Hint of Hustle with Heather Sager

Hate Networking? Graceful Tactics To Grow Game Changing Relationships

October 12, 2023 Heather Sager Episode 219
Hate Networking? Graceful Tactics To Grow Game Changing Relationships
Hint of Hustle with Heather Sager
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Hint of Hustle with Heather Sager
Hate Networking? Graceful Tactics To Grow Game Changing Relationships
Oct 12, 2023 Episode 219
Heather Sager

Relationship building is a learned skill that becomes an epic growth tool when done right.

Chances are though you’ve had some networking experiences that left a sour taste in your mouth. Sneak attack sales pitches disguised as friendly check-ins? Corporate style networking? Pass, pass.

This episode is a wake up call packed with tactics on how to build powerful relationships and social currency that ACTUALLY feel good, even if you’re an introvert like me.

Plus, I break down how to use my Adjacent Ask tactic. It’s my go-to formula for calling in aligned opportunities without any awkwardness. Tune in and steal it for yourself.

EPISODE  SHOW NOTES👇
https://heathersager.com/episode219

Support the Show.

🔗 Grab the latest FREE resources: https://heathersager.com/start

🔗 Browse all episode shownotes: https://heathersager.com/blog

👋 CONNECT WITH HEATHER:

Work with Heather: https://www.heathersager.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theheathersager/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/HeatherSager

If you’re loving this episode, please take a moment to rate & review the show. This helps me get this message to more people so they too can ditch the hustle 24/7 life.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Relationship building is a learned skill that becomes an epic growth tool when done right.

Chances are though you’ve had some networking experiences that left a sour taste in your mouth. Sneak attack sales pitches disguised as friendly check-ins? Corporate style networking? Pass, pass.

This episode is a wake up call packed with tactics on how to build powerful relationships and social currency that ACTUALLY feel good, even if you’re an introvert like me.

Plus, I break down how to use my Adjacent Ask tactic. It’s my go-to formula for calling in aligned opportunities without any awkwardness. Tune in and steal it for yourself.

EPISODE  SHOW NOTES👇
https://heathersager.com/episode219

Support the Show.

🔗 Grab the latest FREE resources: https://heathersager.com/start

🔗 Browse all episode shownotes: https://heathersager.com/blog

👋 CONNECT WITH HEATHER:

Work with Heather: https://www.heathersager.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theheathersager/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/HeatherSager

If you’re loving this episode, please take a moment to rate & review the show. This helps me get this message to more people so they too can ditch the hustle 24/7 life.

Speaker 1:

Businesses are going to grow better when you grow with others and the power of relationships really strategic relations, relationships, really aligned value relationships those can be an epic growth tool and also a great community for you, because business can be very lonely. This is the podcast for the entrepreneur who wants to make a big impact, who doesn't shy away from hard work but also wants to enjoy life along the way. Hi, I'm Heather Sager, former executive-turned-entrepreneur, and I've spent the last 20 years working with premium brands on sales, marketing and communication and I've learned that when you become a magnet with your message, you only need a hint of hustle to achieve your goals. Get ready to be inspired and ignited each week with tangible strategies on sales, speaking, marketing and so much more. This is the Hint of Hustle podcast. Let's go Well. Hey friend, welcome back to the Hint of Hustle podcast. I am so thrilled you tuned in this week.

Speaker 1:

This episode is something that I probably should have recorded, honestly, years ago. It is such a juicy, actionable topic and something that you can use, implement, take action on right now and it will pay off in spades for you and your business. We're talking about the power of relationships with your peers, building your network, which we've all heard that quote before that your net worth is reliant on your net work or some variation of that. I have no idea who started it, but there's a whole bunch of different variations on that. We're talking about that. But what I find in the online space we're more connected now than ever, but it's also the loneliest place to be. I'll explain a little bit more on that in a moment. We're going to dive in and talk about the power relationships and some practical ways that you can tap into your own existing network and be more intentional with your relationship building without being sneaky. I hate it when people are reaching out for coffee dates when they're trying to squeeze stuff out of you. That's not a relationship. That's just using people. We're not talking about that today.

Speaker 1:

First quick update I am recording this. Let's see the Friday before this airs. I want to give a quick update for you because I've gotten some questions around people. I've shared multiple times in the podcast that we are in the. I like to call this the fourth quarter, not of the year. I'm in the fourth quarter of my pregnancy Coming up here. This little babe is going to be coming in less than two months. I've gotten some questions around Heather. What's going on with the podcast? What's happening with your business? Are you taking a maternity leave? What's next? I just figured I'd give you a little peep at that.

Speaker 1:

I will be doing an episode coming up around how I'm planning my maternity leave, what you can expect fully on it and how, as a business owner just taking time off, how you might borrow or swipe some of my strategies to work for you, whether that's taking an extended summer vacation or a vacation in general, or maybe you have something brewing in your uterus like I do, I don't know. Use it, however, will be helpful, but I will have something like that coming up here within the next six weeks, but for now, let's just directly answer the question. Yes, the goal is taking a maternity leave. Obviously, we're business owners. There is websites and accounting and things that have to happen. I can't fully. I guess some people probably could. I'm not going to fully disconnect because I need to be around to support my team, but I plan on not working the entire month of December and most to the month of January. That is my goal right now. So we're working to get content created in advance.

Speaker 1:

I'm honestly going to take a couple weeks off of the podcast in December which, let's be honest, with the holidays, most people don't really. December is typically a pretty low month for podcast downloads just across the board for podcasters because people are busy, we're not on the normal commutes, we're not on the normal schedules, we don't have the normal routines for that. So I'm just going to lean into it, take a couple weeks off, so that'll be coming in December, and then January is typically what I have seen the highest download month for podcasts. Now a lot of people celebrate. They're like whoa, look at all this growth. Honestly, I believe this is not backed by any kind of scientific proof, but I believe that because people don't touch their podcasts apps over the holidays, all those downloads just hit in January. That's definitely been my experience both as a podcast listener and as a podcast host. So we'll be picking back up in January.

