How to make lasting connections blog post image

How to Make Lasting Connections

How to make lasting connections blog post image

Our show is a tribute to a woman who was called a connector. You’ll see why and learn some of her secrets to making lasting connections.

We met Liz Strauss through Chris Brogan many years ago, who recommended we reach out to her. Liz had a successful blog with tens of thousands of comments. She would start conversations there, and in the comment section, a community grew. Not too long after meeting Liz, she became our first business coach.

In addition to being a relationship builder, Liz was well-regarded as a business strategist, a coach, a keynote speaker, author, and the CEO and founder of one of the most intimate conferences ever! SOBCon, a conference for successful and outstanding bloggers was a popular event held in Chicago, described as where the virtual meets the concrete.

Bringing Community Together

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Network Marketing

The Problem with Network Marketing on LinkedIn

Network Marketing

Network marketing on LinkedIn needs finesse – much like any networking or marketing done anywhere for that matter! Click PLAY to hear George & Mary-Lynn discuss this on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.

Network marketing on LinkedIn should be like peanut butter and jelly. However, many network marketeering practitioners make a critical mistake. Here’s an example:

[George] I recently received a LinkedIn connection request from a person who shall remain nameless. I accepted and sent a follow-up message thanking him for reaching out. He replied…

“Hey George, Great connecting with you as well… How can you help me with my biz opp…” The message went on to explain his network marketing opportunity.

Because of the nature of BIGG Success, I’m pretty open to connection requests. But this was my first correspondence with this particular person.

We hasten to add:

  • This recent example is by no means the only.
  • We’re not involved in network marketing.
  • We believe network marketing is a viable distribution channel.
  • We admire people who succeed in this field.

However, many network marketers don’t understand the culture of LinkedIn. That’s the problem. It leaves a bad taste which affects true network marketing professionals.

How can you rise above other practitioners? How can you capitalize on the power of LinkedIn to grow your business? Here are three suggestions to get better results faster:

Network marketing on LinkedIn requires the “you” view

Not you. Them. The person you’re having a conversation with.

This is a foundational concept in all sales communications. What’s in it for me?
When you reach out to someone on LinkedIn, that’s the question they’re asking.

Do you see the answer in the example above? No. Here’s what you see: “How can you help me with my biz opp…”

It’s the opposite of “you” view. It’s “me” view.

People don’t buy, join or sign up for you. They do so for themselves.

If you only present your reasons, they’ll find plenty of reasons NOT to do what you want.

Network marketing on LinkedIn starts with connecting, not connections

When you see someone you want to connect with, what do you actually see?

A real life flesh-and-bones person? A person you think might be interesting to know? A human being you’d like to learn more about?

Many people see dollar signs. They can be spotted a thousand miles away. They can’t help but show their true color – green. It’s all about money.

Of course, you should be excited about the products or services you sell. You should be enthusiastic about your opportunity.

But timing is everything. Your initial correspondence with a new connection shouldn’t be a pitch. Focus first on connecting on a human level. Money follows.

Network marketing on LinkedIn means helping, not hunting

Don’t pounce. Prospects aren’t prey.

How can you prescribe a solution when you haven’t diagnosed the problem?

Yeah, we know. You offer something everyone should be interested in.

Baloney. That mindset is a recipe for wasting time. You don’t see the qualified prospects through the mass of connections.

Don’t hunt. Help.

As you get to know the person, you’ll likely find ways to be of service. In many cases, it may be unrelated to what you do.

It may not even be about business. You may share an article or resource about a hobby or other interest of theirs. You relate to them on a human level.

The relationship grows. Trust builds. Then you’ll find plenty of opportunities to share your opportunity.

It’s about more than network marketing on LinkedIn

It turns out that these suggestions go beyond network marketing and LinkedIn. They apply to sales in general. They apply to all networking – not just social networking or networking on LinkedIn.

We must confess we’ve learned this from experience. Not on LinkedIn, but in other ways – we’ve been too exuberant at times about our own business. We learned the hard way. We’re sharing with you so you can avoid our mistakes.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for professionals who want to find, connect, and engage with prospects and customers. Follow these tips for your BIGG success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:

Leverage this instead of finances for BIGG Success

Cash Used to be King

Leverage this instead of finances for BIGG Success

Listen to this post! Click play to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast (Duration 3:29)

In the hit movie, Wall Street, Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) said to his protégé, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen):

“The key to the game is capital reserves. If you don’t have enough, you can’t piss in the tall weeds with the big dogs.”

How’s your access ability?

We hear it all the time – cash is king. But it’s not just cash that matters; it’s also access to capital.

Large companies generally have that. Small business people often don’t.

So it’s crucial to manage your cash flow wisely. Make sure you’re getting a return on every dollar that goes out your door. Because…

Even if an outlay goes to your Income Statement as an expense,
it should still deliver a return to you or it’s not worth spending the money.

