community

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.

Oct 8th Event-9990.jpg

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.

Free Biz Boss Toolkit + Resource Guide.jpg

Top 5 Reasons I Decided To Host A Telesummit

By Sarah Schwab

About 9 months ago, I was trying to figure out what to do next to build my business. I looked at many options, but decided that I wanted to go big! Do something that would make a clear, significant difference in my business. Something that could help achieve my vision and spread my message to a lot of people. 

I decided to host a telesummit.

Have you attended a telesummit before? Ever thought about hosting one? My event is called the Create, Connect and Convert online summit, and you can check it out here. But first, let me explain a little more. 

What is a telesummit?
A telesummit is like an online conference. There is a theme for the summit so it’s clear who it is for and what they will get from it. (Mine is all about creating content that you can use to market your business.) There are a number of speakers who participate in the summit (mine has 20 - one of which is Blog Society founder, Jaclyn Carlson!) who all bring their own expertise to the topic.

Typically a summit will last between 3-10 days, with 1-5 speakers each day. I am just about to launch my summit, and it’s a huge undertaking. So why did I choose to do this?

Here are my top 5 reasons…

1. Reaches A LOT More People Than Anything Else
How many platforms do you know where you can reach over 100,000 people who are warm leads? I was tired of reaching a few hundred or even a few thousand people at a time. Hosting a telesummit allowed me to create a bigger audience than I could have imagined because of the cumulative reach of the speakers involved.

Plus, unlike running ads to a cold audience, people would be hearing from someone they already trust and have a relationship with.  That’s a powerful combination!

2. Creates A Ton Of Value
There is a lot of information in a summit. Each speaker provides tips and ideas that the listeners can implement. They share stories to inspire people and offer resources to help them out.

As a Content Creation Coach, I believe in the power of sharing valuable content. It is how we attract people, build relationships with them, and gain their trust. Hosting a summit is like content creation on steroids! In the end I will have over 12 hours of powerful content. We will share it with a lot of people during the event. Plus it becomes an asset in my business that I can repurpose and use in other ways down the line.

3. Builds Your List
Having a large list of potential customers is important for any business, especially those of us who work online. I’ve been growing my list for a while now, and the truth is that I had built a decent following by many standards. But I felt stuck. It was going too slow, and I wasn’t able to break through to the next level. Can you relate? I didn’t want to add a few people to my list, or even a few hundred. I wanted to quickly add thousands of quality leads to my list. Is that a pipe dream? A well-produced telesummit is designed to do exactly that. It has the potential to add thousands of people to your list in a relatively short period of time. Notice that I said “quickly” not “easily!”  It definitely requires a lot of work, but so do other list-building techniques. I decided I was willing to give it a shot.

4. Connects You To Like-Minded People
The main thing a telesummit can do is bring people together. It’s all about connecting with people on both sides of the screen. First, I get to connect with other speakers who share my passion, and bring their own expertise to it. It’s a very collaborative experience, and creates relationships and partnerships that I plan to carry into the future. Plus, everyone who signs up to attend the summit becomes part of the event community. There is a great energy when people come together around a common idea. I believe that truly connecting with people not only grows your business, but it enriches your I get to be in the spotlight.

5. I get to be at the center of all the excitement. 
It’s not about getting attention (okay, maybe it’s a little bit about that). It’s more about positioning myself as a leader in my field. Truly becoming a go-to person, and a respected expert. Hosting a telesummit is big undertaking, but it’s a great way to create connections, build your reputation, and grow your business. Speaking on summits is another great way to get in front of new people and collaborate with others.

What do you think? Is hosting or participating in a telesummit in your future? Interested in checking one out to see what it’s all about? The Create, Connect and Convert Telesummit is starting on April 13th. Our goal is to inspire you to create content, because that is how we spread our message, reach more people, and make a bigger difference. I have a fantastic group of successful entrepreneurs (again, including your own Jaclyn Carlson!) who will share their expertise about creating different types of content, and how they have used it to grow their business. 

