Leveraging Your Network

Audacity Marketing
Audacity Marketing
Leveraging Your Network

Intentional marketing is both strategic and advantageous. Doing it authentically is key to long-term success.

In this episode, Hazel and Michelle discuss how they do intentional networking, make friends in their network, and leverage their networks for mutual success between themselves (and their projects) and their network counterparts.

In true and authentic networking, everyone wins and helps one another to grow and succeed at their goals.

The key is both authenticity, integrity, and intentionality.

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:07 Welcome to Audacity Marketing with Hazel Quimpo and Michelle Frechette. On this podcast, we’ll challenge you to think differently and break free of the same old strategies. We’ll push you out of your comfort zone and encourage you to think outside the box. So take notes, make bold decisions, and be audacious.
Speaker 2 00:00:32 Hey Hazel, how you doing?
Speaker 3 00:00:35 Pretty good, Michelle. I am out of the office. I mean, no wait, I am in an office and out of my home today, which I didn’t even know how to say because it doesn’t happen too often.
Speaker 2 00:00:44 . Exactly. And I’m not at my home office today. I’m in my office office today. So we kind of, yeah, we’re both in the office. Neither one of us is at home.
Speaker 3 00:00:52 I know. It’s like the nineties
Speaker 2 00:00:54 . I’ve been watching, um, the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and like she goes to work in an office and she’s like, I don’t know what to wear to sit down cuz I only ever stand . I was like, that’s hysterical. . So here, we’re in the office, we’re both sitting down, so that’s good.
Speaker 3 00:01:13 We are indeed. And I am going to put my slack on do not disturb for this important podcast. So
Speaker 2 00:01:19 I love it. Slack
Speaker 3 00:01:20 Rattle snakes don’t make weird noises. Side note before we get started. Who thought that was a good idea?
Speaker 2 00:01:26 Right? I know exactly. It’s like that’s why I wear headphones on everything I do because then nobody else hears all of the cacophony that’s going on on my computer while I’m doing things because one way or another
Speaker 3 00:01:37 There’s a more an no more anxiety inducing sound than that like little Moroccan rattlesnake thing. .
Speaker 2 00:01:43 That’s exactly. And nobody else needs to hear that but me. So .
Speaker 2 00:01:49 So I have been watching, I have been watching you build this career over the last little bit and like you are like knocking it out of the park as far as leveraging network to do the things and make the changes in whatever that like, whatever all those different words are to build a fulfilling career. At least I’m assuming it’s fulfilling. It looks fulfilling from the outside. I think it looks like you’re loving what you’re doing and I thought, wow, what a great topic to be talking about, which is networking. Cuz networking is so important in business and I think people don’t think about how important networking is. And so I kind of wanted to like pick your brain a little bit about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it and, and some of us network accidentally and we start to figure it out as we go. And some of us are very strategic about that and I think I’ve fallen into a lot of things accidentally. Yeah, I think you are very not, not that we don’t all fall into some of it actually, but you’re very strategic in how you build community and I thought maybe you’d have some tips for people.
Speaker 3 00:02:54 Yeah, well to me I think it’s, I’m like this, like right in the middle of introvert and extrovert, right? Like networking wears me the hell or like hanging out with people wears me out. Like, I don’t know. Like, I mean that’s part of the reason like one of my biggest flaws in life is I’m kind of a flake because like I don’t realize how tired I am and you’ve been friends with me, Michelle, you’ve known like, I’m like, ugh, I can’t do it today. like,
Speaker 2 00:03:15 Can we move this meeting? Let’s do this tomorrow. .
Speaker 3 00:03:18 Yeah. But, but like extroversion takes a lot out of me. Yeah. Um, but I like it. But because of that I wanna be very intentional how I do it. And the book that like kind of changed the way I thought about this was I read back in my twenties when I thought networking was dumb, but I didn’t know how to do it. Also like all I knew was like networking events were weird. I don’t know, it just felt dumb in my twenties. But I also knew I needed to learn. So I read Keith Bar Rossi’s book, never Eat Alone and Never Eat Alone is really just about that . And um, I had a remote, I had a remote career job early on back in like 2008. And I remember back then like how am I gonna, and I read this book during that time and I was doing a lot of networking.
