How I Maintain My Network On A Daily Basis

This is probably going to be one of my shortest posts ever because maintaining my database isn’t that complicated… and it’s not supposed to be.

If it were complicated, I’d never stick to it so I keep it real simple.

We talked about the four laws of your network in another post (ahem, law #3 is “communicate with it systematically), so I wanted to touch on how I manage my network on a daily basis.

Once you’ve set up your database, maintaining it is easy so long as you do it every day.

If you need some help setting up your database, here’s a wholeeee post about organizing your database:

I like to do it first thing in the morning before the day gets hectic and crazy.

That means before I check my email, before I return phone calls, before anything else.

If someone calls during this time, I’ll text them back and let them know I’ll call them back after 11… That’s how serious I am about it.

Nurturing my network is the single most important part of growing MEB and my real estate business, so I don’t mess around.

As a caveat, in addition to my daily network maintenance, I also do mailings and video emails on a monthly basis to my database but that’s systemized too.

You can learn how I do it right here:

 

Add and Categorize (Bucket) New Contacts

Estimated Time: 2 Minutes

The second law of the database is “feed it every day”.

That means every time I meet someone new, I add them to my database and then categorize them so they’re added to a follow-up plan.

I used to do this only on Mondays but I found that I didn’t want to do it because it ended up being like 20 people to add at once, I hated doing it andddd waiting a whole week to follow-up with people meant that I forgot a lot of what we’d talked about during our meeting.

Now that I do it every morning, it takes all of 30 seconds to add the 2-3 new people I’ve met and I don’t have to think about it again.

 

Complete Actions

Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes

When someone is added to a category (bucket) in Contactually, they’re automatically added to a follow-up program.

I’ve talked about how and why I do eight follow-ups over eight weeks in this post:

After I categorize my new people, I complete the actions that Contactually tells me I need to do.

The emails are automated to go out, so I just go down the list and call the people that Contactually tells me to call and I send the mailings that it’s reminding me to send.

I don’t fight with it, I just do them.

You can try Contactually for free for 30 days and you’ll get access to my follow-up templates too.

 

Follow-Up Reminders

Estimated Time: 15-30 Minutes

When you bucket someone in Contactually, you can assign a follow-up reminder period for them.

For example, my “long term nurture” bucket has a follow-up reminder for every 90 days.

That means, if I go 90 days without talking to someone, there’s a follow-up reminder that pops up to remind me to reach out to them.

I’m never trying to figure out who to call or what to say, I just setup my system in the beginning and then stick to it on a daily basis.

For my long term natures, I call them once every 90 days and each quarter I have a different topic to talk about.

For example, my Q1 call goes like this, “hey ___! Happy New Year. Just checking in to hear about your big goals for the year and to see if there’s anything I can do or anyone I can introduce you to that can help.”

Sometimes they’ll go, “so funny you called! We’re thinking about selling the house and have been meaning to call you.”

Those 90 day calls make sure I stay top of mind.

 

Update Pipelines

Estimated Time: 5 Minutes

Lastly, one of the things I’ve recently started doing is keeping track of everyone in Pipelines.

That’s because even with reminders, I’m a super visual person so I like to see where everyone is in my business, how much income I can expect to generate in the next few months and if I’m on track for my goals.

This takes 30 seconds to update on a daily basis but gives me a perfect picture of my business.

Once all of that is done, I’ve done the most important part of my job for the day and I never have to worry about if I’ve followed up with someone enough.

If you want the templates I use for my eight week follow-up plan and a free 30-day trial of Contactually, you can get them right here:


Growing your network requires consistency and focused action on a daily, consistent basis. Here's a step by step walkthrough of every single thing I do to make sure my network is constantly growing. Click through to learn more!
Building your network is all about consistency. It doesn't have to be complicated, overwhelming or hard, it just takes itty bitty steps every single day to build a thriving network. Click through to learn how to manage your network in less than an hour a day.

Contactually CRM Review and Best Practices

Let me begin by saying that I’m an app junkie.

I like to try new apps, I like talking about them and I’m even the annoying person who actually sits down and watches Apple’s WWDC event every year (and I may or may not be watching it as I’m writing this).

… Being that I’m an app junkie and pretty tech savvy, it’s really hard to impress me.

Make no mistake though, even though I’m tech savvy, I’m picky as HELL about using apps that are beautifully designed and super simple to use.

I truly believe that the ability to make complicated things simple is a talent, beauty and art.

The ability to make complicated things simple is a talent, beauty and art. Click To Tweet

For me, that’s Contactually.

As a caveat and affiliate disclosure, if you decide to join Contactually through this post, I will get a small commission off of it (actually, enough for a smoothie since I don’t drink coffee).

I’ve been using Contactually since 2012 or 2013 and even though I’ve tried every CRM under the sun, I always come back.

If you’re counting, as of this writing it is currently June 2018 so I’ve literally been using it for 6 or 7 years… and you know app junkies have commitment issues when it comes to apps and yet, I’m still here.

That should tell you something.

So yes, I would recommend it even if I wasn’t being paid (you can ask the people in my office about all the times I’ve taught them how to use it and wasn’t getting paid for it) and if it REALLY kills you that I’m going to get to get to buy a smoothie, you can go directly to their site and try it out there.

Caveat #2…

They’ve niched their marketing down for realtors.

Being that in addition to selling real estate, I also lead a young professionals organization (ahem, that’s where you are right now), I’m here to tell you that the system is flexible enough to work for ANY system… and there

literally isn’t ANY real estate mention in the entire system unless you choose to go to the global library where there are email templates for alllll types of industries, including real estate.

It just so happens that realtors blow money on technology more than any other industry, so of course they niched down.

Alright, so now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, let’s get started.

 

Easy, Flexible + Beautiful of Use

First things first, like you, I’m a millennial.

That means that I’m not gonna be logging into some system that looks like it was built before I was born every single day.

I’ve gone off on tangents about the importance of beautiful design for the apps that you use in CRAZY detail right here:

With that in mind, this is actually number one and it might be for you too, without you even realizing it.

If you’re going to use it every day, you should enjoy using it… and it should LOOK pretty.

Here’s what the dashboard of my CRM, Contactually looks like:

It gives you the meat in a beautiful way, without you having to go looking for anything.

 

Bucket Game

Listen up, and listen close…

Having a big long list of contacts doesn’t mean shit if looking at the list gives you anxiety.

Having a big long list of contacts doesn't mean shit if looking at the list gives you anxiety. Click To Tweet

It’s IMPERATIVE that you get to segment your contacts… and I have to say, Contactually has killed it with their bucket game.

When you register, you sync your email accounts and your google/iCloud contacts and it pulls in alllll the people you forgot even existed.

Warning: you’re going to be overwhelmed at first because of the sheer number of people you have in your network.

I have 12,000 people plus an additional few thousand on our MEB email list.

Of those 12,000, only about 2,000 actually stay in Contactually and the rest are archived.

You’re going to have to go through and segment your contacts no matter how you slice and dice it but at least the bucket game makes it bearable.

Oh, as a heads up, only do 100 or so per day AFTER you’ve set up your programs or you’ll sort through 500 people and end up with 9,000 tasks on your dashboard.

Ahem, I’m speaking from experience.

Which leads me to…

 

Programs

There are a tonnnnn of CRMs out there and there are even a bunch of free ones…. but not all of them make it easy to systemize your follow-ups.

Without that, having a CRM is basically just a fancy excel spreadsheet.

The whole point of using a CRM is to reduce your stress and the amount of effort you have to take, not add to it.

The whole point of using a CRM is to reduce your stress and the amount of effort you have to take, not add to it. Click To Tweet

In my own practice, every single person who comes into my life is added to a follow-up campaign.

I have a campaign for people who join us on Meetup, a campaign for people who become a member or join our online academy, a campaign for my new real estate clients, people who send me referrals and even people who

I meet while networking.

The third law of networking is to communicate with it systematically and if you can’t have campaigns, there’s no point in even having a CRM.

Contactually’s programs are easy to set up, integrate with buckets and it will give you peace of mind that when people come into your life, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re building a relationship with them until their name comes up on your dashboard and tells you what to mail, call or send them.

 

Data Collection

Ok first of all, I’m going to sound like a super nerd right now but I need you to understand how important this is.

If every time you email someone, you have to go and manually add that person to your CRM and still log the interaction, how likely are you to do it?

What about every time you get someone’s number?

Precisely my point.

Contactually syncs with your contacts and email so whenever you email someone, it pulls in the contacts AND email… all you have to do is bucket them.

Here’s what I mean:

I don’t have to actually pull in their emails, it automatically comes in… And say hi to my mom (if you can’t tell, we’re going through a whole healthy eating kick with her tower garden haha!)

Oh, and not to mention that if you text from your computer, you can quickly copy and paste the info back into Contactually so everyone is always updated.

I have a weekly reminder to myself to bucket my new contacts so that everyone is added to the appropriate follow-up plans and with the mindset of committing to clearing the dashboard on a daily basis, your networking machine runs and grows without a whole lot of effort on your behalf.

 

Follow-Up Reminders

Their follow-up reminders are actually what got me interested in Contactually in the first place.

We talked about the bucket game earlier, so when you set them up, you assign a follow-up timeframe.

For example, I have a 30 day follow-up reminder for our MEB members to reach out to them, check in on them and keep them engaged.

I’ve laid out in CRAZY detail how I organize my network in this post:

My long term nurtures hear from me every 90 days.

Then, you’ll go and decide how many follow-ups you want to do per day…

Follow-ups are different from programs.

Programs are preset campaigns that tell you exactly what to say or send while a follow-up reminder is just “you haven’t talked to this person in ___ days and you want to talk to them every __ days.”

Thennn, taking it a step further, Contactually gamifies it with your RPA (relationship point average) which is calculated based on how many people you’re in touch with and how may people you’re out of touch with.

I was never a straight A student but my RPA is always an A because it drives me crazy when it’s not.

For the sake of my sanity, I only do about 5 follow-up reminders per day and recommend you do the same if you’re also using programs.

 

ScaleMail + Scheduling Emails

This one is my little holy grail, just don’t tell the people in my “inner circle”.

Imagine combining email marketing with the personal touch… and that’s what you get when you use ScaleMail.

It allows you to send personalized emails to a group of people at the same time and if you’re not ready to send it yet, you can schedule it. As you’re going through the editing process, you can also customize the message for a specific person within the group to make it even more personal.

I’ve used this to send emails to our leadership team, invite a group of people to lunch and for promoting our events.

The open, click and reply rates are infinitely higher on these than on traditional email marketing because they’re so personalized.

I don’t use this feature as much as I could but every time I do, it blows my mind.

