Let me take a stab in the dark and guess that networking is NOT your favorite thing to do as a web designer…
Especially if you’re introverted, I understand that networking, especially in person networking, is about as fun as a papercut.
But alas, if you’re the one selling and growing your business, you have to get in front of people in some way.
The reality is, in-person networking is one of the quickest ways to build your business fast. I dreaded networking in the beginning but then after finding a solid group, it ended up accounting for nearly 50% of my 6-figure web design business revenue.
To help make networking easy, I’m so excited to bring on to the podcast networking coach, author of the new book “Networking Essentials for Success” and my personal friend Chris Borja who shares his proven framework for making networking easy, fun and doable for even the world’s most introverted introvert.
Side note: you can take these principles and apply them to the online world in social media groups, communities, forums, virtual calls, etc.
Cheers to all the introverts out there who are finally going to feel comfortable networking in the near future!!
In this episode:
00:00 – Introduction
03:04 – Greeting to Chris
06:28 – Current landscape
10:53 – Networking tip
15:32 – Helping others
18:10 – Personal development
21:12 – Dominate a “major”
23:47 – Cringeworthy moment
30:26 – Step 1 Clarity
33:15 – Step 2 Mindset
36:57 – Step 3 Tools
38:45 – Step 4 Meeting people
40:57 – Step 5 Build relationships
45:36 – Step 6 Brand & network
47:18 – Step 7 Collaborations
51:12 – Trust travels
56:01 – Final suggestions
Networking Essentials for Success: A 7-Step Journey to Accomplishing Your Goals Through Authentic Relationships and Connected Communities | Chris Borja
Connect with Chris:
Featured links mentioned:
Episode #253 Full Transcription
[00:00:00] Chris: But it’s just human nature to wanna reciprocate. If you serve somebody, they’ll wanna serve you back. So whatever you want, do that for other people. If you want referrals, give other people referrals. If you want to them to ask you for your business card, you off, ask them for theirs first. Hey, do you have a business card, Josh?
[00:00:15] Chris: Yeah. Here I go. How about you, Chris? Do you have business card? So whatever you put out there, in most cases, it’s gonna reciprocate. So when you, you know, just, just understanding these dynamics, hopefully that that helps you.
[00:00:25] Josh: Welcome friends, and episode 253, where we’re gonna take a deep dive into what I know is your very favorite aspect of being a web designer. No, it’s not coding, it’s not designing, it’s not creating rewarding websites for clients.
[00:00:41] Josh: It is networking, more specifically in-person networking. All right, so done with the facelessness here. Yes, I have talked with so many students and I felt this way myself for many years, where you dread networking. You, you don’t become a web designer to go to in-person network events, but I’ll tell you this, if you are going to grow your business and you’re going to be the salesperson, you have to get yourself out there in some form or another.
[00:01:08] Josh: Now, you don’t have to network in person, but it is one of the quick. ROIs for growing your business fast and building a really good healthy client base. And I share this in this episode, but over 50% of my income in a six figure web design business that I grew stemmed from my networking group. So there’s a lot of value in it.
[00:01:27] Josh: So if you’re terrified of doing this, I wanted to do an episode specifically to help you out. Or for those of you who need help with this, this is gonna be your episode. I’m extra excited about this cause I’m bringing. A personal friend of mine, Chris Borja, who is local to me and actually got me plugged in with a Toastmasters group, which is a, uh, public speaking and leadership style group.
[00:01:49] Josh: What’s really interesting about Chris, among other things, is that he is a, and was a, petrified introvert, I guess is probably the best way to put it. He was terrified of networking and doing in-person things. Now, several years later, he literally wrote a book on networking. His new book is called Networking Essentials for Success.
[00:02:09] Josh: When I found out that he has taken his knowledge and experience and wrote a book about it, I said, Chris, first of all, I want to reconnect, and second of all, I want to have you on the podcast. So that’s exactly what we do, Chris, share. Basically all the tips to make networking made easy. He’s got a really cool seven step formula that he’s gonna dive into here.
[00:02:27] Josh: And before I bring him on, I do wanna say Chris is actually going to be coming into Web Designer Pro here at the time of releasing this, uh, in a couple months, in May of 2023 to do a live training. So if you’re catching this episode before May of 2023, you can join Web Designer Pro and watch the live training with Chris and ask questions live to him after his training.
[00:02:48] Josh: So, uh, super excited about that. For right now though, let’s talk networking, how to make it easy, how to make it fun, and learn from Chris’s journey, from introvert to successful networker. Here we go.
[00:03:02] Josh: Well, Chris, man, it is so good to see you. It’s, we were just chatting before I hit record here. It’s been like, I think it’s been at least five years since we’ve connected. So, man, uh, how are you? How’s it going?
[00:03:14] Chris: Yeah, we’re doing great. Yeah. And time, time just flies. It just flies by. So, but thank, uh, thankful for social media cause I’ve been keeping up with you on there, so that’s pretty cool.
[00:03:25] Josh: Yeah, same with me, man. I mean, I, I’ve been able to keep up with you mainly through Facebook, I think is where I see most of your stuff. And when I think about networking, I think of you, Chris, because I’ve always known you as like a networking guy. I’ve, I think we originally crossed paths when I was in a networking group and then I.
[00:03:45] Josh: I heard about Toastmasters at one point. I read a book and it mentioned to getting Toastmasters, and then somebody mentioned they were in Toastmasters group and it helped. And then I saw somebody say, Hey, I would recommend you getting Toastmasters. And then I knew you were in Toastmasters. So I was like, all right, I feel like that’s a sign I’m gonna hit Chris up.
[00:04:02] Josh: And um, you got me connected there and that was a huge benefit, even the short time I was in that group, uh, just professionally. So yeah, I view you as a connector. and a networker. I mean, is that, is that how you like to be viewed? Is that kind of what you’re all about when it comes to being a networker? Is, I guess the question I have to kick us off is be like, what’s the, what’s the power of being a connector?
[00:04:26] Chris: Uh, the power of being? Well, I’m, I’m okay with that. Title is, it’s, uh, is the, it’s a perfectly fine title for me. And, uh, being, being a connector is, is just at, it’s a, it’s a servant leadership type opportunity and position. And something that I, I kind of morphed into is, is not something that I started off as say, Hey, I’m gonna be a connector.
[00:04:50] Chris: I started the journey initially, just like most people looking to promote my own business and drum up new prospects and clients. But being the connector is really what it’s all about. Being able to serve and provide for the needs and basically connect the dots in the community.
[00:05:08] Josh: Ooh, that’s a cool analogy and I, I usually ask this question first. We’ll, we’ll ask it second in this round. Um, when people ask you what you do, Chris, what do you tell them?
[00:05:18] Chris: Uh, well, I tell ’em that I, I connect people for a living. I tell ’em that I run a networking group and help people learn how to connect with each other.
[00:05:27] Josh: And does that, uh, I, does it depend on the room you’re in with what kind of response that gets? Or you could make it creepy and just say, I’m a connector and give them a long stare, I would imagine.
[00:05:37] Chris: Yeah. It, it definitely adjusts. It’s one of the things I teach too, is to have a modular introduction or elevator speech, so to speak, because that way it’s, it’s relevant to the audience that we’re speaking to. So I do change that fairly often, depending on the group that I’m talking to.
[00:05:54] Josh: And do you, I mean, again, I kind of, when I think about networking and I think about you, what do you like, I guess, what are your thoughts on networking now versus when we got connected maybe six or seven years ago? Because things have changed a lot, particularly in the wake of a Zoom world, and connection is not just in person at networking groups, but it’s online.
[00:06:18] Josh: There’s more video calls now than ever. I think people are more accustomed to connecting and maybe networking online. Um, what are your thoughts on the landscape right now with how networking has.