In addition, build up your reserve borrowing capacity. Protect your credit rating like you would any other asset. Then you’ll be able to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

Watch your debt ratios so you could always tap into some money if need be. But also be aware that …

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Why You Should Mix Business with Pleasure

your amygdala and your social life | BIGG SuccessThere’s this teeny tiny part of your brain – it sits at the base of your brain – that apparently reveals a lot about your friends. It’s called the amygdala.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that people with a bigger amygdala have more friends. This almond-shaped area is more than twice the size in people who are more social.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Duration 4:40)

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Perhaps the most striking part of this research was the difference between the two groups:

  • Less social people had less than 15 people with whom they had regular contact
  • People with a bigger amygdala had as many as 50 acquaintances

The researchers aren’t sure of the direction of the relationship. Does a bigger amygdala lead to more friends or do more friends lead to a bigger amygdala?

The lead researcher said that the brain is a “use it or lose it organ.” So she postulated that it expands with the number and the nature of your relationships.

A simple way to have more friends

The thing we found most interesting was a BIGG tip about how to get more friends: People with more friends tended to have more complex relationships.

In other words, they mix business with pleasure!

And yet we’ve heard our whole lives – don’t mix business and pleasure. Wrong! You should mix the two.

It’s consistent with the BIGG idea behind BIGG success – synergy. We used to think it was essential to separate people into two camps – professional and personal.

However, many people miss a lot of opportunities by drawing this line between work and play. You can have better relationships with more people if you erase that line.

The relational power of social media

While the researchers didn’t look at online connections, we think this actually highlights one of the best things about social media. We get to see the whole person now.

We may meet someone in a business setting. But once we connect online, we can learn about their families, their hobbies, their interests and more.

Social media will help you keep track of what’s going on in the lives of more people. By watching status updates in your stream, you can pull something personal up with business colleagues.

It deepens the relationship instantly. The people in your life know you’re paying attention to them.

It helps create synergy which leads to more fun AND better results. Now that’s BIGG success.

Have you found that social media helps you keep up with more people?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:

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4 Keys to Facing Challenges with Confidence

4_keysNo storm lasts forever. That's just as true of financial storms as it is natural ones. However, in the midst of a storm, that knowledge may not offer much solace.

The news has been full of storm clouds. Among other indicators, unemployment is rising. There is one thing you can do to face challenges like this with confidence – prepare for it in advance by keeping your options open. Here are four ways to do that:




Insure that people see you doing what you do best. Is your job "outbound" so you're clearly visible to customers? If so, capitalize on that relationship. Ask them for a brief note about working with you. It will come in handy at your next evaluation or if you need to look for other work.

If your job doesn't expose you to anyone outside your company, then work on your visibility. Get involved in your industry. Look for conferences you can attend. Participate in forums and comment on blog posts about your industry. You might even consider starting your own blog to show off your expertise. Volunteer to work for your favorite non-profit.

There are many ways to do it. Get started right away if you’re not already doing it. And then do a little maintenance – reach out in some way – every day.


It's amazing how many people land a new job through a referral. It's also amazing how much business results from our networks.

So why do so many of us pay so little attention to our network until we really need it?

Do you participate in local opportunities? Is your company a member of the Chamber of Commerce? If so, do you attend Chamber functions? Are you a member of any local service clubs? These are great real world opportunities to build your network.

Are you on LinkedIn? What about Facebook and Twitter? Have you joined any industry-specific social networking sites? The contacts you make through these sites will be valuable now. They may prove invaluable should you be forced to make a change.

How about combining the virtual with the real? Have you registered on Meetup to find out about local events of interest to you? You’ll meet some fantastic people while growing your network at the same time.


It begins by positioning yourself. What makes you unique? How can you communicate that? What opportunities play to your core strengths?

Is your resume up-to-date? If not, there's no time like the present! For sample cover letters, resumes, job search and interviewing tips, check out Resume Help.

Building a Bridge Plan

What would you do if you were forced to change jobs? How would you pay your bills? Where would you look for a new job? Who would you contact for referrals? For what services would you pay? For example, would you hire a career coach?

As you prepare this plan, keep a couple of things in mind.

  • You may spot some problems.
    That's why you're doing this now. For instance, at what point might you need to find some part-time work or freelance work to pay the bills?
  • Allow for some recovery time.
    You're human. It will be emotional. But you'll feel much more confident having thought it through in advance. And you'll be able to keep your options open to find the right opportunity for you! That’s bigg success!


Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!


Thanks for the gift of your time today.

Bigg success is life on your own terms. You are the entrepreneur of your own life. You can be taught some things about entrepreneuring; others you have to learn on your own. Please join us next time when we talk about which is which.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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