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When it comes to networking, I’m a little intense. I’ve actually reserved every Wednesday at 3pm for a meeting with a close friend or a new stranger who I’m interested in meeting. So I literally email, Facebook, or Instagram someone who I think is doing something interesting.
— Justin Shiels, marketer, speaker, and community builder
This week’s Profit. Power. Pursuit. guest is Justin Shiels the founder of This Creative Lab and Curious Tribe. Justin has over 9 years experience in communications, marketing, and graphic design. He uses his passion for community and his hometown of New Orleans to fuel his work. In 2014 Justin cofounded Venture Pop, a conference for creative entrepreneurs.
Justin and I talk about the power of nurturing relationships, the specific tactics he uses to connect with new people, and his value of diversity in building creative communities.
A Simple Networking Tactic Even You Can Use Every Day
Aside from his weekly standing meetings to get to know new people, Justin also recommends a networking tactic (oy, that sounds so cold and impersonal for such a friendly thing) for staying in touch with the people he meets. I’ve been trying to implement this networking tactic myself all year–and it’s panned out beautifully.
The process is simple:
If you read something, see something, hear something, or think something that reminds you of someone you know, let them know. Don’t let the thought pass and wonder why you haven’t talked to them in forever.
Drop them an email, text them, post on their Facebook wall…
…heck, pick up the phone and call them!
Share the thought, article, or video that made you think of them and tell them why. That’s it!
These small gestures–whether you actually reconnect with the person or not–puts you (and your business, mission, movement, ideas, etc…) back on the top-of-mind for the person you just thought of.
It’s a little thing that can have big results.
Take Action Now
In fact, why not give it a try right now.
Who do you know who is a natural relationship-builder? An authentic networker? A consummate community-wrangler?
Let them know what Justin’s interview made you think of them. Tell them how much you appreciate their curiosity, friendliness, and openness.
Love this episode? Subscribe on iTunes and while you’re there, leave us a review, too! It helps us reach more smart & ambitious small business owners like you.
Srini Rao is a master connector and community builder. I wish I could put my finger on his special brand of relationship-building but I think it’s just who he is. He’s a dreamer, an explorer, and an action-taker and that makes him very attractive to influencers and aspiring creatives alike.
Over 500 interviews ago, Srini created BlogCastFM, a podcast that hosted top bloggers and digital entrepreneurs to explore their stories, process, and strategies for success. He’s since rebranded the podcast to The Unmistakeable Creative and is exploring the world of creative movers and shakers through multimedia.
I’m fascinated by Srini’s story and his community because they demonstrate the extreme value of connection in a corner of the economy that generally prioritizes creators over connectors. And while all of his connection and community building has led him to become a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, a guest on Glenn Beck’s show, and a traditional publishing contract, I believe that the greatest value of his work is the people, ideas, and themes he brings together in unusual combinations.
Srini and I also discussed one of—what I believe is—the most pressing issues of creative entrepreneurship today: the myth of solo entrepreneurship. Srini has been actively growing his team, involving mentors and influencers, and co-creating with him community for years. He recognizes how much more he is able to accomplish because of the brilliant people around him.
Take special heed of this episode if you find yourself a connector in a creator’s world. You have something unique to deliver to your community and Srini Rao’s story should be an inspiration for how to do just that.
Click here to listen in iTunes.
If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please subscribe & leave us a review. Those simple actions help us reach more people with business truth-telling!
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The number one reason your business isn’t generating the revenue it could be is that your business model is not set up to generate more.
People who earn more know a very important fact:
It’s easier to earn the second $50,000 than it is to earn the first $50,000.
Or the second $100k, or the second cool million.
In other words, once you’ve earned $50,000, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be earning 6-figures. The difference is that earning 6-figures generally requires leveraging your earning. It means no longer trading time for money. It means understanding what parts of your business can be duplicated over & over again with almost zero effort. It means finding a tipping point again, and again, and again.
You don’t have to give up family time to earn more. You don’t need to resort to shady promotional tactics or annoying affiliate campaigns. Instead, your business needs to embrace a better business model that is based on value & results, not time & energy.
If you’re putting too much work into earning too little, there’s a good chance your business is based on a relationship model.
Now, don’t get me wrong! Relationships are great. The human element is the most important element of any business. But here’s what starts to go wrong when you base your business on a relationship model:
Relational transactions happen most often in project-based or one-to-one client scenarios. The easy way to develop a relationship is with time, exchange, and getting-to-know-ya. You put your whole heart & soul into the process. Those relationships turn towards a transaction when you have something that fills a need for the other person.
It’s a feel good way to do business. But it’s a slow process. Each customer represents hours of time, loads of money (don’t think your social media use & Skype coffee dates aren’t costing you), and emotional stress waiting for those relationships to convert.
On the other hand, sales in transactional models come fast & furious. They utilize scale to generate the revenue that’s needed in the business. Transactional models are built on acute needs & impulse purchases.
The difficulty with this model is that it’s hard to achieve customer loyalty, harder still to truly delight your customers. Once a solution is purchased, there’s often no word from the customer to find out if it’s working or not. And this type of business might leave you scratching your head, wanting more.
In a perfect world, there would be a sweet spot between transactional models & relational models.
Not to get all Dr. Pangloss on you, but the New Economy just might be the best of all possible worlds.
There is a sweet spot. There is a way to build a business that takes your big ideas and your brilliant products to scale in a way that makes each customer feel special and singled out.
Your customer understands that you are doing business with him in mind, that your business is geared to her success, and that you have a vision for how his life can be better.
Leveraged income isn’t outside the customer relationship cycle. It’s an integral part of it. You don’t develop leveraged income opportunities to generate money where before there was none. You develop leveraged income opportunities to solve problems for people you care about, over & over & over again.
If you’re making $10k, $20k, even $50k per year, you’re already solving problems for people one at a time. To make the jump to your dream income, your goal is to solve problems for people 10, 100, even 1000 people at a time.
Don’t fight your desire to forge & foster relationships with your potential customers. Just realize that you can serve more than one person at a time. In fact, you owe it to your customers to do just that.