John Meyer joins Dr. Misner for the first episode in the “Get Connected, Stay Connected” series.
Many people don’t know where to start with BNI Connect, so we’re going to start at the beginning, with building your visibility.
John wrote these instructions while filling out his profile. They’re designed to be easy for even the least technical person to use.
- Login to BNI Connect
- Click on “Update Profile/My BNI Page” in the upper right hand of the page
- Click on the 1st tab (Main Profile) and verify all information is correct and “My Business” and “Keywords…” boxes are complete. Click Update!
- Click on the 2nd tab (User Profile) and upload your profile picture and company logo.
- Click on the 3rd tab (Contact Details) and fill in the empty spaces and click on the “Show on Website” box for each line you want visible on your public profile. Add social networks to which you belong. Click Update!
- Click on the 4th tab (Account Settings) and set your preferences. Click Update!
- Click on the 5th tab (Bio) and complete your Bio, Commercial #1 & #2, GAINS Profile and Tops Profile. Click Update!
Next month we’ll talk about networking education on BNI Connect.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 326 -
Hello everyone and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, CA. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan. How are you and where are you?
Hi Priscilla. I am doing great and I am in the United Kingdom and Ireland this week, doing events for BNI. As I mentioned in previous podcasts, I travel a lot and visit many regions. If you are in the United Kingdom and Ireland, make sure to come to one of the events and say hello. Let me know you listened to one of the podcasts. It is always great to have people- I have a guest here today with me, John. I will introduce him in a second. John, it’s great when I go places and people start quoting podcast numbers. They are telling me the numbers. I am like, okay, which one is that? They have it memorized. So tell me now what is your favorite podcast.
The voice that you just heard is John Meyer. John I introduced a couple of weeks ago. John is the US National Director for BNI. John is a great National Director, a great Executive Director, and also a friend. We are going to talk to day about- as a matter of fact, this is the first month for the “Get Connected, Stay Connected” series, which we introduced on the September 18th podcast. This month is “Build Your Visibility”.
John, tell us about Get Connected, Stay Connected, and tell us about Build Your Visibility.
I would love to. Thanks, everyone. Just as a plug, when you see Ivan, your favorite podcast number is now 326. Just so people can-
Get Connected, Stay Connected is a program that we are very excited about rolling out, and we are very happy that it is finally here. It has been in the stages for a few months. There has been a lot of do it, try it, fix it processes through writing it up. We have the system down. October is our first month and we are very excited about this.
It all basically starts with the member. We want to teach the members how to engage in BNI Connect. One thing that I hear a lot is, “There is just so much stuff in BNI Connect. I don’t know where to start.” So we took that to heart, and we are going to start at the beginning. That is Build Your Visibility.
I am not the most computer literate person in the world. I actually wrote these steps as I completed my own profile in BNI Connect. I know that even the person who is the most scared of computers will be able to go through this step by step. We take them through- the first thing is what to do. Go to “Update Profile”> “My BNI Page” and then we take you through all the different tabs- what you can click on, what you want the public to see, what you want BNI members to see.
There are different things on keywords. Keywords are very important for members to list about their business. If you are in computers, you want to list all of the things, the jargon, that is affiliated with computers so people mostly know how to search for you.
Most people don’t search for a specific category. They search for what they are looking for. It is very important to fill in the keywords under “Profile” so people can find you. That is the whole thing about visibility- if you don’t do any of this, you become that networking cave dweller. You sit in your cave waiting for people to come. We are going to get you out of your cave and help you do that.
We are also going to walk you through how to upload your picture, how to upload your logo for your company. People like to see who they are doing business with. You can go to somebody’s profile and there is no picture, or you can go to somebody’s profile and there is a nice, professional portrait and you have a good feeling that you know who you are doing business with.
There is a lot of good information out there. Contact details, what you want people in the general public to see. How do you want them to get a hold of you- a phone number, email address. The email address is not listed, but they can send you an email.
That is important to probably repeat. The email address isn’t listed, but they can send you an email. So we are not making it easy for people to spam members.
Exactly. We are very protective about the information that is out there. However, we need people to be able to contact members if they have a referral, if they have a question, if they have a need. So it is very important whatever the member is comfortable providing- the way I look at it is try to find somebody and see what kind of information you want available and see if that information is available for you.
Look at your profile, if you are happy with it. See if you were a member of the general public, could they find you? That is the key. We also talk about accounting settings, which is preferences. You can click to allow anybody and everybody to see whatever information, you can pick and choose what information people see. If you want your cell phone, home phone, fax, office, mobile, you have that option to let everybody see it. Or if you just want a business phone, you have that option as well.
So it is very flexible in what we allow the members to do to promote and market their business, not only inside BNI but to the general public as well.
The very last tab is probably the most beneficial and interesting. It is the “Bio” tab, where you can complete your bio. You can complete different 60-second commercials. You can completed your GAINS profile. For those people who don’t know, GAINS is an acronym for goals, accomplishments, interests, networks and skills. That way, people get to see some information about you. You can click your tops profile information about your business, what your best BNI story is, what your top client is, what your top referral source is.
If you are an attorney, and your top referral source is a financial planner, what’s the bad thing about having financial planners know that attorney is looking for financial planners to do business with? It just opens up opportunities for our members to now do some business. But again, it all starts at the beginning. You have to put yourself out there. You have to become visible.
I know, Ivan, you have many stories where you were traveling the world and you had a referral for somebody and you don’t know how to contact them.
Right, because they have a profile that is only partially complete without even a telephone number in it. There was something published in SuccessNet a couple of months ago. My wife was in a region and wanted to hire a driver to take her to the airport, and she couldn’t get any contact information off of the profiles. It is sort of like giving somebody a full-page ad on the internet and not filling it out.
That is a great analogy.
Yeah. You have a full-page ad. Fill it out. That is the place to start. Visibility all begins with that. There are a lot of other things that we need to talk about over the course of the next year with this Get Connected, Stay Connected program that you have put together, John, with your team. But it all begins with that, doesn’t it?
It really does. It starts with the member just doing a little bit of work to put themselves out in play.
Well, we are just about out of time. Any closing comments, John?
You have to get involved. We talk about that all the time in BNI. You need to get off the bench. It’s not net-eat, it’s net-work and this is part of that networking system that our members do so well in. It just another opportunity for them to expand their business.
It is another opportunity. I was really glad that you put this program together, and that we can promote it here on the podcast. Get Connected, Stay Connected. First month, October, Build Your Visibility. Every member of the organization should do that profile to begin the process to build their visibility. Next month, we are going to be talking about engaging in networking education. That will be the November topic. Every month herein aftter for the next twelve months, we are going to have a different topic as part of the Get Connected, Stay Connected program, which John and his team have put together.
John, thanks for all of your work on this, and I look forward to having you on a future podcast.
It’s my pleasure, Ivan. Thanks.
Oh, one last thing, Priscilla, before I turn it back over to you. If anyone get stuck on BNI Connect, and you need some support, there is a whole support section there. It is the question mark when you are in BNI Connect at the top right. Or you could just type in support.bniconnect.com. Tons of material to support you in the kinds of things that John and I have been talking about today. Back to you, Priscilla.
Okay, great. Thank you both. That was really interesting. I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by networkingnow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thanks so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.