 

Pipelines

If you’re in sales, you know the importance of keeping a full pipeline.

Contactually does a beautiful job of breaking down your pipelines in a useful, visual way with their drag and drop editor, allowing you to assign programs to each step of the pipeline and giving you a visual overview of your business.

What I love about this so much is it can be as simple as you want it to be or as complex as you want it to be and either way, Contactually has the power and simplicity to handle it all.

 

Integrations

The more you can streamline in your business, the less you have to do on your own and the more you can enjoy your life without burning out.

The more you can streamline in your business, the less you have to do on your own and the more you can enjoy your life without burning out. Click To Tweet

Integrations make it super simple to eliminate most of the double data entry, give you the ability to duplicate yourself and do the work of like 10 people even when you’re only one.

Remember, Contactually’s shining feature is that it has the incredible ability to be super simple or crazy complex.

After six years now, I’ve continued to refine and develop my process which has grown to include working with various apps that all run in the background (before I could start building a team, these were the only way I could grow without burning out).

We use Invoiced for membership dues, Typeform for new Meetup subscribers and leadership applications, RealScout for buyer property searches, Spotio for tracking my door knocking, Calendly for scheduling appointments and Spacio for my open houses… and every one of those contacts goes into Contactually.

You don’t need to do or use all of those, but I wanted to make sure to outline how powerful the system is.

Growing two COMPLETELY different companies at the same time is impossible without incredible systems and all of these integrations make it possible.

Try Contactually free for 14 days and get it pre-loaded with my networking follow-up sequence right here.

 

What I Don’t Love

Now, this wouldn’t be an honest review if I didn’t throw in the things I’d like to see different in the system.

Don’t get me wrong, overall, I love Contactually.

… but when you’re a power user like I am, there’s small stuff that makes you want to rip your hair out.

For most people, these won’t even be an issue but because I have so many automations and other things running, it DEFINITELY affects me.

In fact, for every thing I LOVE about Contactually, there’s something that I’d fix or change.

Their customer service: they don’t always update you with issues that you’ve reported and sometimes you can tell that the people reading the emails are just trying to respond as quickly as they can and giving you a basic answer, instead of actually reading the email you sent them. You’re a million times more likely to get a solid response from their Facebook group than from reaching out to customer service.

ConvertKit Integration: Contactually + ConvertKit = ?. My life would be a million times easier that way and my contacts in Contactually would be a COMPLETE view. Ideally, when I click on a contact, I want to see their

ConvertKit activity too (what tags they’re part of, what forms they’ve downloaded and so on). ConvertKit is one of the fastest growing email service providers around so it’s only right that my two best friends get married already. I’d LOVE to see Contactually’s tags AND buckets be part of the integration… I’d have a marketing automation MACHINE that way.

Programs: Being that I’m in real estate, when I’m going through a transaction, there are a lot of split points and a bunch of things that need to happen on a certain timeframe. Their programs are totally linear so they don’t allow for you to set dates like “10 days before __” or anything of that nature. I’d love to see their programs also include third party integrations too (ahem, ConvertKit and Dotloop) and for tags to be part of both programs and Zapier triggers. That’d give you next level automation and seems like something that wouldn’t be that complicated to do. These few functions alone would also make pipelines way more useful. Their programs need to take on more of the heavy lifting and instead of just doing the frontend of following up, need to become a hardcore closer too.

Dashboard: they DESPERATELY need to allow us to categorize our tasks (specifically in programs) so that when you log into Contactually in the morning, you can batch your tasks by filtering your mailings, calls, and so on (or whatever order you’d like) and can focus on that one type of task. It can get super overwhelming when you log in in the morning and have 50+ tasks. Batching would make it a million times less overwhelming and I think people would complete them more often.

Like I said, most of these things I can live without, but a girl can dream, right?

Try it out yourself and let me know what you think.
In order to grow your network, you've got to have INCREDIBLE systems to help you manage all of the people. In this article, I'm walking you through why I LOVE Contactually for managing my network and how to get the most out of it. Click through to learn more.
While Contactually markets to realtors, the system is so powerful and flexible that I built a young professionals organization using it, too. Click through to check out my review of Contactually, how I use it and my best tips for power users.

7 Must Have Networking Email Follow-Up Templates

I was listening to a podcast recently that started with, “what is the one thing that no one is asking you that you feel like they should.”

As I thought about it, I realized that no one ever asks how I consistently build my network without burning out.

My answer would be systems and templates.

Burnout usually happens when you’re doing unfulfilling work without the prospect of growth or the attachment of a big why.

You might not realize it, but if you’re in the service-based industry, you repeat yourself WAY more than you think… and that’s a super easy cause for burnout that you can totally get rid of in just a few minutes.

You might not realize it, but if you're in the service-based industry, you repeat yourself WAY more than you think. Click To Tweet

Even though writing an email doesn’t take that long, it’s still using brain power that you don’t need to be using and when you have to think about it, you risk falling victim to the “I don’t feel like it syndrome”.

… and the less you have to think, the more likely you are to do it.

Perfect example….

I went to an event where I met five new contacts.

The next morning, I wasn’t in the mood to follow-up but I added them to Contactually and the email I use to invite people to a one on one popped up and I just had to confirm and send.

Templates bulletproof your networking strategy so you beat the “I don’t feel like it”.

So, here are the must have text and email templates for following up and building your network:

 

1. Following Up After Meeting Someone New

First things first, the most important follow-up you can have is the one you use right after you meet someone new.

First things first, the most important follow-up you can have is the one you use right after you meet someone new.First things first, the most important follow-up you can have is the one you use right after you meet someone new. Click To Tweet

No one gets excited about following up, so making it systematic will make it easier.

The follow-up email that I use has an 85.71% response rate (yes, you read that right — response rate, not just open rate).

If you want access to all eight of my follow-up templates and how to put it into action, you can get them right here:

 

2. Here’s what happens Next…

You can just thank me now for the amount of time I’m about to save you AND for the level of customer service you’re about to give your people.

If you adopt one thing, let it be this…

Whenever you end a conversation, end it with, “here’s what’s going to happen next….”

In the name of efficiency, do this in email form.

Lay out your entire process in email form with each email representing a different step.

As your leads, clients and prospects move through your process, being able to walk them through the process easily will make your life easier too.

An educated consumer means you have to answer less questions, they’re happier and it’s stress free for both of you.

 

3. Confirming Appointments

I cannot stress enough how important this template is.

Do you even realize how annoying it is when you show up somewhere and the person forgets?

Here’s a bonus tip: when you schedule an appointment, schedule the confirmation email for the night before or the morning of at the same time so you don’t have to think about it later.

I used to do this regularly but I’m allllll about automating my life so I started using Calendly to eliminate a bunch of the back and forth emails and to automate my meeting confirmations.

At this point in my life, I just follow my calendar and show up where it tells me to.

I highly recommend Calendly for coordinating your appointments or bookings — it’ll simplify your life a million times over.

 

4. Making Introductions

You guys know I’m like a psycho about making introductions and in the next few weeks, I’m going to be publishing a post allllll about the art of making introductions.

Seriously, it’s an art and if you master it, it’s the fastest way to gain credibility, get more referrals and gain tonssss of social proof with basically no effort.

Being that I make so many introductions, having a template is essential.

The template I use for this is part of my eight week follow-up plan that you can download right here:

 

5. Referral Instructions

You ever have someone go, “hey! I gave such-and-such your number because they’re looking to [insert your service here].”

It’s awesome that they’re thinking of you and referring you, howeverrrrr….

I treat referrals the same way that I treat my new contacts.

If I give them my card, I’ll probably never hear from them again because the average person sucks at follow-up.

If I give them my card, I’ll probably never hear from them again because the average person sucks at follow-up. Click To Tweet

If I get their card, we’re a bajillion times more likely to reconnect because I have systems in place that make certain we reconnect.

With referrals, I don’t want them to “give them my number” because they might never call.

I have a text template that thanks them for thinking of me and then tells them exactly what to text their friend which directs them to a lead capture page so they’re automatically added into my follow-up system… and a second template that asks them for their info so I can make sure we actually connect.

Your instructions don’t have to be that complex but you should have a standard system for how you handle incoming referrals.

 

6. Referral Thank You

Want to get more referrals?

When people refer you, make sure you thank them.

Simple, right?

I know…. but it makes a huge difference.

Have a thank you template that you send when someone refers you.

This applies to bloggers selling ecourses and thanking affiliates, SAAS companies or apps thanking their users for introducing the product to their friends and service-based people thanking their network for referring them.

Thank you goes a long way, so make sure you do it.

 

7. New Lead

Lastly, you should have a template and system for when you get new leads.

If you’re a blogger, this might look like your new email Subscriber indoctrination sequence.

If you’re a service based professional, what do you send them when they call and say, “hey! I’m ready to work with you”?

Templates will streamline and simplify your entire business, so I HIGHLY recommend you start implementing them.

If you want the email templates I use for my first 8 follow-ups, you can get them right here:

Networking follow-up email templates make it a million times easier to grow your network without burning out. Click through to learn the 7 templates that you absolutely have to have in order to reach your goals.
The easiest way to grow your network is to use follow up email templates so you never have to think about what to say to your new connections. In this post, you'll learn about the 7 must have email templates you need to grow your network and you'll get my free 8-week follow-up plan for new contacts. Click through to learn more.

How To Organize Your Contacts So You Don’t Burn Out

I’m a huge fan of systems and I’m obsessed with automation… so it’s no secret that organizing my network is one of the most important parts of my business and as you’re going through this networking blog series with me, I hope you’re starting to fall in love with it too.

Great systems will help you do the work of like seven people, even if you’re just one.

… and as an entrepreneur, sales person or someone who has goals to hit, organizing your network is the single most important thing you’ll do for yourself.

Organizing Your Network with Systems

In order to run this (or ANY) system, you need tools.

In order to run this (or ANY) system, you need tools. Click To Tweet

Could you use the good ol’ spreadsheet or notecards?

Sure.

… If you want to burn out.

In order to grow your network, you need a system that does the heavy lifting for you.

In order to grow your network, you need a system that does the heavy lifting for you. Click To Tweet

Realistically, if you’re going to be a business owner, the first thing you SHOULD invest in is a way to manage your leads and your network.

I’ve been using Contactually for-ev-er… We’re talking about going back to like 2012… I’ve tried approximately nine million different CRMs and I always end up back at Contactually…

That’s because I like powerful systems that are beautiful and simple to use.

You definitely don’t need to use Contactually, but I highly recommend them and pretty much every blog post that I write mentions it because it’s at the core of my entire business.

You can try Contactually for free for 30 days and you’ll get access to my follow-up templates too.