Speaker 1:

So don't worry, there'll be lots of great content for you. We do have a team here at Heather Sager HQ sounds way fancier than we have. I have my virtual assistant. I have my team. We're going to keep things cranking and definitely continue to serve you through the podcast, if you're on my email, also through my programs. We have some incredible guests coming in to support you all.

Speaker 1:

So don't worry, I am definitely modeling what I tell you about on this show around hint of hustle, where there are seasons of go full ass and seasons of rest, and most definitely having a baby and taking some time for yourself should be a reason a season of rest, and I understand that not everybody has that privilege. Especially here in the United States we have pretty crappy conditions around insurance and healthcare and just leave in general. This will be my first time taking leave as an entrepreneur solely responsible for myself, but I'm excited for it and I'm excited to share with you just how I'm approaching it. Again, not because you're most likely experiencing maternity leave If you are great, this will be helpful but my hope for you is that you continue to schedule intentional rest because it will help you go farther in business and feel better as you grow your business. So, whether that's taking a couple of weeks off of the holidays or some time off in the summer or stepping away and saying you know what, that big list of stuff that you have doesn't actually have to get done like nothing's on fire. I just hope to model that more for you. So I get it.

Speaker 1:

I know I've been talking a lot about baby and pregnancy crap. It's just a season that I'm in so fully know that the show is not going to turn into the baby mama show. I don't plan on incorporating best practices for pregnancy as an entrepreneur. I'm weaving that in because that's my life right now and I think to be an authentic content creator. You share what you're learning as you're in it. That's just my style. So I've just been very open and honest with y'all around the happenings behind the scenes and of my uterus. So, all right, I've now said the word uterus twice on this episode, so I feel like we can probably move on to the meat and potatoes.

Speaker 1:

Here we go, okay, so talking about the word relationship. So I want you to just think about what comes to mind for you when you think about peer relationships or you think about your network. I don't know about you, but I think of the word network. I think of two things. I think of super cheesy networking events that I hate and happy hours where everyone's wearing business casual, looking around the room, kind of seeing who's friendly, who's not. Can I squeeze my way into that social circle? Oh, but they look like they're really engaged. What is my elevator pitch? Okay, this is super awkward, or my hand sweaty, it's just like I don't know. I have no desire to go to any kind of networking event. That's one thing. The second thing that comes to mind for me when I think networking is LinkedIn, which equally doesn't sound very exciting for me, and the two common through lines of networking events. And I think of the LinkedIn platform. Side note, if you are a LinkedIn user and fan, I understand there is huge potential on that platform. I just personally haven't used it as an entrepreneur. It's all of my old corporate contacts, so I know that I have a skewed perception of that and there is power in that. I would definitely estimate that I will be leveraging LinkedIn in the future. It's not a strategy I'm not implementing any new strategies right now because hashtag brew in a baby but both of these platforms.

Speaker 1:

Here's what I see as one of the challenges or frustrations that many of us have around this idea of quote unquote networking. And it's when you meet someone new and you think you hit it off, only to have them turn back around and start pitching you their shit. That, inherently, is the why so many of us have a sour taste in our mouth around networking. Now, that might just be true for me, it might not be your experience, but I find so often that when you're in a networking environment, people are constantly looking at how can I make connections so that I can sell my stuff? How can I find someone that could hook me up with an introduction to X, y and Z?

Speaker 1:

Networking typically feels very much like a vulture environment that people are sizing you up to say how big is your network, cannot tap that and that doesn't feel good. So if you struggle with this idea when someone tells you, tap into your network and you're like I don't want to be that person or I don't want to, okay, forgive me, but there's kind of a what's the word? Pregnancy, brain Clashay I will use the word cliche, that was not the word I was going for. But there is this thought right, true or not that if you're in MLM or you know, maybe, someone from high school in a MLM, multi-level marketing company that they reach out to go get coffee only to pitch you their business opportunity, we all have this idea around like, oh man, we don't want to come out of the woodwork going after people that we once knew, asking them to promote us or buy from us or hook us up with a connection. It just doesn't feel good. So, first and foremost, let me just acknowledge that if you have a yucky perception around networking or a highly protective approach to your own network, like you don't want to burn those bridges or use those relationships for your now business. If that feels awkward to you, listen up, because what we're going to talk about today is around how to address that. I am with you 1,000% on both of those things.

Speaker 1:

I do not like feeling used by other people. In fact, one of my pet peeves this is a big admission, but one of my pet peeves is when someone who I knew long, long, long long time ago reaches out out of the blue asking me for an introduction. Okay, now you might be thinking, well, shoot, like, what's so wrong about that? Here's where I have a little bit of beef with that. If I knew someone 10 years ago, I might have been able to vouch for the quality they worked 10 years ago, but I don't know what they're doing now. I don't know the quality they work right now. I don't know what their values are right now.

Speaker 1:

Me introducing a person to another person in my network. I take a lot of pride in that, that I am not frivolous with my introductions. I would actually say I gate keep pretty heavily my network, and that goes for people that I allow on my podcast, names that I mention in my newsletters or emails, people that I allow on my stages at events. I'm very, very choosy and it's because well, two reasons. One, I'm a speaking coach, so anyone who graces my stages has to be articulate and demonstrate like a high competency with speaking, because it just goes out of alignment with what I teach. I can't have somebody with a ton of filler words. I can't have somebody spin in circles with their message. It just does not work on my platform because it goes against what I teach. But more than that, I am not going to endorse someone that I don't actually know the quality of their work, because I know that if I were to bring someone on this platform or if I were to email you about someone saying, oh, you just have to learn from them, I would imagine you trust me pretty well. If you're still listening to this show, you're like. I understand Heather. I respect Heather's opinions. If Heather says this is the thing, I should at least check it out. I would imagine there's a high probability that you would check out something if I was like, oh my gosh, shake you by the shoulders, you have to check this thing out if you're looking to do XYMZ, right, I'd make it a specific thing If I was doing that all the time, if I was constantly referring other people your way, saying, oh Facebook ads, you need this person. Oh, pinterest, you need this thing and check out this thing. If I was constantly shoving recommendations at you.