Sarah Schwab is the Founder and President of Content Creation Coach. She helps small businesses and entrepreneurs create consistent, compelling content they need to market their business online. She believes in the power of self-expression and creativity to transform her clients’ businesses and lives. Sarah works with clients one-on-one and through online programs. She has created hundreds of blog articles, produced videos, teleseminars, webinars, e-books, and more. Find out more about her approach to online marketing and content creation, including free resources, at www.contentcreationcoach.com

The Power of Online Community

By Ange Hammond

In my line of work, I often hear people’s opinions about social media and they’re not always positive. I get it; social media can be time-sucking, energy-draining and can leave us feeling that it’s not really worth it. It’s not always quick to show its value. I see many soulful entrepreneurs give it a go and then after a month their posts become fewer and fewer until eventually their Facebook or Instagram account lies dormant… and I can’t help but think of the opportunities to connect with current and future clients that have been missed.

Social media helps your business to branch out to a wider audience, reaching more of your ideal clients. This form of marketing takes time, dedication and inspiration. For me, Instagram is a favourite and to this day I'm still blown away by the community spirit, support and connection that can be built over time.

One example of this is my long-term connection with Tea Coup. I came across Fehreen's Ayurvedic Teaologist Instagram feed a couple of years ago and instantly fell in love with her style of posts. They were colourful, tea-inspired and full of life. I instantly followed her. She followed me back. From then on, we've mutually liked each other’s posts and on occasion also commented on photos that particularly moved us. Without meeting Fehreen in person, I felt a special connection of mutual respect and shared inspiration.

I couldn’t resist; I did have a look at Fehreen's website from time to time and the thought kept coming to me, "I would love to redesign her website". Her professional photos of both her teas and of her family were beautiful and in my mind's eye I would create her new website. It showcased those photos and her obvious passion for all things tea. For those of you who know me well, I’m a huge fan of tea, so it only seemed natural for me to work together with Fehreen. Maybe… some day.

Fast forward to the start of this year and seemingly out of the blue I received an email from Fehreen and it had happened... the solid connection on Instagram had translated into a website redesign enquiry. I was beyond elated… I couldn’t contain my excitement at the possibility. Yep, that’s my passion shining through! I loved that this enquiry had occurred so organically, without any hard-sells, spamming or convincing... just a strong sense of "you're the one to help me" that can only come with trust over time.

And it did take time, just like a pot of tea that has been steeped to perfection. It wasn’t until July and I was in Glasgow when Fehreen made the final decision to have her website redesigned. Soon after, I continued my digital nomad journey to Ubud, Bali, where I worked on the website design, with the help of both the colourful Hindu daily rituals that surrounded me and the valuable feedback received from both Fehreen and her family. I arrived back in Brisbane last month and all the pieces of the website puzzle came together. Something truly beautiful was launched, on a full moon, the perfect culmination of energy, patience and inspired co-creation.

This is the power of online community. The time and energy that goes into composing Instagram photos and writing email newsletters for me is invaluable. The connections formed and nurtured reaffirm my commitment to following this path.

Here are some quick tips to help you create a powerful online community:

  • Find one or two social media platforms that feel right for you. Signing up to every platform isn’t necessary.
  • Be regular with your posts. For example, I try to post on Instagram every day and failing that, every other day.
  • If you’re posting photos, use ones that are striking and engaging.
  • Think quality, not quantity when it comes to the accounts you follow.
  • Be creative with your posts and have your online community in mind when posting.
  • Use relevant and popular hashtags to broaden your reach.
  • Engage with your community. ‘Like’ posts, write meaningful comments on posts and encourage your community to comment on your posts too.
  • Let your personality and interests shine through, so that your tribe can more easily connect with you.
  • Let go of expectations. Offer your posts as inspirations to others without expecting anything in return.

Not every connection formed on social media will directly convert into a client or sale, and that shouldn’t be the intention, but indirectly, your online community will sing your praises and offer word-of-mouth referrals to their community. The reach of your tribe is immeasurable, as is your own reach. Support each other like you would a bestie. Only good things can come from there.   

