How to network to get more business opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. An interview with Sandy Jones-Kaminski via @MarinaBarayeva #business #smallbusiness #smallbiz #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #businesstips #marketing #creativeentrepreneur #creativebusiness #mompreneur #womaninbiz #ladybossWhen you meet new people some of them can become your clients, some may become your partners or some can refer you to others, and so on. You deal with people every day. Working on your stuff you need to be strategic in networking and building your relationship that will open up more business opportunities for you.

In this episode, Sandy Jones-Kaminski shares how to network to get more business opportunities.

She is the Chief Connecting Officer of Bella Domain Media, the author of LinkedIn Savvy for Small Business and a #1 book, “I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???: A Guide to Making the Most Out of Any Networking Event.”

'Posing your answer as a ‘what’s the problem you solve’ is a great way to be memorable' ~ Sandy Jones-KaminskiClick To Tweet

Sandy has been helping professionals, and business owners maximize in-person networking, LinkedIn, and other social media as marketing levers to generate more leads, visibility, and connections for years and is known for her energetic, engaging, and authentic webinars and in-person presentations.

In this episode, we will cover:

  • [00:22] About the episode and Sandy Jones-Kaminski
  • [02:22] Sandy shares her background story and how it led her to become a networking expert
  • [04:55] How to network effectively and create more business opportunities
  • [06:52] Be a networking farmer instead of a hunter
  • [10:34] Networking as a form of marketing and you being the face of your business
  • [13:52] How to talk and introduce ourselves at marketing events
  • [16:30] How to turn around your nervousness to introduce what you do into a memorable moment
  • [19:10] Ask a different question, getting a different response
  • [22:19] How to move the relationship forward with mutual benefit
  • [25:43] What about people who have a spark with someone but don’t know how to follow up without seeming pushy?
  • [28:02] How to choose who to network with at a large event
  • [29:26] It’s not about the quantity of connections but the quality of them
  • [33:27] A smart tip about increasing your chances of business connections
  • [37:08] The three steps you can begin with to get more business opportunities
  • [38:42] Using LinkedIn as a tool for long-lasting communication
  • [39:21] How to ask questions and listen instead of endlessly talk
  • [41:18] Where to find Sandy
  • [42:24] For the show notes go to and subscribe to the Marketing for Creatives show

3 Steps you can begin with to get more business opportunities:

  • Step 1: Go to the networking event where you target audience going or people that work with them.
  • Step 2: Be more active on LinkedIn. Download an app and you can add people to your network right at the event. Once you connected with them you’ll see their profile, experience and contact data including email.
  • Step 3: Ask more questions and instead of plans on doing all the talking, start listening. A good way to start the conversation is to ask “What are you working on these days?”
Networking is a form of marketing. It’s marketing yourself ~ Sandy Jones-KaminskiClick To Tweet

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How to network to get more business opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. An interview with Sandy Jones-Kaminski
How to network to get more business opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. An interview with Sandy Jones-Kaminski
How to network to get more business opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. An interview with Sandy Jones-Kaminski

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How to Network to Get More Business Opportunities – Interview Transcription

How to network to get more business opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. An interview with Sandy Jones-Kaminski via @MarinaBarayeva #business #smallbusiness #smallbiz #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #businesstips #marketing #creativeentrepreneur #creativebusiness #mompreneur #womaninbiz #ladybossMarina Barayeva:

Sandy, could you share with us your story? How did you become a networking expert? I know that you’re a specialist on LinkedIn too.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

Yes. I do a lot tied to networking both in person and online, which is what LinkedIn is so great for. That’s why I dabble in that world as well.

But my story is that of a corporate employee who worked in various start-ups and then regular big companies. Toward the later part of my corporate career, I was working in sales and business development. That meant I had to get really good at networking. I had to flex that muscle and get more… and learning more about them, learning whether my company could help them or not.

But also as part of all that, I moved a lot. I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, in the US. Then I moved out to San Francisco in ’98. I knew one person when I moved here. I met, obviously, the people in the company that moved me out here. But I had to start all over. I had to make a whole new network of friends and business contacts.

It was fun and exciting but it’s a lot of work and I really started understanding what worked and what didn’t, in terms of connecting to brand new people.