They call their contact groups “buckets”, so I’m going to break down for you the different buckets that I use.

I have a different bucket for every type of contact in my life because each bucket is set up with a different follow up program.

Every single bucket has an automated program attached to it, so when I add someone to a specific bucket, the tasks start triggering automatically.

Every morning, I log into Contactually to do the tasks on my dashboard.

If it tells me to call someone, I call them.

If it tells me to mail someone, I mail them.

If it tells me to check on someone about something specific, I do that too.

This is my lead generation time and it’s the only way I can maintain my relationships and nurture my leads without burning out.

You have two jobs…

Make no mistake, if you’re in sales, own a business or want to own a business, you’ve got to spend time generating leads.

If you're in sales, own a business or want to own a business, you've got to spend time generating leads. Click To Tweet

Every single business has two jobs… What you do and lead generation because until you have enough leads, there are no other problems.

Until you have enough leads, there are no other problems Click To Tweet

You can choose to find those leads however you want to but you have to find them…

Once you figure out how to leverage your lead generation so you can have someone else do it for you, you might not have to be so involved but if you want your business to stay afloat, you’ve got to be looking for new leads.

The ONLY way to handle it all is with some serious organization and crazy systems.

So here’s how I organize my network to make sure Contactually does the heavy lifting for me:

 

Categorizing Your Contacts

Newly Met Bucket

For the longesttttt time, I was CRAZY overwhelmed with all of the new people I was meeting and trying to figure out how to organize them all. When someone brand new comes into my life, they’re added to this bucket.

The follow-up system for this reminds me to invite them for a one on one (I generally try to do at least 3 one on ones per week) and then once that’s complete, to add tags for them and remove them from this bucket.

I have a rule that says if I have to do anything more than once, I have to find a way to streamline it.

I have a rule that says if I have to do anything more than once, I have to find a way to streamline it. Click To Tweet

So whenever someone new comes into my life, they’re added to this bucket.

I leave nothing to my memory.

Every interaction gets logged in Contactually (if they’re emails, they’re automatically pulled in) but I add texts, calls and one on ones.

I don’t try to remember anything… I just add it and when I need it again, it’s there.

It definitely takes some getting used to but as you start seeing the benefits, it becomes addictive and every time you go back to those notes or have a reminder to follow-up and someone goes “I’ve been meaning to call you”, you fall in love with the system more and more and you manage it totally stress free.

One of the things I love MOST about Contactually is it pulls in everyone you email or add to your contacts so you don’t have to actually go in and add them unless they hand you a business card.

 

New Relationship Bucket

Once we’ve completed our one on one, they’re added to this bucket.

I’ve talked about the importance of building a relationship over a period of 8 weeks a million different times and even wrote a whole blog post about it:

No matter how memorable you think you are, people are freakin’ busy.

No matter how memorable you think you are, people are freakin' busy. Click To Tweet

They’re not going to remember you and even if they do, you haven’t solidified the relationship enough to earn their business so regularly contributing value to them will keep you top of mind.

Since the 8×8 in the blog post above is a simplified version of my “new relationship” follow-up plan, I’m giving you the actual templates I use to follow-up with my new contacts right here:

Reconnect + Rerun 8×8 Bucket

You know when you meet someone that you don’t really hit it off with right away or you take too long to follow-up and then you don’t hear back from them?

*Drum roll please*

That’s what this bucket is for.

I met these people but for whatever reason, we just didn’t connect so instead of just trashing them, I find a way to connect with them still.

Basically, this bucket consists of adding them on social media and interacting with their stuff every so often so that when I do run into them again, there’s a little more rapport there and we can have a better conversation.

Think about it this way…

Connections = $

Connections = $ Click To Tweet

With that in mind, no good contact ever goes to waste.

Every person that comes into your life is someone you can help and who’s lives you can make a difference in so instead of just archiving them, they’re added to this bucket.

 

Inner Circle

Next up, these are my core 50 people.
That number can be whatever you want it to be but for me, it’s 50.

These are people I actually like talking to, want to (or have) done business with, have the capacity to help me reach my goals, are also well connected and the value that we can exchange is pretty balanced.

The key here is that these people can help me reach my goals, so I want to make sure that I’m REALLY taking the time to invest in them.

These are the first people I invite to different events, the first ones that I share opportunities with and the first ones that I check in on.

You don’t need to be besties with every one of them, but making sure that you’re regularly contributing value to them will ensure that when the opportunity arises for them to help you, they’re actually excited because you’ve done so much for them.

New Leads

I actually have two separate buckets for this…

The first is for buyer leads and the second is for seller leads.

I mentioned in a previous blog post that when someone tells me they want to buy or sell real estate, the campaign they’re added to includes 33 touches over 90 days…

Yup, sounds like a lot, but believe it or not, they love it.
There are 12 emails, 13 texts, 4 mailings and 3 calls that go out… and every single one of them are pieces of value that someone who wants to buy or sell a house would actually find valuable.

Oh, and if you’re doing the math, that was only 32… The 33rd touch is either a property search (which sends every time a new property comes up in their criteria) or a property valuation (that sends out monthly).

All together, it actually ends up being way more than 33 touches but I don’t count the property searches or home valuations.

With that in mind, because the buckets are attached to programs that automate all of that for me, I just add them to the correct bucket and the program starts firing.

I know that probably sounds like a lot but here’s the thing: the emails and text messages are automated.

All I had to do was create them once, set it up and now they go out automatically.

I look like a rockstar to my leads and because I automated it, I don’t have to think about it until I get an email from someone with a question or telling me how much they love the emails.

I get a reminder to send out the mailings and that’s systemized too. I already have the four mailings printed and Contactually just tells me which one to send them on what day.

Yes, I have to set up the property searches and home valuations but again, once I set it up (which takes less than 30 seconds per person), I don’t have to think about it again until they respond.

Lastly, all I really have to do is make the phone calls and in the follow-up plans, it tells me what to say when I call so I never have to think.

I’m a huge fan of the phrase, “the more you have to think, the less likely you are to do it”.

… and with this follow-up plan, I don’t have to think. I just do what Contactually tells me to do and I get to look like a rockstar.

Do you need to set up such a complicated and advanced follow up plan?

Hell no.
I didn’t start that way either… They were layered in, one piece at a time.

I started with the mailings and phone calls like I mentioned in the 8×8 blog post above, then added in the emails, then the property searches and valuations and the most recent thing that was added was the text messages.

If you try to start out too complicated, you’ll never do it so start simple and build.

Yes, I know, that doesn’t sound sexy and you want to do everything at once… but trust me.

One baby step at a time.

It’s the only way to sustain your growth without burning out.

One baby step at a time... It's the only way to sustain your growth without burning out. Click To Tweet

 

Long Term Nurture Bucket

After someone finishes my new relationship or buyer/seller follow up campaign, they’re automatically added to my long term nurture bucket.

I know you’re tired of hearing this but you’re going to keep hearing me say this over and over again…

This is totally automated so I don’t have to think about it.
I use BombBomb to send out monthly video emails to the people on my long term nurture list so I sat down for a couple of days, recorded 12 short videos and scheduled them to go out… and I don’t think about it again until I start getting responses.

Does all of this take time to create?

Absolutely… but it’s worth it.

Too often, we’re stuck on the income roller coaster where we hustle for new business, find new business and get tied up servicing it, once that new business is handled, we’re right back to hustling.By having a short term and long term nurture plan already automated, it takes an hour or two a day to go through and make the phone calls and send the mailings and your business starts to grow.

I’m so passionate about automating your follow ups that in addition to the 8×8 blog post above, I also wrote a blog post that’s basically what I used to create my long term nurture campaign. You can check it out right here:

My point in all of this is if you want to grow without feeling overwhelmed and without burning out, you’ve got to have systems in place and that’s exactly what this is all about.

Other Buckets

The above buckets can be used for anyone, regardless of what industry you’re in, whether you sell a product or service and whether you’re digital or in person… but because in addition to selling real estate, I also lead MEB, I have a few other buckets that I wanted to make sure I mentioned, just in case.

MEB Collaboration: This bucket is for bloggers, venues and anyone else who we’ve collaborated with in the past or may want to collaborate with in the future. I’ve left this as a very general bucket because I narrow down with tags rather than having 50 different “collaboration” buckets for each type of collaboration.

MEB Members: These are people who are members and attend our workshops so I reach out to them often for ideas, feedback and random pieces of value.

Vendors: Similar to the collaboration bucket, this is for anyone who I’d recommend to one of my real estate clients.

Other Realtors: I interact with other realtors regularly, so this bucket is where they all go.

Nonlocal: These are people who don’t live in the area anymore but I won’t delete them because as we start opening chapters in other cities, knowing people that live there will help us grow faster.

 

Tags

Originally when I started organizing my network, I had like 9430438030238938293024834589 buckets (that’s only a slight exaggeration) and I was trying to figure out how to minimize those without losing the customization, so enter tags. Buckets are categorized by how I interact with people while tags are quick little notes that allow me to sort people by type of relationship. With that in mind, here are a few of the tags I have for people:

Past Clients: I don’t have a specific bucket for them because I don’t interact with them any differently than my long term nurtures except around Thanksgiving when I send out a gratitude card to them. Because there isn’t a whole lot different, I don’t keep a separate bucket for them.

Shit List: You’re probably laughing but I’m dead serious. There have been vendors that messed up or people who pissed me off that I just won’t work with. Because I don’t try to keep everything in my mind, I just added a tag for this. There are only a few people on it, but when someone asks for a roof recommendation, I don’t have to remember who the one that tried to screw one of my clients over is, I just have to make sure they’re not the one with the shit list tag.

Met at: I recently started doing this and it’s been cool to see how this comes in handy. Whenever I meet new people, I’m

Invite to MEB: Before workshops, I send out a reminder to the people with this tag to invite them. They’re usually people who’ve attended a workshop but haven’t become a member or someone I met with and want to get them introduced to MEB.

Mentors: This one is self-explanatory. I like to keep a tag of them so when I need advice, I can go to my mentor list and ask a few of them.

Gave Referral: Another self-explanatory tag, I like to keep track of the people who’ve given referrals because it helps me see who I should be investing more of my time in.

Type of Collaboration: As mentioned above in the “other buckets” section, these tags will look like “MEB Collab: Blogger” or “MEB Collab: Venue”. This helps me keep track of what type of collaboration we can do together and quickly helps me narrow down what I’m looking for.

Type of Vendor: Similar to the ‘type of collaboration’ tags, I also have tags for “Vendor: Roofer”, or “Vendor: Mortgage” and things of the like to quickly narrow down to exactly what I’m looking for.