Ange Hammond is an inspired web designer and director of Resonant Imagery, creating beautifully vibrant and easy-to-navigate websites. She loves working with other conscious entrepreneurs who want to be positive influences in their community. Having just finished her digital nomad tour of the world, she’s embarking on a bold move to Melbourne. She is the author of Conscious Online Marketing, available on Amazon as an e-book and hard copy book. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and via email.

Photo Credit: Tea Coup

Creating a Community on Social Media as an Introvert

By Elizabeth Fein

Social media is a great outlet for introverts to interact with others and market themselves. 

It’s much easier to be brave behind a computer screen, and that is a beautiful thing. On the flip side, it can also be really overwhelming. Sometimes it can feel like you are on a train platform and everyone is shouting at you in all directions and you don’t know what to do. We want to grow our businesses with social media and we know we can, but how do we do it in a way that feels 100% us? Because shouting our expertise from the rooftops and promoting ourselves constantly is just not right for all of us. Here are some tried and true strategies that I use to build my business and market myself as an introvert. 

Let your content do some of the talking

Create content and let it promote you. Sitting down to write a blog post, create a course, or start a conversation on Instagram is a great for introverts to put themselves out there. It allows introverts that quiet time to create, but it also helps build up that courage that will allow you to share it. Processing through your thoughts in the creation process and really honing down on what you want to say and how you want to say it will give you that courage to share it. Spearhead those conversations you want to be having with content. 

Avoid being everywhere at once

I hear it all of the time. Be on as many social media platforms as possible to get your work out there. Promote, promote, promote! This is the kiss of death for an introvert. It will leave you feeling scattered and overwhelmed. Social media is all about creating relationships and interacting with a lot of people, but that can drain introverts. So choose one to three social media platforms that energize you and build a community on those. Sit down and really think about which platforms are right for you and your creative endeavors. What skills do you have? And where will they shine best? 

If something feels uncomfortable, don’t do it

You don’t need to emulate how other people market themselves. What your favorite blogger or social media expert tells you may not work for you. If something feels wrong and selling yourself constantly feels icky, don’t do it. I guarantee if it feels awkward for you, it will feel awkward for your audience. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone to build our businesses, but doing this on a daily basis because everyone else does it this way is not a good long term growth strategy. Step out of your comfort zone, but do it on your terms. 

Building your social media community can happen one person at a time

We see it all of the time on social media. There are people with thousands and thousands of followers. On one hand we want that, but on the other it’s scary. Know that this is something that doesn’t need to happen all at once. It can happen one connection at a time. 

I know that as an introvert I thrive on one-on-one interactions. If you are an introvert, this is probably true for you, too. Use that quality to your advantage. Create relationships one person at a time in an intimate way and you will set the foundation for connections that create advocates for your work. It may take a bit longer to build your business and following than someone who is good at gathering large groups of people, but it will happen. And it will happen in a way that keeps you energized and feeling like 100% you. 

Get Quiet

It’s okay to step away! There is so much pressure to be constantly engaged on social media that it’s easy to feel like we are missing out and opportunities are being lost if we miss an Instagram post or don’t blog for two weeks. It’s just not the case. Taking breaks and putting your best foot forward are essential ways to avoid burnout. Create room to hear your own voice and be inspired to log back in and have that fire lit to create the connections and business you want. 

Interact with people when you have the energy

After interacting with people all day on social media for my clients, I feel exhausted and I have so much noise going on in my own head that it’s really hard for me to take the time to nurture relationships with my own followers. I know this about myself so I schedule out times during my day when I am feeling energized and sharp. Sometimes I have to wake up early and respond to people early in the morning over a cup of coffee. Some days I do this at 11:00 at night when I have processed my day and the house is quiet. Do your work whenever you feel energized and sharp. It’s OK if this means you have to wait four hours to respond to a comment. People will be happy that you are responding in an energized, genuine way rather than a quick, exhausted way. 