Speaker 1:

Honestly, it would be a little bit like the old fable. Is it a fable story? Whatever, it's a little boy who cried wolf, right, who. We talked about this story all the time with my kids as we're learning truth from lies. The story goes is the little boy in this little town. He went out and freaked everyone out because he was crying wolf, wolf, wolf, oh my gosh, there's a wolf. And everybody panicked and freaked out and got to safety, blah, blah, blah, and there was no wolf and the kids thought it was hilarious. So that little a-hole did it again and he one day screams wolf, wolf, wolf, wolf, oh my gosh, there's a wolf. And everybody freaked out because, oh my gosh, wolf going to eat them all. Again, I don't really remember the details of the story. We all know how it goes. This happens multiple times, but one day there was an actual wolf and this kid starts screaming wolf, wolf, wolf, and nobody believed him.

Speaker 1:

Well, I believe that the power of your word and the power of your recommendations is like the little boy screaming wolf, that if you're constantly, constantly saying, hey, you have to meet my friend X, y and Z, or hey, check out the little boy screaming wolf. But if you're constantly constantly saying, hey, you have to meet my friend X, y and Z, or hey, check out this resource. Or hey, do this thing. If you're constantly like introducing I'm going to say this carefully introducing people that you actually don't know very well. You met them one time but you're validating their work and you're doing that all the time, here's the thing you don't know the values, you don't know the quality of the work. Ultimately, somewhere someone might be let down by that person you referred, and I know that you can't control that. But when you're constantly introducing and, I don't know, shoving stuff at people's faces, your audience may or may not take you seriously.

Speaker 1:

When you have something that you're really passionate about wanting to share, okay, I'm going off on a tangent here Like this is a big side note as I'm going on this rabbit hole. But I really think this is relevant because I know a lot of marketers who pride themselves of being connectors of other people and I am a huge fan of creating powerful connections and being very generous with your connections. But I also balance that with I'm not going to promote someone just because they asked me to and just because they want to promote me. Aka, I don't agree to podcast swaps or group program swaps or affiliate swaps just so that two parties can get their backs scratched. I care more about the experience and the ultimate success of my audience than I do my own sales, and I believe that actually makes it better for me when selling. I make more sales because of that.

Speaker 1:

But I want to start off with this context today that if you feel a little weird about relationships is because you too probably want to be a little protective of your audience. But on that same coin, I am going to challenge you and me in this around. Businesses are going to grow better when you grow with others and the power of relationships really strategic relations, relationships, really aligned value relationships those can be an epic growth tool and also a great community for you, because business can be very lonely. I mentioned this at the start of the episode that even though we're more connected than ever, we're lonelier than ever. As entrepreneurs, and I think we're constantly seeking connection and value and we're trying to find a connection and validation through channels like social media or through things like how big is my email list or how popular am I in this group program that I am in, and all of those things can feel really great to your ego if they go up, but they also can make you spinning and a little desperate trying to connect with other people that might not be serving for you. And the thing is, when it comes to relationships with business, you want to build true relationships with people that are going to be there for you, that get you and you get them. You want to be able to hang out with them. You're going to have different levels. So let's start here.

Speaker 1:

When I think about relationships peer to peer as a business owner, I want you to think about in front of you. You know how, like there's a dartboard. Dartboards have like the bullseye in the middle and then they have rings as they go out right. Ignore all the little like black, white and red or whatever color dartboard you have. Don't worry about all the little pie pieces of a dartboard, but just think about circles. So I guess an archery bullseye would be a better example here. So you have the bullseye in the middle, you have then a secondary ring, a third ring and then the outer ring. I have no idea how many actual rings are on one of those things, but you can see it right A circle and a circle and a circle and a circle.

Speaker 1:

Okay, don't worry, I don't have a fancy, complicated framework here for you, but what I want you thinking about is not all relationships are in the center of your bullseye. If you were to map out the different relationships you have and the relationships you desire to have, they're not all going to be at the center of the bullseye. Why is this important? Okay, I think oftentimes we think that every relationship has to be like your new BFF or like the mecca of this relationship is going to transform my business, and that's just bogus. Relationships have to be balanced, meaning that both parties have to be getting something out of it for it to work. Now, when I say something out of it. That does not mean that we have to be getting money out of it or leads out of it. That is very surface level. That is definitely a could be a component of a strategic relationship. But when I say bullseyes have to have value in the relationship, it means that both sides feel good being around the other person. It doesn't feel one-sided where one person is constantly taking and the other person is giving. I would say that's more of a transactional relationship or more of a client-coach relationship.

Speaker 1:

Business relationships are just your network in general. You want to be thinking about how you can support one another. You can do that through a variety of ways. It can be more of like a friendship. It could be bouncing ideas off each other. It could be through introducing each other to connections and opening up doors. It could be more of a strategic business relationship like a collaboration or on content. Maybe you do a joint venture webinar or you co-host an event or you do a podcast swap, because it feels very aligned and you both know that you can serve the hell out of each other's audiences. Just to be clear, I'm not against swaps. I'm against the expectations of swaps of just because I promoted you, now you promote me. That's not how this should work. That's not put in the audience at center. So what we want to think about is some relationships that you have are going to be your go-to people that are your sounding board, the people that you come back to over and over again to be your ear but also have strategy. There's going to be all these things peppered up in that Right, and that's your core crew. That's going to be the center of your bullseye. Now here's one of the hard things around.