Then at some point I decided to move back to Chicago. By the time I moved back to Chicago it was like starting all over again. I had a lot of old friends and family still but in terms of business and what I was doing because I went back there, I was a consultant, freelancing, I had to start all over again.

Then I met my husband and we ended up getting married and moved to Seattle. Then I had to start all over there. We knew two people in Seattle when we moved there.

It was this whole process of building a rich quality network of people that you could socialize with as well as do business and network with.

In 2010, we came to the Bay Area, second time for me, first for him. He had to start all over. I had to pick up where I left off. The story just goes on.

It’s part of what I’ve learned to do: meeting new people and being an independent person. That’s really important to your business, not just socially obviously but to get new leads and new clients for your business.

I had to get really comfortable with it. Obviously, in the process I wrote a book because I was asked repeatedly to explain how I managed to do this over and over again. I decided to try and write down my tips. That’s, I’m at a networking event now, what it’s all about.

That’s why we’re here today.

Marina Barayeva:

Starting all over so many times, and you still had to work on your business, you know how hard it is and we’re looking forward to know more about how to network effectively, how to create more business opportunities.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

It’s not a complicated process but it is a process.

Networking is all about exchanging. That’s the key that a lot of people miss. A lot of people don’t enjoy networking because they think it’s all about going out, as we say, with your hand out like you’re looking for people to put leads or clients in your hand.

The reality is that’s not a good way to network. That’s not a good expectation to have.

The better approach and better idea is that you go out and you are open to meeting new people so that you can possibly exchange with them. I talk about this idea that you have plenty to offer besides clients to people sometimes.

You shouldn’t be afraid of talking to people in networking situations or at the airport or in line at the post office, or whatever it might be because we all have more to offer than just leads for a business:

  • We have ideas to offer
  • We have resources
  • We have information or knowledge

That’s a lot of what networking conversations are about, sharing what we know or explaining about a great new restaurant or an excellent printer for your new business cards, whatever it might be.

That’s what I mean by exchange. That’s what most people (inaudible) activities at a networking event. That whole process takes time. It’s not a one-off thing. That’s unfortunately why a lot of people, I think, also get frustrated with networking because they think it’s going to be instantaneous.

They don’t understand that networking is more about planting seeds.

You’re more of a farmer who’s going to plant seeds in the garden. You’re going to water the garden, which means staying in touch with your new connections and following up with them, and making sure you’re taking care of that plant as it grows, which is the relationship and not expecting that it’s going to just produce flowers or vegetables or whatever it might be for you right away.

It’s a process of cultivating a relationship. I always joke that it’s a farmer event, not a hunter event. You can’t expect to go to a networking event and catch prey. It’s very rare that you end up bumping into or chatting with somebody who actually needs your services specifically.

How to network to get more business opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. An interview with Sandy Jones-Kaminski

You might meet them, but you’re not going to get a need. It’s not likely that will happen but you will get a new connection that you can turn into a relationship that can turn into either referrals or possible client work as they get to know you and trust you.

That’s a big part of networking as well. If you go into a networking event or opportunities with the goal of creating more business opportunities, you’ll find that you have to give to get. A lot of that stuff only happens after you’ve been willing to give first and help other people first. Usually that’s something we all intuitively know but we kind of forget about it when we’re in networking mode.

Marina Barayeva:

I so understand what you mean because sometimes you go to networking events and there is a person comes to you and they start selling to you right away. You feel like, “I just met you. Just tell me about yourself a little bit.”

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

It’s funny. I talk about that a lot in my workshops and stuff. We all don’t like that so why is anybody still doing that? That doesn’t work. We all know that we hate it when it happens to us, so who’s still doing that? That’s what I don’t understand is why are people still doing that?

The reality is a lot of times when that happens to me, because I have people ask me that question, how do you handle that when there are these people that are kind of old school and they come at you and are like, “Hey, Marina. Here’s my card? Do you need insurance? What kind of insurance do you need?” They’re into that whole mode. I will joke with people and say, “Hey, don’t you think you should buy me a drink first? I don’t even know you.”

I try to make a joke out of it but to sort of stop them and because I write about networking, I’m always trying to teach people better habits.

