Meet Wayne Breitbarth
I'm still, as in three years ago, helping folks, organizations, companies understand how to use LinkedIn better. I know the site is confusing. It has a ton of power. And that's where, you know if it was easy, people would need me but it's not. It's complex. It's confusing. The objectives for people change so they don't know how to use it. And so I'm still in that space of helping people understand how to take the world's largest database, which now has almost 700 million and put it to use for them.
Are there new rules to how you use LinkedIn now or are businesses jumping on board? Because everyone's online now, what do you see happening?
So it's interesting because I do think there is more recognition of virtual tools like LinkedIn. Because virtual is something that like sales teams, especially sales teams have been at home, not able to go to networking, not able to go visit customers. And so they've had to find a way to stay in contact with their existing customers. Start some new prospecting balls rolling and I've got more business owners since COVID hit reaching out to me from years ago when they saw me speak way back in the day and say I think it's finally time for my sales guys to understand this crazy thing. And even me, I should understand this better. So those kinds of openings are happening.
So what are some of your top tips or some of the top trends you're seeing specific for companies?
I think especially when it comes to COVID that posting and sharing updates about what your company is up to and things going on has been hotter than ever. That people are now getting more comfortable with the posting process and starting to understand that there is an algorithm and that they have to play, let's call it or work the algorithm. I think that's something that people are learning or have learned. They've also learned the importance of having a better profile and company page than they probably did because they're getting more views. People are viewing profiles, because it's something you can do online. And so I think that improving profiles, improving company pages and understanding what a good post is seems to be the focus of a lot of the conversations that I’ve been having.
Is there a framework or a formula for what creates a good post?
Yeah, there is, and it boils down to understanding the algorithm. And how much organic reach LinkedIn is going to give you. So it's as simple as this. There are several things you can post you can post a document, you can post a link, you can post a video, you can post a text only. Here's the way LinkedIn looks like the algorithm is working currently, they do like polls because they're brand new. Whenever something is new on LinkedIn, they give it more organic reach. They like videos. And I don't mean videos that go to YouTube or Vimeo as they do not like those. But organically uploaded videos perform well. Documents perform well. Links perform the least well, text only will actually perform better than a link and it boils down to this. LinkedIn does not want you sending their users off site, if you can avoid it. Now, that being said people like you and I, we like to get people to visit our website. And so that's the lowest organic reach that you're going to get that being said, do you still do it, you bet you do it, we still do it. But what you want to try to do, in all these cases, especially if you're going to do a link to a website, or a blog post, or something like that, is you got to work on getting your engagement up. And that typically means this that you need to get some folks in your organization or if you're a real small company, some friends, too, that are going to engage in your posts, especially in the first hour.
What about the company pages? What I'm seeing right now on LinkedIn is very heavy with the individual posting content and not so much content coming from company pages.
The personal page post is going to do about four times better if it's exact same content. And the reason that is, Lori, is because LinkedIn has a way for you to pay money to basically boost a company page post. So they give it very little organic reach. Because there is a way to write LinkedIn a check on a personal profile, you can’t boost that at all. And that's why you don't see many of them.
What are some best practices you have around making InMail connections from a new business standpoint?
What people have to recognize is, if I'm connecting with you, as somebody in my target audience, and you accept my connection request, and then you think that 30 minutes later, you should pop out a really long sales pitch message, then that's a terrible marketing technique. You need to share some nice content when you thank the person for connecting.
I see a lot of people doing the sponsored or the just the paid ads. And I think there's a lot of opportunity to be maximizing that right now on LinkedIn. What are you seeing from a paid ad side of things on LinkedIn right now?
So paid ads can work. They're very pricey. I mean, LinkedIn is in the range of, you know, $5, $6, $7 a click for a paid ad. For most small businesses, that's a tough budget. If you have a product that delivers you enough gross profit for a lifetime customer, then you probably could put together a decent budget for that. That's why I think still the best play Lori is to connect with people that are in your target audience. Come up with some nice content, working with a company, like yours, to develop a nice white paper and some nice blog posts and get those things in their inbox as a direct message. When you have those new pieces of content, always reminding people you're available when it's time, their time for this kind of consultation. That's the right strategy.