 

Simplifying Your Life With Tasks, Templates + Plans

I’m not going to get into a whole lot of detail on this since we’re just talking about organizing your network in this post but I at least thought it was necessary to mention it…
Tasks: I’m hugeeee on having action items after every conversation. Even if it’s just ‘check in on them again in 90 days’, I don’t end a conversation without an action item. Once people go into my “long term nurture” bucket, that’s usually what the task is. When someone’s in the buying or selling process, the action items can vary… but every single person gets tasks added to them. I’m a FIRM believer in doing what I say I’m going to do, so if I make a commitment to you, best believe it’s going into Contactually.

Email Templates: This is probably going to steal some of the magic but email templates make me look like a superhero. 99% of my communications are templates and I’ll just add a quick little note to make it more personal. The less I have to think, the more I can do, so templates allow me to be that rockstar.

Follow Up Plans: I’ve mentioned it a few times throughout this post, but each bucket has a follow-up plan. I never have to worry about not following up with someone often enough or trying to find a way to add more value to them, I just do what Contactually tells me to do because I know my follow-up plans work.

 

Caveats

I know this probably sounds crazy and overwhelming, but I promise with a little practice, Contactually makes it totally sustainable and keeps you from getting overwhelmed on a day to day basis.

Your network becomes a living breathing organism that’s growing, maturing and changing.

Your network becomes a living breathing organism that's growing, maturing and changing. Click To Tweet
The best networkers have a wide network that includes a lot of people and a deep network where you have a great relationship with them.

This system takes some time to build and requires daily maintenance in the form of making your calls and doing the mailings, but it makes it infinitely easier to manage a larger number of leads and relationships without burning out and making every single person feel like they’re the most important person ever.

The second caveat to this is you have to actually do it every day… Systems do the heavy lifting, but you still have to work the system.

Systems do the heavy lifting, but you still have to work the system. Click To Tweet

Depending on how large your network is and how you meet people, you’ll have days that pop up with like 3 tasks and you’ll have days that pop up with like 30 tasks… but you have to commit to doing them so that all of the programs run right.

Want to know how I do this?

Get my follow-up templates right here:

In order to effectively grow your network, you'll need to have a system to organize your contacts so that you don't burn out. Every person of value should be on a follow-up plan so that you don't have to think about them until it's time to reach out again. In this article, you'll learn how to organize your network and get the 8 email templates I use to follow-up with new connections. Click through to learn more!
To grow your network effectively, you'll need to have a systematic way to manage and organize your contacts so that you can continue meeting new people without burning out. In the post, you'll learn how to organize your contacts so you can do just that. Click through to learn more and to download my free 8-week follow-up plan.

Plan and Schedule A Year’s Worth of Marketing In One Week

No matter how good business is right now, if you’re not constantly looking for new opportunities, at some point you’re going to hit the income roller coaster…

No matter how good business is right now, if you're not constantly looking for new opportunities, at some point you're going to hit the income roller coaster. Click To Tweet

If you’ve been in a sales or service based industry before, you know what I’m talking about…

You hustle your ass off looking for new business, then get busy servicing the business so you stop hustling for new business and then once all of that business is taken care of, you’re back to square one and have to start hustling for new business again.

Instead, get off of the income roller coaster by making sure you always stay top of mind… and the best way to do that is to create and schedule all of your marketing up front so that you can set it and forget and don’t have to worry about it again.

That’s exactly what we’re doing today.

Oh, and don’t worry… I know this can seem overwhelming so I created a whole workbook to help you put it into action.

 

1. Choose Your Format and Delivery Platform

Before you start planning your content, you need to figure out how you’re going to send it to your audience.

Before you start planning your content, you need to figure out how you're going to send it to your audience. Click To Tweet

The format that you use is going to determine how detailed you get, how you present the information and how you’ll create the content.

Last week, I wrote a whole blog post with a free workbook that will walk you through each of the methods you can use to stay top of mind so if you haven’t checked that one out yet, start there.

 

2. Choose Your Frequency

You can create your marketing to go out on whatever frequency you want to but as you’re getting started, I encourage you to stick to a monthly schedule.

It’s way easier to create 12 pieces of content than it is to create biweekly (24) pieces of content or weekly (52) pieces.
By deciding your frequency, you can decide how specific and detailed you want to get with each piece of content.

If you decide to market to them more often, your pieces will probably be a little shorter to generate enough content and because if they’re too long, too often, your audience will start getting overwhelmed with the sheer amount of content while if you’ve decided to go monthly, you might want to get a little more detailed since the pieces come less often.

For mailings, video emails, emails or blog posts, I recommend starting with once a month.

That’s totally manageable and easy to create a year’s worth in one week.

If you’re going with social media, you’ll want to start with at least weekly.

As mentioned, in last week’s post, we talked about choosing ONE marketing method… I don’t like to do more than one piece of content per month for each method to get started.

 

3. Outline Your Content

There is NOTHING more obnoxious than when someone’s marketing sounds like this…

“Call me if you need a ___”

“50% off sale, stop by!”

Logic makes us think, emotion makes us act.

The average person receives about 5,000 sales messages per day and we’ve gotten REALLY good at ignoring them.

The average person receives about 5,000 sales messages per day and we've gotten REALLY good at ignoring them. Click To Tweet

With that in mind, using traditional sales messages aren’t going to get you the result that you want.

We have to create VALUE.

In fact, here’s a whole post about becoming your network’s “Google”.

Being a resource is going to be the single fastest way that you can build credibility quickly.

Being a resource is going to be the single fastest way that you can build credibility quickly. Click To Tweet

The easiest way to start outlining your content is to think of the 5-10 most common questions that people ask or objections they have about your product or service and then answer them in long form.

For example, when I’m selling real estate, a lot of buyers think that the best way to decide what to offer is to just to take the listing price, knock a few thousand off and then that’s what they’re going to offer….

Instead, I wrote a whole blog post on my real estate site about the 8 mistakes buyers make when deciding what to offer on a house and it’s actually the most popular post on my real estate blog… If you’re curious to see how

I put this into action, you can check out the post right here.

If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, start thinking about other areas of interest that your target audience might want to know.

The more that you can answer their questions before they ask them, the more credibility you’ll gain with them and the more they’ll anticipate your connections.

I know this can seem a little overwhelming so I created a totally free workbook that will help you brainstorm ideas and outline your talking points for each idea and you can download it right here:

 

4. Create and Schedule Your Content

When we do our workshop series here in South Florida, we plan the entire series up front, pick the speakers and confirm the venues before the series even starts. Even though it’s a lot of work up front, it makes the implementation of it INSANELY easy throughout the series.

I take the same approach with marketing, blogging and everything else… I like to work based off of my energy so the mood hits to start doing videos, I do enough of them at once to schedule them all out for an extended period of time.

By working this way, it allows you to do it once and not worry about it again, it creates consistency for you and once you set it up, it just works in the background for you.

Because we’re creating and scheduling a year’s worth of content, you’ll want to make sure that all of your content is ‘evergreen’.

In other words, the content should be relevant no matter when it goes out.

For example, if you’re a financial planner, you might not want to talk about today’s stock prices when the email won’t go out for another six months.

Here’s a quick guideline for the length, my recommendation for platforms and pro tips for each of the methods I mentioned in last week’s post:

Email Newsletters: 500-750 words, don’t use a bunch of graphics or you might be flagged as spam and I highly recommend ConvertKit* as a platform over any other. I talk about what to send your audience and how to grow your email list here and here if you want to know more. Don’t use blocky text! Use one or two sentences and then hit enter (like this post) so it’s easier on the eyes.

Blog Posts: 1200+ words. I use both emails and blog posts and they’re both uniquely valuable. You can recycle blog posts so whenever I have a client who’s asking about a topic, I can just send them to the link whereas with email newsletters, you can’t really recycle them in the same way. Making sure that you’re not using blocky text is super important here and be sure to use lots of headers and images throughout your posts. When you’re writing, act like you’re answering the question to your friend because there’s nothing more unengaging then feeling like you have to read a college essay. Have some personality in your writing! I recommend WordPress.com for creating your blog and one of these days I’ll write a whole post about how to start a blog.

Video Emails: 1-3 minutes. You know as well as I do that anytime a video pops up, you go right to see how long the video is. 1-3 minutes is ideal because it’s short enough that they’ll sit and watch the whole video and keeps you from rambling. My favorite platform for video emails is BombBomb.

Snail Mail: I loveeee snail mail. There are a whole bunch of ways to do snail mail and it just depends on which suits you best. I’ve seen people mail a monthly testimonial from their clients, monthly newsletters, market statistics, and worksheets or cheat sheets. It totally depends on the type of value that you want to create for your clients and we’ll break that down in the free workbook for this post.

Social Media: Social media is probably the easiest, so long as you do it the right way. I know there are a bunch of social media scheduling platforms out there but SmarterQueue* is my favorite because you can recycle posts. For example, if you find 25 articles, 25 videos and 25 quotes to schedule, SmarterQueue will go through them all and when it gets to the bottom, recycle them again. Because social media algorithms only show your posts to 2-5% of your audience, there’s no reason that you can’t recycle your posts because most people didn’t see them the first time.
If you need help creating your content, this free workbook will break it down for you and give you a guide for what to do each day of the week to get a year’s worth of content created and scheduled:

5. Have A Follow-Up Plan For When People Respond

I’m addicted to systems… I like to blow people’s mind without having to put a whole lot of effort into it.

I'm addicted to systems... I like to blow people's mind without having to put a whole lot of effort into it. Click To Tweet

Think “set it and forget it”.

Set it and forget it Click To Tweet

That’s sort of what my follow-up systems are like.

When someone tells me they want to buy or sell a house, they’re added to the appropriate follow-up plan and then get 32 touches over 90 days.

Yup, I know that sounds crazy and I didn’t intend for it to end up like that but it did… and because I wanted to blow their mind, stay top of mind and not have to do a whole lot of work, that’s sort of how it worked out.

Those 32 follow-ups include 12 emails (it’s one email a day for 12 days that breaks down one step in the home buying/selling process), 13 texts over 13 weeks, 4 mailings and 3 phone calls. If they’re a seller, they also get added to my system for a monthly email valuation of their home and if they’re a buyer, they get added to an automated property search.

With that in mind, it actually ends up being more than 32 touches, but believe it or not, they don’t complain.

They don’t complain because I’m following up in a bunch of different ways and none of it is spammy… Every single piece of content is something useful that they often go “wow, your emails are amazing” or “I thought I knew real estate and I’ve learned so much.”

To be clear… You do not have to do that much or anywhere close.

I’m a huge advocate of the 8×8 follow-up and I just so happen to have a whole blog post about that.

However you decide to do it, making sure that every single piece of content is useful is the difference between them being like “LEAVE ME ALONE!” and “holy crap, I can’t wait to work with you.”

