Do You Experience LinkedIn Overwhelm When Using LinkedIn?

If you’ve ever opened LinkedIn with a feeling of dread at all the notifications you’ve received, all the posts you’ve been tagged in and all the connection requests from people you’ve never heard of, then you’re probably experiencing LinkedIn Overwhelm.

Head in hands from overwhelm
Do you feel like this from Linked In

Experience LinkedIn Overwhelm

LinkedIn Overwhelm is a very real problem. There’s a huge pressure to expand your network of connections. The theory is that if you have a large network, you’ll gain more customers, or if you have a large network, you’ll get more reactions, comments and shares. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Yes, having a large network is beneficial, but only if they are your target audience.

I talk about finding and understanding your target audience in my Focus Guru LinkedIn Power Hour. It’s important to know who you’re putting your message in front of. Otherwise you might end up posting about the amazing washing machines you sell to people who’ve already bought them or talking about red cars to an audience who want blue cars.

This is where having the right audience is important. You need to find the people who are actively looking for what you do as they will be the captive audience for the stories you want to share. These are the people who are most likely to interact with your posts and read your articles. Getting this right can relieve you of some of the symptoms of LinkedIn Overwhelm.

How do you manage Linked In Overwhelm?

The question is, how do you make it manageable and avoid overwhelm on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn Overwhelm is a big problem for many people. I explain more about this in my Focus Guru LinkedIn Power Hour, where I help business owners and employees build a structure for managing LinkedIn to make the most of this social media platform. This is important because LinkedIn is still the primary social media platform for business use and plenty of business gets done through posts, articles, messages and phone calls.

It’s easy to experience overwhelm on LinkedIn, but also easy to find a solution. LinkedIn one of the world’s largest social media platforms used daily by millions of people across the world. Even within a small network of connections you may find there are dozens of posts every hour. Every post takes a little brain power, either reading through the post or checking whether the post needs to be read or scrolled past. Every small decision to read or scroll past uses our energy.

What fears does this create?

We have a fear of missing out. We fear other people are using LinkedIn better than we are. We want to be seen and can fear we haven’t been listened to. There’s also a fear that if we’re not ever-present on LinkedIn that we will fade into oblivion.

These are the fears which lead to overwhelm.

You may have already experienced these fears.

Maybe you know someone who has LinkedIn Overwhelm?

Whether you are new to LinkedIn or a regular user who wants to learn more about LinkedIn please consider booking a Focus Guru 121 Power Hour where I can share my LinkedIn tips and strategies for managing your time effectively on the LinkedIn social media platform.

To book your Focus Guru LinkedIn Power Hour, please book a free 30 minute call and let’s get started.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way, www.getfocus.guru

Do You Follow Up 121 Or One To Many?

I’ve talked lots about the benefits of following up after networking meetings and I’d like to share two different strategies to help you make the most of your follow-ups without experiencing overwhelm or getting distracted by…Squirrels!

Ban the Squirrels, take back control
Ban the Squirrels, take back control

When I attend a new networking meeting, I know I’ll meet around twenty people each time. Over the course of a week I might meet over a hundred new people plus catching up with people I’ve already met. Without a proper follow-up strategy in place it could be very time consuming and difficult to keep track of who asks for more information and who wants to order from me.

If someone doesn’t want my services or need them right now, I can also keep track of potential opportunities where I can recommend that person to speak with other people that I’ve met networking. An example of this would be recommending a mortgage advisor or removal company to someone looking to move home or office, or a mechanic to someone who needs help with their car.

Having lots of networking contacts helps you become a problem solver, simply by connecting people together who might not have met each other. To make the most of your contacts, it’s important to follow up with them regularly, adding value with each conversation.

I attended Rachael’s Follow Up training session and afterwards I felt motivated and immediately implemented some of the things we discussed. I will be back to carry on and will book a further Follow Up session!” – Liz Johnson, Pet Health and Welfare Specialist

There are two main strategies for following up and these are 121 Follow Ups and One To Many Follow Ups. They each have value and can be used successfully depending on how much time you can invest in your follow-ups and how you prefer to carry out your follow-ups.

121 Follow Ups

As the name implies, you’re following up one to one, you and the other person. This is a great way to continue a 121 meeting and find out more about the other person. It offers you the chance to get to know someone better and consequently find out if they want or need what you do, or whether they can be someone you can recommend or refer to another of your networking contacts in the future.