Let's talk a little bit more about your business. Who do you primarily work with Wayne?
Small to mid-size business owners and their sales teams are probably my sweetest spot where I help them understand, usually via webinar or zoom events and show them how to use LinkedIn to find clients, communicate, do a bunch of techniques we just talked about. That’s one of my segments. Another segment I do is, I do one-on-one consultations with individuals. And those could range from job seekers, to business owners, to salespeople, any of the above. I also work at universities, for how to help students use LinkedIn to find jobs, but also how their alumni relations and development and foundations use LinkedIn to go out and find alums, to sponsor events and to be involved in the campaigns and those kinds of things. Those are pretty much the segments that I serve.
How can you be a resource to your network and mine?
I would say that number one way is for people to get to my website, which is www.PowerFormula.net, or find me on LinkedIn. And on both those pages, you will find tons of free LinkedIn stuff. I write a blog every week. I do videos, I do webinars that sometimes are free, sometimes are paid, where you can come to a workshop and buy a seat to that virtual workshop.
Do you have any tips or resources to share with our listeners?
There's a brand-new feature on your LinkedIn profile called Featured. So it's a feature called Featured. Don't miss that. You can put now in a high visibility spot way up near the top of your profile, links to your website, uploaded documents, and it shows up sort of like a carousel, almost like a sliding billboard. Wonderful tool and it's the first time on LinkedIn that these pieces of media that we could put on our profile, click right through to a website. But to get to your featured section, if you don't have it, go up to your add profile selection button, hit the down arrow, I think it's the second or third item says Featured and then just pick what you want to feature and you can move your feature items around, put them in the right order. Just great tool.
If we could remove all barriers and constraints, what projects would you do or take on? This could be personal or professional.
Yeah, I guess I think about it this way. I’ve got a book out there. That's a best seller. That I would call it a LinkedIn one-on-one through about intermediate LinkedIn. It's really a foundational book for everybody. If I could take on a project and had the energy to write a book, another LinkedIn book, but specifically for the business development space, I think I would like to do that. But my hesitancy always with books these days is with LinkedIn changing all the time, we’d have to continue to update the book. But I think that's a project that I would like to take on someday.
How to connect with Wayne:
Meet Heather Breedlove
Heather grew up striving for the perfect life: a fairytale romance, the perfect family and a successful career. But while working her way through the checklist, she found a disconnect. The person she was at home was not the person she was at work nor even the person she is. She's now found excitement in bringing full self to every aspect of her life. Through Shine Your Bright, she hopes you find the peace and courage to do the same.
Can you just tell us a little bit more about what the checklists we all kind of have for our lives are?
I grew up with what I consider a white picket fence family. I met my husband in college, I had my checklist in front of me and I was going to graduate high school, go to college. start my career, married by 25 children by 32. I think a lot of us grew up with our life put before us. And we just worked down the checklist constantly striving to hit that next little notch. And, for me what happened is I made it right up and got married at 25, just like I'd always wanted to do. And we got back from our honeymoon and three weeks later found out that my father had stage four cancer and we were going to lose him. And he was gone by Thanksgiving. And then there was that realization that he wouldn't be around to see most of my adult life, he wouldn't see his grandchildren. And so that kind of hit me with a little bit of a detour in life. Life wasn't the way I pictured it or imagined. And then going forward We found out that we weren't necessarily going to be able to have children. Again that checklist that little girl dreams of her whole life. It didn't happen. So how did I navigate my life? To still have those joys and find out who I was and happiness even though it wasn't necessarily happily ever after? Like I thought I'd be.
Tell us what it means to shine your bright?
