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Social Capital

Welcome to Social Capital, a weekly podcast where we dive into social relationships and how the investment you put into them establishes trust, reciprocity, and value within your network. Your host, Lori Highby, will connect with top business professionals to dive into their best techniques and stories to share with you!
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Now displaying: May, 2020
May 27, 2020

Meet Amanda Guralski

Amanda's career has transformed from her first entrepreneurial pursuit as the co-founder of an online career coaching magazine bizMe.biz, to author of the book I am NOT a Smartie Pants to hosting Tucson’s popular entertainment/lifestyle show, The Morning Blend. She pivoted into becoming a powerhouse account executive for two Fortune 500 companies and currently is working in the technology space. Amanda is also the newest host of Discover Wisconsin.

Throughout your career, you've definitely been a big believer in developing a strong personal brand. How has that helped you with your networking?

Personal brand, I think is really everything. Setting up who you are as a person and being not only transparent on who that is and what that looks like, but being consistent in that. So if you want to put the persona as a positive, upbeat person that wants to be a voice in the community, that's exactly how you have to show up every single day. And there are times where I don't feel like showing up like that. So guess what, I don't show up. Because the reality is, is that as much as we like to say I don't want people to judge who I am, first impressions are based off exactly that. So developing a strong personal brand is vital, I think to building up your network of community.

You've definitely pivoted into different industries and worlds. How have you leveraged your network for that, and how has your brand, maintain consistency while you've done that?

So when you look at my hot mess of a resume on paper, you're thinking this girl is crazy and can't figure it out. But when I articulate what I've done in my career, every single position that I have gotten has been through my network. I started out with an online magazine, the Field of Dreams, if you build it, they will come and they did not come shockingly enough. I realized that I had to really get out there and pound the pavement and put the feet on the street and get out there and promote myself or promote my brand, promote my mission and be a voice in the community. And that's exactly what I did is I started getting out there I was going to colleges and professional groups and universities and anyone that would give me an opportunity to speak in front of an audience and talk about my mission and what I was trying to accomplish, is exactly what I did. And from there as you begin to meet more people and start this conversation, you show up in a very genuine, authentic and sincere way, people start gravitating towards you.

You want to share a little bit about what you're doing in the technology space?

I fell into technology through a friend of mine who I went to college with. I did pharmaceutical sales and then from there the most recent president of the Journal Sentinel reached out to me on LinkedIn was like Amanda, we've got a great opportunity. You know the space, you know digital advertising, and we've got a sales manager position open and at the time I was in sales, I'd been in sales way at the beginning of my career. And I did that for about a year and a half and then a friend of mine reached out from Salesforce and was like Amanda, we're really looking for people that have a digital advertising background and you do. Would you be interested in coming here and I did my research and I was really impressed with the suite of products. So I applied, I got that position. And I was there for about a little over a year. And then through networking of friends I really wanted to get into the services space. And I find that the services space what I am now that I'm able to really have very deep conversations where not only are you educating clients on the technology space, specifically marketing, automation space, but also like challenge them on at some level, their education, their historical education on what they know, because what you know, is not what it is today.

Can you share with our listeners, one of your most successful or favorite networking experiences that you've had?

I was in my early career in college, I was like, I am going to be the publisher of Vogue. And so if you know anything about the publishing side, it's like that's the sales generating revenue side of magazines. And so I had this dream and this vision and as it started to come together, I started networking, different internships and things like that. And I landed at Decker Publications, which was a small publishing house up in Minnesota. And while I was there, I got to attend this magazine day. I went there, but as I was there, I took advantage of the people that were around because it was all of the sales executives from every single one of these magazines and publishers and editors and so I just started working the room and I met this fantastic gentleman, his name was Frank Wall. At the time, he was a sales rep for Time Magazine. I networked with him, and I kind of told him what I wanted to do. And he was like, well, you're speaking to the right person, because I can help you get there. And he was really the one that introduced me to all of these wonderful people that were all working in that space.

How do you stay in front of invest, nurture your wide network?

I'd be lying if I said it's not challenging. It is. I mean, we all get very busy. And depending upon where life is taking you, your priorities shift. So there is no secret formula to doing it. I just think that there are people in your life that are always going to be a part of your network. Letting people know that you're still around. And like how you nurture any sort of relationship. I mean, yes, there's different degrees of relationships, but at the same time, we all want the same thing, right? We all want to feel like we're bringing some value to someone else's life at whatever level that looks like.

What advice would you offer the business professional who's looking to grow their network?