[00:06:28] Chris: I, I like where it’s gone. I, I mean, we didn’t want to go virtual at first. I think most people were resistant to going with virtual chats and they were really like, oh, I just need to meet in person. But I think it’s opened up a whole new, um, window for people to stay connected across the world fairly easily. It’s just a matter of knowing how to do it. So I,
[00:06:49] Chris: I actually like the landscape now, and oftentimes when it comes down to, to having that one-to-one meeting, it used to rely on a coffee meeting at a local coffee shop or something like that. But now it’s as easy as hopping on a 15 minute zoom call and you could still see each other and you could still create very strong relationships, but not let time or logistics get in the way. So I, I actually like the, the landscape now, and we still have the ability to meet in person.
[00:07:17] Josh: And speaking of in person, my personal feeling is that in an online world, the more opportunities you have in person, it’s just going to be that much greater. Like, because you said a lot of people aren’t meeting in coffee shops, but the time you do meet in a coffee shop face-to-face, I found that to be like 10 times more powerful than it was a decade ago. Would you agree with, with that? And, and the, the idea of it just being more powerful nowadays in.
[00:07:44] Chris: Yeah, absolutely. It’s, it’s a lot more special to, to meet in person, especially if it’s somebody that you already know or have been staying in touch with and then you reach out and actually want to meet in person. Uh, I think it just makes it that much more special because of the, it’s, it’s actually extra effort and energy and it’s an extra investment to be able to do that nowadays.
[00:08:05] Chris: But, uh, the, the way I look at is that you use both. So you really want to turn your. in-person connections into online connections, and you want to turn your online connections into in-person connections. So it, wherever you start with is fine, but you always want to try to add that extra element to it when you have both as powerful.
[00:08:25] Chris: So for example, we haven’t really talked much in five years, but we’ve stayed connected, we’ve stayed in touch, we’re still somewhat involved in each other’s lives. And seeing you, you and your family grow and just staying in touch through, through social, but now we catch up like this and it feels like it hasn’t been five years because we still see what’s going on.
[00:08:46] Chris: It’s not like we have that long, um, catch up period. And I run into people all the time that I’ve met, literally several years ago and we just pick right up where we left off. So I think it’s a very unique time that we live in and it’s a, uh, I think it’s just a great time to, to be able to utilize all the tools that we have available to us.
[00:09:06] Josh: I’m curious with the term networking. It has such a, like a sour connotation to a lot of people, particularly my audience. I mentioned to you before we went live, a lot of my audience web designers when it comes to networking and sales and in-person stuff and or even virtual calls or groups, it’s generally a, a pain point and a challenge for a lot of people because it may not be natural.
[00:09:30] Josh: Not too many people want to build websites and do all the sales and be the, the face of the business. Um, so the term networking often gets this like, ugh, reaction. But I learned to absolutely love networking. But a lot of it, For me personally was that I did not view networking as going to an event with 300 people and getting 300 business cards.
[00:09:51] Josh: I learned to view networking as just connecting with people, whether it’s one-on-one or a few different people. What are your thoughts, and do you, do you feel like the term connection and networking is the same or similar or do you feel like they’re different things?
[00:10:07] Chris: I, I feel it’s different because most people associate networking as something that’s more on the sales side, like you network to be able to, to present or to sell something, you know, you have something to to offer and that’s why you’re networking in the first place.
[00:10:21] Chris: I think it’s just, that’s the connotation that you’re talking about where it feels like there’s some ulterior motive to the connection or it’s transactional. You know, it’s like that business card exchange and it’s awkward, but the the thing that I really encourage, I had somebody ask me earlier today, what would your tip be for somebody who’s brand new to networking and how do you help alleviate, you know, some of their anxiety or help ’em to navigate their first event or just getting started?
[00:10:53] Chris: And, and my tip was to get to know the person behind the business, behind the title, behind the profile. Because oftentimes that’s where we get stuck when you talk about traditional networking. It’s like, Hey, I’m so-and-so and here’s my role in position and that kind of stuff. But if you can get to know that that actual person.
[00:11:11] Chris: That’s where the connection happens. We don’t connect with each other’s job titles or roles or responsibility. We connect with other people that are like us, and you talk to anybody, and you’ll find more in common than you will find differences. So for your audience, I, I get it. I understand because I wasn’t somebody that wanted to be out there in the marketplace and, you know, uh, rubbing elbows and socializing, doing all that stuff.
[00:11:34] Chris: I would in fact avoid that at all costs. As a former shy introvert, I would, I would avoid social settings, anything where I had public speaking, which meant talking to three or more people. That was considered, uh, public speaking for me. But as, as I, as I learned and started to, to grow is, is just connecting with the people. And, and oftentimes when we’d host our events, we would create environments to where it’s more comfortable.
[00:12:01] Chris: So for example, I would give an instruction and say, okay, I’ll pair everyone up and with somebody they don’t know. So it kinda levels the playing field. Everyone already knows that they’re talking to a new person. There’s no clicks, there’s no, you know, friends already everyone is meeting with somebody new. So mentally they’re already in that space where we’re all meeting somebody new.
[00:12:20] Chris: And then what I would challenge ’em to do, I say, okay, you’re gonna get to know each other, but you’re not allowed to talk any business. So you can’t talk about what you do. You can’t ask ’em what they do, but you’re just gonna talk about anything personal. Share two or three, um, personal facts about yourself. It could be travel, it could be pets, family, where you live, uh, you know, something on your bucket list. Someplace you’ve traveled, literally anything at all except business.
[00:12:43] Chris: And you’ll feel that energy level in the room just go through the roof because now they’re truly connecting with each other. There’s no anxiety, there’s no fear. It doesn’t matter if they’re introvert or extrovert. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been networking for years or if they just came to their very first event.
[00:13:01] Chris: So the level is level playing field, and now they’re just truly getting to know one another. And then I’ll stop ’em, and then I’ll say, okay, what was that experience? And they’re everyone universally like it was fun. We had a blast. You know, did you meet somebody cool? Like yeah, I met somebody really cool.
[00:13:15] Chris: I said, how many of you actually are curious about what they do for a living? And all of a sudden they’re like realizing that I actually care about what this person does. And now when they explain and say, so now we’re gonna go back, same partner. And, but this time you get to learn a little bit about each other and what you do for a living and what you’re looking to accomplish, what are your goals, how you got started, whatever you wanna talk about on the professional level.
[00:13:39] Chris: So it just changes the whole dynamic. And so for your audience where you’re thinking about like, Hey, I don’t want to go out and do that, but what if you just got to know people and connected from that level? And then see how you could find ways to collaborate rather than. And that’s a different mindset.
[00:13:55] Chris: So when we help people get to know the people and not the titles, it, it changes the whole dynamic and it makes it a lot more fun. It makes it authentic. And there’s not that nervousness of, you know, do I say the perfect elevator pitch to win ’em over in 30 seconds because you have unlimited time. Once you become a friend.
[00:14:17] Chris: What a
[00:14:18] Josh: great story and what a great example of the distinction between networking and connection because I, I really did kind of lump those two together, but what you just explained really challenged my mindset with keeping them separate and I think they feed into each other for sure. Like you can network and build connection or you can connect in the network, but I love that separation because networking can, and I guess by definition probably does include some sort of like sale or mutual benefit versus connection, which is just purely human, human connecting on a, on a different level.
[00:14:52] Josh: I love that, Chris, cuz that I do feel like if somebody to, to just reiterate kind of what you said, if you are nervous, if you go in with it, with this mindset of, I just wanna connect. Be who I am, share who I am, share what I know, and then get to know somebody versus I have got to sell a website in this meeting.