I had hit a point where our marriage was super hard. I had grown up with what I said was a white picket fence. Tommy, my husband, had grown up in a more volatile lifestyle. And I guess we both thought that marriage would really mirror what it was for our parents and not necessarily be what we want our marriage to look like. And we went through some marriage counseling we went through really a lot of just trial. And we kept finding out that we had to deal with kind of the way we had grown up in our past. And when we finally got to our breaking point, Tommy had gone to a living center program in Tennessee and spent a week really kind of diving back into his history and working through how he had grown up. I ended up going to the same program. One of the afternoons they did horse therapy, and with the horse therapy, I didn't realize it's such a reflection on how people engage in their life. It's how they interact with these horses. My experience with the horse was I felt like we were almost negotiating with each other and we started kind of building trust as I would lead him around the ring, he would get more comfortable and we were really working together. And what happened is I started to feel this glow in my chest, and I didn't, embarrassingly enough, I didn't necessarily recognize that it was pure joy because it had been so long since I'd been in an equal and balanced relationship. It was a shock when I really started to feel that and it planted a seed. It did make me realize that it's been a minute since I felt that and the visual I had in my head was very much this glow coming from within. And that's how shine your bright was born and I created a movement really around. How can you find joy in yourself and happiness in yourself just in your ordinary, everyday life without necessarily making sure everybody at work is happy, everybody at home is happy and really putting yourself on the back burner. So I think that's what showing your bright means to me.
Can you share with our listeners your most successful or favorite networking experience that you've had?
My most amazing networking experience, I would say, it's probably what what's coming to mind is being open to just have a conversation. When I've had an open conversation and not really think about the networking of you know what is your job? Can you help me with my job but if you can go down a little deeper and start to understand what a person is excited about, and what are their fears and really take some of the career out of it for me, some of my best relationships have been where business relationships have turned into something more. I think that's where I find the beauty in the networking is when you let all of the career necessarily fall apart and go in a little deeper, and it's more about the whole relationship with people more than getting the work done.
Regardless of the size of your network, it's extremely important to stay in front of and nurture these relationships. How do you go about doing that?
it is so easy to get caught up in your to do list every day and to really forget about your network. I make it a point to reach out and not send text messages I make sure to call someone in my network every day especially now that or when quarantine happened. And that human touch was really missing. Just taking the time to make the phone call have the conversation. What you'll find when you start doing that is most people are shocked that their phones even ringing because text messages so popular right now.
What advice would you offer that business professionals looking to grow their network?
I would say be open. I think you'd be surprised at where you can meet people. And if it is just talking to someone while you're aligned at the coffee shop. Have that conversation. Don't be afraid. Some people might be shocked when you start talking to them. But wherever you are, you never know who you're going to meet. And think of how many people you pass on a daily basis at the grocery store. And if you can just smile and say, Hi, how are you doing and just strike up a conversation. You never know that could be your next big introduction.
Digital networking has been kind of the way of the world fairly recently. But between digital networking and traditional networking, which one do you find more value in?
I think I find a lot more value in the traditional networking and they both work especially now but with myself and Shine Your Bright when we're person to person, there's just that little bit of magic from being face to face that you might not get over digital. And we talk about such sensitive subjects. Sometimes it's a little harder to break that barrier down via digital.
So if you 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 think I would take more time for fun in my career, I was what I considered super successful. And when I started working through that checklist in that business life, but I think what was important to me and I'll never forget, my uncle told me one day when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. He goes there'll always be death and taxes. So make sure you're in the healthcare professional, or you're an accountant. Well, blood didn't work for me. So I went the accounting route, and I was super good at it. And it's laid an entire platform out for me from a business perspective. It was the language of business. But what I would do differently is explore my creativity earlier. And really, self-expression and getting to know myself more and from if it's painting or trying something new. I think it's so easy to let some of those things go. And I'll go back to that when we're working our way through the checklist. It is easy to keep striving to that and you might lose yourself while you're doing that.
We've all heard of the 6 degrees of separation, who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you could do it in the sixth degree?
Narrowing that down to just one person. That's been tough for me. I've been thinking about this question for a while. And there are so many amazing people out there. And I know I'm hedging that question. But I think the game I like to play there is if I'm open to the people around me, and I continue to have those conversations and networking. I like to follow the magic and see who I meet. I learned that little ninja trick for my husband. He's met some pretty amazing people just because he's reaching out and he doesn't hesitate to do that.
Do you have any final word of advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
I would start with what's near and dear to my heart is grow and support yourself. And as you start to do that you can build up your confidence because you know really intimately who you are going out and being in the world and starting those conversations will almost be more intriguing because then you can also kind of use those conversations to mirror and learn more about yourself and say, Wow, was I intimidated by this person and why or did I look up to this person and why. So I think the work there with your networking starts within.
