How to grow a successful business offline
With Joe Glover - Founder of The Marketing Meetup
“I hate networking but I don’t think I do enough to build my business connections offline. WTF should I do?”
My first reaction to that question was don’t do it. They’re all paid for, bullsh*t BNI, d*ck-measuring bore-fests.
So, I figured I better ask someone nicer than me and see if I could be convinced otherwise.
That person was Joe Glover 👇
Joe is the creator of The Marketing Meetup. A positively lovely community with 34k+ marketers from around the world. He’s run the community for over 6 years and has worked with some of the best marketing minds in the world, such as Mark Ritson and Rory Sutherland.
If you’re part of the paid community you can watch the full podcast now with your early access.
Here are some key takeaways from what Joe had to say 👇
“You build your community before you need it.”
I think business short-termism is a real problem.
A lot of the stuff I did six years ago within the community is paying off now.
It’s like planting seeds.
You have to have the mindset that you’re going to create authentic connections.
Because when seismic shifts occur with events like the economy, you need things to fall back on. That is your community. They are your contacts.
It’s just a bunch of people making it up together, that's how we create value.
Q: Should people join paid networking groups?
If we approach this question as marketers, you've got your marketing lifecycle
What we’re talking about here sits really nicely in the awareness category. It’s very top-level.
The expectation (in my experience) is that people attend to get their name out there and become known by more people. Then maybe get some business down the line.
That expectation is accentuated at a paid event and you start using it as an acquisition channel.
All of a sudden your marketing tactic for attending the event is shifted to gaining a short-term return.
So, no problem with paid events. It’s all about your own expectation when you go into them.
The whole point of networking is to have a human experience.
Authentic. Genuine. Connections.
My dad once said to me:
“You’ve just got to do the best you can in your own little world and then your world will get bigger”
The goal is to help people, one by one, and it’s amazing how that ripple gets so much bigger.
Q: What if you find it uncomfortable?
Feel the fear but do it anyway.
I crave meaningful conversation. But I can’t do small talk. So, I can be really bad at networking events.
In fact, I’ve stood looking at my phone at events, more than I‘ve said ‘hello’. I still do that, six years into running Marting Meetup.
But I’ve found a field I’m comfortable playing on. And that’s important.
You develop a common thread of interest, which makes conversation easier.
Remember that whatever nerves you’re feeling, most people attending will be experiencing the same feelings in one way or another.
Another coping method is to go with someone else.
Go with that person who can shove you into a conversation.
You have to find a way to make it work for you.
Q: How can someone increase their offline business connections?
It’s about proactivity.
Just drop someone a message. So often we overthink these things. It takes 2 seconds to type out a message to someone you respect, or who works in a similar industry as you.
Don’t fear competition. There’s plenty to go around. Especially if you’ve positioned yourself correctly.
99% of the people you meet are normal people.
Just turn up as yourself. Literally, relax your shoulders and meet people without pressure.
Do that consistently, and people who feel the same way gravitate toward you.
If you do it with a genuine intent people will react in the right way.
Thanks to Joe for appearing on the podcast.
Slightly different conversation to our usual tempo on the VAMO podcast, but I hope you get some value from it.
Truth be told, I still think most paid groups are w*nky.
But whilst recording the episode I did remember an interesting story.
The first time we met our eventual buyers of my previous business was at a tradeshow event (ok, it was at the bar, but it counts).
If we hadn’t marketed our business offline, we might never have sold.
Makes you think about what opportunities you could be missing out on if you neglect that side of your business.
Paid members can now watch the full episode with early access 📺
In the book Strategic Connections (by Anne Baber), the author suggests that everyone’s network consists of four nets:
WorkNet: includes everyone you work with on a daily basis, such as your co-workers.
OrgNet: includes people from other departments within your organisation.
ProNet: includes professional contacts outside your workplace. Former clients, associations etc.
LifeNet: encompasses your family friends
All I’d encourage you to do is ask yourself how solid your connections are in your ProNet.
If you spot a gap, think about how you can be a more proactive networker for your business, and do as Joe says. Just drop someone a message.
I know I need to do more. Let me know how you get on in the Slack community.
The Wrap Up
In case you missed it, here’s what the VAMO slack community has been up to throughout August.
Dan Kelsall shared the results of his shadvertising marketing campaign.
In VAMO, we don’t just tell you the things you should be trying. Oh no. We walk the talk. Or in this instance, create a billboard campaign showcasing the worst customer feedback we’ve received. Why?
It helps your brand stand out
It crafts a tone of voice entirely different to anything else in your industry.
And because Dan is a sad, petty, little man.
Did it work?
In this edition, Mike answered a question about launching a new business service.
Even if you’ve got an established business, chances are you will need to launch a new product or service at some point (we’ve all been pivoting our arses off over the past two years especially).
But rushing to market without having your ducks in a row can be a reputational disaster and a waste of money.
Over 50% of product or service launches fail.
To avoid becoming part of that statistic, Mike shared the simple method he’s used countless times to launch his own new services.
It’s called the magic rule of 3.
Who knew ‘personal brand’ could be so controversial?
Our episode with Matt and Shoaib certainly caused a stir on Linkedin.
In this edition, Shoaib answered VAMO members' questions to help them attract and convert high-quality leads, and build and scale their online following.
The Rise of Personal Brand ⚡
And in case you missed it, last month we were joined in the studio by personal branding expert Shoaib Ahmed from Yello Hippo, and Matt Swain from SOCIAL CLUB. We shared our views on building a personal brand, whether everybody needs one and we'll also be discussing the dark side of building a personal brand.
View the full podcast below 👇
VAMO Member Shoutout 🚀
Jamie and his good pal Zac built one of the UK's most successful channels (team VAMO are big fans).
Jamie has since taken a step away from creating on the channel to try something new and is coaching the next wave of YouTubers and businesses.
Here's the channel if you want to check it out and add to that 1 million subs: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcjx6m03fZwtRBFn1Cf7kKQ
Don’t forget to share your wins in the community slack channel so we can celebrate with you.
That’s it for this week.
We hope you found it useful.
If you’ve not already, don’t forget to subscribe to our paid community
You’ll get all of this:
⚡ 1 x email per week that covers sales/marketing/grow your following with a coaching video.
⚡ Access to the private Slack community
⚡ Early access to watch the VAMO Podcast (1 week early)
⚡ Submit questions to be answered on the VAMO Podcast by Mike and Dan
⚡ Community meetups
For £150 for the year, it’s a real no-brainer 🧠
See you next week