Hey there, my gorgeous listener, welcome to episode 71 of the Small Business Made Simple Podcast.
Thank you for lending me your ears today – I know you have lots of choices, so I sincerely appreciate me being one of them!
If you’re a first time listener, super super welcome, I am so pleased to have you here. I am your host Jenn Donovan, and, it’s my job, via this podcast, social media and everywhere else actually, to make your business life simpler.
Business can be lonely and hard and complicated and it’s hardly ever easy, but it should be simple or at least simpler, so that’s my commitment you to on the Small Business Made Simple podcast!
One way I help to make your life simpler is by having a group of like-minded business owners all in one stop. To ask questions, get answers and enjoy the journey of business! If you haven’t joined the Like Minded Business Owners Facebook Group, then hope over there after this episode and join! Simply search Like Minded Business Owners in Facebook or come to the show notes for the like. Show notes are at www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au/71
If you’re in business, you could probably think of a few lessons you’ve learnt in the past couple of months – maybe during Covid-19 or perhaps just in 2020 as a collective year.
I know it’s a topic of conversation between my business besties, my clients and myself. A constant little conversation.
Whether it’s about learning about who’s loyal, including staff, friends, customers or maybe it’s around finances and from now on you’ll make sure your finances are able to take a hit and still stay afloat, you’ll do budget projections and cash flows – never to be caught with your financial pants down again – so to speak.
For me, the biggest lesson I have learnt is MY NETWORK IS MY NETWORTH.
All those relationships I have built over the past few years running a social media and marketing business, all those connections I’ve made online and offline, all those freebies I did for someone some time, all those quick chats to help you out of a jam I did – they all came home to roost in the last 8 weeks.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that a person who runs a speaking business, that’s me, had a pretty clear diary very quickly about 6 weeks ago.
I had actually just won myself a 30K speaking gig – which was HUGE for me, I cannot tell you how huge that was, only to have it taken away from me less than a week later we social distancing came into play!
I’m ok about that, heck it was like money I never had any way! But it was a little heartbreaking ☹
About 30% of my private clients rang, when Covid-19 hit, to say they wouldn’t be continuing, which was totally understandable – I had cut back on a few things too – given the horrible exchange rate of US dollars.
I’m happy to say most are back now in some capacity and new ones have appeared.
And they have appeared because they were in my network – they had been following me, or listening to my podcast or engaging with me in my Like Minded Business Owners group or had a discovery call at some stage, and for them, when covid-19 hit, it was the wake up call they needed to get their business future proofed and that involved getting their marketing right (or start marketing as one of the cases was!)
I’m pleased to say that I am almost as busy with speaking gigs as I was prior to Covid-19, but I get to do it from my home office – which Year 12 and Year 11 home schooling, of course, has its own challenges – but it’s saving a lot of mileage on my car. This fortnight alone, I would have racked up over 1500 kilometres if my speaking gigs were face to face!
My business has been saved by my network – hands down, absolutely.
Now I know one my business besties, Kellie Briggs who has the Business Networking by Design podcast, and was actually a guest on episode 44 (www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au/44) would be loving me talking about my network being my net worth, because networking is her absolute JAM – if you haven’t listened to her podcast -go listen to it!
As much as I wanted to chat to you about networking and networthing, I actually don’t want the podcast to be all about me and my 2020 experience thus far, I want you to think about your network and what it represents as your net worth inside your business.
So, let’s take a dive into this little theory of mine of how your network can become such an integral part of your net worth.
- You can’t just network in your bubble
I’m the first to put my hand up and say networking makes me feel uncomfortable. I am such a “pick someone out in a room and they will be my bestie for the night” kind of person – of course, watch who you pick!
Get out there – meet people who make you feel uncomfortable because you think they are “bigger” than you, further on the journey than you or from a completely different industry to you.
- Network online but do it differently!
Online networking makes this so easy – so so easy.
Start following, connecting with people.
But do it differently, do it personally.
For instance, reaching out for a new connection on LinkedIn – send them a message with the request – don’t just click the “connect” button. If you get a new connection – send them a message – whether they sent one or not – maybe even a voice message – that gets people’s attention and in a good way!