How to connect with Heather:
Meet Agostino Pintus
As a former INC 500 Technology Chief, he had great success...until he failed in spectacular fashion that kicked off his "10 Dark Years". He was rudderless, with no direction and financially broken. It wasn't until a friend introduced him to the power of buying large real estate deals that changed the entire course of his life. Agostino ended up building a real estate portfolio as the General Partner on over $42M of deals in 32 months! Today, he helps people get into real estate deals and build their wealth.
Why don't you start by sharing your thoughts on how we think we've been conditioned to not take risks?
I was talking to my friend about this the other day actually. And if you think about it, when we were kids in grade school, and you made a mistake on a test or something like that, at least when I went to grade school. We had nuns that ran the school and if you made a mistake, they whip out the ruler and wrap it right across your knuckles. Right? Because you made an error. And if you can imagine that type of behavior to a child, amplified, and done day in day out where you're worried about your score and you're worried about being wrong. It's the conditioning. We're conditioned to be very good employees, that is what we are trained to do, because we live in a very antiquated system, right? We live in a system where we were told you're going to be good employees, you shall not make a mistake. And I need you to work eight hours a day. And then you're going to get eight hours to yourself, get eight hours of sleep. This is the perfect balance. You're going to do this for five days a week. You're going to do this for 40 years until we don't longer need you. Then you're going to go on to a pasture and live out the rest of your life that we permit you to have.
Why do people live in fear even though they have a secure job?
That's the thing, that's the fake thing. It's not secure. It's this belief of security like you said in the introduction there. I was working at this this company. It was a fine company, a great company, we had a great deal of success. We helped grow this business from a few hundred employees to a couple thousand employees. I mean, we're doing remarkable things. But what I did was while I was working at this company, I got into real estate back then doing like single family homes and stuff like that, because I was I was living in fear, even though I was earning a six figure job, even though I had stock options and all that fun stuff with this company. And even though they supposedly loved me, I still thought one day these guys are going to turn on me. That was always in the back of my mind. I already knew it because as long as your future in the hands of someone else, they will define when you can take your time when you can take your time off and when and where you can go, that even comes into play, too, right? Because if you're given two weeks and I say given two weeks or three weeks of your time, your time must be taken into account as to where you want to go and you have any flexibility around that if you want to take a longer trip, there's no way it has to be included in your time off that is again allocated to you. But at any rate, all this stuff is a facade. It's not real. And I’m a perfect example.
You have really achieved some major successes. What are some of the best habits that you've employed to help you achieve these goals and live without fear to some extent?
I would say that before can answer that question, there has to be a realization. And I'll tell you that when you have this reawakening and you develop a whole new focus around what your life needs to be, you start living on purpose, and that's what I've been doing now. So, what I do as far as the ritual is concerned, I wake up early every morning, 5:15, I avoid touching the phone, I avoid all that I go to the gym and do CrossFit, come home, start the coffee, and I start writing. I write down my affirmations. I say, I visualize my future as I want it as it is as if it's present and happening today because your subconscious does not know the difference.
Can you share with our listeners, one of your most successful or favorite networking experiences that you've had?
I network like tremendously it's what we do and as part of our core to our business. So what we do that you alluded to before is we buy these large multifamily real estate deals. And I have a friend of mine that that introduced me to, but he brought me into the fold of his network. And I tell you, the people he introduced me to are just phenomenal. This one guy, this one friend that he introduced me to got us in front of a deal that would never have made its way in my hands in a million years. And now we're closing it in a few weeks here. I can't really share with you what it is just yet because it's a non-disclosure agreement. But you have me on in three weeks and I'll tell you all about it. But I'm telling you, that this is a historical property, it will be worth a great sum of money when it's completed. But again, networking is what brought it.
So how do you stay in front of or best nurture these relationships that you're creating?
I think everybody is somewhat in some degree guilty of this is that is the follow up. The follow up is probably the hardest part. Because we get in our own heads. If a relationship goes nowhere, it goes nowhere. What are you going to do right, but establishing those contacts in relationships. Everyone else has got what you need and myself included, right, I have what someone needs out there. And that's why we're here today. Like I'm sharing my knowledge and sharing what I have for someone else to hopefully leverage and do something good with it. But that's probably one of the biggest things that I'm still pushing myself to do is to really tighten up the follow up. And I think what I'm going to be doing the next 30 days here is really bring on more staff to help offload some of the items that I'm doing so I can focus on what matters and that's other people.
