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Why we need authentic connection now more than ever

WHY WE NEED AUTHENTIC CONNECTION NOW MORE THAN EVER

 

Why we need authentic connection now more than ever

2020 is not going the way most of us planned. Who knew phrases like ‘the new normal’, ‘challenging times’ and ‘social distancing’ would slip into our vernacular as easily as those activewear tights slip on most mornings these days (am I right?). Here’s how I’ve stayed connected with others during these uncertain times and why we need authentic connection opportunities more than ever before.

 

Zoom, anyone?

During lockdown #1 it’s fair to say I reached Zoom capacity. Otherwise known as the state you get to when every social activity in your world resorts to Zoom. I was Zoom gym-ing, Zoom book-clubbing, Zoom calling-the-grandparents-ing, Zoom Saturday-night-wine-ing/whining. And of course, SWS coffee chats and Friday afternoon drinks.

But these were important because they helped maintain connection. Much-needed human contact in a time of such upheaval and unease. I craved familiarity – to speak with and see friends who suddenly seemed so far away and family who were conservatively isolating.

What I realised was, there’s a balance. I wound back some of the video calls if I felt my energy was being drained. If there was the option to transition to a phone call, I would. After all, the chance for long phone chats with friends was a novelty. No hasty text messages or leaving it days between contact because #busy. The need for human company was real. The uncertainty, unease and unfamiliarity was unsettling.

 

Exploring client relationships IRL

Talk about breaking the fourth wall. I had calls where I saw my clients’ messy lounge rooms, young children, snack plates, pets and trackies. I saw into their lives and they saw into mine. Interestingly, this authentic connection has changed our working relationships for the better moving forward. Here’s why.

  • Communication transformed into total, upfront honesty at all times. It had to, just to prepare people for the 4 year-old who would likely wander in and sit on my lap during a Zoom and pop an ear pod in his ear for a listen. Likewise, both corporate and small business clients had young, screaming babies at home. It became just a natural part of our meetings and chats, where we actually checked in on how each other were going.
  • I proved to clients – even those who had been rigidly opposed to remote work – that the work would always get done. We built in flexibility around how, with the understanding that things could change at any moment during the day. I could make up the time in the evenings, when things were quiet. Or take an extra day or two. Content could wait. It wasn’t frontline stuff, for goodness sake.

 

Taking the connection offline

To get a tech break, I started each morning in lockdown with a long walk. I soon discovered a couple of friends and connections in the area who were doing the same. So, socially distanced – or SD – walks became a thing. Conversations that would ordinarily happen over text, Facebook Messenger or Instagram DMs became real, human conversations with a face. These walks were valuable opportunities to talk through big feelings, navigate challenges and uplift one another. They spurred us on for another week, another day, even just the next few hours. It was a case of stronger together.

 

In times of change, we need some things to stay the same

One of my lifelines during this time has been the familiarity and steadfast support from the She Will Shine community. With a level of intimacy already well established within the group, we allowed ourselves to feel vulnerable together. While in my own home context, I tried hard to stay positive for our household, our Shiner Zooms were a place I could let my guard down. We talked openly of the stresses and challenges of home-schooling and taking care of young children. The pull between work and family and the excessive mental load. A lot of my friends don’t relate to small business life. This group has my back and really understands the unique pressures on women in business. Hey, we can run successful businesses; we can navigate a global pandemic together.

 

We’re better together

We don’t know what the near or distant future will bring for us – our businesses, families, and ourselves. What we do know is that the power of real connection can do so much to sustain us when we’re in unchartered waters. When everything we know changes. When we’re grieving what we’ve missed and what will no longer be. One thing I know is we truly cannot do it alone.

 

RELATED: How To Network During ISO + Beyond

 

Continue this conversation in our business community by becoming a She Will Shine Member today. Join the She Will Shine business network today and connect with a community of Australia-wide women business owners.

 

 
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About Emma McMillan
Emma is your copy sidekick. She collaborates with time-poor established small business owners, marketing teams and agencies to create content they can be proud of that speaks to their audience. Her 1:1 copy coaching service is perfect for those who want to learn copy skills and develop the courage to DIY.

Contact Emma over on her website, on socials @emmamcmillancopy or on LinkedIn.