[00:15:10] Josh: Uh, it just takes the, the pressure and the weight off of having to feel like you need to sell all the time. So it’s a great message, man. I love that to have that approach. How long did it come or how long did it take for you to come to that realization in that mindset in your quote unquote networking endeavors?
[00:15:27] Chris: Um, about a week ago. No, I’m just kidding. Um,
[00:15:30] Josh: a decade.
[00:15:32] Chris: It is probably, it was probably a few years in, it was about, I started 2012. It was probably about three or four years of, well, it was a few years before I realized that there’s a better way than what I had been doing it from the time I started network and then it was, it was shortly after that that I realized that I was going about it the wrong way and I just started focusing on building relationship.
[00:15:56] Chris: But it took me a few years after that to realize that I needed to help other people understand this as well. Cuz it was helping me now because I was able to actually connect with people, but I didn’t realize what I was doing.
[00:16:09] Chris: It’s just kind of, some of you become proficient at something, it’s just, it’s become second nature and you don’t think about it anymore. Yeah. But in 2014 when I started teaching networking, and initially I didn’t have any intention of it being a business. I was just helping people because I didn’t want them to be as uncomfortable as I was.
[00:16:26] Chris: But then over time I realized that there’s things that I was doing that would. that would be beneficial to others for their own journey, but more importantly, it would be important. It, it would create a, a greater impact on our communities and our overall networking circles. Because networking’s a, a team sport, I realize that helping others do this, like just imagine that room of people connecting with each other.
[00:16:52] Chris: It’s hard to separate ’em anymore. They just can’t stop talking to each other. They could talk to that same person the rest of the night and just have a blast. So, uh, I think once people pick up on. Um, it’s, it’s contagious, but for me, it took a few years to even realize that that’s what I was doing. I was actually just getting to know people and vice versa, and that’s where I was getting the referral.
[00:17:13] Chris: So from, you know, for somebody that is not a salesperson, to me, this is the best way to be able to do what you do, be what, you know, be the best at what you do, but still be able to get the message out there without turning, having to change hats, you know, you could just be the same person, but then they just, um, you know, they just remember you and you become branded, uh, for, for what you do.
[00:17:35] Josh: Yeah. And before you built your personal brand and started teaching networking, what, what were you selling? Like, what were you doing when you, it sounds like, I don’t know if you intentionally entered the networking world or if you were forced to with the position you were in, but what did the beginning of your networking journey look like?
[00:17:54] Chris: At the beginning, I was offering a, I was in a direct sales network marketing company, which is, you know, a great place for a shy introvert right now. You gotta go draw beyond business. I
[00:18:03] Josh: was just gonna say, isn’t it like an introvert’s nightmare to be in like Amway or, uh, a CN or something like that?
[00:18:10] Chris: Yeah, so it’s, it’s, but the good thing is that most of those companies have a, a big focus on personal development, self-development and that’s something that I think helped me and pushed me out. But that was initially it, man, you know, you’re responsible for generating your own contacts and leads and you have a system and a process, but the people aren’t included. You gotta add the people.
[00:18:31] Chris: And that’s what’s usually missing and success for, for, for most entrepreneurs and business owners, is that they need more people to know what they do. They could be the best at what they do, however others don’t know about ’em. their success is going to be limited by that fact. Uh, so that’s what, that’s where I started, was. In that network marketing business, and that’s what got me into. Networking to start with is because I was just, look, I was looking for a better way.
[00:18:59] Chris: I knew I couldn’t sustain the sales style of traditional business growth of, you know, talking to 50, you know, dialing 50 people a day or sending out a bunch of cold messages. And I just see, even now, more than ever, Those are, are becoming less and less effective because it’s not even a person that screens it out.
[00:19:19] Chris: It’s just people don’t have any hangup about not answering the phone or not returning a message. And in, in the old days, if you didn’t return a call, it was considered unprofessional to not return a phone call. It’s perfectly acceptable now if you don’t wanna talk to somebody, you just literally look at it and just keep on with your day and you don’t lose any sleep over that.
[00:19:37] Chris: Yeah. And that’s the society we live in, and it becomes even more important for us to build that relationship. To, to where we people will respond when, when they’re, you know, when we make a call or a request of some type.
[00:19:50] Josh: That’s a good point. It may be a volume thing to too, now, like culturally, I wonder if just we’re all just getting so much more inbound with different social media, different connection platforms, different, different professional venues, different calls, spam calls, automated calls, everything.
[00:20:05] Josh: It’s like, there’s just such a bigger inf like, like, like I remember, I mean, how many, when I think about old people, how many times if they get a phone call, they’re like, oh, I’m answering it. I, I don’t know who this is, but I’m gonna answer it. It was probably very different in their day when you might get two or three calls a day versus now, like I never.
[00:20:23] Josh: answer a phone number unless I know it, or unless I think it’s like Children’s Hospital for my daughter or something like that. You know, like, I know the numbers I’m gonna answer, but pretty much everyone else know I’m not gonna answer. Um, so yeah, it might be a volume thing, which does make in networking, I think.
[00:20:39] Josh: I don’t know, maybe that makes that trickier now to cut through the noise. That’s kind of an interesting place to lead us to like the landscape Now, while it is exciting, what are the, okay, here we go. What are the challenges now with the fact that there are so many different platforms and ways to network?
[00:20:56] Josh: I mean, I, Chris, I could hit you up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, wherever you are, but like, what, that’s, that breeds a lot of challenges now for, for people. So what are your thoughts on Yeah, the, you know, there’s a lot of opportunity, but opportunity also makes things tricky, I’ve found.
[00:21:12] Chris: Yeah, I think it, it’s, um, I, I think it’s a matter of knowing.
[00:21:19] Chris: Who your audience is and where your audience hangs out and not jumping onto the next thing as soon as it pops up you know, be that early adopter. Sometimes it makes sense, but many of those also disappear just as quickly as they arrived. So the way I I guide people is to, to guide ’em in the same way that, you know, when we were in school, you, you can’t major in five different topics no matter how much you like ’em, cuz it means you didn’t have a major.
[00:21:45] Chris: And I think that’s what happens with social and different platforms for networking. So what I, what I encourage people to do is to pick a major, pick a minor, and then you have your electives, but pick one that you dominate and is because it’s hard to dominate. Areas. You know, even in sports and life, you just don’t see people dominate in multiple categories.
[00:22:06] Chris: It’s usually one category that they can dominate at and that’s hard enough to do, just to, to do, to be on top of one. So I say to pick a major, the one that’s your primary in business, most of the time the major is gonna be LinkedIn for most of ’em because you can directly access whoever you need to. You could do a direct search.
[00:22:24] Chris: Um, and if it’s more visual, then Instagram works um, if your audience is a little bit older and not as much of the young generation, Facebook still works great. So I would say pick a major, pick a minor, and then the rest are electives. So, for example, my Instagram, I have an Instagram, but it’s not my major or my minor.
[00:22:43] Chris: It’s an elective. I just post stuff on there and it’s, it’s cool, but I don’t invest a lot of time on it. If somebody goes there, I have a presence, but it’s not like it’s what I’m using to, to drive business. I’m gonna primarily use LinkedIn number one and Facebook number two. And everyone’s gonna be different depending on what field they’re in.
[00:23:01] Chris: So people that are in a lot, lot more visual field, I think they can, you know, go with, with Instagram or even if they’re audience is younger, go to a TikTok or something like that. . Yeah, that’s a
[00:23:12] Josh: great analogy. I love that. I never thought about it like that major and, and the elective kind of, kind of situations.
[00:23:18] Josh: I love that. Um, I do wanna go back to something earlier that you were talking about. You said when you started networking, you were a few years in and you realized you were doing a lot of things maybe the wrong way or things that, uh, like networking. The lens changed for you. What were some of the thing, I don’t want to go too negative, although you’re such an optimist, I know we won’t stay here long, but what were the, some of the things that you did that were not good things to do or, or that you learned the hard way when it came to networking?