What advice would you offer that business professional who is really looking to grow their network?
Deliver value, deliver all the value that you possibly can. There's friends that I've met and we're very close business partners today. But at first we weren't. And we met through a mutual friend. And we just talked on the phone and he says that he's looking for help. Next thing you know, I hook them up with a top notch guy that I know can do the job. And you know, he happened to come into town. You know, a few months later, we're still talking. We have a very good dialogue. He mentioned that he liked a certain type of coffee. And I said, hey, you know what? You should try espresso. I have this crazy stovetop thing and he had never heard of it. I went off and bought one for him and handed it to him. So a $10 item, but you know what, though? It's sitting on his stove right now. And he's thinking about me. Right?
If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of, less of, or different with regards to your professional career?
My mother had a serious accident and not really talked about this on the air, but she had a serious accident. And I ended up having to raise my little sister and I had the responsibilities of running the house, so to speak. So I don't know I think I would have probably told myself to give myself a challenge to read books a lot more. I totally underestimated the power of books. So I'd probably go back to my 20 year old self and say, create a list of all these books, and not just garbage books, I'm saying the classics that will really cause a mental shift, to really build your character, and to really improve your overall skills because I was relying just on tech, and I thought that as long as I had a good “job”, that's all you needed, and that was totally incorrect. Totally incorrect.
Do you have any final word or advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
I would say that it's other people who have your money. And people don't talk about money a whole lot. It's kind of like it's taboo. I'm not sure why it is. It's others that have your money and it's not just saying it in a bad way. I mean that if you're able to help someone achieve their goals, and you make some money at the same time, that is how you win. You win, they win, everybody's happy. And it just comes down to really supporting that other person and making them the star of the show, not yourself. That's ultimately what it is. That's what we do in our teaching program. That's exactly what I talk about.
How to connect with Agostino
Meet Lyle Stoflet
Lyle is the Managing Partner at Stratus Industries, Gear Grove and Containers Up. He’s a lifelong learning advocate. People connector. And strives to be 1% better every day.
What is the difference between networking and real connections?
You can collect a lot of business cards and have those fun conversations at the different events. But it's really about after that event of what you do, and making those real connections, and some of them for myself have been many years of connecting with people, and if it's personal, or if it's on the business side of things I've had both and some morph to both of them. So it's really about caring for people and trying to have their best interests at heart when you meet them. But also take that to the next step and not just talk about things but actually put action to it.
How do you anticipate small specialized events evolving or taking place in what is being referred to as our new normal now?
In our containers upside of our business, we take shipping containers and modify them into bars, restaurants, meeting spaces, pop up shops, all different pieces and try to figure out the new cycle, what are people's needs? Everything from parklets downtown Milwaukee, we're looking at putting in offices that we can drop off in your driveway that have two large windows, a patio doors, super comfortable, but you can walk out and have a different office. Most people are working from home and sometimes you just need that different space, especially if you have a driveway or a space to be able to put a 20-foot container.
In your experiences, what networking venues are the best?
Everybody has their personal opinion, but the name tags and the venue that is intimate so you don't feel like you're jammed in a space. Something that’s not this huge hall where you're like, wow, there's a lot of people here and you're intimidated, but also having the name tags that are color coded. So you kind of know who you're trying to meet and the people you're looking for because not everybody's a fit. Networking events have been successful for me, and it's also been a total, well, you know, there's X amount of insurance people here. That's great. They're out there too, and they have to make connections too. But it’s do you really want to try to make those long-lasting connections with people.
Can you share with our listeners, one of your most successful or favorite networking experiences that you've had?
We use an HR firm, and I met Shelly Miles with City Partners through that. And it was truly a cold networking event and we traded cards. And you know, the thing about networking events is everybody's there to meet people. It's not anything scary to walk up to somebody because that's what everyone is going to do. If you’re the person walking up or the person that is sitting there talking or jumping into a conversation. So from my story, the connection was simply that I walked up and started having a conversation. And you have to have your elevator pitch ready, if that's what you want to call it that 30 seconds. It was, oh interesting. You know, tell me more about that. And, you know, really getting to know what that person does on the other end. So now, this has been five years now and she's been our outsource HR partner.