Find your tribe

Interact with people that inspire you and leave you feeling energized. This can be hard, but I guarantee if you find these people it will make all the difference in your social media experience. Talk to other introverts and ask them how they deal with social media. Connect with people who are where you want to be and that share the same qualities as you. You can learn from each other, and that is worth it’s weight in gold.

Elizabeth Fein is the founder of Iterate Social. She works as a social media manager for creative entrepreneurs, teaches social media workshops, and coaches small business owners. Her latest project is her course Quietly Unstoppable :: Digital Marketing for Introverts. You can also download her free eBook The Boss Babe’s Guide to Social Media (27 pages of social media, branding, and photo styling tips).

10 Tips For Networking At Blogging Events

10-tips-for-networking-at-blog-events

By Christina Butcher

As a full-time blogger I love working online but real life networking has been the real game changer. It’s had the biggest impact on my journey to full-time blogger. It can feel scary to put yourself out there but that’s where things really start. 

Online conversations can build real relationships but when you take them offline, that’s where the magic happens. I remember my first blogging event. I was so nervous I thought about cancelling and staying home. It was raining too so I totally had a good excuse. But I have this saying that good things happen when you put yourself out there. So I got dressed and went out. I was alone and had never met anyone in the room before (though I felt like I knew a couple of people from reading their blogs). It was terrifying but it was also the best thing I’ve ever done. 

That one event has lead to amazing friendships, professional relationships and even speaking gigs. Now I regularly attend blogging events, especially through Blog Society and have started Little Blog Big to bring new bloggers together. Networking at blogging events isn’t like at a corporate event. It’s more relaxed and authentic. The people you meet are way more interesting and you never know where the conversation can go.

Here are my tips to make networking fun and to make it work for you.

Before the event:

1. Look up the guest list
Check if there is a list of who’s going or if there’s a Facebook group or Twitter list for the event. Doing a little research on the guest list will help you learn more about who will be there and find out if there’s anyone you really want to connect with.

2. Have your elevator pitch ready
Your elevator pitch is a quick sentence or two about you and your blog. It’s a quick way to introduce who you are and what you do. It’s tough to summarise this in a sentence. Try to keep it short and interesting so that people want to ask you more questions and keep the conversation going.

3. Set an intention
Think about what you want to get out of attending this event. Is there a project you're working on that you need help with, or maybe you are looking to meet more bloggers from your niche. Setting an intention helps to keep you focused.

At the event:

4. Smile & breathe
If you don’t do anything else, just remember to smile and breathe. Blogging events are fun and nothing to be nervous about. A smile makes everything better.

5. Put down your phone (just for a minute)
Blogging events are one of the few places where you are encouraged to use your phone as much as possible. You’ll want to Instagram and share what’s happening but be mindful and put your phone down for just a minute. You’re much more approachable when you’re not looking at your phone. You can always #latergram it.

6. Be present
When you’re talking with someone, give them your attention and listen to them. Don’t worry about what you’re going to say next. Please don’t look over their shoulder to find someone better to talk to. There's always time to move around the room and talk to others later. 

7. Ask questions
If you’re nervous about small talk, remember that most people like talking about themselves. Ask open questions (who, what, where, when, why and how) and let the person answer. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with questions. 

8. Focus on giving
Often traditional networking is about what the other person can do for you. Instead, think about how you can help the person you're talking to. Maybe it's a service you offer, or you can recommend a friend or another blogger.

After the event:

9. Get social 
Connect with the people you met on social media. Follow them and message them to say how lovely it was to connect at the event. Keep the lines of communication open and growing.

10. It’s all about the follow-up
You met at this event, now what? Keep developing that connection online. Read and comment on their blog and share their content on your social channels. You never know what kind of collaboration or friendship that initial meeting could lead to.

So don’t be afraid to organise a meet-up with local bloggers or go to a blogging workshop or networking event. You’ll learn so much from taking your online relationships offline. 

Christina Butcher is a full-time blogger and New York Times bestselling author. When she’s not fighting bad hair days at Hair Romance or inspiring adventures with her husband Jim at Mr & Mrs Romance, she’s helping bloggers grow their Little Blog Big with live workshops and networking events.