Get out there. And I know that it's scary, but practice makes perfect. There are so many opportunities in the Milwaukee community to meet really great people. But sometimes it can be very overwhelming because networking events back in the day were like no networking events. We formed our own events to get together. And now I mean, there could be three or four a night, right? I don't want to say like, limit yourself. So like, in my case, I wanted to learn about the publishing industry because I wanted to be the publisher of a fashion magazine. But I also had this idea to start my own. So logically, you would think you have to put yourself in a space where I'm going to be able to meet those people, so that I can articulate to them how they can help me. So I think that's how people can really start to grow their network is have a vision, know what you want, know how people can help you and then just start putting yourself out there and meeting as many people as you can in that specific space and being direct on how people can help you.

Do you have any final word or advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

I know that it's scary. And all of us come to the table for different reasons. And there are different expectations and fears that hold us back. And you might be listening right now thinking, I don't know what I can offer other people. Well, guess what? It doesn't necessarily matter. You can figure that out. All of us have started somewhere. All of us have relied on someone else to help us meet other people or open some doors for us. And yeah, when I started out in my career, I really had nothing to offer either. I needed people to guide me along the way. But now I'm at a point in my career, where I can mentor someone else. So if you feel like you don't have anything to offer, but you've got a goal or a dream or you know anything, just get out there and start talking about it and people will gravitate towards you and people are going to help you whether you can give something in return or not.

How to connect with Amanda:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amandaguralski/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandaguralski/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bizMe.biz

May 25, 2020

Meet Greg Keating

Greg Keating is the Director of Sales & Operations for Hangar12. Greg received his undergraduate degree in Marketing & Supply Chain Management from the University of Illinois and received his MBA with a focus in data analytics from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. He brings Fortune 500 experience from Coca-Cola & Ecolab including project management, data analytics, & selling expertise that helps his marketing agency build brand equity, trial, and loyalty for companies of all sizes.

I know you're more in the consumer-packaged goods market. Can you tell me a little bit how the consumer-packaged goods market has changed in the last few years, especially as it relates to shopper marketing?

In the past, I think shopper marketing was defined as any kind of marketing activation that took place in a retail store. So this might be product sampling or a nice fancy aisle end cap, in store signage, those types of things. Nowadays, well, those things I just mentioned still exist and are very important. The shopper marketing environment has definitely moved online. So the amount of digital activity from retail consumer shoppers has dramatically affected that shopper marketing landscape. So we're talking about six figure media buys for walmart.com homepage takeover, utilizing the I bought a rebate app and leveraging programmatic banner ads that link out to things like store locators. You're really working to create a kind of seamless, online and offline shopping experience.

What are some newer, interesting, b2b social media insights that your agency has come across recently?

The unexpected channel our agency has really leaned into recently is Pinterest. Pinterest maybe has a stigma around it of being only for the super niche audience of artsy people. And that really just isn't the case. Well, we've seen from some of our recent campaigns is that people of all genders, ages, all these different demographics, are using this platform as a more effective visual Google search. So the click through rates have been shockingly good. The cost per click is low, because I think advertisers maybe aren't fully bought into its validity yet. So it's a really good blend of cost and benefit at the moment.

Can you share with our listeners one of your favorite or most successful networking experiences that you've had?

My first boss at my previous employer, Ecolab, would bring me at the time into these really high level supply chain strategy meetings with her because I had this sort of very specific knowledge on one of our company's key customer delivery metrics. I got asked a direct question by our chief supply chain officer who's again, this big, intimidating genius. And he asks about why the metric is a certain way. And I was able to give my two cents on why I thought it wasn't necessarily representative of reality. But ultimately, because of that one moment, I got put on a project where I traveled across the USA, to our top 10 production facilities and essentially worked on mapping out our supply chain network and manufacturing capabilities over the course of the next six months to deliver that to our chief supply chain officer. So the reality for me is that none of that would have happened if my boss did not recognize that I had this particular knowledge and then put me in a setting I was honestly unqualified to be in solely to give me that shot at that one opportunity to contribute.

How do you stay in front of or nurture these relationships that you've created?

So one thing is that our agency that I currently work at is fully remote. I would say I've got Zoom down to a science. With our current coronavirus situation, I would say I'm always initiating video calls wherever possible to meet people face to face and just have an honest conversation with them. I think that has probably helped me faster in business opportunities far more than any phone call I've ever made.

What advice would you offer the business professional who's looking to grow their network?

I'm actually newer to the sales side of things. I've really been doing a lot of training and networking myself, but some of that advice I would offer is to say yes to almost everything. I think there may be certain instances where there are non-value add opportunities being offered to you, but 95% of the time, there's something to learn or some connection to be made. If that's seminars, webinars, podcasts like you offered up to me here, guest blog opportunities, happy hour events. Anything like that networking groups or associations, all those things are going to introduce you to new people who can help you and you're just limiting yourself and you're not going to grow by skipping out on them.