So when you went into that networking event, did you go in looking for an outsourced HR partner?
No, but it probably took three meetings after that. But it wasn't a hard sell at that point. It was getting to know that person, and to see if that person was a fit for our culture, what we stood for. So, it was going in with that open mind of, hey, either I can help, or I might be able to connect somebody that could use their help. And part of that is that I think finding other people who you can help is a lot of fun, just in general.
How do you best nurture these relationships that you're creating?
It takes work, like any good relationship, it takes work, it takes communication. It could be checking in with a quick email, text message as we have so many communication devices at our fingertips and ways to communicate. It's just about keeping in front of people.
What advice would you offer that business professional who is looking to grow their network?
It's so easy not to do things. And we're all busy. And I'm talking about myself right there too. It's easy not to do the events, not to put yourself out there. I'm not a natural, super outgoing person that loves to just go meet a million people. I have to work at it and you have to set your goals and say, alright, I need to do one event this week or whatever it is, or I have to meet five people this week. I'm a goal orientated person. So I go, okay, it's Tuesday or Wednesday, and I’m not there yet. I know that I have to put some work in to get there, because it does pay dividends. And it may not be today or a year from now. But all of a sudden after two years and you’re at a different networking event, you see the same person and, hey, you need to meet so and so. So I think it's a it's a skill. It's something that is planned, but it's something that you have to put into your schedule. And don't let it get chopped out of your schedule.
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?
Oh, fail fast. Don't be afraid to fail. I know, it's a cliché now, but it's one of those things that sometimes you have to, you know, look at it and say, okay, it's not working, how do we, what do we change? How do we pivot? And be okay with that. You know, I would have probably looked for more of a mentor, a little bit more a little earlier and expanded my network faster. So to find people who are doing things, not just talking about doing things, but actually doing things.
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 with them the sixth degree?
Tony Robbins would be one. Just from his energy and I think having lunch with him or breakfast with him would be a very eye opening, energy filled time that you could really take. You know, you can listen to the podcasts and do your studying and continue to grow. But to have that one on one time, I think would be invaluable.
Do you have any final word or advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
You know, the biggest thing is to be authentic. Be there to help and know that eventually it all comes full circle. May not be today, but you know, just be yourself and everybody's there to network and to meet people. So don't be shy. We're all there to learn and meet new people.
How to connect with Lyle
Meet Matthew Clark
Matthew Clark is the founder of The Virtual Edge and co-creator of The Rainmaker System - an online marketing system that helps entrepreneurs get 2-5 high value leads per day from LinkedIn without paying for ads. With their flagship programme Matthew and his business partner Wesley Longueira have helped thousands of businesses in seventeen countries grow exponentially. They are now on a mission to reach 10k businesses worldwide and build a vibrant community of Rainmakers along the way!
Tell us a little bit about the Rainmaker system?
What we do is that we help entrepreneurs get two to five high value leads per day from LinkedIn without paying for ads. we've got a three stage process that we take people through, and how it works is the three main stages are position connect and scale. So first stages is all about positioning yourself for success. You want to go from being in visible and just being you know, another person on LinkedIn to someone that's completely irresistible to your ideal client. Now, the key on there is that you have to know who your ideal client is. And the more focused you get, the more targeted you get the better at this works. Once you've got that, instead of trying to target everyone, we use the power of one solve one big problem for one ideal client, we then create what's called the pickup line, okay, which is all about the message that you're going to put out there so people know how to work with you, before they even talk to you. Once you get that right, then we do the LinkedIn makeover which turns your profile from an egocentric profile focusing all on you to a client centric sales page that focuses everything on your ideal client. And that's how you go from being invisible to irresistible.
How did you get started in business?
I started out doing door to door sales. I started off in the UK, selling gas and electric, getting people to switch over to our provider. Then when I came back to South Africa, I had an opportunity to work with someone I worked with in the UK, and we started selling telephone systems switchboards, copiers, and CCTV. A couple of years later I started my own business with two friends. And it really took off. I mean we got up to doing seven high seven figures. Within four years, we had 60, staff members, and it was just like a lot of fun. My experience doesn't come from the online digital world. It comes from door to door sales and connecting with people. So sure, everything I've done has been built on that. And that's obviously why I like LinkedIn so much is because I can literally, I can virtually knock doors, and I can build great relationships.