In my Focus Guru Networking Follow Up Power Hour I talk more about the power of 121 Follow Ups and how you can implement technology solutions to make your follow up process simple and stress-free.

One To Many Follow Ups

A “One To Many” follow up typically involves a generic message talking about what you do and how people can find out more. You can also include a call to action and a special offer or a time-limited offer, as well as your website and social media links.

One of the most successful ways to do this is to address a problem your contacts might be having and show them how your product or service can remove the problem and/or the cause of the problem. You can write this in the content of your message and track which of your contacts opens the message and what they do next. With many mailing list solutions you’ll also have access to see whether they click on the links inside your message as well.

I cover making the most of your message tracking information in my Focus Guru Power Hour and highlight exactly how important it is to know your numbers when carrying out a methodical follow-up process to maximise your time, energy and resources when following up.

Rachael led the session well and is a patient teacher. I recommend giving one of these informative sessions a go.” – Liz Johnson, Pet Health and Welfare Specialist

To book your Focus Guru Power Hour, please find the next one that suits you here and book your place today.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru

Do You Know Your Numbers?

Do You Know Your Numbers?

How much did you make last month? No, I’m not asking you to tell me how much, I’m just curious to ask if you know your numbers and if you know why knowing your numbers is really important. At Focus Guru I help small business owners learn the best way to keep track of the important numbers within all areas of their businesses.

Do You Know Your Numbers?
Do You Know Your Numbers?

Perhaps the most obvious place to start is in your accounting software, Excel spreadsheet, or pen and paper notebook, to see your incoming sales and outgoing expenses. I work with clients to help them identify their absolute minimum income to survive. Then I ask them how much their dream income would be and what they would do with it.

  • Absolute Minimum Income
  • Dream Income

These figures are usually easy to identify but it’s surprising how often they can be overlooked. I recommend checking your outgoings as much as your income as often there are savings to be found. For example, a Focus Guru client changed their utility supplier and saved hundreds of pounds over the year. This wasn’t a sale. It wasn’t generating money. It was being savvy and cutting back on unnecessary overheads by breaking away from an uncompetitive supplier.

  • Check Your Outgoings
  • Find Hidden Savings

Compare and contrast your numbers

I also recommend comparing and contrasting your numbers. I cover this in more detail in my Focus Guru Power Hour, however the principle behind this is to work out your numbers for each month and compare this month with last month and with this time last year. Don’t put your head in the sand! If you spot a problem, that’s a good thing. Problems can be fixed but if you don’t know what’s going on, that’s when small problems can become big problems.

  • Know Your Accounts Numbers
  • Also Know Your Business Numbers

In the Focus Guru Power Hour I talk about knowing your business numbers. These can be anything from how many customers you target, how many 121 follow-ups you do, how successful each meeting is for your business, and much more.

Networking numbers are key to return on investment.

Do you know your conversion ratio from your networking 121s? Do you know how many phone calls you need to make to generate a sale, or to recover a debt? Do you know how many people visited your website last month? Do you use Google Analytics in your business?

These are just some ways you can use the numbers in your business to identify strategic solutions to generate more sales, or even to streamline existing processes. If it can be measured it can be monitored, and if it can be monitored then it can be adjusted as and when needed.

Knowing your numbers isn’t scary! It’s one of the best business tools you can invest your time in learning. In my Focus Guru Power Hour I give you tuition and training and uncover the most important numbers within your business. Your numbers might be accounts or sales related, or they might be based around how many social media posts you create, or how many hours you work in the week.

Every business is different and that’s why knowing the numbers which relate to you and your business is so important. I’ll help you become more confident in knowing your numbers in the sixty minute Focus Guru “Know Your Numbers” Power Hour.

To book your Focus Guru Power Hour, please find the next dates here  and let’s get started.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru

The Power of LinkedIn For Your Business

The Power of LinkedIn For Your Business

Are you making the best use of LinkedIn for your business? It’s a social media platform that, when used to it’s potential, can really accelerate the way you keep in touch with your ideal customers. From a personal viewpoint, since implementing some simple changes to my LinkedIn profile, I’ve noticed a huge improvement in engagement from my target audience.