Digital networking or traditional networking, which one do you find more value in?

I think digital networking is something people need to get more comfortable with. I mean, I believe it's easier to engage with someone in person, no question. But that's not always possible. Again, obviously, that's true now more than ever, and we still need to be able to cope with that. So I'm a huge advocate for digital networking. I think if you can get that down and fine tune that approach, you just opened so many more doors than might otherwise be possible in a traditional physical setting.

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 would tell myself to join more groups and clubs. So, again, I would call myself an introvert. Even throughout college, I really feel like I didn't take advantage of the resources available to me. I would 100% recommend getting involved in employee clubs, peer networking groups, anything that can provide a real sense of community is ultimately going to help you grow and learn over time. And that's just something I didn't buy into at a young age.

We've all heard of the six degrees of separation, who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

I get into Academy Award season and try to watch all the best picture nominations and stuff like that. And one of the supporting actors who's cropped up in recent years and a lot of great movies is Sam Rockwell. And I would just love to connect with him. I think he's a phenomenal actor and storyteller and a really funny, dude. So I think picking his brain would be a lot of fun. I don't know If I could get to the sixth degree. We work with an entertainment marketing consultant who has a lot of connections out in LA. So I think I could at the very least get on the right track. But to get to that level and get into those Hollywood inner circles that might take me a long time.

Any final word of advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

I'll say the only way to grow your network is to flex that muscle of doing new things, trying new activities, getting out of your comfort zone. For me, getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is how I've started to frame that in my mind, and that's helped give me a lot of confidence to dive in.

How to connect with Greg:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/greg-keating-h12/

Email: greg.keating@hanger-12.com

Website: https://www.hangar-12.com/hangar12-marketing-advertising-for-consumer-brands

May 20, 2020

Meet Elena Nunez Murdock

Elena Murdock is the founder of Ascend Communications, specializing in PR, strategic partnerships, & branding for startups, venture capital, and private equity groups. She managed a 350 million dollar brand, rebranded a 1.5 bil-dollar company in 6 weeks, developed GTM strategies for multi-million dollar tech products, & creates branding strategies for CEOs. Elena is giving a talk at the Stanford Business School titled, "Leveraging Your Brand as a Young Executive." Networking is her superpower.

What are some tips that you can share with someone that actually hates networking?

My two top tips are, number one, research the event beforehand and the event you go to, now virtual, and just see who's going to be going and then message them on LinkedIn. If you don't have LinkedIn, definitely get a LinkedIn and start messaging them so you have at least five to ten people that you already know before going. Then secondly, I would also go with a friend. So it's just you. If you still feel uncomfortable going, find a friend to go with you, and then bring them along. And that way you'll have at least somebody to lean on for support.

How do you avoid or get out of any sort of awkward or uncomfortable conversations that someone might be in a networking event?

So the really great thing about networking events is that they always have food at them. I know this might not be a standard “get out of jail” free card, but I always get a little bite of something to eat, but don't fill up your plate because then you can always be like, oh, I have to go throw this away. Greet someone and then excuse yourself to go throw your plate in the trash. Then go and fill up a plate, but if you fill up your plate, you're kind of stuck there and you're just awkwardly nibbling on the plate. So just always have a little bit around and just kind of circle the room. And for me, that's always worked.

Let's talk about social clubs a little bit. What are social clubs and why are they important?

One of the things I talked about when I was at Stanford is the importance of social clubs. And it's a little bit hard, especially during this time to go out and socialize. But hopefully when the world gets back to normal, I really advocate for people becoming a part of social clubs. A social club is basically a community that you pay a membership fee to go to and there's three tiers. Tier three being the lowest and what I would see as like the Soho house, if you've ever heard of the Soho house, they have them in select cities all around the world. And it's more for the creative types or if you're in communications or marketing, it's a great place to go and meet other creatives, directors, actors. Tier two social club would be a golf club. They're like mid-tier professionals and all the directors. You can find very senior executives there as well. And it's more formalized as there is a dress code. Then level one would be something especially in Los Angeles on the west coast called the Jonathan Club. There's also the California club. In New York, for example, there's a University called the New York and similar clubs like that. And those memberships are typically upwards of $60,000 a year or more. I would highly recommend if you're a senior level executive that can afford that kind of membership to do that.

Can you share with our listeners, one of your most successful or favorite networking experiences that you've had?