Can you share with our listeners whenever favorite networking experiences that you've had?
One of the funniest ones for me was, I was working with a guy who is based in Ireland. And he was helping us with some stuff. We were running a big event in South Africa and I met this other speaker who came along, it was a social media event. And I mean, this guy was amazing. I've never seen someone saw like this where people are literally rushing the back table and stampeding to get there. And him and I got talking. He's got the social media course. And he's like, well, I'm looking for someone that could do LinkedIn, and boom, here you are, and we're going to do it. And we're setting up a webinar on Thursday, this week. It was a Sunday. We have 400 people on and I want you on the presenting on LinkedIn. So I was like, well, that's amazing. That just kind of came out of nowhere, out of the blue. And so we set that up, and we did that.
How do you stay in front of and invest and nurture your network?
Content, very simple content. I post out content not as often as what I should. But also just have conversations with people. I like to talk with people. I love building relationships with people. I genuinely I love it. And so very often that I'll just reach out to people to ask how's it going, just checking in, you know what's going on, or comment on their post. So I do a lot of Zoom. I pretty much live on Zoom.
So what advice would you offer to the business professional who's looking to grow their network?
So number one is be laser focused with who you want to target write your list of your top 100 that you want to go after the people that you really want to connect with, that you want to network with, that can help you grow personally or in your business. And focus on building those networks either directly with them and also around them. Have a plan, write down what you want, who you want, and take action on it. And the second thing is engage with people. There's nothing better than going out there and spend the time and energy posting, and then you've got writing content and then posting and then people actually engage with you. So the advice is go and engage with people. Go and start conversations, go read people's posts, and instead of just scrolling past and not actually doing anything, like it, comment and share it.
We've definitely talked a lot about digital and you started your business and sales experience more on the traditional side of networking. But at the end of the day, which one do you find more value in?
I like to use a combination. Here's the thing, when you are doing face to face, and let's say you go to a networking event, or whatever it is, most people don't know how to communicate what it is that they do and what they want. More importantly they're scared to share that. But also, it may take you a bunch of conversations before you actually find somebody that you can help or that you want to work with, or take a conversation further.
With what would you say your response rate is typically on LinkedIn?
So it depends on your goals and what you want to achieve. I work on an average with my students, and I say, these are kind of the numbers that you want to look for, if you're going in for lead generation. So you want to you'll typically experience about a 20% connection rate. So people that you connect with, and you always want to send a message when you connect with people always, never just say, connect, send a message. If we look at those numbers, so if you send out 1000 connections in a month, it sounds like a lot, it's like 40 a day. And 20% of those connect with you. That's 200 connections. Let's say 25% of them start a conversation. So that's 50 conversations that you're having. And then let's say even if 20% of those actually want to talk to you further and get on a call, that's an extra, you know, 10 people. That's 10 leads that you're talking to right there.
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 definitely say invest more. I made a lot of money when I was younger, and like a lot and I had zero expenses, zero overhead, zero anything, and I didn't invest it properly. I would also say to myself use the opportunity that I've got and go all in on it. And sometimes the things that I'm doing even though I don't necessarily like them, I could be using it as a stepping stone to get to the next level. So definitely think more about what do I want out of life versus just living it.
We've all heard 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?
Well I did manage to do that. So Bob Berg was one of the people that I really wanted to connect with. And I did it within the second degree and he was on my list of people that I really want to connect with and really get to know more. Like that book was unreal for me. And it's happened.
Do you have any final word of advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
So in terms of growing into putting your network I would say, some of the things that I wish I would have done better is to go in with a plan. You know, think about who do you really want? Where do you really want to be. So have that vision, have that goal in mind of where you want to take your life where you want to take your business, work your way back and figure out who can help you get there faster. Always look to network up. Network with people better than you, higher than you, better than where you're at right now. So that you always learn stuff, and be valuable to people. You know, think of ways that you can be valuable to them in a way that you know, they care about you that you care about them. And just make it all about them and not about you.
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