[00:23:43] Chris: That’s a very good question and I, I call ’em cringeworthy moments those times that we wish we, we could just disappear and you can’t believe you just did that . But one in particular that I do remember it was we get a lot excited network and I was at a, I was at a Young professionals event, which meant that everyone was about half my age.
[00:24:03] Chris: So people usually think I look younger, but I’m already 50. So it’s, it’s, I was, I was, this was like 10 years, I was about 40 years old and everyone was like in their early twenties, and they asked me what I did. and I told ’em what I did, but I also proceeded cuz I had like five different people’s attention.
[00:24:20] Chris: They’re all looking at me. So I started to, um, explain more about what we did and then it turned into like a baby sales presentation without me realizing I was just an autopilot and I was already starting to pitch on all the benefits of the services. I’m excited about what I was offering. So I was like, they seem to be listening, they seem to be attentive.
[00:24:38] Chris: And one of the people right across me just cut me off without addressing me. So just turned to the person to this side and say, Hey, so what do you do for a living? And I was just like, felt like, oh man, I just gotta disappear from this room and never come back again. Hope they don’t remember me. So people half my age, Cut me off and uh, just left me hanging right there, mid-sentence just, and so I don’t know how long they were thinking that before they actually decided.
[00:25:06] Chris: I’m sure I went well beyond the idea of cutting me off. But yeah, those, those things happen. And, um, I used to bring flyers to the event cuz I wanted to give out flyers and, you know, invite people to something I was doing or to, you know, see, see some of my services. And then I look back at other people that do that.
[00:25:26] Chris: And I, again, cringeworthy moments, I just, I can’t believe, I can’t believe that was me doing that. And then you have the, the blackjack dealers, fortunately I didn’t do this, but something I’d also see is a, is blackjack dealers. I call ’em that because they give out two cards to everybody just in case you already have a referral for ’em after they met you.
[00:25:43] Chris: So just how distributing that’s true card is like a blackjack dealer and, um, so, so for me it was, that was a you know, kind of embarrassing, embarrassing moment. Um, and then a lot of awkward stuff too that I just learned the hard way. I went to my first coffee meeting, I didn’t even know you were supposed to meet people for coffee or meet for one-to-ones, and somebody invited me and I went there and I ended up stuck in their sales presentation for 45 minutes, going through 40 slides or something like that.
[00:26:10] Chris: Oh. And I didn’t know what to do. I was brand new to it. I had no clue. It was just very awkward as they were presenting. And that was one of my early exposures to, you know, in the network. early exposures in the networking journey. And I didn’t know, I guess that’s what you’re supposed to do. You go sell people at these things.
[00:26:28] Chris: And so that, uh, you know, so that’s what I did. I, I would show up with back then a briefcase with flyers and brochures and stuff ready to share. I looked like I was, I had swatches for, you know, choose different color, uh, paint for your wall or carpet samples or whatever.
[00:26:43] Josh: So, oh one, it reminds me, one of my, one of my mentors is Pat Flynn, who has had a really successful online entrepreneur career. And he told me one of his mentors, he didn’t know, got into some sort of networking, uh, mar network marketing thing, and he invited him for coffee and Pat thought that we were just gonna have coffee and catch up. And it was the same thing. It was like a 45 minute spiel. Just like overloaded ’em. No, you know, and, and.
[00:27:10] Josh: I, so I guess it’s a good lesson to set the context of a meeting, right? Like, I would imagine we would want to make sure there’s a clear agenda, whether it is a like catch up hangout. Like there’s nothing worse for me than when somebody sends me a very vague message like, Hey, I have a question, or, Hey, I wanted to pick your brain about something.
[00:27:28] Josh: And I’m like, what the hell does that mean? Like, do you wanna ask me business advice? Are you looking for consultation? Do you want to ask something personal, like, or do you want, you know, like, I have no idea. So it’s a great, I guess that’s probably a good networking. Uh, 1 0 1 type of thing is to set the contacts in the stage for success for any sort of
[00:27:46] Chris: meeting.
[00:27:47] Chris: Yeah. What’s, what’s the purpose? Why would you want to, to meet? And it’s, it’s good to be upfront on that purpose. Uh, for like on, for example, on my calendar app, you know, where I have people book time with me, one of the options is to just get to know each other. And that’s perfectly fine if that’s the context, if that’s the expectation is that we just get to know each other, but don’t do the bait and switch.
[00:28:12] Chris: Hey, just love to get to know you better. And then boom, there you go. And you, you’re, you’re, you’re in a needs analysis form. Deep, you know, . And, uh, it’s, it’s one of those things, just setting the expectations. And if it’s somebody that wants to present, then let that be clear so that way the other person knows and expects that because, I mean, maybe they want.
[00:28:31] Chris: There, there’s times where maybe there are actually interested in learning more about what the person offers. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a matter of being clear and communicating that.
[00:28:38] Josh: Yeah, I remember, uh, oh, now I’m having all these flashbacks to 10 years ago when I was getting hit left and right with these network marketing things where it was like, in the beginning I didn’t quite understand what a vague meeting would be.
[00:28:50] Josh: Typically it was, it was that situation. I am, uh, I respond personally better to somebody just saying like, Hey, there’s an opportunity. I’d like to see if you’d like to be a, a fit or just if you’d like more information about it. That seemed to go way better. Cause I do remember one of my friends asked me if I could help out with their business and I thought he meant like design a website for them.
[00:29:11] Josh: So I show up with my laptop, I got my notebook out, I’m ready to take notes for doing some design work for them. And then it was a networking marketing spiel and I was like, It really threw me off, and then I learned to weed those out pretty quickly and, and I’ve just, I don’t know. I hope this is a good tip for everybody, like be direct, I mean, be friendly and, and, and connective, but I have learned that especially nowadays, being direct and concise will save both parties a lot of time.
[00:29:36] Josh: Like when I reached out to you, Chris, for this podcast interview, I’d hope I didn’t come across vague in any way. I straight up said, Hey, I love what you’re up to. I’d love to reconnect. I wanna have you on my podcast. Your networking tips would be such a great fit for the audience. Boom. There we go. I don’t know if you took it that way, but like, hopefully it was pretty clear what the, the purpose of this chat was gonna be.
[00:29:56] Chris: Yep. And here we are. So it worked.
[00:29:58] Josh: Here we are. So some good. Uh, good. What not to-dos. What are some maybe like practical tips on networking that you’ve, that you’ve seen that have helped? Um, I’m a big fan of, for example, educating clients. I, it dawned on me one day that I don’t need to sell if I just educate.
[00:30:14] Josh: Uh, so that’s one of my practical tips. I always, I always tell my students, but what about you, Chris? What are some things that maybe you’ve learned on a practical level that somebody could implement if they go to a meeting tomorrow kind of thing?
[00:30:26] Chris: Yeah, with short notice and with zero training, what I shared earlier, it, it change. It’s a game changer to just learn how to connect with the people behind the profile, because usually people have anxieties and fears because they have an agenda. . And I remember that’s how I was, I would talk to somebody and part of me was thinking about how do I flip this conversation around to talk about what I want to talk about?
[00:30:49] Chris: So if you have designers or you have people that wanna offer a service and inside they’re thinking about how am I gonna flip this conversation around? Or how do I find out if they have a need? Or how do I ask ’em if they need a website or if they need some design work that’s gonna affect the connection.
[00:31:07] Chris: So I think there’s, so what I, what I do is I actually help people by having a structure that normally doesn’t that that most people don’t have, because the meeting people part is actually the middle of all of the steps that I teach people usually they think they want to learn how to meet people first and then they can do everything else later, or they think, teach me all the stuff.