Connections are the most important thing in business
Connections are the most important thing in business

I’d like to share some tips and help you to do the same. I cover these tips and more in my Focus Guru LinkedIn Power Hour which is available to business owners and employees in companies of all sizes and turnovers.

First, I’d like to ask why you’re choosing LinkedIn above the other social media platforms. Is it because LinkedIn has more of a “business feel” than the other platforms? Is it because you feel you need to be on there? Either way, LinkedIn is widely recognised as “the place to be” for business connections, industry news and work opportunities.

Make The Most Of Your Connections

In my Focus Guru LinkedIn Power Hour I’ll share with you how to make the most of your existing connections and how to find new people to connect with. I’ll also share the best ways to interact with your connections to make sure they know you exist and you’re “top of mind” when it comes to thinking about your products and services.

Some of your connections will be your silent audience, the people who are watching from a distance. You may never know which of your posts attracts their interest and it could be several months or even years before they need you.

An example of this is an email I received from a 3rd level LinkedIn connection. A 3rd level connection is someone who’s heard about me via two other people. They are two people away from knowing me directly. Yet, this person wanted my help with a time management issue. They got in touch and I was able to solve a problem for them. This is the power of LinkedIn!

Add Value Every Time

One of the most important tips I’d like to share is to make sure each time you post on LinkedIn you’re adding value to your audience. It could be a “Top Tips” article like the ones here on Focus Guru. It could be a “shout out” for someone who’s helped you. Or it could be letting people know about a new product or service, but not necessarily a “buy my stuff” post, which many people find off putting.

In my Focus Guru LinkedIn Power Hour I teach you not only how to add value to your posts, but also how you can add value to your connections’ posts too. It all helps to build that “Meet, Like, Know, Trust” which in turn leads to recommendations, referrals and sales.

I always say if you get one gem from any training then it is worth the time and the money spent. If you attend one of Rachael’s Power Hours, I am sure you will feel the same as me – time and money – VERY well spent.” – Martin Duddridge, Autolease Ltd.

To book your Focus Guru Power Hour, please check out the group sessions page.

Are You A Confident Networker?

Would you describe yourself as a “confident networker”? Are you someone who looks forward to going to networking meetings, or do they fill you with dread? Just like Sales or Marketing, Networking is a skill you can learn, refine and upgrade throughout your career. At Focus Guru, I work with business owners and employees, teaching key networking skills that make a real difference.

Be a confident networker online or off line
Be a confident networker online or off line

Most people have been to a face-to-face networking meeting at some point. Whether it was through choice or recommended by the boss, you might have found yourself attending a sitting down breakfast meeting or a “mix and mingle” walk around the room meeting. While sitting and standing networking have pros and cons the key networking skills remain the same.

In my Focus Guru Power Hours I cover the key networking skills in more detail, however these are my Top 5 Tips for building confidence when attending online or offline networking meetings.

5 tips to being a confident networker

Tip 1 – Know Your Product Inside Out

It might seem obvious but having detailed knowledge of your product or service is essential to ward off difficult questions or embarrassing pauses. If you are asked something unusual, a tip is to thank the person for their question, say you’ll need to research the answer, make a note so you remember after the meeting, and send them the answer at the next available opportunity. It can also help to have a handful of “set phrases” you can reel off to answer common questions.

Tip 2 – Stand Tall And Project Your Voice

If you’re sitting down, stand up when it’s time to deliver your 40 seconds introduction, and speak a little slower and a little louder. This makes sure you have everyone’s attention. It also helps those who are hard of hearing or lip reading. If there are other conversations going on, it ensures your message gets through. In online meetings, it pays to do a sound check on your microphone before the meeting starts and always remember to unmute yourself before you speak.

Tip 3 – Smile And Be The Positive Person

A genuine smile goes a long way in networking circles. Being known as a positive person goes even further. Life is tough and running a business can be even tougher, but if you can share a good news story, find something cheerful to say, make a compliment, or even deliver a “good morning” with a smile, you’ll find people are drawn to you. This forms the “Meet” and “Like” in the 4Networking mantra “Meet, Like, Know, Trust”, the foundation of friendships and business relationships.

Tip 4 – Involve Others, Even Your Competition

A confident networker isn’t scared of the competition. Even if you’re a travel agent and there are three other travel agents in the room, it’s not a problem. The confident networker sees the competition as an opportunity for collaboration, outsourcing surplus work and taking on new clients. You might want to mention another networker in your introduction, someone you’ve helped or who’s helped you. It shows you are a well-connected person, a “go-to” person, which again draws people towards you.