On Instagram – got a new follower – send them a message – hey thanks for the follow – happy Thursday, hope you’re doing well.
It’s just plain old, Jenn says it all the time, human to human marketing.
I promise you, these little things, add up to big things and even business!
- It’s a trust thing
I am sure you’ve heard, over and over, maybe even from me, about how your customers need to know, like and trust you before they’ll buy from you.
Giving them ways to get that trust, get to know you and like you, is done, of course, through networking among other things.
If you’re never showing up anywhere – then building relationships is freaking hard!
So, show up. If you already show up – show up more – unless you’re already a super star – then perhaps just keep being a super star!
Now this for me, is HUGE. And it’s a big part of it when I say my network is my net worth.
Some of the big contracts I have picked up in the last few months have been from referrals. My webinars have been full because of referrals and repeat customers.
My referees (if that’s a word) are sometimes people I’ve never met in real life – they are part of my online network – but they have got to know, like and trust me, because of how I show up – most times consistently, but hey, I’m no saint so consistency is my battle as well as yours I’m guessing – that’s whole other episode.
My mentor used to talk about referrals being at the end of the buying cycle, but that’s old school thinking now, probably true when he was a good marketer but now, referrals come from people who have never bought – but there’s a trust factor in other ways that they feel confident to refer their customers, their contractors, people in their world to you.
I hope my babbling about networking and networthing is making some sense to you.
Having connections means having opportunities. The better the connections, the deeper the relationship, the better the opportunity.
So many people talk about the fact that they are nervous to put themselves out there – to put themselves online, to tell the world exactly what they are doing, how they can help someone but can I give you a piece of advice that was given to me?
Lean in close
If you have the ability to make someone’s life better, simpler, easier, happier, healthier, to ability to solve a problem for someone, then you are being self-centred not doing it. Harsh hey!
But it’s true. Imagine if someone had the exact solution to solve your biggest problem in business or in life and they just didn’t want to put it out there because they were afraid, wouldn’t you be thinking “but I need it, it’s going to help me so much – please just put it out there” – well who’s to say that your ideal client isn’t saying that about you?
I’ll do a podcast one day on speaking, but it’s something I never ever in a billion years thought I would be doing as a career – I hated public speaking but hated that it had a mozz on me all the same – so I did it.
My first speaking gig was to an audience of 200 people, I was literally throwing up in the toilet beforehand with nerves, until a co speaker said to me, Jenn it’s not about you, it’s about your audience. They can’t wait to hear all your wisdom and take home some tips to implement into their business, they don’t care if you’re nervous, they just want the gold.
Being nervous was about me – not my customers. And I was showing up for them not me. It didn’t make me less nervous, but it did make me think different about being nervous and helped me show up better.
After about 4 minutes on stage, I was fine and no one came up to me and said, “boy you looked nervous, you ok?’ – not a single one.
That’s a little off topic, but still a highlight of the fact that we need to be showing up for our clients or customers.
What does that have to do with networking or net worthing – well, if you’re not showing up, then how will you build your network of people who know like and trust you and willing be willing to not only spend money with you but refer you business too!
Ok, I think I’ve chatted in your ear long enough. So, let’s call that episode 71.
What’s your action plan?
- Start networking and as you do, think of how you can put a personal spin on it to be more memorable – like voice or video messaging
- Make networking online and offline part of your future proofing strategy – maybe get all your networking expertise from Kellie’s podcast – Business Networking by Design
- Join the Like Minded Business Owners group on Facebook – it’s a great place to network and I’ll see you in there!
To you my fabulous listener, I’ll be back next Thursday with another great episode to help you simplify your business in 2020.
If you’re enjoying this podcast, which if you have listened to here – you hopefully are, don’t forget to subscribe, share this episode with another superstar business owner who’s doing the daily grind and would appreciate someone making their business simpler, and leave a rating or review to show how much you are loving this free weekly content.
Massive love coming your way if you do!
See you next week on the podcast for episode 72. But in the meantime, let’s hang out on social and get social on social – you’ll find me on Instagram, Facebook and my fav LinkedIn.
But whatever you do,
……..remember small business peeps, as my opening song says, there’s no point in dreaming small!