[00:31:28] Chris: So I learn how to meet people and that’s the end goal, is to learn how to meet people and to navigate these event. For me, that’s dead center right in the middle of the whole process. So what I do is I, I help people and my, my advice is to have all seven steps and understand where you’re going. Just like anything, you have a framework, you know where you want to take your clients and you help ’em on a framework to get there.
[00:31:51] Chris: And I’m the same way because if they don’t have all the steps, it’s not gonna be a finished product. It’s like trying to bake a cake and you don’t have all the ingredients. Well first, why don’t you find out what the ingredients are, then find out what the sequence of putting the ingredients and making that cake so you can get that predictable result.
[00:32:07] Chris: Most people don’t have that when it comes to networking. They think they just need to feel more comfortable because that’s where I was. I just didn’t want to be uncomfortable. That was the initial. And then I wanted to make sales, and I didn’t realize that making sales is a shorter term goal. I mean, a shortsighted goal rather than what’s really available through networking.
[00:32:26] Chris: So if you, you’re okay, I’ll, I’ll share the seven steps real quick. I’ll do, let’s do it. I
[00:32:29] Josh: was just gonna ask perfect segue. Yep. But,
[00:32:32] Chris: um, so, so, so the first thing starts with clarity. I’m sure just like you and many of your listeners, start with clarity. What exactly do you want? What are your goals? Why do you wanna accomplish that?
[00:32:42] Chris: How do you accomplish what, what, what value do you provide for your clients? What do you wanna come across, right? What do you wanna present? What are the pain points that you solve? But one step beyond that from a networking standpoint is who else can help you connect to your client? the traditional prospect is how do I get in front of my client?
[00:33:00] Chris: So for some of your listeners are like, how do I get somebody that can hire me? But the other question to ask is a better question is, who can introduce me to people that would wanna hire me? And that’s where the goal is. That’s where most people miss out on opportunities. So that’s step one, is clarity.
[00:33:15] Chris: Step two is having the right mindset about what networking is. And like you said earlier, networking oftentimes has that negative connotation to it because it’s thought of as something that’s salesy and it’s negative from having to do it and is navigating from having 20 people pitch you their stuff.
[00:33:30] Chris: So it doesn’t work on both sides. So, so second is the right mindset about networking and what networking is really building relation. It’s really about just building relationships to where we can collaborate with one another and create bigger wins. We can create win-win opportunities, but that doesn’t happen till we get to know each other.
[00:33:48] Chris: I don’t create win-win opportunities. We just like, I don’t know, somebody, hey, let’s create a win-win opportunity. What do you do? I mean, so you build a relationship, you get a lot of those emails. Yeah. Yeah. Just because emails, yeah. They just send it to you. Say, Hey, let’s cut to the chase. Let’s not waste any time.
[00:34:00] Chris: But, but that’s the thing is like having the right mindset. So the analogy I like to use on that is, is, is the game of poker. So usually when we play poker, we’re the game is played against each other, right? So if we’re all sitting around a table and we’re all holding our cards up, we’re playing against the other players.
[00:34:17] Chris: And oftentimes there’s parallels between this game of poker and the game of business. So poker, you look at your hand and you gotta pretend like you got a good hand, or you pretend like you don’t have a good hand, you’re just faking the whole time. And people do that in business all the time. They may be struggling and they, Hey, how you doing?
[00:34:32] Chris: Oh, business is wonderful, everything’s great. And then they go home and cry because business is definitely not great. So it, it’s, but how can somebody help? If they think they’re okay. So, so there’s, there’s that and, and so what, what it’s like in the game of poker is that if I ask you, Josh, Hey, can I see your cards?
[00:34:50] Chris: Cuz I, I’m, my cards are terrible. Can I see your cards? You’re not gonna show me your cards. In fact, you’re gonna hold them closer and lean back. You’re gonna hide ’em like physically, you’ll lean back like, no, you can’t see my cards. Okay, so how do we. People that we talked to, to lean forward, to lean in.
[00:35:05] Chris: And the best way to do is not to ask ’em for something, but to offer something. So if I said, Hey Josh, do you, I flipped my cards around. Do you need any of these cards right here? Then all of a sudden you’re gonna lean in. You’re gonna say, let me see what you got. Okay, let me have the two and the three, I don’t know why you want the two and the three, they’re the lowest cards in the deck, but I don’t know that you already have a three, four, and five and you get two, three.
[00:35:26] Chris: Now you have a 2, 3, 4, 5. You have a straight. It meant nothing to me to have the two and the three. And in the business world, there’s people that have all these connections but don’t realize how significant that connection is to somebody else in their network. But it might be useless to them as far as directly, not useless as a person, but I meant useless from a business standpoint that maybe they’ll never be forced together, but they could be a game changer for this other person.
[00:35:49] Chris: Just like you completed a straight, now you discard two just cuz you had to, you threw two cards away and they happen to be hearts and you don’t realize I have three hearts already. Now your two hearts complete mind and I have a, I have a flush. So if we can change the game to where we just focus more on like how can we help everyone improve their hands?
[00:36:08] Chris: That’s the kind of game that we can all elevate our hands at that table. If you and me start trading cards against anyone else, no matter what their skill level is, you and I are gonna win most of those hands at that table simply because we’re collaborating and as others see that we’re winning, they’re gonna want in.
[00:36:25] Chris: And the third person says, Hey, why do you guys win all the time? Oh, it’s cuz we exchange cards. They say, well, I want in too. I’m tired of losing. And guess what happens when the whole table is playing the same game? Then we all create higher cards. Not about who has the highest, there’s always gonna be somebody who has the highest.
[00:36:38] Chris: It might not always be us, but if we can improve our situation from where we were before, that’s the right mindset about what true networking is. It’s not about do I get a sale? It’s like creating bigger wins through these collaborations that we can trust going forward.
[00:36:53] Josh: That’s awesome. So was that step three, is that right?
[00:36:57] Chris: So this is all, so that’s mindset, just understanding what networking is about. Step three is the tools. Tools and systems and processes. That’s the calendar app that we both use. Electronic calendar, Hey, find a time that’s convenient for you. So using all systems and tools, social media, which we talked about earlier, and just staying in touch and building your brand and visibility and, and doing it as a person, not just your business.
[00:37:19] Chris: And a lot of times people will think of, Branding themselves and, and just keep putting their, their stuff out there. Like, if you’re a realtor and you just keep putting only house stuff and nobody’s not, somebody’s not in the market for house, why would they wanna keep following you? Right. You know? But if you put the foods you eat and you’re going out different places and you’re traveling, or you’re just going through, you know, then, then, then you’re a person.
[00:37:38] Chris: Now that also happens to be a realtor that can help ’em when they’re in that time of need. So same thing with your designers. If they, they just need to be present, put enough out there to where they know what they do, but everything else can then become social and just stay in touch and stay in front of people.
[00:37:53] Chris: So I don’t need to say, Hey, I’m a networker. How are you? I’m a network. No, they just see, that’s what I do. But I, I’ll share pictures of, you know, me and my and Belinda go out on a date or, you know, we’re doing something with the kids or we at a life event or we’re traveling or something like that. All we need, I put my fish tank back here.
[00:38:09] Chris: I put pictures of my fish tank and then that’s just another hook to stay top of mind. It, you know. People that aren’t networkers aren’t gonna wanna follow me if I’m just a networker. But they like the fish tank and yeah, they’ll go to outta state and go to see Aquarium and say, Hey, I thought of you. I saw these fish over there.
[00:38:23] Chris: And so, so it’s all hooked. So for, for those of your listeners that are out there, it’s like, how do you stay top of mind is put out there, what you do, but then just become a person and, and, and be the first person they remember when it comes to their website or design or whatever else, other services that they offer.