Tip 5 – Look For Your Target Customers

While you’re waiting to talk about your business, listen carefully to how the other networkers introduce themselves. Is there an opportunity lurking in their 40 seconds? I recommend making plenty of notes about who you’d like to speak with, either in the meeting or afterwards. If you sell books to children, who are the parents in the room? If you deep clean houses, who are the estate agents or landlords in the room? If you’re an accountant, how many people will need to submit tax returns this month? From working with clients in different industries over the years, I know this tip alone has brought in many new opportunities for them.

Bonus Tip – Follow Up

I cannot recommend following up enough. It’s the key to forging friendships and the foundation of business relationships. A simple email after the meeting, a text message or a phone call, is all it takes. If you would like help organising a structure to your follow-ups, installing a CRM system, or simply having an Accountability Partner to make sure you do your follow-ups, please contact me and I’d be happy to help.

I offer a free 15-minute chat to talk about what you want to achieve from networking with the opportunity to follow this up with a Focus Guru Power Hour tailored to your needs.

Book your Focus Guru Power Hour now and let’s get started.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way with no Squirrels

Top 5 Tips for Successful Networking

Would you like more leads? More enquiries? More sales? To find your next customer you might consider attending a business networking event (nothing to do with computer cabling), where business owners and decision makers get together to talk about products and services. Maybe we’ve already met at a 4Networking face-to-face or online meeting.

Also ask yourself, do people actually know what I do?

When running a business, it’s essential to be able to explain what you do as easily and quickly as possible. Being able to describe your business in 40 seconds in an interesting and engaging way is important, especially when meeting new people at 4Networking meetings.

When you’re in a room with 10, 20, 30, 40 or more people from local, national and International businesses, it can be difficult to stand out. It can be harder to stand out if you are in the same industry as someone else in the room. It’s not uncommon for two web designers to attend the same event, or two electricians, or two accountants.

My top 5 tips are:

Successful Networking – Tip 1 – Be You

It sounds simple doesn’t it? Be You. There’s no need to change who you are and those who do soon get found out. This means don’t over-egg or exaggerate but equally don’t undersell yourself or make light of your achievements. Brad Burton, founder of 4Networking, says: “Be you, because you can’t be anyone else.”

Successful Networking – Tip 2 – Everyone is Nervous

Yes, even that person centre stage talking confidently to anyone and everyone. They were nervous once. It takes practice to be confident at anything and networking is no different. Equally, look for those who seem nervous, speak with them, make them feel comfortable. They’ll thank you for it and could even become your next customer. Also make sure people know what you do. If you are unsure how to do this check out the blog I wrote called ” What Do People Think You Do And Are They Right?”

Successful Networking – Tip 3 – Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

I call this “Know What To Expect”. Anything you can find out in advance about the venue, parking, toilets, coffee station, whether you can bring a roller banner, offer samples or advertise an event is always helpful and these details can usually be obtained from the meeting organiser. Some meetings have a structured format, and you may need to prepare a 40 second introduction or elevator pitch. Arriving in plenty of time is a good way to avoid nerves and help you relax and enjoy the meeting. If you struggle with timings, check out this blog I wrote called, “Squirrel! Squirrel! Squirrel! How to Beat Your Distracting Squirrels

Successful Networking – Tip 4 – Relax, Smile, Enjoy the Meeting

It’s often said that “People Buy From People They Like” and one of the best ways to be approachable is to be relaxed, smiling and welcoming. A friendly “hello” can make a big difference to someone who’s nervous or attending the meeting for the first time. When you’re relaxed it shows in your face and your voice. Take your time delivering your 40 seconds introduction, remember to breathe, speak slowly and clearly and take a sip of water before you start.

If you’re struggling pick up the phone to whoever invited you, explain you feel nervous and they should address you’re concerns.  If even picking the phone up is out of your comfort zone, check out my blog “How you can easily overcome a lack confidence when speaking on the phone.”