Speaker 1:

This is a lot of times you see other bromances or what's the equivalent of that of girl romances, I don't know, like chick besties online. I know a big one lately that people are like fawning over is. Amy Porterfield and Jenna Kutcher are now best friends. Something that we've been curious about for years is we saw Jenna, rachel Hollis and Amy go on a girls weekend Y'all remember this post on Instagram from back in 2019 and everyone freaked out, going like, oh my gosh, I want to have girl besties like that. And then there was this drama that they actually weren't friends and we were all curious. And then turns out Amy and Jenna are best friends and they've been talking about it very openly over the last six months. Now why do I bring this up? Well, as a female entrepreneur, we see this online and we're like who's my bestie, who's my person? They're doing collaborations. Jenna was probably the number one affiliate I'm just assuming here for Amy Porterfield's program. You see them having the same guests on their podcast. They're talking about the same health journey. They're sleeping in each other's beds on girls trips. It looks like, oh my gosh, it's like so I want that level of a relationship. And so, as an entrepreneur, you might be like who's my bestie.

Speaker 1:

Here's the thing you may or may not have a quote unquote bestie in the online space, and if you don't, there is nothing wrong with that. I would actually say that's a pretty unique thing for two very high profile people to have such a high profile friendship. If you aspire for that, that's awesome. I developed my own girl bestie relationship over the last year with Emily. I talked about her a lot on the show last year. We ended up bringing our businesses together Incredible friends. We fell in business love real fast and we decided since then to untangle that and go back to our separate businesses. But we're still very, very close. We don't really publish that a lot online. We don't really make that a center of our content stories, but I have some really great close personal friend relationships that are both friendships and we talk a lot about business strategy together.

Speaker 1:

I want you to think about if you have that person for you that is really the center of your bullseye in your business connection network. You know you can ask that person anything. You know you'd be there for them for anything. For example, one of my people in my bullseye is my friend, a crystal prophet, who is located in Texas. Fun fact, crystal and I have never met in person but at the time of this recording she is packing her bags right now getting ready to fly to Bend, oregon, and by the time you hear this message next week she will have spent four days with me here in Bend as a friend. We rented an Airbnb and she is my producer for my three-day live event for my program that I'm running, the signature talk accelerator. We rented an Airbnb. I have all the equipment ready to set up, but she's going to run the camera and the chat box and the breakouts for me, so I'm not stressed about it. Am I hiring Crystal for this? No, she's generally doing this on a girls trip to come out and do a favor for a very pregnant friend, to remind me to pee and eat snacks. But also we have that kind of relationship that we were able to say, hey, would you do this for me, just like I would show up for her and manage the chat in a webinar if needed, or I've helped her before get ready for a speaking event for a day in Ramsey, like we have that relationship where it's back and forth. That is center of the bullseye. So for you, what I want you to think about is you're not going to have a lot of people in that center and it's okay if those relationships evolve over time. So great example Last year, a year ago, emily and I were super, super close, talking every single day because we were working on very strategic things for this business.

Speaker 1:

We were bringing it together. But now Emily and I talk maybe once every couple of weeks. We both are in different life phases. She's building her business. She's also getting ready for a maternity leave here soon. Fun fact, isn't it crazy? We're both pregnant, having babies at the same time, but we're not talking every day anymore. And that it doesn't change our closeness by any means. It's just that's the life phase that we're in. We're not strategizing on a daily basis about projects, so therefore we're not talking every day. So our relationship has just changed a bit.

Speaker 1:

So what you to think about is those people in the center of your bullseye. Who are those people? Those are the people that you want to be showing up for that. You want to really make sure that you're there for them. They're there for you. It's more of a. There might be relationships there that are going to be strategic, right, that you do affiliate promotions for or that you ask for introductions for, but this really is your core circle the people who are there for you when you need, like, a line. You're like I need to talk this out, I need to talk myself off the ledge, I need a hype girl or a hype guy or something. That's what I want you to think in the center of the bullseye Now as we expand out into maybe the next circle. These are people who you can rely upon. That, I would say, is more of your network for business relationships. These are people who have experienced your services or experienced your expertise, experienced what you do, and would 1000% be the first to be like oh, you got to meet X person because they know the quality of the work you do. Now, just quick disclaimer it doesn't mean that these are past clients, so this, I think, is something that is is very interesting conversation. I wrote this down on my notes. I'm like, huh, okay, maybe it's not as interesting for you, but I thought it was for me.

Speaker 1:

I think a lot of times in business when we're marketing, we're really focused on closing clients and customers, but for me, one of my priorities has always been is creating raving fans. Now, this terminology came from a book. I read it probably 15 years ago. One of my old corporate trainers she introduced me to that concept. But the concept is this is get people so excited that, even if they don't buy from you, they refer everyone they know to you. And I would bet that you might fall in this bucket. If you're not one of my existing clients or program students, if you are one of my loyal podcast listeners, if you've been around for a while, I would bet that if you heard someone saying, hey, I need help with speaking, or I want to get better at my message, or I want to nail my webinar, or want to get more comfortable with my visibility, you'd be like, oh, you got to meet Heather Sayer, regardless of whether or not you've ever bought anything from me.

Speaker 1:

Now I have a incredible circle of business relationships that I have developed through programs I've taken through referrals of my clients to other people. I have this robust network of people who have never worked with me but refer me frequently that I would call kind of your tier one not really labeling these loops, but in that next circle it's people who can vouch for you. Those are the relationships I really want you to think about tapping into. And if you don't have those, those are the relationships for you to really think about fostering, because it's not necessarily your clients. Your clients can be great referrals, but it's people who are willing to say, oh my gosh, you're like legit, because they've experienced your work through other ways. So let me give you some examples of this. If your brain's kind of going, okay, I'm following you, but what's specifically talking about here? So let me give you some examples.

Speaker 1:

So early on in my business I was really intentional of saying, all right, who do I have in my sphere that I could wiggle my way in and create a lot of value with them? I respect the hell of them. I would love to be able to be friends with them and I would love to be able to refer their stuff and have them refer my stuff. So I noticed that early on and I focused on how could I be helpful. So this is how I intentionally built a relationship with Tarzan Kay, for example. She was one of my first I'll call her like star clients and by star clients, she never even I don't think she did she hire me. She ended up hiring me a second time, but I reached out to Tarzan. I had bought her program. I was in her group coaching program early on in 2019. And she was amazing. I loved her. She was a great coach. I loved her content.

