Marketing

5 Ways To Grow Your Network

ByJessica Ruhfus

Whether you’re looking to make new buddies, geek-out on your favourite topic, build a business network or just have your finger on the pulse, growing your network should be a priority no matter what life stage you’re in. If the word ‘networking’ gives you the heebie-jeebies, don’t worry! Here are 5 ways to grow your network without the *cringe*-factor.

Collaborate with Brands
If you’re in business or work for a pretty awesome company, there’s really no better way to grow your network AND the business at the same time. If I’ve lost you at ‘collaboration’ think GoPro x Redbull, Spotify x Uber, Gelato Messina x Tim Tam or Peter Alexander x Moccona - when two brands partner up for some cool marketing activities. I started Collabosaurus as a matchmaking platform that is perfect for matching up with the right, complementary, relevant brands for collaborations just like these and there are over 3000 opportunities to connect with! If you’re not sure where to start, we have a free 5 day masterclass series on the lot (you can check that out HERE)

Attend Events
They’re not what they used to be! There are so many great events going on at the moment. Today, I got a message from one of my event attendees letting me know that she signed Redbull thanks to connecting at the event! How amazing is that? Attend events that target people you want to connect with. A great place to start is on Eventbrite, local co-working spaces, websites like Work-shop or checking out festival scenarios like Vivid in Sydney.

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Have a peek on Directories
There are so many directory listings in different niches that you can try as a way to connect with awesome people. LinkedIn is of course the obvious one, but there are also platforms such as Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine, Business Chicks, Behance, Big Hearted Business & The League of Extraordinary Women where it’s far less *cringe* to reach out than sending a cold email. That weird term ‘putting yourself out there’ doesn’t have to be awkward! Find some niches that you fit into and see what directories and websites are out there connecting people in the space.

Ask your Existing Network
You probably have some pretty cool friends, suppliers and co-workers already, actively tap into that! Send an email to your top 10 people and let them know that you’re actively looking to expand your network in _____ space and would love an intro to anyone they know (who is as awesome as they are, of course). You’ll be amazed at the results, especially from your existing, legendary network.

Start Stalking on Instagram
I love a good stalk as much as the next person, but stalking doesn’t actually grow that network of yours, does it? My advice is to take stalking to a whole new level: find 5 brands or people that you are inspired by and actively comment on their posts. Please, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, steer clear of “love it” “100%” or “Nice work!”  - make your comments personalised, involved and interested, it will help you stand out. I know that if I have a client or a follower consistently comment on my Instagram posts (over on @collabosaurus, in case you want to join the party) I end up becoming virtual best buddies with that person. The amount of real-life friends and networks I have made through Instagram is astonishing and so much easier than you might think.

What are you waiting for? Start growing that network of yours and consistently invest time in building relationships. The saying “it’s who you know” really does ring true!

Collabosaurus is an online match-making platform for brands to source valuable partnerships with other brands. If you want to tap into communities around Australia, and even internationally, Collabosaurus is a go-to tool that makes sourcing and negotiating a strategic collaborations simple. It’s FREE to get started and view your matches.

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The Power of Building Customer Trust

By Kathy Wilson

Trust is tough to gain, quick to lose. As a business owner every social media post, newsletter or product you put into the world should help your customers learn to trust - and value you. This is essential to your business success and I'm going to show you why.  Let's start with a story to illustrate my point...

As you walk into the Real Fitness Centre, the first thing you notice is a slightly dog-eared black and white photograph. It is a candid snapshot of a smiling 70-something lady with dumbbells in both her hands.

Kim Johnston, who is the gym’s owner and a client of mine, tells me that this is a photograph of her first client Clara; her neighbour who used to suffer from weak knees and immense joint pain.

Clara had tried several fitness centres, and not one of them offered customised workouts that suited her age and fitness level. Because they were already friends, Kim knew that Clara couldn’t afford personalised training so they struck a deal. Kim helped her develop a workout that suited her needs – and Clara would provide Kim with all the Mango-chilli chutney could use.

“It was amazing chutney,” Kim laughs, “and even better, working with Clara gave me the confidence and the motivation of breaking into this niche segment of women’s fitness.”

This single story about Kim, tells me so much about her mission, her values and her motivations. It rings truer than the thousands of likes on her Facebook. Next time I want to recommend a fitness centre to a friend or family, I will think of Kim not only because she’s great at what she does but also because we seem to share the same values.

