Are you networking to build connections in your coaching business yet. If you are that’s smart.
Networking isn’t just about meeting potential clients. Although that can happen. It’s more about having a professional community and leveraging the resource that’s helped businesses thrive for hundreds of years — other business owners!
You can meet centers of influence or an opportunity might find you. I’m lucky that’s happened for me.
Networking can spark long-term, mutually beneficial connections and referral partners.
If you’re not networking because it’s uncomfortable, I get it. It has been a big challenge for me, and I think most people find networking difficult.
But not my guest today. She loves it and will share tips that will take the squirm out of this for you. By the way, she’s a coach.
Find this episode and more resources for moc.hcaocsuorepsorpnull@sehcaoc/254
Meet Coach Christina Renzelli of Richly Successful Solopreneurs
Christina Renzelli is a business and life coach for solopreneurs, helping them learn to trust their gut and follow their heart so they can network and sell in an authentic way. Doesn’t that sound good?
She founded Richly Successful Solopreneur and her podcast of the same name. I highly recommend her podcast, which you can find on any podcast app or on her website, RichlySuccessful.com, with other valuable resources for solopreneurs. I listen to it weekly because, well, I’m a solopreneur and so are you.
You and I met when you enrolled in my VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program. You finished that VIP program and launched your new business — after having coached for a while already before that —four months ago. And Christina, I miss you. You are a bright light, you are full of positivity and enthusiasm. You have high integrity and creative energy, and it’s such a pleasure to be with you and to have worked with you on your coaching business.
Thanks, Rhonda. It was great working with you. Before we worked together, I binge listened to your earlier podcast episodes about creating a niche and felt like that had always been a missing piece for me as a coach. You really helped me get very specific with my business and my marketing. So thank you.
You’re so welcome. And when you decided to make networking skills a part of your Signature Program, I knew that I had to have you on Prosperous Coach Podcast because I think most coaches are truly afraid of networking.
Networking is not my strength either — I guess you could probably tell that. And I know that if you have a service business, it’s so smart to network regularly because it can make a huge difference in getting referrals. Plus it’s one of those life changing skills that I think done your way, Christina, can be so rewarding.
So let’s get to your awesome networking tips and insights today.
What’s your philosophy, Christina, about networking and how is it unique from what other people suggest?
So I feel like networking really has to be relational and not transactional.
I think we’ve all had people try to sell us something and it just feels icky. It can feel manipulative and transactional. So what I like to do is help clients create real relationships and real connections, especially with the service business.
And most people don’t really know how to network without being salesy or, or even be a target for those salesy people. You can get stuck in that networking friend zone. So there’s a lot of possible directions it could go.
Well, I love what you said about relational and I think that is a key point. I’m sure every single one of us has been marketed to in a very direct and sort of skeevy way. And, we don’t like it. So that’s just such a good reason not to go into a networking meeting and try to push yourself on anyone, but instead relate, connect. I love that.
Christina, one thing that sets you apart from other business coaches is the way you help your clients tap into their intuition for their business. Your benefit statement says trust their gut and follow their heart, which is really powerful. So how can networking be intuitive?
So I think that for all of us, intuition is our number one superpower, but we either ignore it, block it out, or we can’t hear it, or we just don’t know how to listen to it. And so when we go against our intuition, we feel drained. Business can be so much easier and more profitable if we just learn how to tap into our intuition and make decisions by trusting ourselves, trusting our intuition.
And in networking, I think it’s really important to use your intuition. When you’re talking to people, do you wanna talk more to someone? What is your intuition telling you? What does your body feel? Maybe it’s telling you it’s time to move on to talking to another person. It can really give you the clues that you need to know when there’s a real connection possible or if it’s maybe just a dead end.
Focus on who gives you that energized feeling versus who gives you that drained feeling. This is your intuition, giving you the green light.
That sounds great. And I think you never really know when you’re talking to an individual WHY you may be attracted to them, why you may be connecting with them on a deeper level than you do someone else. You never know what it could turn out to be. So just going with that flow sounds like a good idea to me.
What are the top three mistakes most people make with networking?
Well, I think #1 is a lot of people are too afraid to go to a networking event. So they don’t show up at all. They just kind of stay in their own world, maybe in front of their computer screen.
#2 I think is maybe you think you have to go there to sell or to get clients, and this puts you in that need to impress mode rather than that listening service mode of … “Hmm, how can I help someone today?”
And #3 is that you don’t follow up. You really do want to follow up with those people that you felt that connection and that energized feeling with. So it’s really important to follow up with them and build that connection and nurture it.
#4 Also, I think people forget that networking is a skill that you can learn and that you have to practice like anything in life You just have to practice it and you will get better and it will become more enjoyable.
Yeah, so … go, go often, practice. Don’t expect yourself to be perfect at it. I think that’s a really good thing to go in with.
One of the reasons that I don’t network more is time and energy. I have a robust business set up in a way that keeps me healthy. And I’m an introvert, which I’ve shared on the podcast before.
How can introverts network in a way that doesn’t tap them out?
Yeah. Well I’m an introvert too, so I definitely understand this. And I think a lot of coaches are introverts and they love people.
I think if we just take the pressure off and focus on making some quality relationships, that’s the key. You don’t have to do anything that feels high pressure. It could even be networking online.
It’s really just about talking to people, being CURIOUS to see if there’s a connection with them and kind of see what fits into your life. There’s no specific blueprint for everyone. Everyone’s networking system can be different. It could be based on what works for you.
Good. I like that. I had no idea you were an introvert by the way. You are so social! And, you know, there’s introverts of all stripes, but I just wouldn’t have guessed that. That’s amazing.
Yeah, I’m an introvert for sure.
So any final words of wisdom for coaches on any networking subject or any other topic that you think would really help them?
Yeah, I would say be your genuine self and to learn how to trust yourself. Let your uniqueness be something that works for you rather than against you. There really isn’t any competition in coaching because each coach offers something very unique to their specific target clients.
That’s beautiful. Thank you so much.
You know, what you’re saying reminds me of when I was networking early in my coaching business … I would go to these networking meetings and I’d go up to someone and they’d ask what I do and I’d tell them.
They’d kind of roll their eyes and say: “Oh, another coach, there must be half the room here that are coaches.” And I could tell that they were kind of turned off and it really gave me a bad taste in my mouth.
I think it’s one of the reasons why I was so shy about networking very often, but it is also made me realize that I needed to narrow my niche. I needed to focus in and stand out so that that person didn’t feel like, oh, another coach!
But rather than saying I’m a life coach or I’m a business coach or whatever, I could bring my beautiful benefit statement forward, tell them who I serve and how I serve them, and there would not be that reaction.
So it’s one of the reasons why I teach what I do.
And I think that if you can go to networking meetings with clarity about who you serve and what you do for them, then you won’t run into that issue that I had.
Christina, I really appreciate all the insights and wisdom that you’ve brought to us today, and I hope everybody listening will check Christina out at RichlySuccessful com to see what she does with her podcast.