Speaker 1:

We kicked it off pretty well and so I pitched Tarzan hey, you have an event coming up. I'm sure you already have this tackle, but I help people with events like this all the time. If you'd like to go through your content, talk about your opening, be able to come out on the stage in a more powerful way, I'd be more than happy to do a complimentary session for you and your event co-leader. So we did that session and on that session, they got to experience me in my zone of genius and it was so much I'd knock their socks off so much. Yep, this is what happened. They ended up hired me to help their MC get ready for the event and then, a year later, tarzan hired me again to get ready. No, it was like three months later.

Speaker 1:

Three months later, tarzan hired me again to help her prep for speaking on stage at Amy Porterfield's event. It was like a five to eight minute presentation, but she wanted to shine that relationship. I've gone on to recommend Tarzan because I was a client of hers, refer her program email stars to many people and she has become a huge advocate for me. She was very generous in sharing that. We work together. She shared it with her Instagram audiences, her email list, but that relationship ended up turning into becoming a great referral source and a great authority booster for me very early on in my business.

Speaker 1:

That would be an example of that. Another example of that is being in different programs. So, for example, I was in some very commonly known programs like Digital Course, academy or Business by Design. There were quite a few others. I paid attention to who some of the influencers were in those groups and reached out to them and chatted with them right. We became accountability buddies or started some small pods together as we were building our businesses.

Speaker 1:

Now, at the time, I wasn't like whoa, how can I get in with these people? But it was more of I see these as successful go-getters. I want to be around successful go-getters. I want to be peers with these people. So that's where a lot of these relationships came from. It's not that I was fawning after some of the bigger names. It wasn't that I was like, oh, if I could get them to endorse me. It was no, they're at the level of business that I want to be at, so I'm going to just act like a peer.

Speaker 1:

Now, you see, there's interesting thing that happens and I talked about this in last week's episode where you get started in the online space and you feel like a funny daddy newbie even though you have decades of experience in what you do. You see, one of the things that I did pretty quickly is I was like nope, I'm not assuming this newbie role. I have a shit ton experience as an executive. I belong here. This is just a new platform. So I leverage that confidence to be able to build relationships of peers with people who were ahead of me technically, financially, in business, and I really think that you can do the same, because I know you have experience in whatever background you have. It might just not be in digital marketing, but you need to own that role of your experience and start thinking about what's the peer group that you want to have.

Speaker 1:

So, building relationships and programs that you're in, find those people that you can rely upon and specifically find people that have aligned audiences to you and start building those relationships as peers. And what you'll find is, as you build as peers right, people get curious around what you do. They want to know more about it. They ask you to come beyond their podcast or guest speak to their group and then they see you in action. This is what's happened to me a ton. Just seeing me in action teach a guest masterclass or teach a guest training or wow them in a podcast interview demonstrates my competency so well to those peers that they then obsess and refer it.

Speaker 1:

So here's the thing. Remember when I said they might not have been clients of mine or experienced my work directly, but they experienced my work through me teaching my work. Does that make sense? So this is why I'm a huge proponent of guest or huge advocate of guest speaking. It's not only the relationships and access you get to an audience right to be able to empower and support them, but it's also the relationships that you build with the host of the show when they see you in action and you make them come across as a superstar to their community because they brought you in, make them look good. This is the relationship network that I highly recommend that you start focusing on. It's the how do you start building relationships with peers around? How can you support one another? How can you advance each other's missions? What can you do to continue to grow together? That's the peer group.

Speaker 1:

Now I'm going to mention one more networking group that may or may not revel some feathers. There's outer circles, right, this bullseye image we have going on here, but I'm going to tell you this it's going to be pretty harsh. You're going to have some network relationships that I'm going to name one night stand relationships, and what I mean by that is you're going to have opportunities to collaborate or be a guest on, or you know whether it's a podcast interview or a guest speaking opportunity but you'll have these relationships where you're like this person's never going to be in the center of the bullseye because I just don't fully jive with them. But you respect them, right. You respect their values, you respect their business practices, but there's just something that you're just like I just don't know. It is 1000% okay to leverage a one night stand for opportunities in your business. Now be mindful of that, going in eyes wide open. Right that you're using this as a business opportunity. So do not try to BS it and make it like a friendship thing if it's not turning out that way. But it's fully fine for not every single speaking opportunity that you do or connection call that you have. Don't force it if you're not feeling it.

Speaker 1:

I think that's one of the mistakes I see so many business owners make is they say yes to all these coffee connection calls. Side note, I do not do coffee connection calls because it's just not in my personality. I'm not a small chat, I'm not a small talker. I would much rather Instagram DM back and forth with you. But the moment that I sniff, somebody DM me so they can pitch me. Not so much, right? I have to feel that you are here to serve my audience first and foremost, over your own launch dates, right? I just I just don't love that. So what was the same anyways? So if you're, if you're, doing a coffee connection call which there's nothing wrong with that it's just not how my personality is wired.

Speaker 1:

I do not like connection calls. It is not. It's draining for me, not light up for me. I see a lot of other creators, very successful, who've done a ton of those like let's meet for chat on Zoom, I want to get to know you, you get to go me, let's talk about our businesses. I did some of that early on. Just know we all are different in our makeup, in the way that we build relationships and the way that we thrive. If you love those, there's nothing wrong with those. Leverage those. It's a powerful way to build connections. And if you're like, shoot me in the eyeball with a fork on fire, I do not want to do the Zoom connection calls. You do not have to. However, if you want to build relationships, you have to have another strategy. So let me tell you mine.