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How to create your 30 second business elevator pitch

HOW TO CREATE YOUR 30 SECOND BUSINESS ELEVATOR PITCH

How to create your 30 second business elevator pitch

Sound familiar? You know your business inside and out, but you struggle to find the right words and be concise when explaining it to strangers. Then my friend, you need a business elevator pitch.

 

What is a business elevator pitch?

It’s a 30-second memorable description of what you do and/or what you sell. The goal is to earn a second conversation, not to convince the person you’re talking to that they should buy from you.

 

How do you craft your business elevator pitch?

So now it’s time to think about what you need to include in your elevator pitch. Get out a pen and paper and answer the following questions. This will then help you to form your pitch.

  1. Who is your target market?
  2. What are the problems and challenges that they face?
  3. How do you help them solve those problems?

 

The business elevator pitch technique we’re going to use today is The Gaddie Pitch

This technique was created by Antony Gaddie, Founder and CEO of Green Ant Marketing. The reason I like it is because it’s simple, easy to remember and conversational. You don’t want to sound like a robot when you’re out networking!

 

The Gaddie Pitch consists of the following three statements:

Your name and business and then…

  1. You know how…?
  2. Well what we do is…
  3. In fact…

 

Let’s break that down
  1. You know how…?
    What are the problems of your target niche. You can use an analogy or metaphor so people understand.
  2. Well what we do is…
    Don’t name exactly what you do. Focus on the benefit that people get when you deliver your services including what is unique about what you do. What is the differentiator? Try and put them in the second sentence.
  3. In fact…
    Use the best example/case study that you can to back up number 2 sentence. Use an actual name of the person and company you worked with. Ask their permission first.

 

Here’s an example

Hi, I’m Danielle Price from She Will Shine.

You know how women business owners feel overwhelmed and isolated when they’re working on their own?

Well what She Will Shine does is connect these women with a female focused business community that provides them with the genuine connections and support they need to grow a thriving, meaningful business around their life.

In fact one of our members, Ange Petzierides of Social Media Mania values the community so much that she said it’s one of the best decisions she’s made in her business life.

 

Now it’s your turn

Use the three statements above, together with your notes from earlier to form your Gaddie Pitch. Be sure to practise saying it aloud and to others and ask for their feedback.

Using the above technique you will master the art of the 30 second business elevator pitch, and be networking like a pro in no time!

RELATED: How To Network During ISO + Beyond

The 3 Step Guide To Writing Your Unique Selling Proposition.

 

Continue this conversation in our business community by becoming a She Will Shine Member today. Join the She Will Shine business network today and connect with a community of Australia-wide women business owners.

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About Danielle Price
With over 10 years small business experience, Danielle Price has created an Australia-wide network of female founders at She Will Shine. An expert networker and elevator of women business owners, Danielle facilitates connection and support between like-minded women in working towards a common goal of creating a successful business around personal responsibilities and life. Danielle’s passion is sharing and giving a voice to the real stories of Australian women business owners. Learn more about Danielle here.

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How to network during ISO + beyond

HOW TO NETWORK DURING ISO + BEYOND

 

Do you think it’s time to expand your network? Meet some new people and be inspired?

 

But there’s a couple of problems. You don’t like networking events. Or being sold to. Or having a one-sided conversation with a business card wielding bandit…

 

Oh and let’s not forget that you’ve been living through COVID-19 and lockdown life is super slowly getting back to a new less-than-10-people normal.

 

So what do you do? Do you ditch the idea of ever growing your network in 2020? Or do you start to think outside the box? Let’s go with the latter.

 

Right now networking online is the way to go. But how do you do it right? You may have thought about joining some online communities, dropping into FB groups, sliding into DMs, getting follow/like/comment happy? Perhaps you’re doing this already. Well done! Pat yourself on the back.

 

But what about thinking outside the square?

You could start looking for alternatives that offer opportunities for deeper connections. At She Will Shine we have our monthly Meet + Greets, our business focused Monthly Meetups and our one-on-one ‘Coffee. Connect. Shine.’ catch ups. All of these create more opportunities for our members to get to know each other online, as well as develop relationships in a more personal space. They’re a great way of meeting new people and getting to know each other without the word “networking” even being mentioned. We like the sound of that!