So one of my favorite ones is something that happened to me last year. I had heard through the grapevine of a community that I'm involved with that this billionaire who has this company at the time was worth 1.5 billion, that he was looking for somebody with the exact services that I do. So I specialized not only in PR but on LinkedIn getting clients trending on LinkedIn and the topics and also in the news section. And I had heard through maybe a 10th degree connection, like in passing, this guy was looking for somebody like me, and I was like, I have no idea how I'm gonna get in contact with this guy. It turned out that my friend knew him personally, and had known him for over 10 years and made a direct email intro pretty much the next day. And then, because of that email intro, I had a phone call with him, which I was super pumped about. It was an amazing call and he ended up becoming a client. And he was the company, the $1.5 billion company that I ended up rebranding in under six weeks.

So how do you stay in front of our best nurture your network and community?

One thing I do is after meeting someone, I will write a handwritten note which is pretty common not overly done but I got this custom wax seal which has like two initials for E&M. And then I have like the wax kit, and then hand stamp it and if I can also hand deliver it to the office or to the person. That's something that people have really noticed but that's something that I love to do.

What advice would you offer the business professional who is looking to grow their network?

I would say that I would always find a way to serve other people. If you're just getting started in networking, or if you're coming out of college, or you're just in general trying to expand, I would say, always try to find a way to serve the other person. I've seen that too many people, when they go to networking events, just take and take and take. It's all about them. It's all about how they can grow their network. If you have no idea how to serve someone, guaranteed, you can find some way whether it's offering them a freebie, or something that you can offer that's not going to sell your whole business for free, but something that will help them just like a little bit. That's how ultimately they're going to come back to you and see you as somebody who's serving them.

Traditional networking or digital networking, which one do you find more value in?

I personally love traditional networking 100%. I love connecting with people in person and hearing their stories and there's ultimately no other way to substitute for the energy and passion that you have when meeting somebody in person. Now it's connecting to 10 to 15 people a week via phone, which is not as optimal but you know, we do what we can with what we're given and with the time given to us. But again, traditional networking 100%.

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 been more intentional with my relationships. I think as a 20-year old in general, you don't really know what you're doing in college. But I would have kept in touch with the professionals where I did my summer internships. Just being overall intentional with my relationships and less so with forgetting about them in a sense because when you're 20 you take these classes and then go on, but if I had kept in touch having those networks open to me would have been beneficial as I was getting my MBA.

So we've all heard of the six degrees of separation, who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you could do it within the six degree?

So one of my top line goals for the next two years is to be the youngest woman in America to be named to a board of a publicly traded company. Currently, the youngest woman is 32 and I'm about to turn 30 later this year. So one of my goals was to find a mentor who could help me navigate that journey. So I ended up being at an event that one of the top hedge fund managers in New York City was at. And I knew somebody at about three degrees of separation who knew him. He was hosting a private event and I snuck in through the back actually literally stuck into the back to meet him. One of my friends was at the event who was able to introduce me, and I had been following his career. So I asked him would you be willing to mentor me? This is my goal. And he was stunned. But he actually said yes I'll be your mentor. He gave me his card. And that was a pretty incredible moment for me.

Any final words or advice for our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

Just to find a way to be of service to your network. One thing that I would just keep in mind is keep in mind the top line goal. So just keeping abreast of like, who does what and like, what they're interested in and who they serve. So then if you have an opportunity to send them something that you know you can do at little or no cost to yourself. That's it. Spreading more kindness and serving others ultimately, and then, you know, hopefully they can do the same for you later.

How to connect with Elena:

Website: https://www.ascend-npcommunications.com/

Bonus Available: https://www.ascend-npcommunications.com/gsb-bonus

May 13, 2020

Meet Violette de Ayala

Violette de Ayala is a Cuban-American serial and social Entrepreneur, Founder of FemCity, and virtual mentor to over 20,000 women. She’s also the International best-selling author of The Self-Guided Guru© Life Lessons for the Everyday Human. Violette has been quoted in Success, Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Fast Company, Thrive Global, Medium, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Small Business, Authority, Business Insider News as a small business expert overall.

Let's talk a little bit about FemCity. You founded this global women's networking organization, just tell us a little bit about that.

I started femme city in 2009. I myself was looking for community in my life. And even after going out to many, many networking events here in Miami that are all spectacular and great. I always left feeling a little depleted and like I was missing some sort of connection to others. And after doing that for a couple years, I just decided to start something very small, but it would be just for 20 women here Miami and we would just gather once a month and help to support each other in business and personal development. And throughout the years, because of pictures on Facebook that we initially posted and launching other chapters, we started watching more and more. And now we are a members only organization. We help women in business personal development, and we create communities around the world.

You've got a couple new chapters opening up in all different parts of the world. Would you like to share some of those places?