Successful Networking – Tip 5 – Don’t Ignore the Follow Up Process

Whether you’re networking online or offline a key part of your networking process to gaining new customers is closing the sale. By this, I mean following up with your potential customer and asking for their business. Unless you’ve made a sale in the room, you’re going to need some sort of follow up process otherwise it can quickly get out of hand. If you attend 4N Online meetings you might meet 20 people in a meeting, perhaps 150 people in a week. How are you going to measure the success of the meeting? How will you know who to contact afterwards? Do you have an effective sales process, a CRM system, or is it all in your head and handwritten notes?

If the answer is “no” please contact me for your free 15 minute chat and find out more about which Focus Guru Power Hours would help your business.

Bonus Tip – Focus on One Thing

Try to focus on one piece of information you want people to remember about you and your business when you deliver your 40 second introduction. It can be hard if you have multiple businesses, have a “side hustle” or “wear many hats”. But, trust me, 40 seconds is just the start of your conversations with people in the room and there will be plenty of time later to let everyone know what you do and why they need your products and services.

I expand on these tips and much more in my Focus Guru Power Hours. For a free 15 minute chat about your business and any areas you’d like to discuss, book your call today.

What Do People Think You Do And Are They Right?

When running a business, it’s essential to be able to explain what you do as easily and quickly as possible. Being able to describe your business in 40 seconds in an interesting and engaging way is important, especially when meeting new people at 4Networking meetings.

When you’re in a room with 10, 20, 30, 40 or more people from local, national and International businesses, it can be difficult to stand out. It can be harder to stand out if you are in the same industry as someone else in the room. It’s not uncommon for two web designers to attend the same event, or two electricians, or two accountants.

Preparing to give my 40 seconds
Preparing to give my 40 seconds

Occasionally, you might be in a room with representatives of the same company running your own businesses but selling the same services. You’ve all had access to the same product training and learned the same strategies to discuss and sell the services.

So, how do you tell people what you do?

A good test to start with is to ask a friend or colleague to describe to you what they think you do. This gives a great starting point to find out what people think and then compare it with what you think they think! You might be surprised at what this reveals. It gives you a starting point to review and refine your 40 seconds and your elevator pitch.

The way you say what you do makes a big difference.

It’s your posture, your voice, your expression and your enthusiasm that makes the difference. If you’re promoting the same product as someone else or are competing for the same customers, the difference in the delivery of your 40 seconds can make or break someone’s first impression of you.

Even if you don’t feel confident, stand tall, look people in the eye and smile. Be positive about yourself and your products and services. I attended a 4Networking meeting recently and someone stood up and said, “you’ll probably hate me but…” then at another meeting someone started their 40 seconds with “I’m another one of those annoying…” and it influenced my decision whether I wanted a 121 with them, or not.

If you don’t believe in your products and services, why should anyone else? Why would I want to buy something from you? Our interaction has begun on a negative step when it would have been easier to be positive from the outset.

A little repetition never hurts.

In a busy 4Networking meeting you may find repeating your name, company, product or service during your 40 seconds helps the details stick in people’s minds. Think about the people you remember from 4Networking meetings and the chances are they will have repeated their message several times. They may have a prop, a branded mug, company t-shirt, roller banner or other subtle marketing around them reinforcing their company name and brand.

When networking in a room, there’s a school of thought that you should sit by your banner so people can see you and your banner at the same time, giving double the message. It also comes in handy when photographs are taken as your company name is prominent afterwards, even if someone has forgotten your name.

In 4N Online meetings, having a branded background is another great way to reinforce your company, products, services and special offers. Everyone is encouraged to take screenshots and these pictures with your company branding will be online within minutes of the meeting closing.

If you’re concerned about the impression you’re giving at face to face meetings or in online meetings, then I highly recommend you head over to the Networking retreat App and start engaging with the content Stefan Thomas puts out there, for free!

I offer Focus Guru Power Hours covering general administration, streamlining processes, and uncovering new methods to save time and money within your business. As well as how to stay connected using Mailchimp.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru

Give Yourself the Best Chance for Success with More Energy and More Endurance

Just as you’d check your car has plenty of fuel, oil, and water to keep running at optimum performance, did you know that you can do exactly the same for your body and mind? By looking after your body and mind you’ll automatically have more energy, more strength, and more endurance.

And, it’s easier than you might think.

