Melissa henault

You’ve got to create a community before growing your revenue.

This hot-seat session is all about networking. Melissa gives her spot-on advice about how building your brand and establishing yourself as an authority is crucial for your business’s success.  

You can’t just jump on a social media platform and expect to start selling. Listen in to find out why.

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BOTAO Ep 164


[00:00:00] I've been traveling a lot this whole year, so I haven't been able to focus on my business the way that I wanted to. But my win for today that I want to share from the last time we spoke was, I don't know if you remember, I think it was sometime in March.

I was trying to grow my network. I started with 126 connections when I first started the program and I was still working through it because, um, I was traveling so much and I think you gave me a deadline, okay, you gotta commit to this number and you gotta do this. So I started doing that and I'm happy to report that I have about 920 followers, um, and 680 connections.

I love this. And that happened in only the last three months. Okay. Um, and I wasn't even here in July. So I've been getting followers. Well, did you listen in on the calls today about connections and how I was writing people's [00:01:00] heinies about growing their network? Yeah. Yeah. I wanted to jump in. I was like, yeah, it totally works.

I'm totally feeling it. So yeah. I think it's incredible. Yes. So let's expand upon that for a minute for the rest of the group. Then, um, some of you may not have watched the replays from this earlier today. I love it. Annie's like committed and engaged in all of this, but, um, the average. The number, the percentage of use of your content, the average, if you, no matter how many people you have about 2 percent of your network on any given day are going to see what you put out.

And so what we talked about earlier today is that if you're just growing your network by a handful per week. About 2 percent of them are seeing the content you're putting out. It is a numbers game, right? And so what I really challenged folks is I said, you know, the magic number of engagement, and maybe I'll have any expand upon what she's experiencing right now is it doesn't matter what you come into with [00:02:00] LinkedIn, this academy.

It doesn't matter if you came in with 4, 000 people from a previous career or 200 people or one, um, you need 500 new. Connections that meet the qualifications of your ideal current prospect, because if you come in with baggage of 5, 000 people from a previous corporate career, but they're not your ideal audience, they're not going to engage with the content you put out, which feeds the algorithm to keep you being seen.

Right? So. The sooner you can get to that 500 magic number, I encourage you guys not to make it a goal to get to it by the end of the program, but rather towards the middle or even earlier in the program, because your questions will change because the dynamics on the platform are going to change and the engagement is going to change.

Right. So that was a little bit of what we talked about earlier today. Um, any, before you dive into your question, do you mind just sharing like what. What you've been experiencing since growing your network, like the difference and kind of the, the, the [00:03:00] dynamics of the platform now, versus before you added these, um, you know, 500 or 600 new people.

Yeah. Um, so I, I was looking forward to that 500 number and I was like, well, yes, I need to get that. That's my goal. But I actually started seeing results before that I was starting to get engagement in the DMs and. Um, interaction on my posts and like, people were responding and I could, I could tell that they were seeing me as the authority and that happened because.

Couple of things. I think I struggled in the beginning to send out my invitations, the connection request, um, trying to personalize it. And because I understand the mentality of my ideal client, like accountants, that's who I serve. I knew that a generic message or something that even polite and commenting.

Um, nicely on their, um, something about their complimenting on their profile. It's not [00:04:00] going to work for them. So I started thinking what it is that I want, how, and I, I remember listening to one of your podcasts, you're talking about community and it really hit me. Like. That's what I want to do on LinkedIn is I want to build the community.

And so I changed my messaging to say, um, I'm building this community of like minded accountants, and I want to invite you to my community. And this is what I have to offer in return like I share information about. Marketing and all that stuff. And that's changed everything. Like I had people connecting with me like this.

I had no like people before that people wouldn't respond to my connection request. And it wasn't very, um, they weren't very open to it. But when I started messaging, they would actually reply back and say, Yes, please include me. Right. So that's changed everything. And also, when I changed when I reached the 500 mark, Um, it definitely, I [00:05:00] saw more DMS coming in and interacting went up.