We moved out, so we grow very organically. And you can see our growth patterns starting in Miami, and then we kind of grew up the east coast and then moved over to the west coast. And then we started growing in Canada, in Toronto. And so it's natural for us to start launching in other countries as well. So before all of this started happening, we had started kind of having the conversations of launching in Paris and Madrid and in Dubai and we're excited to continuously grow and create communities for women with personal development, online resources, literally anything that they need in order to design and create the life that they envision for themselves.

So you're an international best-selling author. What inspired you to write a book while you've already got this global organization underneath your feet?

So it's actually a really funny story. Many years ago, some of our members kept asking me for a book, oh, you should write a business book. I started to write it. I reviewed it. I'm like, gosh, this is horrible. This is like a horrible book. I can't do this. So I kind of put that on the back burner. And then I had a goal of writing it by a certain time. And I thought I just need to write it. Let me just write it the way I want to write it in the voice that I generally use when I'm speaking or lecturing. And so I wrote this book, it's 10 chapters, with life lessons that I grew from and how I actually transitioned and pivoted my life stories from going from welfare to wealth stories of being married to someone for 20 years divorcing and getting back together. And just even like the stories of growing up with a mother who was a drug addict and suffered from mental illness. So all these kinds of stories that people knew about, that I lectured. That's where that book was really birthed from.

Can you share with our listeners one of your most successful or favorite networking experiences that you've had?

So I believe you can network anywhere, right? I think my favorite networking story is I was asked to be a speaker on a panel many, many years ago for Gymboree, here in Miami, which is where I live and I went and we networked a little bit before the panel started and then we networked a little bit after and I got the opportunity to meet the founder of Gymboree, she was also on the panel, Joan Barnes, and we just connected. It was like we had known each other our whole entire lives. And she ended up we exchanged information like cell phone and emails. And the next day we chatted, and we couldn't stop chatting and we were like texting each other like all these ideas and she really became an iconic person in my journey through being an entrepreneur. And that all came from networking.

How do you stay in front of or best nurture this network and this community that you've created?

I feel that each member that we have is a friend and they feel like I'm really responsible for their success. And every day I wake up like thinking to myself, how can I help more in a bigger way? What can I do to help others to grow the business that they envision for themselves to design their life to live life in a balanced way. And when you come across, anytime you're networking, when you come across from the point of view of wanting to serve and help others, it always comes back to you.

So what advice would you offer the professional who's looking to grow their network?

The advice that I would give is to show up all the time anywhere ready to create connections. So whether you're walking your dog, or going to the farmers market or going to a networking event or whatever it is that you have, you have the power to meet people that can pivot your life in dramatic ways. And if you keep your energy open to receiving that, and then giving, being a person to give of yourself to fully offer advice to be kind to others, those people will remember you forever and ever. And that's really when you talk about business growth. It's always about the contacts and connections that you have, and that they like you because humans do business with humans they like and respect.

Between digital networking or traditional networking which do you find more value in?

I would say both of them, honestly. Sometimes I've met friends on social media. So I think if you come across from the same point of view of being of service, being an asset to that person, oh, I thought of you, I got this invitation for this networking event, I thought of you or I have this contact, I thought it would be a great introduction. So I think a lot of that can occur in the digital world. If you have the heart in it. I think they're both equally valuable. I mean, at the end of the day, humans like to see each other's eyes, like to see each other and you can exponentially grow that relationship when you're in that physical place. But you can still really create great relationships through digital.

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?

Believe in yourself, that would be one that's been huge for me. There's so many years that I wasted and so much money lost because I didn't believe in myself. I didn't think I could do things on my own. I felt like I needed a crutch, I felt like I couldn't do this because I didn't have that degree from Wharton Business School and all these just ridiculous stories I made up in my mind that held me back. So that would be the biggest thing right there.

We've all heard of the six degrees of separation, who would be the one person that you would love to connect with? And do you think you could do it within the sixth degree?

I'd love to connect with Oprah. So another mentor of mine, I met at a birthday party for our girls when my youngest was in kindergarten. We met and I was talking about Oprah. She must have just started her channel at the time. And I mentioned it and she said, oh, my gosh, I told Oprah that exact same thing the other day. I have a couple of those with Oprah like that one degree or two degrees. So I'm just hoping one day to get a chance to meet her. But it has not happened yet.

Any final word or advice for listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

Be of service, follow up with people, stay connected, and you're not going to be able to do it all on your own. You're going to need people around you to offer mentorship and advice and referrals and recommendations and connections. So it's all about people and getting out there and the more people that you know, the more opportunities come your way.