[00:38:39] Chris: So, so three is just getting all those systems in place. And to me, those are all the excuses of why people don’t do step four, which, like I said, meeting people is in the middle of the seven steps. So that step four is meeting other people. Um, the reason people don’t go out there and say, oh yeah, I need to work on my LinkedIn first.
[00:38:55] Chris: Oh, I need to work on my website before I go out there. I’m still kind of fine tuning some stuff, or, you know, I don’t have business cards yet. I need to order those, or I wanna go to electronic business cards and need to set that up. All excuses. So I’m like, why don’t you just set all those up, take the time to set all of those things up so you don’t have those excuses.
[00:39:11] Chris: And so not only that, but you feel confident going to the event, you, you’re confident going to meet people. And by having all those things set up too, you don’t need to do a lot of talking when you get to the event. Because I know part of the fear I had when I went to the event is if they kept talking and I wasn’t presenting, then I’m not getting value.
[00:39:31] Chris: I’m not, I’m not gonna sell anything because they didn’t learn about it. But as I had all of those step three things done, all the systems, the tools, the social media, I could meet you at event, at an event for the first time, talk about you the whole time, talk about me almost 0% of the time. And then before we we’re done talking for several minutes and say, Chris, um, tell about what you do real quick.
[00:39:52] Chris: Or I could share like just a one liner or just my elevator pitch. But what I wanna do is I want to just stay in touch with you. I say, Hey, are you on LinkedIn, Facebook? Do you wanna stay connected? You’ll say, yeah, let’s connect on there. Now we get on our phone, we connect, but I’m gonna use what you see on what you see on social media to do the connection and the selling, and building all the trust.
[00:40:12] Chris: Because that’s gonna mean more than anything that I tell you at the event anyway. I’d rather be like, I didn’t tell you anything. And you go online, you go like, wow, that dude’s pretty cool. I like this guy, this guy. Wow. He does that too. Oh, I didn’t know they’d do this. So we’re already connecting more and I didn’t, and this isn’t even something I’m directly talking to you about.
[00:40:27] Chris: Yeah. And that’s when you talk about people’s brand and reputation preceding them. So to build trust with people and stay top mind. So that’s, that’s where all of these come into play for that step four, which, and that’s why it is, it’s preparing for that, for that moment.
[00:40:43] Josh: Preparing for that. Okay. So I, let me, oh, why am I quizzing myself? I want to take a guess at what number five is. Would number five be something in the realm of like building authority or trust with social media and things like,
[00:40:57] Chris: Yes. So you’re close. It’s, it’s pretty much, it is. I’ll, I’ll say it’s correct. Um, yeah, so, so step five is actually building relationships. Okay.
[00:41:06] Josh: I’m taking notes on this, by the way. Have you seen me typing? Yeah, it’s very
[00:41:09] Chris: similar. So it’s, so step five is building relationships. So what that is, is understanding what relationship is, understanding relationship strength under understanding that the stronger that your relationships are, the stronger and bigger your ask can be.
[00:41:25] Chris: And so, analogy I like to share is like for anyone that’s, you know, asked their, their, uh, spouse to Miriam, by the time they asked that question, they were probably a hundred percent. Sure of what that answer was like. If you say 99%, you, it’s almost laughable. It’s like what? You thought that it’s almost a hundred percent by the time you ask that question because of the strength of the relationship.
[00:41:47] Chris: And you look at the business, why isn’t it the same thing in business? Why are we asking for things where there’s a 10% shot or a 2% shot that they’re in? I mean, you talked about all the cold pitches and the messages that you’re getting. It’s not effective. And not only is it not effective, but it, it, it puts a distance relationship-wise between the two people.
[00:42:07] Chris: And the reason I say that is because, let’s say that you sent me a message. and, um, it was a pitch, right? So let me flip it. Lemme say I send you a message and it was just a pitch, like straight out pitch. Hey Josh, I could change your life and here’s how I can do it. Let me share you some, share some stuff with you.
[00:42:21] Chris: Um, and then I see you later that day in the afternoon or a week later or two weeks later, you, you, um, you know I’ve left messages for you. You’re like, I’m busy. I’m not calling that back right now. I got other things. I got appointments that wasn’t unscheduled, so that wasn’t scheduled. So you just move on with, I see you a few weeks later and you see me, you know, chances are you’re not running up and giving me a hug as soon as you see me, cuz I just spammed you and sent you all this stuff and you didn’t response.
[00:42:47] Chris: You owe me a couple of calls and some emails back, right? So it is causing some distance, relationship-wise, and I’m not getting an answer. You’re never gonna answer me and say why you’re not interested or that you’re not interested. And sometimes people would rather hear that, Hey, I’m not interested for this.
[00:43:02] Chris: What reason or another so they don’t keep. Following up and saying, Hey, how about now? So, but, but let’s say that we don’t do that and you and I, we meet and we just build a relationship and I could be upfront and say, Hey, here’s the services. Um, you know, Josh just wanted to see if I could spend some time with you, uh, and, and, and share what I do.
[00:43:20] Chris: Uh, because it, it may or may not be for you, but at least if you understand what I do, you could keep me in mind for other people that might use my services. Would it be, would you have 15 minutes to where we can just sit down and I could share this? Cause we haven’t had a chance to do that yet. And usually by the time I do this, I’ve probably probably already done the same for you.
[00:43:37] Chris: I’ve probably led by asking you and saying, Josh, who are you looking to connect with? What, what’s a good connection for you? So again, it’s, it’s building that relational bank account. Uh, so understand relationship is building a relational bank account. You can’t go to the, if, if, if a bank sends you an at t m card.
[00:43:54] Chris: You can’t go and take money out. If you haven’t put money in yet. You still have to put money in before you take money out. Relationships are the same way. You need to deposit before you ask for a withdrawal, and you’ve look at why most things don’t work with all this cold outreach is cuz they haven’t made any deposit.
[00:44:10] Chris: To even get a call back. And, and so now if I make an offer to somebody or share something with somebody, they should feel comfortable enough saying, Hey Chris, you know what? It’s just not for me right now. Here’s the reason. They don’t even need to explain the reasons, but they usually do. Here’s the reasons why.
[00:44:24] Chris: It, it just changes it. And now we maintain the relationship, but more importantly, they can keep me in mind for referrals. They say, Hey, it’s not for me at this time for X, y, Z reason. You know, I’m not ready for a website right now for x, y, z reason. But I do know people all the time. I run across a lot of entrepreneurs.
[00:44:38] Chris: I run across a lot of startups. I run across people that are scaling up and they need to upgrade. Um, I can keep you in mind for that. So the, the relationship stays in intact. So building relationships is, is step five. Um, So that’s, so you were close. It was pretty much right. You know, not, uh, similar similar
[00:44:54] Josh: to, to, yeah. Cause you could still like, yeah, you could, I would imagine you could lump in authority building with the relationship because that does build, like for example, if I met you, Chris, at a networking event, I didn’t know anything about, you thought you were a cool dude, liked your fish tank story, and then saw you on LinkedIn, then I’m like, holy crap.
[00:45:12] Josh: He like wrote the book on networking, which I wanna talk about here. That immediately adds way more levity to that relationship because I’m like, now there’s an element of trust. Like, you obviously have experience, you’ve wrote about it professionally. So Yeah, I, I imagine relationship could be the tank for all sorts of phish. I, I’m a terrible at analogies I use them so much better, but you know what I
[00:45:34] Chris: mean. Yeah. But you’re on the right track because that’s actually heading into step six, which is building a brand and your personal network is having your own network rather than being part of other networks. But also having your own network is powerful.