If you’re ready to put this into action, make sure you get your free workbook right here:


In order to get more business from your network, you'll need to stay top of mind and establish your expertise. In this post, you'll learn how to plan a year's worth of marketing for your network in one week so you can focus on what's really important.
Marketing your brand or business shouldn't feel like a full time job. In this post, you'll plan an entire year's worth of marketing for your network in just one week so that you can get back to the important stuff. Click through to learn how to make it happen and to download the free workbook.
Tired of feeling like marketing your business is taking over your life? Here's a quick guide to planning and scheduling a year's worth of marketing in one week so you can focus on what's really important instead of trying to find and convert new business. Click through to learn more and get the free workbook.

7 Powerful Ways To Stay Top Of Mind With Your Network

There are sooooooooooo many ways that you can share your message with your audience.

When you’re starting out, choose ONE format you want to use to communicate… and once you’ve systemized it so that it runs on it’s own, then and only then, should you add another format.

The biggest mistake that I see people making when they start trying to form their marketing plan for their network is they bite off more than they can chew.

(and I’ve been here more than once)

Seriously though, start with one.

I know I know, you have a huge master plan that you want to put together… but do yourself a favor and start with one.

While you’re selecting your format, think about what you LIKE to do and can realistically do it consistently.

I love love love going live on Facebook and doing little chats in my Instastories but I don’t do more video stuff because I freakin’ hate editing videos…

I’ve also found that my community appreciates the raw realness of unedited videos, so I’ve been doing more of it.

In next week’s blog post, I’m going to teach you how to create a year’s worth of marketing in one week but for this week, I want you to think about the method you want to focus on.

 

Method #1: Email Newsletters

There’s no place more sacred in internet marketing than someone’s inbox.

Social media algorithms will change, they always do… So if you have a direct line to their inbox and you create engaging content that gets them to WANT to open and click in your emails, you can monetize your email list.

Whether you’re a blogger, you’re trying to build your credibility with your network or you’re trying to convert a lead into a client, email works.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Don’t believe me?

Just got this text last night:

… and it just so happens that I have a wholeeee article about what to send to your email list:

 

Method #2: Blog Posts

I freakin’ love blogs (if you couldn’t tell)…

Specifically because when someone comes to me asking for advice on something, I’ll give them a quick little answer and then direct them to a blog post that I’ve written that will answer the rest of their questions.

It allows me to blow people’s minds without taking up a ton of my time.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I regularly get emails or messages from people like “I read your ___ article and I had to bookmark it because it was so good!”

It’s good for the ego, builds brand loyalty andddd it reinforces my blogging philosophy: I only publish if it’s epic.

So sure, I don’t publish every week like some bloggers do… but when I do, you know that I’ve poured my heart and soul into it and you know that you’re going to get something out of it.

The key to blogging and monetizing it is getting them to take action… and specifically, get their email address (which brings us back to email newsletters).
 

Method #3: Video Emails

I’ve dabbled in video and totally see the value of it, I just don’t do more of it because I hateeeeeee editing videos and I haven’t found someone yet to do it for me who’s style I like, turn around is fast enough and is affordable (if that’s you, hit me up!).

You know how they say that a picture is worth a thousand words?

I just saw a statistic somewhere that said one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

If that doesn’t tell you the value of video, I don’t know what does.

I actually did a poll on my Instagram about whether my audience preferred super scripted and edited videos or if they preferred the raw, real life videos that I normally do in my Instachats.

Believe it or not, they preferred the rawness of the unedited videos which motivated me to start doing a monthly video email to my real estate list about the things going on in the community. I’ve already recorded and scheduled emails for an entire year and they’re LOVIN’ it.

In addition, video consumption goes up every single year so I anticipate that in the future, video will be our main form of communication.

I also do tonssss of videos on my Instastories… Sometimes they’re chats related to MEB topics and sometimes they’re property videos. Those stories have increased our memberships, attendance and gotten me wayyyy more real estate referrals so yes, video totally works.

 

Method #4: Social Media

Firstly, I know I just clumped all of the social media platforms into one category when they all deserve their own sections but for the sake of the length of this post, we’re not going to get into detail here about how to build a following on social media.

If you’re going to choose this route, choose one platform and master it first. You don’t need to be on every platform.

That’s how you burn out.

Here’s what you need to know: hangout where your target audience does.

If it’s Instagram, become a boss on Instagram. If it’s Facebook, master that shit. If you’re a blogger, you probably already know about the impact Pinterest can have on your list building and traffic… or maybe it’s Snapchat.

Whatever the platform is, master it before you go to the next platform.

By focusing on one platform, you can GREATLY increase your impact on your audience because of how much content you can create for that one platform.

The more they see you contributing value, the more they’re willing to do business with you.

Oh, and for the love of God… Do yourself a favor and systemize it.

My absolute favorite social media scheduling platform is SmarterQueue because they recycle the posts so it’s ACTUALLY set it and forget it.

Social media can be done a few different ways…

You can use social media as a mini-blog itself and focus your content on educating, informing and inspiring your audience or you can use it to promote your other avenues.

Either way, your content should be useful.

… If your content is not educational, inspiring or useful, you shouldn’t be posting it.

The content that you share doesn’t have to be alllll yours.

You can share other people’s content that’s related to your topic, but PLEASEEEEE do not continue to post “50% off! Call me now!”

That just makes you look spammy.

 

Method #5: Mailings (And yes, I mean snail mail)

I know this is a millennial blog so you’re probably like, “um, excuse me, what?”

Hear me out…

If your mail pieces are valuable, they will get opened and they won’t get thrown out.

In fact, when someone tells me they want to buy or sell a house, they get four mailings from me.

The first mailing is a handwritten note and the other three are worksheets or cheat sheets to help them get ready for their move.

I cannot even tell you how many thank you’s I’ve gotten for them.

Specifically, they’ve LOVED them because it gave them actionable content to implement right away.

We’re not talking about junk mail here…

We’re talking about hardcore, useful content.

And ‘why mail’, you ask?

Great question…

Not everyone is going to open your emails… but when is the last time you got something USEFUL in the mail that wasn’t a bill or junk mail?

Probably never.

It’s the something-something to make you stand out.

Over the long-term, think about sending them something once a month that might be useful for them.

Sure, mail is more expensive than some of the others but it works so incredibly well because you’re getting to them in a way that most other people have forgotten.

Ready to put this into action?

I’ve got a totally free workbook for you to help you decide which method to use and how to figure out how much money you’ll make per method.

 

My Secret Weapons

I don’t include these secret weapons as actual “methods” because they are part of the bigger picture of marketing. You’re probably not going to do a one on one with every person in your network every month and you could either email or mail your checklists and worksheets.

So with that in mind, these two little things upgrade your marketing a million times over:

 

Weapon #1: One On Ones

Do not underestimate the power of the one-to-one connection.

Do not underestimate the power of the one-to-one connection. Click To Tweet

Whether that’s phone calls, one on one meetings or personal emails, the one-to-one connection is the single most powerful connection you can possibly have.

So long as you focus on the right people, this is hands down the most powerful form of building credibility with your community.

I’m going to write an entire post about how to organize and maintain relationships with your community, just haven’t had a chance to do so yet but when I do, I’ll make sure I add it right here.

Don’t try to do everything… Pick one or two ways to create value for your audience and do them at a high level.

… and whatever you do, do it consistently.

 

Weapon #2: Checklists and Workbooks

I’m obsessed with checklists, worksheets and cheat sheets… I have checklists for everything that I do and I created checklists for everythingggg that our MEB team needs to do on a regular basis. I have open house checklists, client intake checklists, and worksheets for pretty much everything that happens in my businesses.

They help us stay consistent, systemized and it makes it incredibly easy to track our results (since what you don’t track, you can’t improve).

These are SUPER popular with bloggers and infopreneurs but ANYONE can implement this into their business.

People will LOVE you for them because you’re giving hem clarity… and clarity is power.

Here’s a sneak peak of some of my worksheets and checklists:

Most people get overwhelmed by things they don’t understand, so if you can simplify it for your ideal client, remove the fog and help them see the process from beginning to end, you’re the person that made them feel like they can conquer it… and you’ll get the business.

For example, for my real estate business, I have a checklist for my sellers of everything that they’ll need to do to prep the house before we go up for sale… I have a worksheet for buyers to use to keep notes of the houses they’ve seen. I have a flow chart that walks them through the whole closing process.

Not only do they love it, but it saves me tonsssssssssssssss of phone calls of “what did you say about ___ again?”… because they know they can go back to the worksheets and checklists I gave them.

I’m all about giving someone a “wow” experience and blowing their mind but I FIERCELY protect my time and by creating alllll this content up front, I can do all of that simultaneously.

All of which leads me to…

 

Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose

I. Cannot. Stress. This. Enough.

If you answered a question in a video, make a quick little meme about it and share it on whatever social media platform you love.

Then turn it into an infographic….

Add the video to a blog post and then detail the answer in writing too (that way people who prefer to read it can and the people who prefer to watch it can too).

Tell a story about it on your Instastory or Snapchat.

Create a worksheet, checklist or cheatsheet about it.

Turn it into a tutorial.

You work hard to create your content so if you use it in a bunch of different ways, you’ll make sure that you get enough eyeballs on it for it to make a difference.

I don’t care how epic your video, blog or meme was… People are busy and social media algorithms aren’t your friend.

It doesn’t matter how many different ways you create the same content, most people won’t see it in one way and everyone digests information differently so even if they DID see it, it doesn’t mean they actually remember it.

Just because you post about it once on social media, doesn’t mean everyone saw it (in fact, less than 5% of your friends and followers will see your posts on social media so you HAVE to repurpose for it to be seen).

Just because you sent out an email, doesn’t mean they read the whole thing (or even opened it).

Next week, we’re going to talk about how to create a year’s worth of marketing for your network in just one week, but for this week, I really want you to focus on the ONE (not three or five) method you want to implement in your business. Start there… and once you’ve decided, creating a year’s worth of content will be easy peasy.

In the meantime, I created a totally free workbook to help you brainstorm which method you want to use and how to figure out how much money you’ll make per method.

You can download it right here:


Ever feel like your network has a ton of opportunity, you just can't get them to pay attention? In this article, you'll get 7 of my best marketing ideas to help you grow your income from your network. Oh, and there's a free workbook to help you break down the cost of each method and how much income potential they have. Click through to learn more
Networking can bring you a ton of opportunity, so long as you keep in touch with them and stay top of mind. In this article, you'll get 7 of my favorite business marketing ideas to grow your income and make sure your network thinks of you first. Click through to read the article and download the free workbook.
If you want to generate more income from your network, you have to stay top of mind with them and market to them in a systematic way. Here are 7 business marketing ideas to help you increase your income. Click through to learn more and download the free workbook!