How to connect with Violette:

Website: https://femcity.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/violettedeayala/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ViolettedeAyala

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/violettedeayala

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/violettedeayala/

May 11, 2020

Meet Janice Porter

Janice began her career as a teacher and was a corporate trainer and has now been in business for herself for several years. She found her niche coaching and training business professionals to network at a mastery level and turn their connections into new business. Having an innate curiosity, she has leveraged that into building business relationships, and teaches others how to do the same. Connecting people is a skill that Janice uses when needed, and only when she feels that it will be managed most professionally as she holds her relationships very dearly. LinkedIn training is a huge part of Janice’s business. She believes anyone in business or looking for a new position needs to have a professional LinkedIn profile, and that LinkedIn is a powerful, underutilized online platform for attracting new clients. You can listen to Janice on her relationships, rural podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher and most other podcast platforms.

Let's talk about relationships and specifically relationship marketing. What is that?

So whenever you think of the words relationship, and marketing, most people or I'm going to go with that 80/20 rule a piece that 80% of the people would think marketing first, and the people that I like to surround myself with and those that I train on such things, we talk about the word relationship more. We want to make sure that people connect with people in an authentic way and build an authentic relationship with them. It's not just about sending you my stuff, or connecting to add another number to my Facebook friends or my LinkedIn profile. It's about truly taking the time and interest and having the curiosity to find out about people and find out how they work and how they think and what can you do to support them? That's my idea of relationship marketing.

So why the focus on LinkedIn?

When LinkedIn came around, I was not sure what it was all about and so I asked a couple of people who were using it and one of them kindly put me on to this young man. She said call him as he knows all about it, and he will talk to you about it. Well, this young man was very knowledgeable. He was also a really good teacher. And so I got him to teach me all about it. And what I found was that this makes sense to me. This is logical. It's kind of left brain and it's also a business platform. I find it a much easier platform to deal directly with and to be authentic on it, because the majority of people on this platform are our decision makers, and therefore, it's easy to get to the topic at hand, to the business that needs to be done faster.

Can you share with our listeners, one of your most successful or favorite networking stories that you've had?

I met somebody on LinkedIn, who introduced me to somebody else on LinkedIn, because they thought that this person would be an interesting guest on my podcast. He's in Australia. And I have since chatted with him on Zoom a couple of times. He has been on my podcast. I really enjoyed this gentleman and he's very smart, but he gives back and he's very passionate about what he does. And through our conversation, I then introduced him to one of my mentors Kody Bateman who owns Send Out Cards, which is a company that I'm involved with. And Kody had a bit of a vision around children and card sending and showing appreciation. And this gentleman does all of that in spades and teaches young entrepreneurs and he has an online academy. So now I've introduced him to Kody. He's now been on Kody's podcast. And now we're coming back to me training him more on LinkedIn and goes around and it all came from just connection online.

So how do you stay in front of or best nurture your network in your community?

One, mostly through LinkedIn where I try to stay visible, and that is by engaging with people on my newsfeed and posting things when I think it's appropriate or when I have something worthwhile to share, and, two, by my podcasts, and three, is by sending cards and gifts. But it has to be something tangible that shows that you've taken the time to write that, to send it, however, not just an email.

What advice would you offer that business professional who's looking to grow their network?

Where are your people? Are they on LinkedIn? Are they on Facebook? Are they on Twitter? Are they on Instagram? You need to be where your target audience is. That's the first thing.

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?

If I could go back to my 20-year-old self, I think I would have done something that I didn't know I had the opportunity to do back then, which was to go to law school. I don't know why, but I had this feeling now that I should have gone to law school, but I never thought it was an opportunity or an option back then I was always going to be a teacher. That's what I love to do is teach people. However, I think that I would take business courses, and I would have learned more about business even if I didn't think I was going to use it.

We've all heard of the six degrees of separation. 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 think you and I've talked about this before, and I think at that time, I said, Oprah, and I think I could do it within six degrees. I have a friend who knows Ellen DeGeneres. I don't know whether she’d do it. I'm just doing this hypothetically. Because I know one thing for sure, anybody who has famous people in their inner circle, do not take advantage of them. And that's something I totally respect. So just having fun with that.

Any final word of advice for our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

It's important to be curious and to ask questions. And in doing that, you will make new authentic relationships and then it's about always reaching out and showing appreciation to them. I think that especially now when everybody and their dog is on the internet, we have to look at ways that we can make those connections.

How to connect with Janice:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janiceporter/

Website: https://janiceporter.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janiceporter1

May 6, 2020

Meet Emerald Mills

Emerald was born in Waukegan, Illinois. She’s a business strategist, culture builder and public health professional with almost two decades of cumulative experience. Emerald is also the founder and leader facilitator of Diverse Dining and events educational organization, whose mission is to cultivate courage, compassion and connection through meaningful conversations centered around diverse foods and cultural exploration. Diverse Dining strives to establish and maintain interpersonal and interprofessional relationships among persons of varying culture, economic, ethnic, political, racial, and social backgrounds. As a philanthropic initiative, Diverse Dining, which Emerald is now involved with full time is prominently been featured on Dear Milwaukee, On Milwaukee, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Spectrum One, Fox 6, Visit Milwaukee podcast and plenty of other mediums.