Um, so yeah, it's totally a numbers game, but unfortunately for me, because I'm, I haven't been present to sell my business. Um, I haven't been able to, um, use that, uh, that activity and take it to, to the bank, right. Um, but I'm hoping that I can count on it when I am ready to sell, which hopefully is soon. So, yeah, um, that's my experience.

Yeah. Thank you. And then, you know, I constantly say you have to build your community before you build your bank account. Right. And actually for those of you who aren't even quite sure what you're going to be selling are in the, in the process of kind of building what you're going to sell, you're actually in a beautiful space because you can just build authority and give and create community with no ulterior motive.

And that's how this is actually how not to like, like jump over to Instagram and, and like, But there is an [00:06:00] analogy to this. This is why, for instance, influencers are, are, um, Approached by brands because these people are just giving value and being themselves online and are creating a personal brand that then, you know, when they mentioned something they like, or they love people are purchasing because they've built this instant credibility because they've built kind of their own personal brand.

Um, and this is also, Oh my God, I'm dying. My five year old is. Standing on the edge of the pool, peeing out, like into the grass. Sorry. It's a good thing we have all this wilderness. Um, and nobody can see what's going on except for me. Um, Oh my gosh, there's little hiney. So, um, where I'm going with this is, it doesn't have to be an influencer on Instagram, but what I'm saying is the reason these people are, are approached for selling products and stuff is because they've built a trustworthy brand.

Um, it's all about community. It doesn't have to be an influencer with. 10, 000 [00:07:00] bazillion followers, but when you create a community around something, right, you own that community. That is your asset. Right. Um, and so all of you can really think about what can I do to bring value and create community for people, right?

Like you think about, I do the free networking workshops once a month. There's no cost to that. People come in and it's, they're getting a ton of value because they're connecting with other entrepreneurs, but I own it. Right. Um, and we had over 80 people come in yesterday to our little, our little breathwork session.

Right. So, um, there's so many creative ways on LinkedIn that you can create community. Um, and then you own that asset, you own the network. Right. So I love that. I love it. Okay. So what are your questions?

So, my question is, um, actually, I'm just going to quickly comment on Jill's, uh, question. She said, where do I host the community?

So, it's, it's not really like, um, a separate community. I just, I [00:08:00] mean, when I do the LinkedIn network that I have, I have, All sorts of influencers. I have like top minds in the industry. Um, I bring all the resources, um, connected to all these different people that are going to bring value to the client, my ideal client.

So that's what I mean. And then I'm hoping to have like a Facebook community or, uh, networking events where I can bring all these people together by invitation and then create a space of community like place. I love that. And that's such a great question. And it kind of piggybacks on what I was just saying, your, your initial community can literally be your brand on LinkedIn and your network and the value you're bringing out and the people you're bringing into your feed with the LinkedIn live.

You can bring in experts in your field to chat. The coffee chat and bring that you don't even have to be running a podcast to do this, right? That is community. People come to your feed, come to your page to see what you're [00:09:00] talking about. They start to follow you because of the value you own that. Right.

And then, and then, um, to Annie's point from there, you can move it elsewhere. Right. You can create a private community, but you can truly build community through a social media platform. Right. Yeah. And from a digital marketing point of view, I think once people see you as an authority, that's it, like you've established yourself and in their mind, whatever you say, whoever you bring, they automatically assign value to you.

You know, I love that we're bringing this up because so many people try to skip this. On social media and just go straight to selling. Yeah. And you have authority. It doesn't work. We're smart consumers now, right? Yes. Even if you're highly educated, highly certified, you know, have every tool in your tool belt.

You can't just jump on a platform and sell stuff. Like you have to, you have to build authority, right? But the beauty in all of it is once you do, it's an asset [00:10:00] that you own for the rest of your life, your brand. Protect it. So good. Absolutely. I have I have lots of things that I'm going to branch out from this personal brand.

I'm crazy. That's right. Lots of amazing plans that I have, which might take some years, but it's on the list.

Hey friend!

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