EP: 233 Effective Networking and Making Connections

Networking is a really great way to grow your business. It’s also a great way to meet amazing people and build friendships and relationships for your personal life, but also for business. 

And so today, I want to have a little conversation where we’re talking about the power of networking and connecting and strategic ways to do it.

I know that this may not feel like the most fun article to read, but you’ll gain a huge benefit from it.

And as always, I’m going to tell you about my experiences and all the things. So we have all heard about networking, making connections, building relationships, and all the things. 

But those of us that have online businesses, we’re like “I’m at home. It’s me. I’m cute from the waist up. I’m not cute from the waist down.”

Unfortunately, I put on an entire outfit because sometimes I shoot videos and I need clothes on. 

So if we’re in the online space, you’re used to just being at home, not being around people and all the things. But one of the things we all know is that it is the power of relationships.

We have all heard about people that got a job, not necessarily because they were in the right place, right time. Even though that’s an opportunity, people that have gotten jobs or promotions or whatever, because of their connections and people that they knew. Right?  

I do believe that in the right place, right time, but I also believe in networking, building connections and building relationships.

Now, I will tell you my struggle. So I have had a job for many years prior to me having my business. And one of the things that we did was networking. 

You had business cards and you were taught to go out, go to events and network. Because I was in advertising sales and the more that I network and when I met people, the more opportunities I had to be able to sell people, my products and services for the job that I worked for. 

And so when it came to building my business, I knew that, that was something that I needed to do. 

However, I decided that I wanted to build an online business and I wanted to focus all of my time and attention and what have you in 2016.

And here is the downside of having an online business. You are by yourself all by myself. 

I am by myself all day, every day. 

I don’t talk to a person unless I’m on a video call, unless I go to the grocery store or whatever. I’m here alone by myself. It’s very lonely. 

Two, when you are building an online business, then it is you, you’re not actually getting an opportunity to connect with people, meet other people, support other people, and then support you if you’re focused solely on you, your business.

And that is it. 

And that is a huge mistake that I made in my business. 

Now, once COVID-19 happened, we all really started to isolate. And so that became even worse. 

And so I started realizing how lonely I was, how lonely I felt and the power of  building a business where I’m actually connecting with other people.

Like, I’m not just by myself, but I am intentionally connecting with other people, not just to see what I can get from them, but to just build relationships with other people. 

And so last year, I made a decision that I was going to start intentionally going out and meeting people in my city.

I started going to different events and one of the first things that happened was that I realized I needed business cards. I’ve been on live for so long and I’m like, “Oh, I need to have some business cards” 

And so, because I was like, “Well, I don’t want to give everybody my phone number on a business card. They’re going to be texting me, asking me for TikTok advice.”

Good God, you know? 

And so I didn’t do business cards. 

What started to happen was I was connecting with people, but there was no way for me to give them a way to contact me, so I had to end up giving all these people my phone number.

And then that was a dumpster fire. But what did start to happen was I started just connecting with people in general. 

Well, these opportunities to just get to know people, go to dinner with them, come to their birthday party, come to their kid’s birthday party, and doing things outside of the house with just doing regular life with people that had nothing to do with work or the online business or TikTok or whatever.

And then I started saying to myself, one, of course I want to date and I can’t date if I’m always in the house. 

And so I said, “Okay, I am going to go and invest in some business cards and I’m going to start going out to anything I get invited to”

That’s my new thing. 

Anything I get invited to, I go, unless I have something that’s previously scheduled. I go to anything that I am invited to and it has been amazing. 

As a result of going to the things that I’m invited to, I have started to meet the most amazing human beings, women, men, couples, all the different amazing people. 

And also what has started to happen is that when I am with people, they are getting to know me. 

But then at some point in time, people say, “Oh, so what do you do?”

 And I say, ”I teach video marketing, specifically, TikTok marketing strategies to business owners” 

And then it opens up another level of conversation.

I then ended up joining three different local communities. Communities where I am learning, I’m growing, and I’m making connections and building relationships for personal and for business. 

And so even though I was hesitant about doing the networking thing again, it has brought so much joy back to me to connect with people about.

All the different things and not just about business. 

I am finding myself getting more opportunities for my business because I’m networking. So I’ll give you a prime example. 

I joined this organization called EO, which is “Entrepreneurs Organization”. But I’m in the EO accelerator.

There’s an income level in order to get to EO. And so, I’m here and to get to EO, I have to make more money. It’s fine. 

So there’s a lot of people just like me that are in the EOA. And in my little small forum that I have six people, I started telling them what I was in need of “how I wanted to start doing live events again”

I haven’t done a lot of events in many years and somebody connected me with a new event space and I booked a call with the person and I went to go see the new event space. 

I was just getting rates for how much it would cost for me to hold an event and the other things. And as a result of sitting down with the person getting the rates, he starts asking me more questions about what I do.