So why don't you tell our listeners a little bit about why you decided to start Diverse Dining?

I lived in Zion, Illinois. And it's just a very small community that was pretty diverse at the time that I grew up there. And when I relocated to Milwaukee in 1997, which was my junior year of high school, I kind of got a little bit of a culture shock at how separated it seemed that people were, particularly by race and ethnicity, but in other ways as well. I learned after living here for a while. So, I created a Diverse Dining as a solution to the segregation, racism. I really think even you know, cliques and just silos a solution to the silo problem that we tend to have where we have challenges connecting with people that are different from us.

Who inspires you? And why?

Martin Luther King and Oprah inspires me. People inspire me who just dare to do something different to break the mold. People who endeavor to find solutions to problems that seem that they have no solution are typically people that I draw my inspiration from. So, Dr. King, for sure will be one. There is another lady who is Joyce Meyer and I'm inspired by her. I am inspired by various different people in various different sectors, but mainly for the reason of breaking the mold or breaking past the barrier that is in place.

What advice would you offer to women that are starting their own business or considering doing it?

Well, I believe relationships are just key. And my business is focused around building authentic relationships. I really recommend that women are starting their own business, find spaces where they can be vulnerable, build effective partnerships and relationships with people who are like minded or who are supportive in some way or another of what they're endeavoring to start. And so, you can use that encouragement and support is fuel to keep going and to strengthen them when things get difficult.

Can you share with our listeners one of your favorite networking stories or experiences that you've had?

An event that I had when I first got started. The networking was kind of easy, but it was with someone who came to an event that I had hosted, but their event organization did some similar work. And so the young lady who came to the event and myself actually were able to meet for coffee, have a conversation about ways that we could possibly work together but ultimately had built a pretty close friendship as a result of it. We support each other and anything that we're doing and also have support in the work that we're doing. So that was probably one of my most recent favorites experiences.

How do you stay in front of or best nurture these relationships that you create?

One of the things I had to do early on when I got started in my business was investing in CRM, which is a customer management system. And that would help me to keep track. I know that is something that I'll have to probably continually advance and improve over time. But that one of the things that I do to help me out a lot. And then also really knowing on the onset what I need or what need I'm addressing for people to kind of help me prioritize the relationship.

What advice would you offer the business professional who is looking to grow their network?

I would really advise them to be courageous. And just put themselves out there. I think just having a conversation with people, finding similarity or some kind of way to compliment a person or just something that you enjoy doing that someone else may do. I'd also recommend going into spaces where you're uncomfortable, or spaces that are not related to what you always are part of or always do. By going to an environment where there are people who aren’t in my field, they're seeing what I'm doing, it's more of an opportunity or something that's new, they may not have heard of it. I think that is just another thing to think about when you're thinking about networking is who maybe has a related field or related need or interest, but it's not exactly the same as what I'm doing.

If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of, less than or differently with regards to your professional career?

I would tell myself to do less self-doubt and negative self-talk. I would do more risk taking for sure. More, just doing it and less trying to think about doing it or thinking about why I shouldn't do it or all the other stuff that we think about. And I would also do more networking. When you are confident in yourself and you're confident in what you bring to the table, then it changes the way that you look at networking. As I have something to offer you that is a value in service to you, and you have something that you can offer me that is a value in service to me, how can we exchange it?

We've all heard of the six degrees of separation, 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 would love to meet, and I actually did meet her but I'm going to put myself on the spot and I'm working on you know rekindling that conversation is Jennifer Bartalotta. I'm definitely within six degrees of separation with her. I would love to meet the Bucks president Peter Feigin.

Do you have any final word of advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

I would just say you can do it. I know it sounds cliché, but I mean, just test it. You don't have to put a lot of money into ideas and concepts now so it's a great time to give something that is on your heart or something that you desire to try. Even if you don't feel like you have all that you need, be it support, the resources etc. I recommend that you move forward. I also recommend that it's important to build relationships to tap into your network and then expand your network so that you have the support you need around when times get challenging because they will get challenged.

How to connect with Emerald

Website: https://www.4diversedining.com/

Email: info@4diversedining.com or emerald@4diversedining.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/4diversedining/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/4diversedining/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/diverse-dining/

May 4, 2020

Meet Bill Bice

Bill Bice has always been an entrepreneur, starting his first company at age 14, putting on road races with corporate sponsors. At 18, he started ProLaw Software, the first integrated ERP for law firms. After selling the company to Thomson Reuters, Bill became a VC as a founding partner in the Verge Fund, investing in high tech, high growth companies in the Southwest. Bill is the CEO of boomtime, the Word of Mouth marketing company.