Fizz helps you focus and energise
Fizz helps you focus and energise

If you’ve seen me at 4N Online meetings, you’ll know I always have a water bottle with me. Taking frequent sips of water throughout the day means I’m rehydrating and replenishing the essential electrolytes and fluids I’ve used in my everyday activities. This is especially important when I’m 4Sighting as even sitting still and talking contributes to dehydration and fatigue.

What you may not know is that I’ve added Arbonne Phytosport Hydration Sticks to the water. The water changes colour with the flavours of orange, pomegranate and pineapple and it tastes great. But the science behind the hydration sticks is impressive and while I’m drinking the water, my body is receiving nourishment and care so I can keep going for longer between breaks.

There are three types of hydration sticks designed to help you at different stages of your day and especially before, during and after physical activity. These are suitable for both men and women aged 18 or over and can be added to water to drink at home, at work or on the move.

Prepare and Endure

These are the hydration sticks to use before or during your exercise regime. Everyone is different so you might use one before walking your dog, or while doing a 10k run.

After Workout

If you have sore muscles and fatigue, these hydration sticks are designed to restore energy and support muscle growth and recovery while helping to reduce downtime between workouts.

Complete Hydration

As the name suggests, these sticks contain Arbonne’s blend of plant powered performance to promote a healthy body and mind. By staying hydrated you’ll feel alert, refreshed, and awake.

Keeping your body and mind working at peak performance makes life easier. You’ll feel more positive, more flexible and this will help you achieve more than when weighed down with muscle soreness and fatigue.

So, just as you would keep your car supplied with fuel, oil, and water, you can do the same for your body and mind. Arbonne Phytosport Hydration Sticks are vegan, gluten free, with no artificial colours, flavours, or sweeteners.

Arbonne sticks also certified by Informed Sport, the certification programme for sports supplements, raw materials and manufacturing facilities, another way Arbonne demonstrates a company-wide policy of creating environmentally sustainable and cruelty-free products.

If you would like to improve your performance, to drive the success of your business or navigate better ways of working on your own or in your team, please message me. I can help advise which hydration solutions will fit in best with your lifestyle and give you that turbo charged energy boost.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru

Top 5 Tips To Achieve More From Your Zoom Meetings

Since the beginning of lockdown many of us are using virtual meetings to keep our businesses running. We’re hosting meetings with clients, suppliers, colleagues, friends, and family. We’re attending conferences and networking online with other business owners and decision makers.

Zoom meetings have opened up a whole new way to connect and interact. We can chat with people in the next room, the next town, across the country and the other side of the world. For some people it’s the new normal. They enjoy the possibilities of networking without geographic boundaries, without hours of travel and without additional expenses such as fuel, restaurant food and hotel accommodation.

Zoom meetings have no geographical barriers
Zoom meetings have no geographical barriers

For other people, it can be a bit daunting. It can be scary to download and learn a new app. It can be unsettling to see colleagues in their homes and out of the office environment. Equally, it can be nerve-wracking to turn on your webcam for the first time. Are you embarrassed about the clutter on your bookcases, or your lockdown hair roots showing? Are you worried about having a sip of coffee, scratching an itch, or looking bored? You may feel like you’re on show but really it’s no different from when you were in face to face boardroom and networking meetings.

I’ve compiled these top 5 tips to help reduce any worries or fears you might have about online networking. I attend dozens of meetings each week and I’ve seen the good, the bad, the funny, the serious and everything in between!

Tip 1 – Check How You Look

It might seem obvious but use Zoom’s preview window to check how you look before you join a meeting. It only takes a second and you can check for spinach between your teeth or if you need to move into or out of the light. For best results, face a window rather than having the light behind you as this can cause your face to be in the shadow. Think of it like checking yourself in the mirror before leaving the house.

Tip 2 – Arrive Early

Many of the 4Networking meetings open 10 minutes early. This is so the host can check everything’s working and so they can greet people as they join the meeting. As an attendee, you can treat this as an extra networking opportunity. You’re getting an extra 10 minutes of free networking time. Lots of people use this time to say hello to people they already know, to give testimonials and recommendations, or simply just to observe and settle into the meeting.

Tip 3 – Use The Group Chat Feature

When arriving in a Zoom meeting remember to introduce yourself. This could be with a smile, a wave or saying hello. It will let the host and other attendees know you’ve arrived and, if appropriate, you can also advertise your business in the group chat with a short description and contact details. At the end of 4Networking Zoom meetings everyone is encouraged to save the chat. This means your contact details will be seen again by the attendees. You could consider putting a free download link or details of a special offer in the chat to encourage follow ups.