Speaker 1:

For me, my version of coffee connection calls is I love attending live events. I make that a priority because I am much better in person. I can turn on my charm, I can be bubbly, I can be curious. All those things are authentic. I am so good with people and when I'm at home I love to be alone, just like. Let me turn on, like, put on my sweatpants and turn on Grey's Anatomy and give me my little snugal pregnancy pillow. Right now is my life. I have my little spot. I want to be in, I just don't want to be, I just don't want to be on. So, no, you got to know thyself and be able to network in a way that works for you. So in person events for me that has been a powerful way that I have grown my network. Because what I do, knowing my hermit self, I know what I would want to do is order Grubhub and eat my hotel room in bed in my pajamas, with no pants on under the covers, right after session.

Speaker 1:

But what I did early on is I forced myself to plan dinners. So at events, I'll like look around whatever table and I will get down on my phone and I will make a reservation on open table for like a table of eight or 10. And then I'll ask the person next to me hey, you have dinner plans and usually they're just awkward as me and they're like no, I don't know anyone here and I'm like cool me neither, want to put together a group, and so I just start collecting people who seem kind of cool and put together a mish-mash group and say, great, we now have a dinner crew. And am I going to connect with everyone in that group? Probably not, but there's going to be a few people that I'm like yeah, I have built some of the most incredible connections over the last five years at dinners like that or sitting down.

Speaker 1:

Another one of my favorite strategies is lunchtime or breakfast. I so I get social anxiety. I've talked about this on the show before. It surprises a lot of people. I get social anxiety. Number one I just don't like small talk. Number two I have a hearing loss so communication is hard for me. And number three, I'm just awkward. It's just what it is.

Speaker 1:

So when I like look around a room and there's all these tables and everyone's already in conversations, I'm like, well, I feel like a fucking idiot here. Like, where do I sit? If I sit by myself, people are going to be like, oh, she didn't like people because I have a narrow face. So my face, my mouth, is specifically like permanently positioned and resting not so nice person face. So it's just assuming that I think that I'm better than everyone. But it's just my face. So there's a lot of head junk and I would imagine that's true for you. Walking into an event, it's like where do I sit? What are people going to think about me? Like? Anyways, my strategy is I just say F it and I either sit down at a table by myself but kind of put a pleasant, warm smile on my face as I see people walk by and invite them to sit, or I look around and I look for the other loner. I look for the other person sitting by themselves and sit right next to them and slap a smile on my face. I feel super awkward but I'm like hi, can I sit with you? And then we just kind of chat and then slowly other people I would say other loners like us sit down with us and we have a very dynamic conversation at lunch.

Speaker 1:

I have made the basket actions through those awkward starts. The thing is is it requires you to get over yourself and your own awkwardness to kick that off, because I would argue that there's not a lot of people, especially as introverts, to have the courage to start those conversations. So our default is just to sit in the background or be quiet. And if you want to build a powerful network and I would really argue if you're an introvert, you have the potential to grow some incredible relationships Is because of your introverted nature, is because of your maybe more reserved nature is, I would imagine, you thrive on one on one. You thrive at conversations because you're curious about people Lean into that.

Speaker 1:

The point of all of this here is you need to find the types of opportunities that are going to work in your favor for you to build connections. If you're feeling lonely online and you're like I don't even know where to start, well, number one, make sure you're in groups that are going to empower you and put you in the peer group that you want to be in. This is why I invested in Mastermind early, masterminds early. It's why invested in more higher level programs early. It doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money, but I want you to think about the caliber of the communities that you're joining. This is one of the reasons why I am such a big frickin fan of the community that I've built inside the speaker society. It's my membership on the back end. When you come through my speaking program, the signature talk accelerator. You then get an invite to join us inside the speaker society and that group. Oh my gosh, the caliber of business owners in that group is just world class. I mean, these business owners are incredible and they feel that from each other Every single month. They're celebrating, they're pushing each other up. We're working on getting better at their messaging, their marketing, their monetization. I mean it's fire, right, but that was really intentional of building a community that was going to elevate the mindset and the connections of the people in the room.

Speaker 1:

You need to find that for you. You need to find what that looks like. Who do you surround yourself with? That's the big question around the power relationships, or who are you hanging around with? What's that? I think it's a Stephen Covey quote. Forgive me if it's not, but it's essentially your, um. Your the sum of the five people you spend your time with.

Speaker 1:

I'm getting quotes terrible today. Let's blame it on the pregnancy brain, but the idea is, who are you spending your time with? Are you spending your time with people who are future focused, positive, focused, solutions focused, leading the life that you would like to live? Or are you surrounding yourself with people who are bitching about what's not working online, griping about how annoying the Instagram algorithm is, griping about how right now, it's so hard because the the finances in the world like. Nobody has money, nobody has time, and are you surrounding yourself with people who validate that victim mindset? Sorry for the directness on that, but also not sorry, because if you're not getting the results you want, look around at the people that you're hanging out with. Are they getting the results that you desire?

Speaker 1:

And if you're hanging around a bunch of people who have businesses that you don't want because they're struggling, my friend, you need to get your butt into different rooms. You need to elevate your relationships, and that starts with you being the kind of person that people you desire to have, a relationship that they want to hang out with. Nobody's going to reach their hand out and pull you up. You have to pick up your own panties and figure out how am I going to show up as the person where I'm going to inspire other people and they're going to want to be around me. That means that you have to be a positive person. You have to focus on how to hear others and add value of them. You have to be of service to other people, and I know all those things are things that you have the capacity for and things that you do often, but I'm going to argue that you might have lost your way a bit if you're finding yourself surrounded with people who are griping and complaining and struggling in business. Let this be your wake up call for you to say I need to surround myself with people who are going to help me show up at my best, because unless I'm willing to show up at my best, I can't expect my audience to give me their time, attention, respect and their money. You hear me when I say that, oh, that was a fire a little line up there, but that's the reality. That power relationships. Instead of looking at the power relationships being what am I going to get out of it? It's how am I going to elevate alongside the people I surround myself with? That is the power of relationships.

Speaker 1:

I really want you to take an audit around. Who are the relationships with you have in your life? Who are you surrounding yourself with? Who is the network that you can tap into that? If you do have a smoke and blog post that you want to share out, do you have people that you can say, hey, I have this thing. Would you be willing to share it? Does that feel awkward and uncomfortable? Does that feel like you're shoving your stuff on them and they're doing you a favor? Is there balance in that relationship where you've earned the right to ask that ask, or do you have some social currency that you need to put in in order to get to that place?