[00:45:51] Chris: Having your own brand is powerful because there, there are times where, you know, I had one partnership where they said that, uh, you know, we, you’ve been interviewing for a year already. You just don’t know it. They’ve already been watching me for some time before we even had our first talks. So those kind of things happen.
[00:46:07] Chris: People are watching you and seeing what you do and how you respond. And trustworthiness is, is. is built into the person, not the title, not the role. The person is the one that needs to be trustworthy. And so if you build trust personally, then whatever you offer business wise, you’re gonna have credibility.
[00:46:28] Chris: So right now, I would say if I, if I wanted to go into any other position, the the, the trust should travel with me. If I want to go be a realtor, if I wanna sell cars, if I wanna do auto detailing, if I wanna start a different kind of company, the trust should travel with me. And that’s how you know when you’re building a personal brand is that they’re, you build a brand for you, the company and the entity, and the name has a brand because you are behind it.
[00:46:55] Chris: That’s great. Not, not
[00:46:56] Josh: by itself. Trust travels. Let’s quote it and get it on a t-shirt. That’s a great little quote, man.
[00:47:03] Chris: Yep. It tra I’m gonna have to write that down myself. I’m gonna need to show notes. Um, . Yeah.
[00:47:07] Josh: Trust travels. We’re gonna quote it. We’re gonna do something with
[00:47:09] Chris: that. Yeah. So it travels and, and that sets us up for the final step, which is step seven.
[00:47:15] Chris: So remember I said before that getting a sale is good. It’s, it’s, part of it, but it’s thinking small to get a sale, to get a client. Step seven is not getting a sale. Step seven is creating winning collaborations and partnerships that’s not a sale, that’s a series of sales. That’s an ongoing source, an ongoing resource for future sales.
[00:47:36] Chris: And as you do that, networking now all of a sudden gives you time back instead of taking time prospecting, it gives you time back because you have the people coming to you and they’re already 90% of the way through your funnel as far as having to build trust and showing ’em, oh, here’s the work that I’ve done.
[00:47:52] Chris: Here’s examples. They already know that if the person referred ’em, they know you’re good. You don’t need to spend as much time on your qualifications. You spend more time saying, what exactly are you looking for? What do you need? And here’s what I can do to help you get there. And here’s my pricing structure. Which one works better for you?
[00:48:08] Josh: I love that challenge of. Not thinking small and not thinking shortsighted, like one sell. Like what if it is mult, win-win situation, multiple sales and and multiple, like multiple expanded network. That is what a great cap to that framework, Chris, because I do feel like what anyone would think of some sort of networking framework that I would, I would think like maybe sale is in the middle and then like follow up would be an existing framework, but it all fits with that idea of creating like a win-win relationship and yeah, ongoing sales, like, my gosh, that, ah, that’s beautiful. Can you recap the seven real quick? Yep. So
[00:48:46] Chris: number one is clarity. Gain clarity. Two is mindset, having the right mindset. Three is setting up your systems and tools. That’s including your social, your calendar, your website, all of that stuff. Um, four is getting out and meeting new people. So that’s the fourth step.
[00:49:04] Chris: Fifth step is building relationships. Step six is building your personal brand and your personal network. Having people around you, having a circle of people that trust you. And step seven is building, uh, creating winning collaborations and partnerships. And for people that are out there that say, you know, that’s what I do.
[00:49:25] Chris: I, I want to build more partnerships or I, I see that I don’t try to make sales, I wanna create the partnership. Most of the time they’re gonna miss out on opportunities because they don’t have the other steps in. , they haven’t slowed down to set everything else up. So what happens is that they have that dream connection that is right there available to ’em, or somebody can introduce ’em to ’em and they either subconsciously don’t feel ready and sabotage it or they don’t show up to the meeting.
[00:49:49] Chris: Uh, subconsciously like it’s not like, Hey, I’m not gonna show up to that meeting. But things happen and somehow they just let it fall apart cuz they really didn’t wanna be there. Um, or they have the boldness to go through with it. But then that ideal partner, collaboration partner looks at ’em on social and it doesn’t build trust for whatever reason either because they put crazy political stuff on there, they put crazy stuff on there, they don’t have a presence on there.
[00:50:12] Chris: But either way, it doesn’t look like somebody that has an equal amount of vesting in it or credibility or cloud or whatever it is. So, so that’s why step six as far as building a personnel network that opens the door to partnerships because, Just, this is an example If, if you have a really nice car and a friend of yours says, Hey Josh, can I borrow your car?
[00:50:37] Chris: Can I have the keys for the weekend? And they don’t have a car or their car’s like a beater, right? Is it got trash in there? They got all kinds of food in there, and chances are, you’re probably not gonna want to let them borrow your car. You’re not giving ’em the keys to your cars. It’s not gonna happen.
[00:50:51] Chris: But let’s say that your friend has an equally nice car or an even nicer car than you have. Same situation. They come to you and say, Hey, can I borrow your car for the weekend? Just the fact that they have the same or better car than you, you’re more likely to hand those keys over just because your friend needs it.
[00:51:06] Chris: You don’t even, you might not even ask why they need it. You just say, yeah, here you go. Because of what they have. And if people have a network, then they’re gonna be more trustworth. To be in other people’s networks as well. So as, oh, great point. As your listeners, as your listeners look to do that, really there, it, it’s hard to sell web services, hard to sell design.
[00:51:29] Chris: Like how can you just go to somebody on the street and tell ’em, here’s what I can do for you. You really should have this. It’s, it’s something, it would be good for you. It would be, be, that’s a hard sell. Why not just cater to people that already know they have a need and are looking for the right person and to be able to just continually do that.
[00:51:44] Chris: So that’s where it, it goes both ways. You know, whoever, um, you’re listed are, they’re gonna have other peop other services that they don’t do themselves or don’t want to. It’s not their expertise or it’s not in their wheelhouse. They become the referral partner for somebody else. And it’s a win-win. Yeah.
[00:51:59] Chris: Because if you send ’em to somebody that’s trustworthy, reliable, they like you. If I send you to a good mechanic and they took care of you, and they gave you a better deal and they, and you felt, you know, really good about that, that helps me. That helps you, that helps the mechanic. So that’s what it is with collaboration.
[00:52:14] Josh: Love that. I keep on going back to this quote we just came up with, which is trust travels. Because when it, when it comes to referrals, that is a biggie. Like if you, Chris referred me to as a web designer, when, you know, years ago when I was designing websites for everybody, you better trust me to do a good job for somebody because if I did a terrible job, that will reflect on you.
[00:52:36] Josh: And that is so, so important at the end of this framework when it comes to having like winning collaborations and partnerships, that trust factor. Uh, so man, trust travels. This has been like a masterclass, Kristen networking , I would imagine This is why it was probably a really good time for you to write a book.
[00:52:53] Josh: So tell me about, as we wrap this up, tell me about the book, man. Is, is this framework in the book or what is the book all.
[00:53:00] Chris: The, the book is called Networking Essentials for Success. And it’s designed for somebody who’s either been networking for a while and not seeing the results, or somebody who’s starting from scratch and just wants to save time and hassle and all the aggravation of figuring out how to do it.
[00:53:15] Chris: And, and that’s what this whole framework is, is based around, is, is it’s all in that book. So it’s a seven step journey to accomplish your goals through authentic relationships and collaborative communities. So that’s really what it’s about is relationship first. Bigger part of that is, is community that we get to create and it just feeds the cycle.
[00:53:34] Chris: So the stronger communities we have, the better all of us do. And guess what? We all don’t have to spend as much time prospecting cold clients when we have a community of people. Yes.