Tip 4 – Enjoy The Meeting

Being in a Zoom meeting is a great way to connect with people from all around the world. There are brand new 4Networking meetings connecting people from the UK with business owners in America and Australia, and many new groups emerging in the near future. Remember, while the meeting is taking place if you need to make a call, get a drink or take a toilet break, you can always switch your webcam off temporarily while you leave the room. If you’ve set a custom background this can continue to advertise your business until you return.

Tip 5 – Always Follow Up

Just as I advised to write your own details in the Group Chat feature, I strongly encourage you to read through the chat and connect with people after the meeting has finished. This works equally well after virtual meetings as it does after face to face meetings. It can be as simple as “great to meet you today” to “would you like to meet for coffee”.

Bonus Tip – Every big opportunity starts with a little conversation.

You never know who knows who or who will recommend you further down the line. Ask questions in your 121s. Be interested in the other attendees. Remember the golden rule, “Meet, Like, Know, Trust” and enjoy your Zoom meetings.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru | 07756 772950

How networking with your dog can help you make new friends and business connections

If you told me I’d be attending networking meetings with Missy, my faithful furry canine friend, this year I don’t know if I’d have believed you. It was the introduction of the lockdown restrictions which forced the change from face to face business networking to the new virtual meetings taking place every day of the week. Now that networking takes place from my home-office, Missy can come to virtual meetings with me.

Missy lives in the moment, exploring everything as we should be doing in business
Missy comes to my networking events

As strange as it sounds, I have a bigger choice of meetings I can attend than ever before. Before the lockdown, travelling to multiple meetings in one day was both cost and time prohibitive. Now instead of spending hours in the car, I can spend more time with Missy and more time working on my business.

If anyone’s happy I’m spending more time at home, it’s Missy. She’s never far from my desk and always attentively looking for signs in my working day. She knows the second I’ve finished with a document and can stop for a tummy rub. She knows if I’m about to make a phone call, and of course, she knows when it’s time for walkies!

This brings me to a top networking tip. Always listen and listen attentively to the person you’re with. You never know where the conversation might lead. A great friend of mine, Stefan Thomas, has a saying that

“every big opportunity starts with a little conversation”

and this is so true. Dogs are great listeners. They pick up on verbal and non-verbal clues and with practice, we can too.

Another top tip I’ve learnt from Missy is that practice does make perfect. From learning to walk, to clean herself, to bark, to sit, lie down, roll over, offer her paw, Missy has plenty of patience and has learnt her skills to perfection. I only need to head for the coat cupboard and she’s by my side wagging her tail because she knows a walk is imminent.

Missy gives me a great excuse to leave my desk at least once a day for a good hour of exercise around our local park. Being outdoors in the fresh air is good for my health too. While we walk, we often meet other dog walkers and often meet the same dogs and their owners several times a week. We stop and chat and our dogs play together, chatting in their own way with lots of woofs, barks, and tail wagging.

This reminds me of my virtual business networking meetings, where I meet dozens of new people each week along with regular members of each group. Just like Missy, I stop and chat, listen and learn. I’m keen to find out more about each person and their businesses. I also keep an eye out for opportunities where we can perhaps work together and check my contacts to see if I can offer referrals or collaborations.

I’ve founded a new virtual networking group designed to bring dog lovers together from across the country. Whilst chatting about our businesses, our dogs also attend the meetings. With the relaxed, friendly format, some dogs sit on their owner’s lap, others curl up by their owner’s feet. The meetings attract dog owners, dog walkers, dog breeders, dog product manufacturers and even the owners of dog friendly hotels and accommodation.

It’s not essential to have your own dog to be able to come to a dog lovers meeting but lots of dogs do attend with their owners. Missy looks forward to the Friday afternoon meetings. She knows the dogs on screen are real and they are her friends even though she may never meet them in the park. Not everyone has a dog, but everyone is welcome.

If you’d like to come to a Dog Lovers Meeting, they are held every Friday at 2.30pm via Zoom. To receive the welcome message and Zoom link please book your place at https://www.4nonline.biz/book/search?keywords=dog or contact me on 07756 772950 if you’d like to know more.