What To Say During A One-On-One Networking Meeting

One on one meetings are the very foundation of our in-person chapters.

When we established our leadership committees, I created worksheets and cheat sheets for pretty much every single thing they need to do… but I didn’t include the one on ones so I was going to make a quick cheat sheet for them.

Instead, I decided this was too valuable to only keep to our leadership, so here’s a wholeeeeee post for you!

Of any form of marketing, networking, advertising or otherwise, the one on one meeting consistently has the HIGHEST conversion rate from turning potentially interested people into actual members for our in-person chapters.

Here’s the kicker… During my one on ones, I only spend about two minutes telling them about MEB and the rest of the time I focus on them.

There are a million different ways to approach a one on one meeting but I’ve found that this method reallyyyyyy gets them engaged and helps me figure out the best way(s) to help them.

Before we get started, if the thought of asking for the one on one makes you nervous, I’ve got a wholeeeee blog post for you right here:

… And if you’re the person who treats your business cards like frisbees instead of having a genuine conversation when you meet them, this one is especially for you:

Now let’s get to work.

Write this down…

Everyone wants to buy but no one wants to be sold.

Everyone wants to buy but no one wants to be sold. Click To Tweet

With that in mind, most salespeople spend like nine million years talking about how great their product or service is and the listener might nod along politely… and you may or may not be getting through to them but without asking great questions and understanding what they actually need, you literally have no idea.

Instead of talking their ear off about stuff that may or may not be important to them, listen more… Ask more questions.

You’ll be amazeddddd at what people will tell you if you just ask the right questions and make them feel like they’re being heard without being judged.

With this approach, they’ll usually tell you exactly how to win them over and you can finesse your way through that conversation without actually trying to sell them at all.

Your goal is to be a solution to their challenges, not to try to force a sale.

Your goal is to be a solution to their challenges, not to try to force a sale. Click To Tweet

 

Do Your Research Before You Meet


Social media and Google are goldmines of information on people.

See what mutual friends you have, check out their interests, take note of any awards they’ve received and anything you have in common.

A quick 3 minute search on someone will give you TONS to talk about.

Keep in mind, when you go into your one on one, you’re not going with the “I stalked you and know everything about you” mentality…

You’re just looking for something to help relate to them and guide your conversation and it will help you seem genuinely interested in them.

A few quick little icebreakers that you might use are things like…

“When I added you on [insert social media site], I noticed you’re connected to ___. So funny! [insert how you know them]. How do you know them?” (PLEASE NOTE: Never ever ever speak lowly of anyone with this approach)

“I saw you recently went to ___. I’ve been meaning to go there! How was it?” 

Figuring out what you have in common means you can build rapport with them quickly.

The research part of networking is so important that I created a quick little worksheet to help you flesh out the important information before you meet with someone and you can download it totally free right here:

 

Be Human + Ask Great Questions

For the people who don’t think small talk matters, I hope I can give you a quick mindset shift…

I want you to write this down…

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Click To Tweet

Is that airy-fairy? Sure.

Let’s put that a different way…

People will zone out of whatever you have to say until you start talking about something they’re interested in.

How do you decide what they’re interested in?

By getting to know them first.

People will literally tell you how to sell them if you just ask the right questions and you listen.

People will literally tell you how to sell them if you just ask the right questions and you listen. Click To Tweet

Instead of spending all of your time talking about how great your product, service or opportunity is, you can literally just focus on what they’re looking for… and then customize your “pitch” (and I use that word lightly) to them.

Make no mistake though, if you are going for an “ask”, you are selling.

We are ALL salespeople, but instead of a hardcore sales approach, we’re taking a consultative approach.

We are ALL salespeople, but instead of a hardcore sales approach, we're taking a consultative approach. Click To Tweet

Whether it’s a product, service, yourself or an opportunity… You’re selling.

For example…

Let’s say you’re a financial advisor and someone says, “I never heard from my last person.”

When you go to sell them, your presentation goes like this…

“I can tell that communication is important to you… Here’s how I communicate with my clients…”

Boom.

Sold.

Easy peasy.

By knowing exactly what they’re looking for, your pitch will be shorter too.

By knowing exactly what they're looking for, you can customize your sales pitch to exactly what they're looking for. Click To Tweet

They don’t need to hear every piece of your pitch, just the parts they care about.

If you’re still not comfortable with what to talk about, I wrote a wholeeeee post just for you.

Even if you are comfortable with it, I still recommend that you read it because it goes through a super simple approach for basically getting someone’s whole life story in a matter of 30 minutes.

 

Offer Value

As you’re chatting, start thinking about the ways you can offer value.

Instead of just interrupting them to fake relate to them, figure out ways to help them.

Instead of just interrupting your new connections during conversations to fake relate to them, figure out ways to help them. Click To Tweet

The amount of effort you put into helping them will be reflected in the amount of effort they put into helping you.

My absolute favoriteeee way to add value to people is to introduce them to someone else in my network…

Think about it… Introducing two people can literally change the course of both of their lives.

… and by doing that, I keep the attention on them, am contributing value, I get to reconnect with two people at the same time (aka killing two birds with one stone) and I know that once they connect, they’re going to brag about how awesome I am since the first thing they have in common to talk about is me.

Talk about getting your audience to brag about you!

Among other ways to add value, you can tell them about a book, podcast or other resource that you came across that can help them reach their goals.

… but I like making introductions the best.

 

Go For Your Ask

After you’ve gotten to know them, learned about their goals, challenges, successes and so on… At some point, they’re going to ask about you.

It’s human nature…

We don’t like to feel vulnerable if the other people in our space aren’t also vulnerable.


So by focusing on connecting with them and showing them that you care, they’re going to CARE about what you have to say.

Yup.

After you’ve asked them how you can help them, they’ll usually finish it off with, “so how can I help you?”

So when they do ask about you, tell them about your goals… and more specifically, make your “goal” your “ask” clear.

During my usual one on ones, there’s a point where they go (literally almost verbatim at every single one on one), “so what about you?”

I’ll usually laugh and talk about why I do what I do.

They almost always comment on my passion for helping people reach their goals…

At this point, my “asks” vary based on what context I’m meeting the person.

Some people I’d like to have sponsor MEB events, some are for real estate clients, some are for specific introductions and some are for members.

Whatever you do, make your ask easy to say yes to.

Whatever you do, make your ask easy to say yes to. Click To Tweet

Instead of, “become a client” or “buy my product”, give them a baby step to say yes to…

Ask for an introduction, share a resource with them that they might find valuable or ask them to come to a free event.

When you’re first getting started, keep your ask consistent.

With one specific ask, whenever the people in your network talk about you, they’ll start to mastermind about how to help you.

Seriously, I’m not kidding.

I’m a huge fan of earning the business in the follow-up so my first ask isn’t usually hardcore. It’s more of like a temperature test… and as I go through the follow-up process after our meeting, they warm up to the idea.

If the idea of following up seems overwhelming, I’ve got justttttt the post for you.

As for going for the ask, it’s probably going to feel clumsy and weird to ask at first, but it gets easier.

… but have an ask and ask it often.

 

Action Items and Recap

My goal is to blow people’s mind… but I don’t want to have to kill myself to do it.

That’s why I’m obsessed with systems.

My goal is to blow people's mind... but I don't want to have to kill myself to do it... That's why I'm obsessed with systems. Click To Tweet

At the end of your meeting, recap with your action items and do them as soon as you finish.

Let me say that again so that you don’t skip over it.

Do a quick recap with the person you’re meeting at the end of the meeting…

This is superrrrr simple.

You ready?

“I’m going to ___ and you’ll have it by __ and I look forward to [whatever they said they’d do].”

If you don’t end your meetings with action items, it’s wayyyy too easy to have a great conversation that nothing ever comes out of.

If you don't end your meetings with action items, it's wayyyy too easy to have a great conversation that nothing ever comes out of. Click To Tweet

Every. single. conversation. should have an action item at the end.

It’s how you keep things moving forward.

Thennnn, do the action item right after.

I like to do them sitting in my car before I drive off or if I get to my next destination with a few minutes to spare, I’ll do it while waiting.

Keep in mind, my absolute favorite way to add value is to make introductions.

It’s the easiest way to have a hugeeeee impact on someone’s life that takes you literally no effort.

For the sake of length of this post, I’m not going to get into alllll the details of following up after a meeting because I’ve written an entireeeee post about how to turn your new connections into real relationships that you can monetize.

Don’t forget, you can download the free meeting prep workbook right here:


No matter how many times you search networking tips for business, you'll never actually see your new connections turning into income until you build a relationship. In this article, you'll learn the five steps of a powerful networking meeting that will create new opportunities for you, your brand and your business. Click through to learn how to put it into action and to download the free workbook.

How To Exchange Business Cards In A Non-Sleazy Way

I’m about to tell you something you probably already know…

Most people wait to start networking until they have something to sell.

Most people wait to start networking until they have something to sell. Click To Tweet

No one goes to a networking event and goes “oh, let’s see how many products and services I can buy.”

THAT is why networking feels so shallow…

Because it can be.

If you’re politely nodding along while someone pitches you and just waiting for your turn to jump in to pitch your thing, you’re doing it alllll wrong.

If you're politely nodding along while someone pitches you and just waiting for your turn to jump in to pitch your thing, you're doing it alllll wrong. Click To Tweet

Think about it this way… How many times have you gotten someone’s card and then ended up throwing it away instead of following up with them?

I posted this awhile back on my Instagram story…

Needless to say, there were a few people who were NOT fans of it.

Here’s the thing…

I meet SO many new people every single week that if we didn’t have a real conversation and had no REAL connection, there’s absolutely no reason for me to follow-up with you.

I probably don’t remember you and even if I did end up following up with you, you probably wouldn’t remember me.

… and even IF you did, the interaction would be fake and meaningless because we have no rapport.

Let’s be real:

I’m not the only person who throws away business cards.

You probably have a stack of them sitting somewhere that you’ll eventually throw out.

Maybe your stack is in the middle console of your car, your desk drawer or if you’re like my ex, he used to leave them in his suit jackets (which I’m sure the dry cleaner LOVED him for).

So, you’re out somewhere, whether that’s at a networking event, hanging out with your friends or standing in line at the grocery store and the infamous business card exchange happens… How do you turn that business card into an actual relationship?

It’s not just luck… There’s a strategy behind it.

 

Have Meaningful Conversations Before Exchanging Cards

First things first, you shouldn’t even be taking people’s cards unless you actually have a meaningful conversation.