And the more that I tell him about what I do, the more he realizes that he actually could utilize me. 

And so we decided to partner up where I’m doing my very first live event on October 30th, here in San Diego, teaching social media. 

It’s a two hour event where people get to come see his amazing event space and coworking, and he’s going to pay for lunch for everybody.

That’s going to put me in front of their members. Plus the people that I invite, people that other people invite, and it’s going to open up the opportunities for other things that I don’t even know about. 

Not to mention, I had been invited to a friend of mine, she was emceeing an event in Dallas called VidSummit.

I had no intentions of going to VidSummit. And she mentioned, “I have an extra ticket. Do you want to go?” 

And I was just like, “The ticket to the event is free. She already has a hotel.” I’m going, anything I am invited to. 

So I went to this event and it was amazing!

I got to connect and talk to people. Just all this stuff was able to happen as a result of me saying, yes, multiple things came out of that event. 

Then while I was at the event, I’m sitting there charging my phone and I meet somebody in person that I’ve only been talking to online. She got invited to go and have a drink.

She said, “you want to come?” 

Then I said, “Sure” 

I go to the event and I’m just hanging, talking, letting her do her thing with her networking opportunity. 

And they start asking me questions. Well, I downplay because I’m like, this is not my moment. It’s her moment. 

But then they invite me to another event that’s happening in LA, in a couple of days. 

I went to that event and as a result of going to that event, other things opened up. 

And I just keep saying yes to all these opportunities to connect and network. And what is it doing? That loneliness that I’ve been feeling all these years of being cooped up in my house by myself is going away.

I am networking and building relationships for my business and I am meeting really amazing people and they get an opportunity to meet me and my amazing self. 

Now, how do you do it? 

Well, first of all, you have to go into this experience with the intention of connecting with people. 

Don’t just go and dominate conversation, telling them all about you.

Don’t just go and listen to everybody dominate, but talk, engage, and all that be intentional about saying, “I want to meet one amazing person and I want to see how I can invite them out to have coffee or lunch and just connect” Not necessarily because they’re going to do something for your business, but you’re just going to go to connect. 

That’s the first thing that I want you to focus on to do that. 

And then as a result of doing that, what you’re going to see is that because your agenda isn’t, let me get something from you, but let me just be here in this space. 

Then you’re going to see many more opportunities open up because you are just open.

And that is what I am doing right now. I am saying to myself, “How can I engage with people? How can I serve people? How can I let them know what my needs are, but find out what theirs are and see how we can connect?”

Like, I had a call with somebody where they wanted me for something. And I was kind of a little annoyed at first, like “What’s going on?”

And so I was just like, “Hey, I don’t really understand. You’re asking me this and this, but can you please elaborate a little more?” 

And so the more she and I kept talking, the more we started to like each other. Then we started to open up, it became less formal. And then it became this friendship that is forming.

And I am just like, here is this whole thing because I just keep saying yes to every opportunity. 

I’m not saying yes to speak for free and whatever, but the opportunities to connect, to talk to people. Like I went to VidSummit and I got invited to a house party. 

It was amazing! I had such a great time at this house party. 

You see what I’m saying? 

What I’m basically trying to say here is that if it is your intention to build relationships, connect with people, network, then you’ve got to make sure you go on with the right heart posture. 

And one is, let me go in and just meet great people, not just to get, but how can I go in and  just go and meet great people.

And then I can let them know about my greatness, as we are conversing or whatever, but how can I just meet somebody and just go like, “I want to be friends with that person or whatever” And not because you’re going to get something, but just to connect. 

It is a process. Not everybody has their guard down and just lets you just connect with them but being open. 

I’ll give you this last one and then we’re going to wrap up. 

So at VidSummit, I made a decision not to go into a bunch of sessions, but to get the replay and to be in the hallway as much as possible. 

Just talking to people in the hallway, my friend, Richie, who is streaming successful comes up to me.

We’re just talking, jiving, laughing, all the things. 

And he starts to coach me right then and there. And I am just recording like, “wow, this is amazing” 

And it just keeps on happening. And I implemented what he said, right already in my business and I’m already seeing the return. 

But I was in the hallway with the intention of just meeting great people. And I was there with Richie, just being like, “Hey, what’s up?” You know, just doing that. 

And its return has just been beautiful. 

So the whole point of this is that if you’re in the online business, get out! 

Figure out how you can get out. 

So I hope you enjoyed this article. I do want to hear from you. I want to know what questions you have about networking, connecting and building relationships?

I will share with you anything that I can.

Also, I have an upcoming Short Video Intensive happening on November 4th at 10AM PST – 12:30 PM PST where I’ll be teaching you TikTok and Instagram Reels Marketing Strategies, so if you’re interested on this, be sure to click here www.keenyakelly.com/shortvideoinstensive and see you inside the Intensive.