But that’s exactly what that’s like. It’s like trying to buy somebody a drink before you take them home to meet the family kind of a thing. You’ve got to earn it. You’ve got to build a relationship with people.

Marina Barayeva:

Exactly. It’s like give at least a little bit upfront before you start selling.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

Yes. It’s not how the world works today. Nobody responds to that. We don’t like it on social media, we don’t like it in our LinkedIn inbox, and we don’t like it in person. None of us like it, so why would we do it? We have to remember that we don’t like it when somebody does it to us.

It’s weird because one of the things that I try and remind people is that networking is a form of marketing. It’s marketing yourself, your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for. Because for a lot of us, especially if we’re in the creative world or we’re running a small business or we’re a consultant, we are the business.

Networking is a form of marketing. It’s marketing yourself ~ Sandy Jones-KaminskiClick To Tweet

A lot of what we’re marketing when we go out networking is ourselves and our creativity or our ideas or our approach to things.

That’s what people learn from you. When they start to talk to you, they get a sense of who you are and do they want to work with you. If you’re a creative person even if your work, let’s say your art, your design or your jewelry, is appealing to people, they still kind of want to like you too.

Most artists who sell jewelry for example, they’ll go to one of those expos or tradeshows where they’ll have a booth. People will look at their jewelry but a lot of times people want to meet the artist. They want to meet you. They want to know who you are and how you come up with your designs.

That’s all about networking. You’re marketing yourself and networking is marketing. Getting your head around that and understanding that it’s just an important part of promoting your brand, your personal brand or your jewelry brand or whatever it is, that they’re all tied together.

Putting the best face forward when you can when you’re meeting strangers is probably what’s the most important part of networking. It’s communicating and showing respect for other people.

One of the things that I talk about with a lot of people is that networking etiquette is really about good manners. It’s about being considerate, polite, thoughtful and listening to people.

I know we were going to talk a little bit about introverts. I usually always explain that introverts are some of the best networkers because they’re the best listeners. People that listen well instead of talk a lot are the people that other people remember and want to be around.

How to network to get more business opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. An interview with Sandy Jones-Kaminski

If you’re listening that means you’re picking up things about the person and you’re paying attention. You’re able to then better connect with people because you were paying attention, you weren’t talking. You were listening to their story about the business problem they have or how they lost a big client.

You’re paying attention and then you’re able to converse with people and make more of an impression on them because they know you were paying attention.

Marina Barayeva:

When you get to the networking events, how do you talk to people in general? Now you talked about listening but you still need to talk about yourself too. Listening is one part and you can maybe give us more tips on that.

What about introducing yourself and what should we do next?

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

Here’s the thing. There’s no getting around that we do have to introduce ourselves. I always tease people about that, that you do have to work on something I call a personal brand statement. It’s not an elevator pitch. It’s not… There are a couple of different terms out there for what you say.

But what I always tell people to do is to work on what their personal brand statement is first. I have a couple of blog posts about this whole idea of

  • Who are the people you work with?
  • What is it that you do for them?
  • Why do you do it uniquely? What makes you special about being an accountant or a graphic designer?

It’s getting some understanding around who’s your target market and it’s who do you want to work with.

If you’re selling widgets, you can sell that to lots of people and you don’t necessarily need to worry about building a personal relationship with them. But if you’re selling services or creative work, you do need to have a better sense of the people you want to work with.

We all know there are difficult clients out there. There are people that don’t get your aesthetic. Maybe you’re a much more modern, contemporary artist and they want X, Y or Z and that’s not really your specialty.

It’s that whole idea about getting clear about who the people are you want to work with?

What is the value of what you do? What’s the kind of work you do and what is the value of that to them? Then it’s what makes you special, unique? Why is it that you’re the best person for doing the type of work you do for that particular person?

We could have a whole other conversation about that. We could talk about the personal branding statement because I do find that it always helps my clients get some clarity around what they’ll say then at networking events or when they’re sitting at a table, these are sometimes they worst things.

Even I get an adrenaline buzz when I’m sitting at a round table and everybody’s going to go around. Your turn is coming and you’re starting to get nervous because you’re going to have to talk and everybody’s going to be staring at you.

