management and a BS in Industrial Engineering.
Lane partners with investors who want to build their portfolio, but are too busy to mess with “tenants, toilets, and termites” by curating opportunities in his “Hui Deal Pipeline Club” where his investors have personal access to him and know that Lane is personally putting his money on the line too. The Hui Deal Pipeline Club has acquired over $255 Million dollars of real estate acquired by syndicating over $25 Million Dollars of private equity since 2016.
Lane reverse engineers the wealth building strategies that the rich use to the middle class via the Top-50 Investing Podcast SimplePassiveCashflow.com. Lane’s mission is to help hard working professionals out of the rat race, one free strategy call at a time.
Can you share with our listeners, your most successful or favorite networking experience that you've had?
My best experience was when I finally actually paid, you know, $25,000 for paid masterminds to get in a realm of qualified people where they were at a point in their business where it wasn't really about them, they didn't really have to worry about putting food on the table to feed their family. So at that point, it was a lot more collaborative, and just being able to collaborate with somebody on the high high level like yourself, and, you know, not in a non competitive manager manner is a great experience, and that's why I continue to go to these masterminds.
As you continue to build your network, how do you nurture these relationships that you've created?
I have my investor club. And I always tell people, we're a bunch of accredited investors and higher paid professionals. I've kind of curated a group through my investors where if your invest fits me, you get access to my network, and we all know your network is your network.
What advice would you offer that business professional who's looking to grow their network?
I would say filter. Your net worth is a big indicator of where you are. I do know if somebody doesn't have a net worth of at least $50,000 they need to go figure out how to make money for themselves. So I would say for people like other business professionals trying to look for other business professionals higher net worth, but then again, a lot of business professionals, they're stuck in that paradigm of going to work and, you know, for 40-50 years.
Digital networking or traditional networking - which do you find more value in?
For me, it's digital networking. I'm an introvert, so I don't really do well in those type of settings. I can do it if it's like talking about rental real estate, because I get energetic and energized by that type of topic matter.
If you could go back to your 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of or differently with regards to your professional career?
You know, for me, I was an engineer, I kind of did things exactly how I should have. I went to work, I just quit my job earlier this year after working for about 10 years, but that day job allowed me to save money and to build my network up to a certain point where I could continue to buy rental properties one by one and then start to get into apartments later.
We've all heard of the six degrees of separation. Now who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you could do it within the sixth degree?
I never really had anybody that I had on my list. I think people aspire to that too much. And, quite frankly, a lot of these guys they haven't done the tactical things that are applicable today.
Is there any book that you're reading right now or listening to that you want to share with our listeners?
I am reading Gary Vaynerchuk's Crushing It! He's got some examples of people who kind of take in a certain social media platform and what they're doing with it. He says we're on like this pioneering front where the authentic create their own brand. And, you know, this is the time to do it.
How would one really figure out who are the ideal individuals to associate yourself with and where can you find them? Where would you recommend someone find those individuals?
You've got to build relationships to kind of figure that out. You just have to build relationship with a few people like quality over quantity, and kind of stay close to their network. And they're staying close to you too. And hopefully, you can build a big enough web to kind of filter in the right people.
To connect with Lane:
My goodness, I am blown away by the response and positive feedback I get from all of the listeners and my guests and the value that this podcast is bringing and has been bringing. It's been three years now since I officially launched this podcast which blows my mind. So today I am going to summarize some of the takeaways and value-add components that I've learned just by interviewing close to 200 professionals on the topic of networking.