Don't exchange business cards until you've had a meaningful conversation. Click To Tweet

I’m a HUGEEEEEEEEEEEE advocate of that.

In fact, I don’t even give out my business cards first (partially because I always forget to bring them)… I take them.

Think about it for a second…

99.999999% of people take cards, let them stack up and then throw them away.

After reading this, you’re not going to be like that…

You’re going to be the person who has a system for following up with new people without getting overwhelmed so that you can focus on nurturing your relationships, rather than trying to figure out what to say when you reach out.

If you get their card, you know that you have the power to follow-up with them… If you GIVE your card without getting one in return, you have zero control over whether or not you guys reconnect again.

So, before you get their card, have a meaningful conversation. Click To Tweet

So, before you get their card, have a meaningful conversation.

While you’re talking to them, figure out how you can contribute value.

Yes, you read that right… CONTRIBUTE, not receive.

Who can you introduce them to that can help them reach their goals?

What resource do you have that they might find useful?

Whatever piece of value you have to offer, it should take less than five minutes to deliver.

THAT IS A MAJOR KEY.

If you start making all types of promises that take you longer than that, burnout is INEVITABLE.

Once you’ve mentioned what you’d like to do for them, ask for their card and you now have a reason to follow-up and they are looking forward to connecting with you again.

MAJOR KEY #2: Write on their card a quick reminder about what you talked about AND the action item that you promised them.
This serves a few purposes…

 

Networking Is About Connections, Not Contacts.

There’s a difference…

Connections are genuine, authentic conversations.

Contacts count as ANY interaction.

You don’t need to take every person’s card.

You don’t even need to meet every single person.

You don't need to take every person's card... You don't even need to meet every single person. Click To Tweet

If you’re doing it right, you’re building incredible relationships and those people will help you meet other people you want to meet.

One time I was at a networking event and one of the guys from a moving company walked around the room, shook everyone’s hands, introduced himself, gave them a card and walked away.

While I commend him for his willingness to put himself out there, there was absolutely no value exchanged in that relationship. I can’t even tell you how many of his cards I saw laying around and I even threw out his card when I left and to top it off, he added me to his email list right after and I unsubscribed PRONTO.

THAT IS NOT HOW YOU NETWORK.

Sure, you can play the numbers game and maybeeeeee one person mighttttt call you, but what if you could walk away from every networking situation with two or three people who were ACTUALLY looking forward to hearing from you again?

That’s the approach we’re taking here.

Let’s be clear…

Your follow-up doesn’t necessarily have to be about your business or anything work related… If you have a great conversation with someone and you have a five-minute favor to offer them, do it. That’s how you build emotional capital with people and you develop a reputation for being someone who people WANT to work with because you’re resourceful.

Plus, you NEVER know how those people will come back into your life later on.

Business comes from friendships all the time, you just have to be willing to invest in the people.

Business comes from friendships all the time, you just have to be willing to invest in the people. Click To Tweet

Major Key: Don’t take someone’s card unless you know at least three things about them.

By the time you’ve talked to them and gotten to know them some, the follow-up will be infinitely easier.

If you have a hard time with small talk and having meaningful conversations with strangers, this post will DEFINITELY help you:

 

Contribute Value First

By making sure that you write down BOTH what you talked about AND your action item, you’re setting the stage to contribute value.

Write down what you talked about on someone's business card for easy follow-up. Click To Tweet

Most people who “network” follow-up with something like, “it was so nice to meet you. If you ever need a ___, please call me.”

Meh, that’s so forgettable.

There’s no authority in that.

Now if you talked to someone about how they’re getting married and need are in need of a wedding photographer, you can say something like…

“I have a great friend of mine who does INCREDIBLE wedding photos so I’d love to introduce you to him. No pressure or anything, just want to make sure you have a resource to go to. He’s so awesome… I can’t even say enough good things about him! I’ll send you both an email to introduce you and I’ll give you a link to his portfolio. How does that sound?”

Don’t you think their jaw is going to drop?

That’s the point.

Not only did you start by contributing value, it shows how much you actually listen and CARE about them.

Remember, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Click To Tweet

People also do business with people they know, like and trust.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. Click To Tweet

By starting your relationship off from a place of contribution, you’re already getting them to know what you’re like, like you and TRUST that you do what you say you’ll do.

Let’s not forget that by making an introduction, it gives you an opportunity to connect with the other people in your network and show them that you’re a mover and shaker too.

People like people who build each other up, so bam.

… You’re killing about 20 birds with one stone.

Everyone also likes to associate with movers and shakers.

This TOTALLY works to your advantage because it gives you an opportunity to follow-up again to make sure they connected and you’re setting the stage for a relationship based on making introductions… and when you

MAKE introductions, your people start to introduce you to other people too.

However, your action item doesn’t necessarily have to be an introduction — it can also be a recommendation for a book, place, thing, whatever. I’m really a fan of introductions but if you’re just starting out and don’t have a huge network yet, any item of value that takes you less than five minutes to deliver will be valuable.

People aren’t inherently selfish, so if you focus on strategically giving, at some point, it will come back around… and people will be excited to help you.

 

Having A Reason To Follow-Up Makes It Infinitely Easier

Now that you actually have a reason to follow up, reaching out after is so much easier.

If you have a reason to follow-up, following up is SO much easier. Click To Tweet

A lot of people I talk to are worried about “bothering” people and that’s why they don’t want to follow-up, but if you’re helping them solve a problem, you’re both going to be excited to chat again.

Alright, so now that you have their card and you’ve put it away, what do you do next?

Great question.

I wrote a wholeeee post about how to follow-up with your new connections.

Ready to take it a step further and learn how to follow-up after meeting new people so that you steal mindshare, build credibility quickly and can scale your network without burning out?

I’ve got a totally free workshop to help you do just that:




How To Ask For A Meeting (With Actual Examples)

Lean in a little closer… I have a secret to tell you.

The biggest mistake you can make when going to ask for a meeting is to make it about you.

The biggest mistake you can make when going to ask for a meeting is to make it about you. Click To Tweet

Most amateur networkers ask for a meeting like this, “Hey ____, my name is ___. I just started ____ and I’d really like to network with you to see how we can be mutually beneficial.”

There are a few issues with that…

Firstly, you have no credibility… so what you want is irrelevant (sorry).

Secondly, if you’re brand new, the exchange of value isn’t going to be equal…  So what you’re really asking for is their time to get something out of them but probably won’t be able to contribute anything.

Thirdly, you haven’t given any context to HOW you can help each other.

Instead, I want you to focus on connecting, relating, offering value and going for an assumptive close.

 

Asking for a meeting after someone introduced you

Here’s an example of the introduction email that I got from someone…

Alexa, meet Maria.  Maria, meet Alexa. 
Alexa is easily the most entrepreneurial and enterprising leader of her generation.  In addition to her work as a realtor with Keller Williams she has founded Millennium Empire Builders, a leadership cultivation organization dedicated to helping Millenials achieve their full potential in their private and work lives.  She’s done amazing work in the Broward area and is now moving into Miami-Dade with her work.
Maria is a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley.  I met her through the New Leaders Task Force for the Beacon Council and can attest to her energy and drive.  She’s already made some inroads in our firm and has impressed a number of our associates with her skills and presentations. 
Maria lives in Miami-Dade but she works in North Dade/South Broward so it occurred to me that there would be significant synergies between the work you are both doing.  That and suspect you will simply enjoying developing a relationship with each other.  You’re both conquering the world in your own spheres. 
Go forth and be successful.
Best,
Jaret

[In this scenario, someone has made the introduction for you and probably already given you some context about each other. In this case, lean on the credibility of the person making the introduction and being that you don’t have a whole lot of context yet, you don’t need to try to sell the person since the introducer has already recommended that you guys meet and has given you a framework to build off of]

Here was my response:

Hi Jaret!
Thank you so much for the intro and the kind words! Always love meeting other Empire builders 🙂
Hi Maria!
Sounds like we have some chatting to do 🙂 I’d love to grab lunch or coffee to learn more about what you do and how I can be of service. Afternoons and evenings are usually best for me so shoot me over a few dates that work for you and we’ll coordinate from there!

To which Maria responded…

Good evening Jaret,
Thank you for that wonderful introduction. I really appreciate it!
Alexa, I would love to hear more about your accomplishments and get to know more of what you do. It all sounds very interesting! I’m free to do either lunch or drinks/coffee later in the afternoon on March 13th or March 15th. If those don’t work, I’m also available for dinner on March 21st or lunch April 4th. Let me know where your office is located. I work right on Las Olas but I’m flexible and we could pick a spot that is in between us. Look forward to hearing back from you and setting a meeting to meet in person.

It’s that simple… Don’t overcomplicate it.

Don't overcomplicate it. Click To Tweet

There are a couple of reasons why this was so easy…

  • The person who introduced us is well respected by both of us. If he makes a quality intro, I’m definitely reaching out ASAP.
  • He gave us context and a reason to connect.
  • I responded right away to acknowledge the connection and to go for an assumptive close (I mentioned that I’d like to have lunch and then assumed it was mutual, so I asked for specific dates and times)
  • She responded back with specific dates and times
  • Boom, done.
Asking for a meeting with someone after an introduction is the easiest way to connect with someone because you can rely on the other person's credibility. Click To Tweet

… but what if you want to meet with someone that you just met, but haven’t been introduced to?

Drum roll pleaseeeeee….

 

Asking for a meeting after you’ve made a new connection (that wasn’t an introduction)

In this scenario, you have a little less credibility because you haven’t had someone else vouch for you.

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world…

You just have to be a little more strategic with how you ask for a meeting.

We’re going to assume that you’re asking for a meeting with someone that you’ve recently connected with.

Now let’s get down to business.

The biggest key here is to follow-up with them while they’re still hot.

Do.

Not.

Wait.

A.

Century.

To.

Follow.

Up.

With.

Them.

… and when I say “while they’re still hot”, I mean ASAP, like within 12 hours.

If you meet them at an evening event, follow-up that night or the morning after.

If you meet them in the morning, reach out by the end of the day.

I hate to break it to you but you’re not as memorable as you think… So if you don’t follow-up right away, their interest in reconnecting with you starts to wane.

You're not as memorable as you think... So if you don't follow-up right away, their interest in reconnecting with you starts to wane. Click To Tweet

The faster you follow-up, the more likely you are to get the response you’re looking for.

The faster you follow-up, the more likely you are to get the response you're looking for. Click To Tweet

Oh, and I know I mention this in like every post, but you have to earn the right to ask…

That means if you just tossed your card at them and collected theirs but didn’t have any meaningful conversation when you met them, you haven’t earned the right to reconnect with them yet.