Speaker 3 00:03:56 My job was to be like a local kind of community manager. So I was doing lots of that. Never eat alone with like the community, but not with my colleagues. Mm-hmm. . So I intentionally started doing well, let me do, uh, like work dates with my colleagues. I started doing these and, and it was early, it was good cause I worked remote early on. Right? So you realized this sort of, you have to have intentional in your connections or else, or else you won’t connect. And um, I started this sort of like book club and these sort of meeting things for the never eat alone concept of my colleagues. And I think I carried that on throughout my career. Um, I’ll let you talk again. I’ll say one more thing before, which is I am someone that makes friends with people wherever I work, um mm-hmm. , I, I can’t give that as advice, but it does. I’m someone that doesn’t divide work and personal life. I’ve tried a hundred times. I’ve never, I’ve never succeeded and like at this point I don’t think I’m gonna bother spending energy trying anymore accept it that like Michelle, you and I used to work together and now we’re friends . Like, and that is how my network and my life has grown. Yeah. And that way because I genuinely see people as a full person and not just the transaction. I think
Speaker 2 00:05:04 I I agree with that a hundred percent. And I, I see a lot in hiring cuz you know, I do some work in the like helping people find jobs part of WordPress and such mm-hmm. . Um, but I see a lot of comments or um, direction that says if you see a company saying, you know, we’re like a family. That’s the company you run from. Not the company you join, but the company that you join that actually does treat each other with the respect and things and make those friendships that actually displays that familial part of it. Not necessarily across the entire company, but where you can make those connections like you and I did. Um, I am, I am very much the same as you and I, I don’t walk into a job and then forget everybody. I’m still texting other people. Like, I mean, I’ve texted you at five in the morning, right?
Speaker 2 00:05:49 Like , those kinds of things. Um, and when I first started getting phone numbers for people in WordPress, they’re like, oh, let me give you my phone number, blah, blah blah. And I’m like, wow, I can text this person or that person who like, it almost felt like I was in the inner circle, but that’s where I knew that I had started making those kinds of, um, building the network that was more than just jobs, but actually building those relationships. So I, I think what you do with, with networking is you’re not just like doing strategic networking, but you’re building strategic relationships but authentic strategic relationships with people.
Speaker 3 00:06:26 I think authenticity is the key there. I mean the way I do this in the capitalist marketing world, frankly is kind of how I function in, in life too. Send me gross to everybody who’s listening to this that I’m friends with. But it’s um, you’ve heard me say give, give, give, ask. Right. That’s how I work, right? Mm-hmm. , um, give, give, give, ask. And networking has to be the same way for it to work. You have to talk to people several times without asking them for shit bef like, and that’s why one of the things I’ve, um, I do often and I think it surprises people that I do this cause I’m not like a sentimental person I guess, but I regularly like text people when I’m thinking about them or like something random that came up that like, and it doesn’t take any effort and like how often do you randomly think about someone random or someone that used to work with years ago and I do that and you have no idea how often that resources, relationships are just a random thing and um, yeah that’s part of the give, give, give ask.
Speaker 3 00:07:20 Just like have random touchpoints. Um, which sounds very scientific, but it is how it works.
Speaker 2 00:07:25 . I’ll also say something that you do really well is you are good at gift giving
Speaker 3 00:07:32 because you don’t That’s a lovely, you too.
Speaker 2 00:07:34 Yeah. But you but Right. We think of things that are specific to the person. I don’t buy 20 of something, put them in identical bags and hand them out where it doesn’t matter. You could swap the name tags. Right. And I know that when you do gift giving, cuz I’ve received gifts from you before, they’re very intentional and very specific to me and wouldn’t make sense if you gave them to somebody else on the team or some, a different friend. Yeah. And that’s part of that intentionality with that relationship building.
Speaker 3 00:08:01 Absolutely. I think like understanding, and I think that’s comes back to being friends with the people you work with to some extent, right. You have, when you network, you have to understand the human to some extent other than like what they do because honestly who gives a shit like right . Because what I’ll tell you right now, the business partner I am spending up a business with, in fact I’m sending up two businesses, uh, uh, at the same time. Can’t you think of the word? What’s the thing when you do two things at the same time
Speaker 2 00:08:27 Simultaneously? Thank
Speaker 3 00:08:28 You. makes you tired when you do it
Speaker 2 00:08:32 Her best.
Speaker 3 00:08:35 Uh, one of the, one of the guys I’m dealing with and, and uh, the reason I’m out of the office today is we worked together 11 years ago mm-hmm. , uh, and we hadn’t really even talked that much. We kept in touch and social media’s huge for this, right? Because you can do that sort of vague keeping in touch with people without really keeping in touch
Speaker 2 00:08:54 . Right.
Speaker 3 00:08:55 Um, but this, I truly believe a career and success isn’t like the titles that you’ve done isn’t the Stepping Stones, it’s all the people you’ve met. And I know that sounds like the end of an afterschool special all the people you’ve met along the way. Um, I can’t say how true it is. Like there is no world, like when I was younger, you see successful people and you think, oh, they grew because, I don’t know, they’re very smart and they stuck it out and they did a thing. It’s like, oh no. Over the years you meet so many people that, and when you have a problem, the bucket of people you can turn to is so huge. Absolutely. Compared to when I was 21 and like my friends were still like dating high school girls. .