I do public speaking but it still makes me nervous when I’m in that setting of the table or you’re standing around with a group of people.

It’s this introduction that you really need to have because you don’t want to go into a long elevator pitch because we’ve all seen those people and everyone’s eyes start glazing over and they’re like, “What? Are they selling to us right now?” They’re supposed to introduce themselves.

You have to come up with something that you’ve practiced that is based off of your personal brand statement that you use to introduce yourself. You explain who you are and try and include something memorable in that introduction.

A lot of people like to talk about how do you introduce yourself and one of the best things you can do is to bring out what kind of problem you solve.

I could say, “I’m a small business consultant and a mentoring coach. You know when you know you need to be on LinkedIn or on social media but you’re not even sure where to start or how to position yourself to attract the people you want to your profile or to your social media accounts? Well, I help you figure that out.”

This is one of my favorite ways to help people figure out how to introduce themselves. That in that conversation because we all do still hear that question, “So, Marina, what do you do?” Then you have to launch into your explanation.

Posing your answer as a ‘what’s the problem you solve’ is a great way to be memorable and it helps you sell without seeming like you’re selling because you’re not, you’re just explaining what you do.

Unfortunately, we can’t stop the old school, “What do you do?” And then they say, “What about you, Sandy? What do you do?” That whole thing.

But one of the things that I recommend and I talk about this in my blog posts and in my book that you can try and start asking people a different question. If you want a different experience at a networking event, start asking people a different question.

How to network to get more business opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. An interview with Sandy Jones-Kaminski

A lot of times we go to an event and we know there are a bunch of designers there. It’s part of IIDA, here in the US we have that association. You know what people do and you’re trying to start a conversation with them.

One of my favorite questions to ask people is, “Marina, what are you working on these days? What’s keeping you busy?”

Marina Barayeva:

That’s a good start to start a conversation, then talk, talk, talk.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

Right. Then you would talk about your podcasts. “Actually, I’m starting this new podcast and I’m looking for people to interview. I’d love to find out more about your business, you might be a great person to have on the show.”

Using that answer and whatever they give you, because we were touched on this whole idea about listening before. So, when you ask people, “What are you working on these days? What’s keeping you busy?” That’s sometimes when you hear, “You know what? I know somebody who’s a really great copywriter. I used to work with her when I worked at Ad Age. I’d be happy to connect you if you’re interested.”

Again, that’s a situation where it’s not about you right out of the gates. It’s about helping them.

That idea that we all know, once you put yourself in a different category in their network, you’re not just a contact anymore. You’re a real connection and you’re somebody that you can possibly count on developing a relationship with because we all remember people that help us solve the problems we’re having.

Asking people ‘What are you working’ on is a really great way to get the conversation to be more open-ended.

Sometimes people won’t always talk about work. They might even say, “I’m looking for a job. My company’s going to be folding and I wasn’t expecting it but here I am. I had planned to come to this networking event and now I’m looking for a job. That’s what I’m working on.” Then people are like, “What are you looking for? Oh, did you ever apply to Amazon?”

Those conversations come so much more easily when you make it more about what are people actually doing as opposed to what do you do. It’s weird. It’s very subtle but it changes the whole conversation.

I had a dad, a guy once talked about, we were at a round table and this is what we were doing and the guy said, “Actually what I’m working on is we just found out my kid has celiac disease. We’ve got to get rid of all the gluten in our lives and we’re going crazy. We don’t know what to do.”

Then all of these people started telling him about these different blogs that they knew about, “Oh, there’s this line of cookies.”

My point is that creating conversations that are memorable and enable you to exchange ideas or contacts or knowledge, that’s what networking is. That’s really what it is.

Then you move those conversations further along, like I said earlier, it’s a process.

If you have that kind of conversation with somebody, and let’s say that person that needed a copywriter, let’s say you connected them to somebody and that turned out to be a great resource. Or even if it didn’t, maybe they tried to email them and the person you told them about was too busy.

It opens the door for you to then follow up with them and say, “Hey, I was wondering if you would be open to meeting for coffee or getting on a Skype call with me? I really want to learn more about your business and what kind of clients you look for because I’m always out and about. I travel a ton. I’d love to be able to send people to you if I meet them.”