Speaker 1:

Now let me give you two things here. I'm going to give you two lists, two little tangible things that are going to help you with this. Number one I want you thinking about the power and the ROI of relationships. So here's a couple of different ways that you can collaborate and make money with other people online when you have these quality relationships. Number one you can collaborate on content, whether that is a joint post on Instagram, whether that is doing like a blog, a collaboration or like podcast interviews Right. There's different ways that you can think about collaborating on content bringing your brains together to create something great that you can promote to both of your audiences. You can also I know I pooped on it, but doing interview swaps, guest speaking swaps, podcast swaps. Those are totally good.

Speaker 1:

However, you just want to make sure that you are in alignment with the other person and that you validate it, that the content you stand behind. I'm saying that carefully because I don't. I'm actually no, I don't care about ruffling feathers. We all know that there are fluffy educators online. You want to make sure that, in your effort to get your message in front of more people, you are not sacrificing your audience to a fluffy content creator. So just trust your gut on that.

Speaker 1:

It does not mean let me clear this out it does not mean that you need to be like show me all of your stuff, I want to research. You, give me access to your program. Like you're not going to be like a basset hound and like smoke through all of their stuff. Right, but it's that you can tell by someone. You can tell by the quality of their content. You can go on their blog, you can look their market. You get a sense of it pretty quickly. So trust your judgment on that. But don't just blindly say yes in a Facebook group when somebody posts I'm looking for podcast swaps. Do not rush to put your name on there without doing a little due diligence, my friend. You have to put a higher value on being that curator of content for your audience and sharing with them the things that you really stand behind, okay. So interview swaps, podcast swaps those are great in terms of money making opportunities. Hosting a joint venture webinar or joint venture promotion that's just a fancy way to say you running a promotion in their audience and giving them an affiliate cut Right. So it'd be like a private affiliate relationship, right, where you go host a live thing for them, could even be.

Speaker 1:

This is something that I'm exploring. I'm opening up an education shop in the fall. Oh surprise, I haven't talked about the podcast yet, but we are opening up. I want to have some more affordable, smaller, bite-sized workshops available for y'all, and also it goes in alignment with me taking some time off on having baby. I'm not going to do as much stuff live, so I want to have some workshops around selling, storytelling, pitching. So those more smaller, bite-sized things I want to have in my shop.

Speaker 1:

But there are also things I know my audience really would benefit from that I don't teach, so I have a very intentional network of other educators, of people that I stand behind. So, for example, my friend Crystal I brought up earlier. She is the go-to person to learn podcasting from. She's got an incredible podcasting course. So when I talk about creating your own stage, and could that stage be a podcast? I want to have a resource for that. So Crystal's podcasting course. I'm going to have a special kind of promotion, just for my audience, on my shop so you can go through me to buy her a podcasting course and get a little extra bonus from me. That'll be an example on there.

Speaker 1:

I'm also going to be shouting out my friend, liz Wilcox. She's a former client. She teaches people how to be consistent with email newsletters, how to build a relationship, so not be so obsessive over writing really, really long emails, just building true connections one at a time. She's got an incredible $9 email membership that I actively promote, but I'm going to be now actually putting it on my website front and center as one of my recommended resources. These are examples of that. I'm going to have a lot more. I'll be talking about this more in the future, but that could be a kind of collaboration that you can do, as if you have your go-to service providers or your go-to educational resources. You can have those on your website and you could be making money as an affiliate referring to them. So those are ways that you can have intentional relationships and the cool part is when you have a relationship with that person. They might even create some custom stuff with you, specifically for your audience. So those are some examples there.

Speaker 1:

What I want to end with today is I want to give you a really easy way for you to ask your existing network for support, and this came from two things. Remember how I started the conversation today around how it can feel super weird or awkward or a little MLM negativity around asking people hey, I knew you once, I want to sell Tupperware. It just feels awkward, it feels like we're asking them to do us a huge favor, and the reason why it feels yucky is it's not balanced, it's not equitable on both sides. That's why it feels a yuck. So one of the questions I get a lot on my coaching calls is around how do I cold pitch? How do I get in front of more people? How do I blah, blah, blah? And I always say I don't know that you have to cold pitch right now. Why don't we start with the connections you already have, because I would bet that you could book a stage. Now. What I mean by a stage I mean book a podcast, interview, book a guest speaking opportunity, maybe even be able to get a speaking gig at an organization.

Speaker 1:

So the reason why people struggle asking their existing network is the ask is awkward. And here's the thing it's because, remember how I said, I feel awkward when someone comes to me and pitching something, when it's something that I have used the example, kind of mocked it of something like 10 years ago. Who might pitch me on LinkedIn around like, hey, so good for you. I see businesses going away. Hey, by the way, I see that you're connected with blah, blah, blah person. Could you introduce me? That feels weird. It feels like now I'm the asshole. If I'm like I don't even know you or hell, I don't even know that person, you're asking me to connect them through. We're just connected on LinkedIn. Right, you just put me in an awkward position to either say yes and give you what you want, or say no and then be perceived as kind of an asshole and that doesn't feel good and I would imagine that's probably what's going through your head when you're thinking about your relationships of like, I don't want to. I want to be awkward. One, we don't want to be rejected, but two, we don't want people to perceive us as being like give me, give me. So here's. Here's my strategy.

Speaker 1:

I have been using this for years. It's what I teach all of my clients. I think I've mentioned it on the podcast before, but I want to give you this. It's super fricking simple, but remember my favorite quote I will never mess this one up and I always know who to source is from Will Rogers. The quote goes like this just because it's common sense doesn't mean it's common practice. So if you've heard this before, it seems overly simple, shaky by the shoulders and say, but have you tried it? Because it's so fricking easy and it works.