And if you’d like some extra networking ‘brownie points’, how about following-up and nurturing your new connections by sending an email, sharing a resource, or perhaps you’ve recently read a blog that may be beneficial to your new friend. How awesome are you?

 

WARNING! Online networking has some traps you can easily fall into…

1. It can be a little too easy to network in PJs.

2. Communication CAN be one way, brief and superficial UNLESS you go beyond the surface.

3. Not all Facebook groups are created equal. Choose wisely.

4. It’s easy to fall into “playing it safe” mode with this hide-behind-your-computer approach. Just lurking is not enough. You must be contributing to the conversation.

 

BUT there are benefits…

1. It’s convenient. No fighting traffic, or navigating personal logisitics.

2. Socials allow you to research (or stalk – you decide!) your wanna-be-besties-biz. What messages are they sending out to the world? Do your own values align?

3. Taking your time, doing your research, and nurturing conversations can lead perfectly into going offline and establishing real-life connection. Catch up on Zoom over coffee. Or pick up the phone and have a chat – another new found ISO benefit!

 

Regardless of the style of networking you opt for, you must remember that networking without a goal can be a huge time-waster… I know time-waster and online – who would have thought. But you need to be clear on your purpose. Do you want to collaborate? Are you feeling lonely? Do you need inspiration? Or perhaps you want to practise your elevator pitch?

And as ISO restrictions ease, don’t let the online space stop you from getting out there and meeting in person. As we’re currently learning there really is nothing like “in real life”.

RELATED: How to network with a purpose

 

If you’re looking for a community of female founders to help you network through ISO and beyond than you’re already in the right place. Join the She Will Shine business community today and experience a new type of networking.

 

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network-for-women-in-businessAbout Danielle Price
With over 10 years small business experience, Danielle Price has created an Australia-wide network of female founders at She Will Shine. An expert networker and elevator of women business owners, Danielle facilitates connection and support between like-minded women in working towards a common goal of creating a successful business around personal responsibilities and life. Danielle’s passion is sharing and giving a voice to the real stories of Australian women business owners. Learn more about Danielle here.

The community supporting Australian female founders.

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How to network with a purpose

HOW TO NETWORK WITH A PURPOSE

How to network with a purpose

So everyone keeps telling you to get out there and network, network, network.

But every time you do, you go home with a pocket full of business cards, a headache and little else.

 

Well I’m here to share with you that networking IS worth the time and the effort. And I’m even going to tell you how you can get something out of it!

 

Just like every other aspect of your business and your life, you need to network with a goal. Yes, just one! That goal will fit into one of the following types:

 

1. Transactional Goals:

Do you want more sales?
Do you want more social media followers?
Do you want to tell more people about your product or service?

The examples above all revolve around “quantity” and “numbers” in your favour, so are one-sided transactional goals.

 

2. Development Goals:

Are you looking to make new connections and business friends?
Do you want to meet other local businesses?
Are you looking for collaboration opportunities?

The examples above are mutually beneficial goals and will help you (and your new connections) with personal or professional development goals.

 

Traditionally, networking has been seen as a “transactional” setting. The more networking events you go to equals the more sales you make. But these days there are an abundance of different types of networking events around and alternative platforms like social media that help you nurture genuine connections over time. It’s networking with a long-term “development” focus.

 

My advice is to choose the setting that best suits your networking goal.

 

An example might be, if you want to tell as many people as possible about your product or service, look at a speed-networking event. Or perhaps you would like to meet like-minded business owners, well then a She Will Shine event is the way to go.

The great news is that YOU can choose which type of events you go to. Show up, meet new people, have fun and practise. And don’t let that pesky little word “fear” stop you.

 

And of course if you’re interested in networking She Will Shine-style (that’s networking without the ickiness of networking), you can find out more about becoming a She Will Shine Member.

 

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network-for-women-in-businessAbout Danielle Price
With over 10 years small business experience, Danielle Price has created an Australia-wide network of female small business owners at She Will Shine. An expert networker and elevator of female business owners, Danielle facilitates connection and support between like-minded women in working towards a common goal of creating a successful business around personal responsibilities and life. Danielle’s passion is sharing and giving a voice to the real stories of Australian women in small business. Learn more about Danielle here.

Supporting you to grow your business on your terms.

BECOME A MEMBER

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