We all know that it’s a way to be in a position to then talk about your business as well. We all know that that’s the goal. It’s just that point about being direct about that, saying, “I’d love to find out more about your business and I’d love to fill you in on what I’m doing because I am working on this podcast and I need to find more people to interview,” and just explaining that you want to move the relationship forward.

The whole idea is that it has to be to their benefit or to mutual benefit. You can’t expect, “I want to get together with you because I really want to walk through your connections list with you and see if you might have any leads for me.”

You can’t do that with people you’ve met in a month, maybe in a year.

You and I wouldn’t even do that yet. We don’t know each other well enough yet. Maybe in a year we’ll know each other well enough and we could do that. We’d share screens and we’d look at people and say, “This guy could totally use some new headshots and I know he’s in Thailand.”

But you can’t do that right away, it’s not how it’s done.

Marina Barayeva:

You were talking about the follow-ups and you gave us a few sentence examples, “I can do this for you, blah, blah, blah.” But some people would like to get in touch with people after the networking event and they don’t really have anything to offer especially when the person is more interested in the person.

How would you recommend to do those follow-ups?

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

I think that if you don’t feel that they’re…I guess I’m really curious why you would want to follow up with the person if there wasn’t a good mutual exchange of talking? Why would you want to follow up with them when you don’t even have a spark with them?

Marina Barayeva:

Sometimes you talk with the person and you have a spark and you feel like maybe you can work together.

But some people are talkative and some people are quite shy or just like creatives, they don’t always know what to do when you talk about the business. “Okay, let’s collaborate on something,” or, “Let’s meet for coffee, I’ll tell you more about my business.” It’s too pushy.

How do you just follow up with them? You just had a nice conversation, so what’s next? You still want to keep in touch with the person.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

There are a couple of ways. You can say, “Listen, I’d love to get together and talk a bit more about your business. I don’t know that I understand who your ideal client is. I would love to learn more.” Again, it’s making it about them.

Asking people, “I’d love to understand more about your work,” you have to say that. There’s no magic. I don’t know how to say it. It’s like dating. How do you tell a guy you want to see him again? You have to say something. You would have to say, “I’m interested in learning more. Can we exchange cards?”

My point is that you have to say something first. But you can also use LinkedIn. This is one of my favorite tips for LinkedIn. If you don’t have the LinkedIn mobile app on your phone, everybody who listens to this need to download it immediately because this is one of the coolest things about using LinkedIn especially when you’re in networking situations. I’ve even done this in the bathroom line at a concert once.

I pulled open my app and I was like, “Are you on LinkedIn?” As I’m talking to the person I’m like, “Let’s connect on LinkedIn.”

Because you know as soon as you connect on LinkedIn, you can learn more about the person’s background, you can have access to their email and you might even have access to their phone number if it’s in their contact info.

You immediately send them a connection invite and they know to expect one from you or you can tell them, “Why don’t you send me a LinkedIn connection and we’ll connect there?”

This is part of business today. There are half a billion people on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to say, “Listen, I’d love to stay in touch.” If you learned everything about their business, let’s say, you could say, “I’d love to stay connected or in touch. Are you on LinkedIn?”

Just asking, “Are you on LinkedIn?” “Oh, yes. You know what? Let’s connect there.” Or they’ll say, “You know what? I am but I don’t ever really check it. Here, just take my email or here’s my phone. Text me.”

Marina Barayeva:

When we go to the networking event, we’re still looking for business opportunities. There are so many people. Yes, we’ll get into a conversation, we follow up but from the beginning, how do you choose who to network with?

There can be 50 people, 100 people, 200 people. That’s just too many to talk to everybody.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

You’re not supposed to. The idea is those events are so big, not so you can talk to 25 people, it’s so that you have the better odds. It’s a numbers game. The more people that are there, the higher percentage or probability is that some of them might be people that are good for you. They are good referral partners for you, they are good resource partners for you, or they are good vendor partners for you.