Speaker 2 00:09:39 Right, exactly.
Speaker 3 00:09:40 big difference when you’re older. I think that’s the benefit of getting older in business is the networking. Mm-hmm. , can you expediate that throughout your career? Absolutely. Being intentional throughout your career on meeting those people and mm-hmm. treating them as full humans. Again, like we’re about that without audacity. Everything we talk about Michelle is being authentic. Right? Yep,
Speaker 2 00:10:00 Absolutely. And
Speaker 3 00:10:00 Networking the same way.
Speaker 2 00:10:02 Yeah. I think, and and you said you’ll being friends with people, are you friends with everybody you’ve ever worked with? Of course not. Right? But you’re still friendly with people, right? Mm-hmm. . So if you can’t actually build friendships, then you can at least be on friendly terms with people that you work with. And that goes a long way as well. So it sometimes it’s about not burning bridges. Yes. Sometimes it’s about building, building bridges. Right? And sometimes it’s about just that authentic and, and I have so many people in my network that I will never benefit from other than the fact that they are friends with me or friendly with me and I have other people in my network that I have benefited from financially with our relationships or pushed me forward in my, in my work relationships or in my career. So there’s, there’s different ways that you can benefit from those things as well and it all works together for moving forward.
Speaker 3 00:10:52 Absolutely. I think one of the things that’s helped me with networking, especially in the way that the internet works today, is just being out there, it’s sort of made me understand what, uh, all the ladies that used to be on Oprah say when they’re putting things out into the universe, right? Like, oh, they, I’m manifesting it and putting it into the universe. Like Right. Honestly, I don’t really believe in that shit, but it’s fine , but what, but, but the truth of it is when you’re out there doing things, your friend that you went to high school with will hit you up because she opened a store in Oceanside and she wants you to do her marketing and like Right. She has a big network cuz she sells, uh, she’s a food distributor and turns out I’m doing Long Beach Restaurant Week and I need a and like that sort of network. Mm-hmm. . But that one happened because I, you start opening the door, right? Yeah. You have to, people don’t know that you’re looking for things unless you ask. And that is so embarrassing to do, especially on social media and I don’t think I’ve gone out there, but just putting your shingle out there and saying what you do mm-hmm. like people dunno .
Speaker 2 00:11:56 Right. Exactly. And sometimes making those first steps towards building that network can feel very difficult, especially if you’re not an extrovert. Um, and it can feel very tentative and very tenuous and all of those self-doubts and all of, you know, the things that in our head can get in the way. But oftentimes, just like I say to somebody, when you go to give a talk and you’re told that you have 30 minutes and you’re like, how the heck am I gonna feel? 30 minutes? Then you start talking and they’re like five minutes left and you’re like, but I’m only halfway through. Right. It’s kinda like you start it and then you don’t realize that that first step leads to so much more e so much easier things. And oftentimes it’s that first step that’s the most difficult and the rest just starts to flow naturally.
Speaker 3 00:12:40 Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, I am a, a big believer in the power of networking and I’m glad that this was our topic today. Keith Rossi’s Never Eat Alone. It’s a book from I think the early two thousands. But it is the one that like speaks about this the most clearly of it. It makes sense to just consistently meet with people that you’re hanging out with. And we live in this world where people are very anti meetings and anti, I wanna pick your brain for coffee. And I totally get why people are anti that, but there’s also something too, being open to it sometimes. So I don’t, I don’t have a good answer. Absolutely. Yeah. But I do know the answer isn’t to be like, I’m, my time is worth money and I’m never meeting with you because you’re not gonna grow your stuff that way.
Speaker 2 00:13:21 Yep. Somewhere in between and strategic about who you say yes to. That’s the other thing. Right. Not to make it at all or nothing, Michelle, but
Speaker 3 00:13:30 I wonder for you, you sort of, I mean, what about 10 years ago or so as you got into the WordPress space, you came in late. I mean, it felt like maybe this isn’t true, but from me looking at it, it feels like you sort of built a new network from scratch. Is that true? Or tell me about how that went.
Speaker 2 00:13:45 Yeah, so I got into WordPress because my best friend that I started a nonprofit and her husband built the website and said, here it is, ladies put your own content in. And I logged into the first website and I was, and when I pushed, I was actually talking about this earlier this week with somebody I pushed, um, update on the homepage. Like I couldn’t even push published cuz it was already published, right. But I pushed update and saw the words that I wrote suddenly out there for the entire world to see. Obviously they weren’t because it was just published. But, you know, the idea that anybody anywhere could see what I had just written was really, you know, heady stuff. It really made you think like, this is powerful. And so I started to really be like, Ooh, I could probably build websites if I thought about it.