By the time you took their information, you should’ve had a meaningful conversation where you know at least 3 things about them.

In fact, I wrote a wholeeee post about how to exchange business cards to make following-up wayyyy easier.

So, now that you’re ready to go for the ask, how do you actually do it?

Very carefully.

Just kidding… Sort of.

 

Your follow-up should include a few elements…

  1. Thank them for their time.
  2. Give them context about why you should follow-up the conversation
  3. What you’d like to come out of the meeting
  4. A general timeframe

Here’s a few different examples of me asking for a meeting…

(ps. Don’t stress over the subject line of the email… “Following up” is literally one of the most opened email subjects in the history of ever)

'Following up' is literally one of the most opened email subjects in the history of ever Click To Tweet

 

Example 1. Asking A Potential Mentor and Sponsor For A Meeting

Luis came to speak at one of our workshops before and now that we just launched our Miami chapter, I wanted to reconnect with him but since I don’t have a whole bunch to offer him, I offered to make an introduction before I asked for the meeting. Here’s the email chain for you (prepare for a bunch of “he said” and then “I said” lol):

Hi Luis!
Hope all is well 🙂
Not sure if you remember me but you came to speak for my young professionals last year about how local politics works.
I met a gentleman who’s heavily involved in the Government Contractor’s Association recently and instantly thought of you!… His organization teaches small businesses how to secure government contracts and being that you work in the lobbying field, I figured you might be interested in speaking for them and could possibly get a few clients out of it since that’s right up your alley.
Let me know if you’d like me to make the connection 🙂

I never want to come across as a taker, so I always like to open a cold follow-up with some sort of value first… and 9 times out of 10, that’s an introduction (more on that in another post). Literally five minutes later, I got this response…

Alexa, 
So good to hear from you.
Thank you for thinking of me.  Please make the connection.

Which lead to…

Hi Again!
Awesome… Will do right now!
Also, would love to grab a quick lunch or coffee with you… We also just started our Miami chapter and would love to pick your brain about connecting with the Miami community since it’s a wholeeee different beast than Broward!
I’m sure you have a TON going on so just let me know what your schedule is like for the next week or so and I’d be happy to accommodate… If Wednesday works, I’ll already be in the area. Otherwise, I’ll work around your schedule 🙂

And thennnn…

Hello back!  I’m unavailable next Wednesday.
How about Monday or Tuesday next week?  I’m available from 1:30-2:30pm on both days.
Cheers.

Easy as that.

A few key takeaways here…

  • If it’s a cold person, offer value first. That value can come in the form of an introduction, book recommendation, article, check-in, whatever. I don’t usually just go for the cold close because even if they agree, they’ll question your motives.
  • Once you’ve offered value, don’t be afraid to go for the ask. In Luis’ case, I know that he knows his shit and he likes to do workshops. He’s a lobbyist so I knew that the connection would be valuable for both Tony (the guy from GCA) and Luis. I also know that he likes to mentor, so “picking his brain” is a hugeee compliment to him.
  • Give them an option to say no while still going for an assumptive close. Yup, that sounds counter productive but I promise it works. By acknowledging that he’s super busy and that I would work around him, I’m showing how much I respect his time and that I’m not going to waste it. At the same time, I’m already assuming he’ll say yes so I gave him a few options.

 

Example 2. Following Up With A Potential MEB Member

Oscar came to one of our social events…

Hi Oscar!
Just wanted to reach out and thank you for coming to our mixer at the Wilder! It was so much fun meeting you and I’m curious to hear more about what your working on and how I might be able to help so I’d love to grab lunch or coffee sometime next week!
Afternoons and evenings generally work best for me, so let me know what works for you!

In talking to tonssss of young professionals, I know that they are alwayssss open to a great, intellectually stimulating conversation. Seriously, ask a group of young professionals if they’d like to hang around more “like-minded” people and almost every one of them will raise their hands. With that in mind, I always focus on THEIR goals and how I can help THEM. I don’t even mention MEB or trying to get them to join.
His response:

Hi Alexa, 
Thank you for following up. 
I can do lunch on Tuesday if you are available. I will be in the Cooper City area in the morning and can possible meet you Broward Mall area after. 
Let me know! 

There you go.

Asking for a meeting isn’t difficult… Focus on how you can help and get out of the mindset that you’re “bothering” them.

Focus on how you can help and get out of the mindset that you're 'bothering' them. Click To Tweet

If you REALLY are coming from a place of helping and contributing value, your request to meet will be totally welcome.

If you REALLY are coming from a place of helping and contributing value, your request to meet will be totally welcome. Click To Tweet

After you meet with them, your work isn’t done… You’ve got to stay in touch.

I put my eight-week email follow-up plan together just for you and you can download it right here:
Email followup template
When you're new to networking, figuring out how to turn new contacts into actual relationships starts with the one on one networking meeting... and getting there isn't rocket science. With a few quick tips, you'll be connecting with people in no time!
Asking for a networking meeting doesn't have to be complicated. In this post, you'll learn exactly how to ask for a meeting without feeling salesy or pitchy and what to say in your emails.

How To Create A Powerful Networking Follow-Up Plan

Once you meet someone new, your goal is to establish and KEEP mindshare.

Our brains can only carry 1-2 brands in our minds at a time to a specific thing.

In real estate, 88% of people say that they’ll do business with their previous realtor again but don’t because the realtor doesn’t keep in touch.

If I asked you to name a brand of potato chips, a car, a sports team, or pretty much anything else, you’ll find the first two (or maybeeee three) come at the snap of a finger… Beyond that, your answer will probably start with

“ummmm…”

After you meet someone, your goal is to steal that top spot in their mind for whatever your brand does.

Now if you only follow-up once, we have their attention for all of 0.00002 seconds. It takes us about 7 times of seeing something or someone before we recognize it and are ready to take action.

With that in mind, we’re going to follow-up eight times over eight weeks (or what we call an 8×8).

Before you freak out about overwhelming people, those follow-ups (touches) are going to be diversified so you’re not calling them eight times and they won’t feel like you’re harassing them.

I know this can seem overwhelming, so I created a FREE workbook to help you put it into action:

 

Touch 1: Send a Handwritten Note

I know I know, this might sound a little “extra”, but that’s the point.

How often do you get mail that’s not a bill?

Unless you shop like a crazy person online, you probably don’t.

Our goal is to make them feel important.

The more people you can make feel important and help reach their goals, the more people who will help you and the faster you’ll get to yours.

The more people you can help reach their goals, the faster you'll get to yours. Click To Tweet

With a handwritten note, you’re showing them that they’re important enough for you to take the time out of your day to write the note.

The note doesn’t have to be anything fancy….

It can be something as simple as, “Hi Erica! It was so nice to meet you at the event at American Social. It was so fun chatting with you about our workout routines. I’m looking forward to connecting with you again and learning more about your goals. In the meantime, should you ever have any questions regarding real estate or otherwise, please feel comfortable enough to reach out. I’m always here to help!”

Again, the goal is to blow. their. mind.

No one else does this.

They won’t forget you.

They can’t.

Just a few pro tips:

  • Write in blue ink instead of black. There’s something psychological about blue ink that brings happy feelings.
  • My favorite notecards are from Notecard Cafe because they’re cheap, beautiful and you can customize the color of the envelope. My branding is teal, so my envelopes are teal. With that in mind, my goal is to make sure that when someone sees a teal envelope, they know it’s from me. Pick a color that represents your brand and stick with it.
  • Buy stamps by the roll. If you have the envelopes and stamps on hand, you’re a million times more likely to do it. When I first started doing this, I’d write the notes and they’d sit in my car until I had to throw them away or re-write them because they’d been bent, stepped on or had fingerprints all over them. Keep the stamps on hand. You can thank me later.
  • Make a habit of ALWAYS doing it the day after a networking event. If you wait two days or longer, you’re more likely to forget or start coming up with reasons not to sit down to write them.

 

Touch 2: Send a Follow-Up Email or Text

Have email, notecard and text templates ready for your follow-ups.

If you have to think, you’re wayyyyy less likely to do the follow-ups so templates make it insanely easy to plug it in, customize it for the person and do the follow-up.

I prefer to connect with people in person, so I usually invite people to lunch, brunch, happy hour or some other event… So you’ll want to have a follow-up template so you don have to figure out how to word it every time.

I use Calendly to integrate with my calendar so they can pick whatever time works best for them to connect.

I use Contactually CRM because the system is built to help you follow-up with your existing network in a beautiful, easy to use way and it gives you the ability to easily use templates. I also have text templates with my social media info so that I don’t have to go digging for it.

The more templates you use, the easier your follow-ups will be.

Oh, and a quick pro tip: just because you use templates doesn’t mean you can’t make your follow-ups personal. Use the template and jazz it up for each person with a little p.s. at the end.

 

Touches 3, 5 and 7: Send An Item of Value

Touches 3, 5 and 7 should be items of value related to whatever you’re trying to gain mindshare for…

So as a realtor, I have an 8×8 for future buyers, an 8×8 for future sellers and an 8×8 for regular “newly mets”.

For buyers and sellers, those 3 items of value are mailed to a physical address and they’re quick cheat sheets that answer the questions most buyers will usually ask. For the regular newly mets, the touches are simply connecting them with someone, inviting them to an event and asking how I can help them.

 

Touches 4, 6 and 8: Call Them

For touches 4, 6 and 8, you’re going to call them to check up on them… Here’s my favorite script:

“Hey Sam, this is Alexa, your favorite realtor. Just checking in to make sure you got the __ that I sent you? [Yes, I got it.] Great! Did you have any questions that I can answer for you? [If they’ve said I’m thinking about buying or selling in the next year or so, I ask a third question] Have you given anymore thought to your purchase/sale OR is that home purchase/sale still in the plans for you?”

By keeping it super simple and only having two or three questions for them, you get to learn about their motivation and what they need… and you’re WAY better positioned to give them exactly what they need, rather than spending all your time and energy trying to sell them on something they don’t even really want or need.

The more you have to think, the less likely you are to do all of this, so you should have some sort of system to remind you when to follow-up with people. I love Contactually but there are also SUPER low-tech ways to do this too.

 

Staying In Touch Beyond the 8×8

Beyond the 8×8, you’ll want to continue to keep in touch with them. Just because you currently have mindshare, doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be able to keep it. You’ll need to continue staying in touch so that you’re always their go to resource.

Business cards are meant to be like a key to unlock a relationship. It’s the beginning of a relationship, not the end.

If you don’t follow-up and keep in touch, all of your efforts into networking will have been wasted.

… and truthfully, following-up is the hardest part of networking.

Following up doesn't have to be hard or scary. With a simple system and lots of contribution, your follow up emails, calls and texts will be anticipated.