I’m not even saying they’re good leads for you because most people aren’t that lucky. You don’t walk into an event and someone says, “Oh, I’m looking for a photographer.” It doesn’t happen. The universe doesn’t work that way. Maybe once in a while it does but people are still going to say, “Give me your website. I’ll check out your work and I’ll get back to you.”

Going to those large events and expecting to meet a bunch of people that are going to want to even hear from you is an unrealistic expectation.

Here’s what happens. Let’s say you go to that event. You get 20 business cards or 20 names. You identify 20 people. Most people don’t even manage to follow-up with all of them. Maybe they follow up with 10 of them.

Then they send the follow-up and are actually able to keep the connection going with only two or three of them.

Then, what happens to all those 17 people that you met and chatted up and made it seem you were going to create a new relationship with them and you don’t? That does more damage than good out there.

My recommendation to people is always be realistic and focus on a different set of goals. Don’t get overwhelmed by the size of the event or conference.

Focus on making three new quality connections. Pick a number that’s manageable and that’s going to allow you to really get to know somebody in that situation because the reality is that the people we meet, if you don’t spend enough time with them they’re not going to be of use to you and they don’t want you bothering them.

It’s one of these things where you have to get your head around the fact that people don’t expect to be sold, as you said, at these events. That’s not the game.

It’s very difficult to try to have 20 different conversations with people that are going to remember you and that you’re going to remember and that you’ve actually been able to find out what they’re working on or what they’re interested in. It’s just not feasible. Those conversations don’t move that quickly. It’s not speed dating.

I’m not a fan of speed networking events for that reason because there’s no depth to the connection; it’s all shallow. It’s quantity instead of quality.

Marina Barayeva:

It is.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

Getting some better expectations and just saying, “I’m going to go to this event and my goal is going to be to talk to three people and see if I can help at least one of them, that maybe there’ll be something that I can offer them that isn’t necessarily a lead.”

Like I said before, the capital that we have to exchange is:

  • Information
  • Ideas
  • Contacts
  • Resources

Resources can be people sometimes but a lot of times resources are a name of a blog or the name of a podcast.

That’s a form of exchange that helps you move that connection forward. You have to start understanding that it’s about exchanging something other than random names of people that might be interested in what you’re selling. It just doesn’t work that way. Any expert, any book you read, will tell you that, that that’s not the way it is.

You have to pay it forward first. You have to be willing to find out what people are working on. What do they need help with? Is there anything that you can do to support their goals? And then letting the relationship unfold.

Here’s the thing I wanted to say. People can increase the probability of meeting the right people for them, for their businesses by going to events and putting thought into:

  • Who are the people that will be attending this?
  • Will the people that I want to work with be at this event?
  • Will there be other people at this event that also want to work with the same kind of people that I do?

Think about that.

You can find referral partners. Who else works with a photographer? Somebody who does websites because a lot of times website developers or designers need to get headshots for the whole team.

You might want to go to an event where there are web developers at it.

  • What kind of meet-ups do they go to?
  • What kind of groups do they go to?
  • What kinds of associations do they have?

Thinking about people that are partner potential for you are great places to go.

Also, where are your ideal clients hanging out and where do they go? Are they going to be at the monthly chamber event? Do you do photography for food companies? Go to the Network of Executive Women, that’s all consumer package goods people that are in the marketing realm. Those are people that might be hiring photographers to take photos of their food.

Thinking about getting into situations where you’re likely to have good conversations as opposed to going to, “There’s going to be 10,000 people at CES. Maybe I’ll go there because there’ll be 10,000 people and maybe I’ll talk to 500 of them. Maybe two of them will need a new headshot or can point me to somebody who needs a headshot.”

Those sorts of scenarios aren’t going to be worth your time or energy. If anything, they’re going to turn you off networking because you’re going to be like, “That was a bit waste of time.”

It’s all about changing what your expectations are. If there’s a theme it’s about

  • Knowing where your people are
  • Knowing where people are that like to work with the people that you like to work with
  • Being more specific about what you do, who you want to work with and what makes you special
  • Following up and seeing how you can pay it forward with people

Let some of the stuff happen organically because the better person you are in your business, the more people like to refer people to you, the more people like to work with you, the more people understand what you do.

All those things, that’s how you get more clients. This whole idea, almost all my business is all from networking. It’s all word of mouth. It’s all people I’ve met through networking who then I either worked with and then referred me.