Speaker 2 00:14:28 And that’s, and I literally started with going to a meetup and starting to build my network there. And somebody came back from, from a word camp where they’re like, Hey, have you’ve ever been to Word Camp? And I’m like, Ooh, what’s that? You know? And started going to Word camps and then I was like, I could probably speak at one of these. And, and literally it took a couple years, but all of a sudden I’m being asked like, Hey, would you apply to speak in our word camp? And I was like, like, yes, I will. You know, and those kinds of things. And that’s it. Snowballs, right? So it starts small and then you start to build this network and it’s not just like you make one connection to the next. It’s not like a string of pearls where, you know, one to the next, to the next, to the next.
Speaker 2 00:15:06 It’s like this, it’s this net, right? That’s why it’s called networking and not like line working . Cause everybody’s interconnected with each other. And so you start to realize that you, your touchpoints have grown exponentially. And uh, it’s really fascinating to, to watch it happen, especially when you’re not intentional about it. Like, I wasn’t at the in, you know, I am now very intentional about it. Mm-hmm , but at the beginning I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t even know I was networking. And, uh, luckily lucked into some of the things that brought me to where I am today. .
Speaker 3 00:15:39 Yeah. I mean I think it’s that intersection of networking and community where you just fall so naturally. So, and that’s probably why WordPress was so attractive to you also, right? Like that that really big community that doesn’t feel like, especially at the time, right? Like not like people were trying to sell. Networking has a sales aspect sound to it.
Speaker 2 00:15:55 True. Yeah. Um,
Speaker 3 00:15:56 Which is why I don’t love the word, but it, it’s functionally what it is cuz like ultimately you wanna end up making money. Um, but I guess it depends on your motivation. Lemme talk about that for a second. Cause I’m not motivated by making money. I like to make money and my network does help. I’m motivated by helping people. Like I really am. Yeah. Like that’s what makes me happy. Like a paycheck makes me, um, satisfied, but like hel helping people makes me very happy and like I help people in a weird way. Like I don’t like make having make you shake soup, like that would be miserable Yeah, by like solving people’s other like, tangible problems. And, and that I think is what made, makes connections deeper, um mm-hmm . So maybe yours isn’t solving problems or whatever it is, but it has to be something beyond financial that you see in that person. Absolutely.
Speaker 2 00:16:40 I agree a hundred percent. Um, one of the things that, you know, we talked a couple weeks ago about WP speakers that I built and I had people telling me that I should be charging people to be in the database. And I realized number one, that cuz I work with so, so many underrepresented groups, that that is a financial burden to a lot of people outside of the United States. Even $10 is a lot to a lot of people outside the United States. And so that was not something that I wanted to do. I didn’t wanna gate keep it at all in any way, shape or form. And I didn’t know how fast it would grow or how big it would grow, and I didn’t expect that I would get a lot of sponsorship on it, but within one day, within 24 hours, I had like 70 people in the database and five paying sponsors. And so if I had charged $10 or $20 a person, I would not have made as much money as I did. Just having people want to invest sponsorship dollars in, in it. And by having the idea of making it open and available to everybody, it actually has returned more dividends than anything else. I think there’s a
Speaker 3 00:17:39 Example. I love that illustration. Yeah. Well I think, I mean I talk about AI all the time as you know. Yes. But I do think in a world of ai, the thing that I know without a doubt is humans are more valuable than anything else. A human connection, right? Because absolutely a human coder sitting in a closet like cool robot, I’m sorry, sorry, the human coders sitting in the closet. Uh, robots are gonna be doing that, but they can’t hang out with people as, uh, in the way that we can hang out. And that human connection is really important. I agree. I’m excited that we had this topic today.
Speaker 2 00:18:11 Yeah, me too. Thanks for, uh, leaning into it with me. I think that it’s, uh, it’s very valuable and I hope that other people will enjoy thinking about it. And if they do have questions, we’re always, uh, happy to answer them either, um, through the contact form on our website, you can reach either one of us directly on Twitter or you can come into us a, uh, openly on Twitter or through dms. We’re always, we can
Speaker 3 00:18:32 Just drop talk to people about us, right?
Speaker 2 00:18:34 Absolutely. Absolutely . Uh, we’ll see y’all on the next episode. Thanks.
Speaker 1 00:18:41 This has been Michelle Frechette and Hazel Quimpo with Audacity Marketing. Dare to Be Different and Dominate Your Market with Audacity.