[00:53:45] Josh: Ho that’s, yes. That’s honestly, as I think about. My personal insight on this whole conversation is that what you just said is what networking meant to me. It meant that I didn’t have to hard sell. It just meant that I could connect and be who I am and share what I know and share what I do, share the results and the rest takes care of itself as far as getting referred out.
[00:54:05] Josh: And then of course, with your framework, all the element really as I think about all the elements that I learned in, in, in-person networking came into play at some point in your framework. It just took 10 years to put it all in there. I should have just read your book if it was available. So speaking of, talk about a segue to the book. Is your book available on your website, Chris, at chris boha.com or is there a better place?
[00:54:26] Josh: I mean, so at the time of the releasing this, I think it’ll be just after the book releases. So, so yeah. To you man. Where would you like my audience to go if they want to check out the book and, and learn more about.
[00:54:37] Chris: Yep, they can just go to chris borja.com is perfectly fine. I’ll have another website specifically for the book called Networking essentials for success.com. But all of those, the easiest ways is go to my personal website and I’ll have links to everything from there. So just go to Chris borja b r j.com.
[00:54:55] Josh: Yes. That is a ja, I think the first time I met you I was like, hi, Chris Borja. Uh, before I was, before I had a podcast and I was cultured and learned different, uh, uh, pronunciations and stuff, so I’ll make sure we have that linked in the show notes, of course of everybody.
[00:55:09] Josh: Um, but man, Chris, I, I actually, I, I have maybe one final question for you, but I’d actually almost like to turn this over to you as we wrap this up. Like, for my audience of web designers who networking is not generally the, the first priority, like I feel like if you get into real estate, you’re probably.
[00:55:28] Josh: You’re gonna know that you’re gonna have to get yourself out there and probably gonna go to some networking stuff. Like there’s industries where, you know, networking is a part of it. Web designers tend to get into it often accidentally, and then it’s like, oh shoot, I need to sell. I need to like meet people.
[00:55:41] Josh: And I’m terrified to get out there. Like, I guess I would like to just give you an opportunity to maybe share maybe just some quick advice for those type of people. We’ve covered a lot here, but is there maybe one, uh, thought that has resonated with you that you’d like to share to those people who, you know, networking just isn’t natural. It’s, it’s hard right now for them.
[00:55:59] Chris: Yeah, I think, I think that’s one aspect, and one element is the, the comfort of doing it. But I think the other, uh, real, real life element is time, right? If you’re, if you’re working on things for clients, you don’t have time to go out and network, at which point you need to decide on, do I hire somebody and, and they become the face and, and have a regular presence out there.
[00:56:21] Chris: But I, I would encourage whatever you need to do, To either do it yourself, schedule some time to do it, which would be my preferred way because you are the brand, remember you’re the brand and you don’t turn yourself over. You know, other employees can be turned over sales team and that ends up being the opposite effect of trust, right?
[00:56:37] Chris: If they say, Hey, there’s, I’ll just wait for the next salesperson. Oh, happen to last guy. So I, I think personal branding is really important. It’s probably worth your time in investing into a few groups. You can’t be part of all the groups same way. You can’t major in everything. Pick a couple of groups that you enjoy being at and be a regular and serve and give, and that’s probably enough to keep you busy if, if you just grow deeper instead of like, you know, wide, you know, miles wide, but an inch deep type thing.
[00:57:06] Chris: I think just digging deeper roots is enough to, to, to feed you and, and your business until you can scale and, you know, have somebody take over. Roles either on the front side of, uh, meeting people or on the backside of actually doing the work. But I would say to in invest that time, and I, I use the word invest intentionally because it is an investment.
[00:57:24] Chris: Is this gonna cost you? Is it gonna cost you some of your time on the front end? But it’s an investment mean that it comes back many times over. It’s not a one for one deal. It can, it’s, it’s gonna bring back exponential results as you build it. And you’ve seen people out there that have done this and accomplished this, and you might wonder, how do they grow such a big business?
[00:57:43] Chris: Why does everyone just go to ’em? I don’t even see their advertising. I don’t see ’em doing this. How do they get their clients? They, they’ve probably figured out how to networks, I would say to, to invest the time. Find the time. Make the time. Just like fitness, just like going to the gym. There’s gonna be times you don’t want to go, which is like every time for most people, they don’t want to go, but you never leave the gym saying, oh, I knew I shouldn’t have come in today.
[00:58:06] Chris: And the same thing with networking. You’ll never leave an event and say, I knew I shouldn’t have come in here. Because even if the event was terrible, worst case scenario, event was terrible, poorly run, all that kind of stuff, but you meant one good per one good person. It was worth it coming to that event.
[00:58:21] Chris: And when you know what you’re doing, you create environments. You don’t need to be at a networking event to network. You could be at, on the sideline, at your kids’ soccer game. You could be at your, your, uh, jogging or cycling club or whatever things you do, uh, for fun. Or you could be at your church because now you know that networking isn’t selling.
[00:58:39] Chris: Networking is building relationships and it opens up. All these new channels for you that you’re already doing now without having to change anything on your schedule. It’s just a mindset of realizing that I’m running across these people. Let me see what they need. You know, is there anything that they need?
[00:58:53] Chris: And start there. Most people are reciprocal and they’ll say, you know, thank you, I really appreciate that. How about you? What, what can I do for you? And they’re not trained, you know, they’re not even trained, but it’s just human nature to wanna reciprocate. If you serve somebody, they’ll wanna serve you back.
[00:59:07] Chris: So whatever you want, do that for other people. If you want referrals, give other people referrals. If you want to them to ask you for your business card, you off, ask them for theirs first. Hey, do you have a business card, Josh? Yeah, here I go. How about you Chris? Do you have business cards? So whatever you put out there, in most cases, it’s gonna reciprocate.
[00:59:23] Chris: So when you, you know, just, just understanding these dynamics, hopefully that that helps you. So, um, as far as building, you just understand that you know that the time element is gonna be there, but networking will will put more time back on your schedule.
[00:59:36] Josh: The goal would take time. Networking network unto others as you would like to have network unto you. There it is. Chris, this has been awesome, man. This has literally been like a networking 1 0 1 masterclass, so I really appreciate your time. It’s been awesome reconnecting with you. I’ve so enjoyed staying in touch.
[00:59:54] Josh: Like you said, I mean, this is kind of an interesting case study, this conversation because 6, 5, 6 years ago, we could have very easily just disconnected and just lost touch with each other. But we have stayed connected just with our social media presence. And uh, when I heard you were writing the book on it, I was like, oh, here we go. It’s time. I want to pick your brain on this. So man, thank you for dishing out the goods, Chris, and uh, love what you’re up to, man. Keep it up. Thanks again for your time today, dude.
[01:00:19] Chris: All right. Thank you.
[01:00:23] Josh: All right friends, so I hope you enjoyed that episode. Isn’t Chris awesome? Like again, we just talked about this, but I just love his story of going from an introvert who dreaded networking to somebody who is now teaching it and is so passionate about it because he grew his business and it’s done wonders for him.
[01:00:40] Josh: It did wonders for me. And it’ll do wonders for you and you can do it at whatever level you want to. So cheers to your networking endeavors. I’d love to hear from you on your takeaways from this episode. You can leave us a firstname.lastname@example.org slash 2 53 to leave a comment for this post, this episode’s post.
[01:00:57] Josh: And again, check out Chris’s book, networking Essentials for Success. It’s his seven step framework. We will have that linked in the show notes for this episode. Again, if you’re catching this, uh, while it airs before May of 2023, Chris is going to be coming inside of Web Designer Pro, which is my web design community, and he’ll be doing a live training and you can join us and ask some questions live and get to talk with Chris directly.
[01:01:20] Josh: So super excited about that as well. Any questions, let me know as always. And again, make sure you subscribe and I will see you guys on the next episode unless you’re too busy bouncing between networking groups.