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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: Page 1
May 10, 2021

Meet Valerie

 

After almost 30 years with Monofrax, Valerie has progressed from Clerk to Marketing Manager. She's just beginning to network and has found that the last year of virtual networking meetings and webinars was the perfect place to start. Just don't ask her to attend a speed networking event!

 

I'm curious why you're not interested in speed networking, is there any reason why? 

 

Speed networking is sort of my worst nightmare. I mean, frankly, it's the business version of speed dating, and I'm just like, "Oh, this is so bad," and especially for someone who's an introvert that likes to have a few moments to think before they answer on anything, the pressure is a little too much. 

 

I totally understand. So tell me a bit about Monofrax and what you guys do.

 

The short boring answer is that we are a manufacturer of fused cast refractories. The more interesting answer is that we are a foundry that does not pour steel, we pour artificial stone.

 

What exactly is artificial stone?

 

Well, first of all, we're at twice the temperature of lava, which I think is really cool and we're pouring blocks that are to be used for the linings of glass furnaces and metal furnaces.

 

So who's your buyer that's buying from you?

 

Predominantly our customers are the glass industry and light steel or light metal. We've also been used for nuclear vitrification and we have a global presence and we have been selling worldwide for the last 30 years.

 

What's it like coming into a marketing role without any experience in that space?

 

It was a little frightening because I have no background and no experience. But on the other hand, I consider it a huge advantage because if I'd taken marketing 30 years ago in college, things have changed so much since then that I'm looking at it with fresh eyes. Nothing is out of the question and I'm just willing to throw myself into it completely.

 

What was your biggest challenge that you faced moving into this role?

 

The biggest challenge has been the organization, marketing, strategy, and plans. All of those things that I probably would have learned if I'd studied in college. The rest of it would be the writing for social media, and articles for industry magazines, those things came a lot easier.

 

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

 

My favorite probably is when this all started and I can either blame or credit Kurt Anderson, for all of this who I know he's been a guest on your podcast. I attended a Manufacturing Marketing World Conference back in 2019, sat in the center of the room and this gentleman comes and sits next to me and starts a conversation. He's as energetic as always, he's the biggest cheerleader for manufacturing and that's where it all started. I started talking to him and then when he started his manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, I started attending that and I started networking with the people that were also in that attending and it sort of just started rolling from there.

 

As you continue to connect and meet with new people, how do you best nurture these relationships that you're creating?

 

I'm probably not really good at the nurturing part, I'm better at the connecting part because I go to a webinar, if it's one that's weekly or bi-weekly and I consistently go I get to the point where I recognize the other people in the room. Then it's much easier to go down the chat list or look at the people in the gallery and go, "Oh, okay, I need to connect with this person, and then I can write them a quick message on LinkedIn and say, Hey, I see you're attending the same webinar." So I already have my script prepared, because we're doing something together at the same time, we have the same interest and it just makes it a whole lot easier to do that.

 

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

 

Probably to do something very similar, where you're going to a webinar series or something else like that and on a consistent basis, you're seeing the same people and you can start to come up with a list of who looks interesting who can help you, which is my primary reason for networking because since I'm new to marketing, I'm looking for all the people that I can that are experts because I figured why not learn from the best? Then you'll know who you would be interested in marketing and networking with which makes it a whole lot easier.

 

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

 

I think if I went back to my 20-year-old self, I would say, take more risks. Don't be quite so afraid of doing things, you're more capable than you think you are.

 

Connect with Valerie:


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valerie-weber-a69a3743/

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