Speaker 1:

I call it my adjacent ask. We want to remove from the awkward ask to the adjacent ask. So what I mean by that is, if you have some, let's say, your LinkedIn network or someone that you you know, but maybe you don't really have that established rapport where you feel comfortable saying like, hey, can I come speak on your podcast, what you do is, instead of saying hey, can I come speak on your podcast and put them in a position to say yes or no, what we do instead is you say, hey, you do some kind of greeting, right, you? I would never recommend that you just go cold turkey with this if you haven't talked to someone a while. So make sure that you lubricate the relationship a little bit by engaging in their content or talking to them, maybe over messengers, a couple times before you make this ask. Ok, but here we go.

Speaker 1:

On the adjacent ask, you're essentially going to go something along the lines of you have this conversation around like hey, how's it going, what's up to, blah, blah, blah. Then you're gonna say something along the lines of hey, I am working on a new talk or I've been giving this new training on deliver the title or like the topic of the training and it's geared towards talk about who it's for, so that they can. What's the benefit of them doing this training and bonus points. If you could say something like hey, I've been giving this training to, for example, a lot of leaders lately who are really feeling challenged about the getting acclimated back into this hybrid environment of virtual versus in-person, totally making that up here, right. So you essentially describe the benefit of this training you've put together and then you say do you know anyone who might? Do you know of any organizations or any groups or any podcasters who might benefit from having a conversation around this on their podcast or having this training inside their organization.

Speaker 1:

Instead of asking the person in front of you, you're gonna go adjacent, meaning you're asking do they know anyone? You're like, do you know anyone? I'm looking for someone next to you. What this does is it gives them a graceful out without it being awkward. So they're either going to say, oh wow, great for you, susie, that's so awesome, you're like building this whole thing. That sounds really valuable. I can't think of anyone at the moment, but I'll keep you in mind if something comes up. Graceful out they just rejected you, they just said no, but you allowed them to do it gracefully and you feel better about it because they didn't be like, no, that sucks, I don't want it right.

Speaker 1:

So, one, that could be an option. But option two could be them going. Oh my gosh, how random. I was actually just talking to someone the other day that they're really struggling with the dynamic between virtual and in-person. I should connect the two of you because you could talk. I don't know if it'll be like the perfect fit, but at least let's get the conversation started. So option two they have someone in mind. Or option three they go.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, I've been looking for guests on my podcast. I would love to have this conversation. Would you like to be a guest on my show? So what I would say? You went from a yes or no to a yes, yes, yes option, and that is yes. I'm so excited for you. This is awesome. I don't know anyone else right now, but I'll keep you in mind. They said yes and now you're on their mind right Now, whether or not that ever comes to anything. You've done it gracefully, and now they can think of you when they think of the topic.

Speaker 1:

Option two is the yes. They thought of someone else. Option three is the yes. They thought of themselves and have offered it up. That is the adjacent ask. I want you to practice it. I want you to think about who in your network right now. Could you just reach out and do the adjacent ask? Maybe it's someone that you've just been afraid of asking is. You don't want to put that strain on the relationship? Don't put the strain on there, but throw the opportunity out as an adjacent ask and hold a crap. Let's see what comes from it.

Speaker 1:

I am a huge advocate of the power relationships. In fact, over the last two weeks I celebrated that randomly. I've gotten three or four shout outs from people in my network that I did not expect them to tag me and it's really grown. My email list From Tarzan Kay. Shout out to me on an email. If you're Rajan, shout out to me out in her email around coaching her through her on stage experience for the last month through Ellen Yin, a former guest on the podcast.

Speaker 1:

She used one of the specific questions that I asked her on the fire round on Hint of Hustle back in January. She used that as the sole inspiration for a podcast episode she just did around an event she was at. I thought that was pretty cool. She gave me a shout out on the podcast. I had no idea she was doing it. I had no idea she was coming. She just texted me and said hey, fyi, you got a shout out today, which is pretty cool.

Speaker 1:

So the last thing I want to send you with is sometimes these relationships are going to have an immediate payoff. You do that a Jason ask and right away you book something. But other times these relationships are going to pay off over time. And remember, when I say payoff, I'm not just talking about leads and sales and what's in it for me, but these are people that know you and you get to know them. You're expanding your network so that this whole online thing, this whole business building journey, this whole thing is an entrepreneur. You're not alone. You can build your team as far and wide as you want, but in the day, you're the boss and when you're sitting at the top, it is lonely because you cannot treat your team like you do your peers. So I highly encourage you to build your peer network. One, it's gonna be better for your sanity. Two, it's gonna be better for your optimism and surrounding yourself with people who are going where you want to. Three, it's going to open the doors for opportunities that you don't even see, that you have access to right now.

Speaker 1:

I hope this episode got you fired up in the best way, and I can't wait to hear how you use it. So, as always, please shoot me an email or send me a DM on Instagram to tell me how this landed today and, better yet, if you tried any of the strategies or ideas that I shared. Let me know how they go and I will see you on next week's episode. All the way on, all the way on. Well, thanks for listening to another episode of the Hint of Hustle podcast. That flew right by, didn't it Gosh? I hope I didn't say anything super embarrassing today, but if I did, it's pretty much on brand.

Speaker 1:

If you loved today's episode, be sure to scroll on down wherever you're listening from, and if you haven't yet left a review, it would mean the world. Hit those five stars. Tell other people who are prospecting podcasts how awesome this show is. Give us a little love, we would appreciate that. And hey, if you're hungry for more of what we do here on this show, you can peruse all of the past episodes, grab the show notes and find out the latest free resources to help you get seen, heard and paid for sharing your expertise. Head on over to heathersegarcom. You can also grab the link wherever you're listening to this episode, and we'll see you in the next one.

Power of Relationships and Building Network
Challenges and Frustrations in Networking
Building Strong Business Relationships and Networks
Building Relationships for Business Success
Building Powerful Relationships and Networking
Ask Existing Network for Support Easily
The Power of the Adjacent Ask
Promoting and Encouraging Review and Engagement