This is conversation 22 of 101 conversations about how small business owners build their networks. Learn how Tamira networks on Facebook and in person in order to find freedom and fulfillment
Location: Milwaulkee, Wisconsin
Her Business: She helps people make money online so that they can live a free lifestyle. She does one on one and personal coaching, blogging, and webinars to teach people to use social media to either provide a service, offer a product, or do affiliate marketing.
How we met: Tamira and I are in a Facebook group together. After I commented on a post, she reached out to me and asked about my business. Then she asked if she could help me in any way. I was already impressed with her networking skills at that point, so I asked if she would be up for talking about networking over the phone.
Tamira is an online networking queen. Networking is her business, and she does it well.
When I asked Tamira if she could tell me a little about her business and what she’s doing right now, she said, “Right this very moment?” and then went on to tell me that at any given time, she has 3 to 4 communications going on at once, from Facebook, to texting, to writing tweets. She’s passionate about making her online business work because she realized as her kids were growing up that she wanted to have more freedom to spend time with them. Now that she has a new grandson, she is able to spend time with him because of her online business.
When I asked her what she found to be the most effective in connecting with people, her answer surprised me.
I expected Tamira to say Facebook or Twitter, but instead, she said “turning my phone off and being in the moment.” She said that social media is great, but there’s still nothing like the one on one connections you make in person. She also noted that if you meet someone on social media, it’s important to move as quickly as possible from online to a more personal connection, whether it’s talking on the phone or via Skype or Google Hangouts.
When it comes to helping people, Tamira gets to know them first, learns their goals, and then figures out how to best help them.
That can be helping someone learn how to tweet, or teaching them about online business.
I mentioned that I was impressed by her willingness to help, and she said that people can sense if you “have dollar signs over your head” and are just looking for a sale, or if you genuinely want to help. People are going to get an impression of you, whether it’s bad or good, and she’d rather it be good. She believes that there’s enough abundance out there for everyone.
When I asked Tamira how her helping others translates into profits for her business, she mentioned a book called The Power of Persuasion by Roger Dawson in which he writes about creating a sense of obligation in the buyer’s mind. You give so much of your best stuff for free that they feel like they’re stealing from you, and almost feel obligated to buy. I should note that Tamira genuinely wants to help others, and that this “obligation to buy” isn’t a sneaky, manipulative thing, but just a natural outcome of doing everything you can to help other people.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from Tamira was the importance of having a “toolbox”so that you can immediately help people when an opportunity arises.
She learned this while doing cold-calling as an insurance sales-woman, in which she always had brochures and forms, and also little things to give away. In college they called it their “hoe-bag”: a change of clothes and deodorant.
In her current business, her “toolbox” is her iPhone, where she has lots of links and resources to give to people to make their online business easier.
For example, she was recently in a webinar in which she did some on the spot coaching. Two people wrote comments that they didn’t know what to say to people, and she told them to private message her. When they did, she provided a free video to help them and then followed up afterward to see if they had watched it.
Tamira developed this toolbox for herself first to be able to do things for herself, and she also saw it on other online marketing websites.
Tamira has so many contacts that I wondered how she kept track of all of them.
She said that she uses her phone calendar and sets alarms to remind her to connect with people. She also keeps a database with her email list and her preferred customer list. Most of her communication happens via Facebook messenger, and she uses a black leather binder to write a few notes about each person, which she then transfers to her phone.
Tamira’s advice for people who are just starting networking: commit to doing 3-5 things every day to grow your network.
She said to have a daily method of operation with regards to how many people to connect with, whether it’s a number of Facebook contacts or Twitter followers. She has a weekly goal for how many contacts she wants to make, and then breaks that up into a daily goal. Her goal the week we talked was 100 new Facebook contacts per week. She uses lists on Facebook to categorize her contacts, and she knows that everyone that she comes into contact with is not someone she’ll “touch” on a weekly basis, but she does make an effort to check in with everyone on a regular basis.
- Don’t worry about “selling” – instead, give so much that people want to buy.
- Keep a toolbox of resources that you can pull out to help potential clients and colleagues.
- Have a weekly networking goal and do 3-5 consistent daily actions to build your network.
Want to connect with Tamira? Find her on Facebook.
1 step you can take to grow your network today:
Put together a list of resources or a “helpful toolbox” so that you always have something to give your contacts that will help them meet their goals.