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.
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