And that is the lesson for entrepreneurs who want to succeed online.

To work with you, I need to trust you. I need to relate to you. Unlike businesses that were run decades ago, we do not have the privilege of being in the same location or the facility of meeting each other face to face. The unknown face behind the computer and the public profile on social media although informs me of who you are, it doesn't tell me much about you. My reassurance of you comes from what I know about you and who I perceive you to be. Your story is your most powerful tool. Who are you? What do you believe it? Why should I trust you?

Leanne Faulkner, founder of Fortitude at Work, a mental health consultancy shares “ Be brave and tell your story honestly. I think failure has been my greatest success.  If I hadn't really had that breakdown, which my husband calls a breakthrough, I wouldn't be advocating for mental health for small business owners”. She started Fortitude at Work, due to her personal battle with stress in running her first venture, which she had to let go of due to the stress and anxiety of running a business.

The vulnerability in her story makes her relatable and I would feel positive about reaching out to and working with Leanne. Knowing her motivations and her journey will help me to believe that she can truly make a difference to my situation. This is true not just for service based industries but product based as well.

After spending years in the corporate world, Emma, co-founder of Emma and Toms decided to start out on her own venture of fresh juices with the belief “In business, the relationships you develop are really important and treating people fairly and with respect is the way to have good business relationships”.

This is an entrepreneur whose philosophy I buy into and so I would love to buy her products as well. Now, telling your story isn’t always comfortable. But as soon as you enter the online arena a story is being told about you anyway through your posts and videos and updates. An impression is being formed, which can either build or take away from you trust quotient.

So tell me. What story are you telling online?

Kathy Wilson used the power of the internet storytelling to land her dream job as a travel writer. She now builds courses that show others the exact steps she followed to use the power of the online reputation to transform careers.

New Beginnings Fair // Speed Marketing

New Beginnings Fair
New Beginnings Fair
New Beginnings Fair
New Beginnings Fair
New Beginnings Fair
New Beginnings Fair
New Beginnings Fair

Events are in my blood - and a core part of what we do here at Blog Society. I'm committed to sharing more of our own events here - and those from around the globe - so that all of my readers can get a behind the scenes glimpse into these fun gatherings and see what is happening in our blogging community.

Recently in Sydney I held a Speed Marketing workshop along with Zoe Weldon from Seeker Lover Dreamer and Nadia Felsch as part of the new launched, New Beginnings Fair. The event was a new one for me but I loved the format: quick and focused on what really matters...getting shit done. 

The event was held in a gorgeous industrial space, right on Sydney harbour and we had 1 hour to delve into the worlds of marketing strategy, social media, branding and self-care. It's was a fun, hands on session with two of my favourite ladies and we filled it with raw, honest, humuor filled advice in a speed dating format. 

For me when I was thinking about what I wanted to teach in my segment - which was only 15 minutes long - clearly knew it was going to be difficult to narrow down the world of marketing in such a short period. So I decided to focus on something that I think is essential to business success - and that’s planning.  

A strategy or plan will keep you focused, less stressed, help you make decisions and allows you to stop wasting time. I’ve found with my own personal coaching clients that most business owners have these big lofty goals, a million things on their to-do list, an endless supply of ideas - but no plan to get there.

Why?

The perception of creating a strategy is that it’s complex and difficult but that is exactly why I wanted to dispel that rumour.  During the worksheet I walked everyone through my Blog Society 'Get Shit Done' plan which is a mini version of our popular 90-Day Marketing Plan Template which you can download for free below to help you get started with your own planning today.

The group of students dove into these excercises and shared candidly about their struggles as newbie bloggers and biz owners - it was both refreshing and reassuring to know that everyone goes through the same emotions when starting out and I encourage anyone feeling overwhelmed to download the free template above and start getting your thoughts on paper - trust me it works!

I'm also a big fan of making my events extra special for our attendees and that means making sure that extra attention is paid to the smaller details.  From the music that creates a great vibe, to the venue, to the little gifts that compliment our content, events are always, always about the detail.  

I want to take a moment to say a huge thank you to the small businesses and fellow #girlbosses that helped support our event - stunning greeting cards from Little Branches, gorgeous letterpress Thank You postcards from Coco Press and exquisite feather tip pens from Jot It Down. These ladies are killing it in their own industries and were thrilled to have them supporting our event. x Jac

New Beginnings Fair