I get super inspired when I discover a trailblazer that is using their unique brand of brilliance to reach more people and change more lives. This week, spoken word artist Suli Breaks inspired me with this skillfully crafted piece, I Will Not Let an Exam Result Decide My Fate.
Stories are powerful. Whether it’s a story someone tells to market a message or an internal story that we tell ourselves, the impact of a story can be powerful.
About five years ago back when I still had a day job, I was sent to evaluate a potential sales training program for the IT company I worked for. The whole premise of their sales training was using powerful stories to establish rapport, build trust, and prove that your offering was the best solution for a potential client. A few years before that when I worked in the training department at Barnes & Noble, there had been the same kind of push to use more stories in branding and marketing.
In business, well-told stories allow us to connect and build bridges to a product, event, or person based on emotion. And it’s that emotion that triggers us to like or become disenchanted with the storyteller. The same thing happens with the personal stories we tell our selves. Your well-told story, whether it’s a bad or good story, triggers your emotions and those emotions trigger a response.
The question is: What story are you telling yourself?
When it comes to using social networking for business, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are considered the trifecta for most business professionals. But that doesn’t mean they are the only places for you to find new leads, clients, and potential partners online.
There are other social networking platforms that may be more beneficial for you. Just like in offline networking, the key is making sure that the sites you choose are worth your time, investment, and in some cases money.
I created a video that explains four ways to determine if a platform is a good fit for you. Grab a pen and paper to take notes – then happy exploring. Continue reading
All social networking is not created equal.
There’s B2B (Business to Business) social networking and then there’s “regular” social networking. If you use Facebook and Twitter for personal connections, it can sometimes be confusing where to draw the line for your professional connections. Effective business to business social networking is more than just using social media platforms to promote your offers and events; it requires planning and strategy.
So what Is B2B Social Networking?
B2B social networking is using social media platforms for the express purpose of creating new business relationships and generating more leads through social networking tools. You’re not just there to post pictures, make cute comments or to get lots of likes. Your goal is to connect with key influencers in your industry or niche, and spark relationships with people who can help you grow your business.
There was a time when I didn’t have a supportive professional network. Like many women, I clung to the relationships I did have even though they were hurting me and not helping me.
One of the reasons it took me two years to start LaunchWhileWorking.com was the ill-intentioned advice I received from a woman I considered a close trusted advisor. She didn’t think it was a good idea and didn’t like the name “employedpreneur” (a term I coined for full-time employees with part-time businesses). So I filed the thought away. At least I tried to. The idea of helping people who were, like me, launching a business while working full-time was something I just couldn’t shake.
In 2011, I launched the site and started a Facebook Group for employedpreneurs. I also started a podcast called Launch Talk. At its height, Launch Talk was getting over 6,500 downloads a month. In 2012, my work with Launch While Working led to an Honorable Mention as a Small Business Influencer. In 2013, I won the Small Business Influencer Top 100 Champion Award. Imagine my shock when the woman that told me she didn’t like the name later advised me that I should use “Employedpreneur” more in my branding, and said how great my idea was, as if we had never talked about it before.
Is Your Business Network Working for You or Against You?
That relationship showed me that I needed different women in my circle. I set an intention to connect to powerful women who were living with passion and purpose. I am amazed now when I look at the brilliant women I am connected to. They are women who generously sow into my life and so brilliantly show up in the world to make an impact in the lives of others. Continue reading