I’m sure that’s true for you. A lot of your business comes from people you’ve already worked with.

Marina Barayeva:

It is. My business is all about networking, word of mouth, all of this. You give a lot of good tips, Sandy. I really appreciate that.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

My pleasure.

Marina Barayeva:

Let’s make it a little bit simple now for our listeners. If you would put the networking, it’s a big part of the business, let’s put it into the strategy. What are the three steps, three actions our listeners could begin with to start networking to get more business opportunities?

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

I think what I just ended with, this whole idea about getting savvier and smarter about planning and going to networking events where people are going to be that are the type of people you want to work with or know the type of people you want to work with, like the web designer example.

Getting smarter about where you’re going and being more protective of your time. Don’t go to a networking event just to go to a networking event. Go because you know the people that are in your target market are going to be there or people that work with them.

The second thing is really leveraging follow-up through tools like LinkedIn.

Another thing that I didn’t say was that a lot of times I’ll be talking to people and be like, “Are you on Twitter? Oh my gosh, I’m going to start following you.” That’s a great way too, if you feel funny about LinkedIn or you’re not active on LinkedIn, that’s a shame because you should be, because like I said, then you’ll get people’s emails and sometimes their phone number and you can see what’s up with them and stay top of mind with them when you post things.

But you also use the follow-up as your move it further. You don’t just say, “It was great meeting you at that event. I loved what you had to say about the new president in the US. I’d love to learn more about your ideal clients. How about we meet for coffee soon or have a Skype call?”

Using a LinkedIn message, it can make that connection more solid, is a habit I feel like everyone needs to get into to.

Use that as your follow-up tool. Send that message there. Then you can always email them or text them or Skype them afterward, but locking people into LinkedIn gives you access to each other going forward.

I have people send my LinkedIn profile to other people so that’s another reason that should be up to date and you should be using it more.

The third thing is what we sort of touched on. It’s about being more of a person that asks questions instead of plans on doing all the talking.

Asking people questions and getting them talking because that is the key to… Everybody likes to talk about themselves. Asking people about their business, what they’re working on, how did they get into jewelry design?

All those questions about finding out what makes people tick and what makes them passionate about the work they do, those are really important things.

My last tip is always, if you’re really ever lost when you’re at an event, asking people, talking about the event is what’s key.

I explain it’s like here in the US, whenever there’s a wedding everybody has a conversation starter when they get stuck at a table with eight other people they don’t know. “Do you know the bride or the groom?” That’s what everybody asks.

Use that same kind of idea when you go to an event or you’re standing in line for something. Let’s say you’re in line at an Apple Store and it’s like, “How long have you been an Apple customer? Have you ever stood in line before? What kind of phone are you going to get?”

Using the conference, you’re at, “Have you been to this conference before? Have you heard the keynote speaker before? Did you read his book?” Using questions to get people to talk and feel more relaxed so that you can exchange conversation and move that relationship in a whole different direction than just casual bathroom chatter.

Marina Barayeva:

Amazing, Sandy. Thank you so much.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

My pleasure.

Marina Barayeva:

Tell us how can we connect with you, network with you? How can we find out more about you?

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

I do have a website. My website is I have all my social buttons there. I’m on Twitter, Instagram. Definitely reach out.

Any of your folks can reach me on LinkedIn and make sure you mention Marina and her podcast and connect with me there. I post a lot of blogs there that have lots of tips and advice on networking, personal branding, using LinkedIn to build your business and all those good things.

I’m easy to get hold of and my book is on Amazon, so there are lots of ways to find me.

Thank you so much for this.

Marina Barayeva:

Yes. I read your articles. They are very informative and I think people should check them out and just get more into networking.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

Yes, because it’s marketing.

Marina Barayeva:

It is. It is marketing. Networking is the most important part of the business. It’s all about people.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

That’s right.

Marina Barayeva:

Thank you so much, Sandy. It was a pleasure to have you on the show today.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski:

Same here. Have a great day.

Marina Barayeva:

All right. So many great tips in this episode. If you want to go back to some parts of it just go to for the show notes and the full transcript.

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