So you've built and invested a lot of businesses what's been the biggest challenge?

It really is that good of market I mean, that's the reason I started Boomtime which was my frustration in getting great marketing for the companies that I started. I mean, it's a tough thing to do really well. And it's really tough as business owners to make the necessary commitment behind marketing because just like always spending money and not getting results, and there's some key reasons for that.

What are some of the most common mistakes that you see people making in their marketing?

I think there's two really big ones. So what I consider the biggest mistake in marketing is talking about yourself because nobody cares. And marketing is so much more effective if you flip that around, and really pay attention to what your audience cares about. If you instead turn it into insight, perspective driven help that you're giving to your audience, it becomes so much more effective. And then you get to the really hard part, which is the second step, which is that you've got to do it consistently. There is no magic trick in marketing. It's actually really hard work that has to be done day in and day out for it to be effective.

You've done a lot of work in B2B sales, applying the challenger sale, what have you learned in doing that?

The challenger sale is all about creating new sales opportunities that wouldn't otherwise exist. If your business works where you can just be an order taker, then that's great. But if you're doing something that's complex and has multiple decision makers as high value, then then you need to be able to create new sales opportunities. Let's be consultative, let's make everything in our marketing have this perspective, insight driven approach, get your audience to think about the things that you're really good at, give them a different perspective. And if you do that you'll create new sales opportunities that didn't exist before.

Can you share with our listeners, one of your favorite networking stories or experiences that you've had?

I'm very much an introvert at heart, but yet to do what I want to do, I have to go out in the world and talk to people. I love LinkedIn for this very reason. Because it's like the perfect cocktail party, it's going to be a room full of only exactly the people I want to meet, I get to do it under my control, I don't have to eat horrible food at the same time, and I get to build a network of exactly the right people that I want to talk to. I found that if you treat that the same way that you would that cocktail party where when you meet somebody, you just don't dive into a sales pitch, you have to build a relationship first. If you do that same thing on LinkedIn, that works really well. It's been the perfect way for me to build my network and be able to get my message out.

How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network?

If you do a regular flow, and this is what's really hard, quite frankly, is because 90% of the effort is great content. And most companies have a really tough time doing that internally, you've got all the ideas, but actually executing on it day in and day out is really tough. You got a business to run and sitting in front of a blank screen doesn't get you there. So you know what, the only way to solve that problem is to build a network of subject matter experts who are able to write that stuff. So I think you have to outsource it. The ideas have to come from you. The really hard part is getting the voice, right. But if you go through the effort of getting that model working, then you get the steady flow of really great content that lets you stay in front of your audience over and over again.

When it comes to someone that wants to grow their network? What advice would you offer that that kind of newer, greener business professional?

I just think it's so much easier to get going with LinkedIn. So let's say that you're focused in your city and you want to grow your network there. It's amazing how great it is when you've built that network online, how much easier it becomes to do so in person. Because now people have seen things from you on a regular basis, it makes it much easier to come up with things to talk about. So I really see LinkedIn as the entree to making all networking easier. The key is how do we do that really well in LinkedIn and putting the strategy you put behind that really changes how effective it's going to be.

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 was a complete idiot. I started my first software company when I was 18. Because I was 18, I thought I knew it all. And so the biggest mistake is that I didn't accept any kind of mentorship. And so we built a great software company, but it took 15 years. It took me a long time to figure out how to run a business. And so now I have a much better idea of how little I know. I always try to find somebody who's already done what I want to do. Someone's already done whatever it is you are setting out to do right now. So going and learning from them is the best way to speed up your process.

We've all heard of the six degrees of separation, who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you could do it within the six degree?

So, who's on my mind at the moment, just because I read his latest book is Simon Sinek. I've always been a huge fan of his work. And I think what he talks about in The Infinite Game, which frankly, if you just read the first chapter, you'll get to get the concept but it really gets at the heart of all the good that we create with capitalism and how do we continue that and get rid of the challenge and you know, the problems that have crept in over the last few decades.

Any final word of advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

I'm going to hit the same tune again because the reason I talked about it is because it is the key to make marketing work, which is you need to pick a strategy that you believe in, that you will commit to long term. Because you're not going to get a return in month one, month two, month three, I believe you got to pick a strategy that you're willing to put at least a year behind in order to truly understand how it works. And the only way you can believe in that is to see the results from other places. Take a proven approach that is working for businesses just like yours, so you can make that long term commitment.

How to connect with Bill:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/billbice/

Website: https://www.boomtime.com/

Email: ceo@boomtime.com

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