Episode 363: Join a Group (Get Connected–Stay Connected, Part 10)

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Synopsis

July is Join a Group Month on BNI Connect, so Dr. Misner will walk you through how to do this.

  1. Log in to BNI Connect.
  2. Click on My Network.
  3. Select Manage in the Groups box.
  4. Click the magnifying box to search for a group that interests you. One of the most active groups right now is the Social Media Marketing group. There are also many power team groups. Be sure to join Dr. Misner’s “From the Founder” group and to post your success story in “Why BNI.”
  5. To join a group, click “Add” while viewing the group.
  6. Participate in your group. Read and post messages.
  7. Invite your contacts to join your groups.
  8. Choose how often you want to receive email updates from the group: immediately, daily summary, weekly summary.

Brought to you by the Global Networking Show, hosted by Andy Lopata and Ivan Misner.

Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 363 -

Priscilla:
Hello everyone and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by the Global Networking Show, which is hosted by Andy Lopata and Dr. Ivan Misner. 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?

Ivan:
Hi Priscilla. So, shhh… quiet. I am on vacation this week, but don’t tell anybody.

Priscilla:
Okay. We won’t call you, alright?

Ivan:
Alright, thanks. Actually, I am still in Europe and I am bringing my family over this week to spend some time with most of my kids and of course, my beautiful bride of 25 years. We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.

Priscilla:
Congratulations.

Ivan:
Thank you. Of course, I met Beth in BNI. I mention that in previous podcasts. It was the best referral I ever got.

Today, we are talking about Get Connected, Stay Connected and July is “Join a Group” month. If you have not joined a group yet- Priscilla, you have, but if you are listening to this podcast and you haven’t joined a group yet, please do.

Let me walk you through a few things on joining a group and give you some examples of some of the groups that are out there. Then, Priscilla, if you have any questions, maybe we can talk about the groups at BNI Connect.

The first thing that people need to do, of course, is log in to BNI Connect. If you have forgotten your password, there is a “forgot password” spot, and you can always connect with your local Director to get information on how o get on.

Once you are on BNI Connect, you want to click on “My Network”. There is a “Groups” box. You want to select “Manage”. So you want to “Manage My Network”.

Now, click on the magnifying glass icon and search for a group that you may be interested in. For example, a group in your profession or groups that were created by specific people. I have created a couple and I will talk about them.

But first, I want to talk about some of the really active groups that are on BNI Connect. You can figure hat out by viewing the public groups and then selecting the most active, who has posted recently or most active.

One of the most active groups right now on BNI Connect is the Social Media Marketing group that was created by Remington Beck, and he has lots of posts, almost 500 posts, about social media marketing that many BNI members participate in.

There is a website for of a developers and designers group that was started by Jason Turcod, a health and wellness group by David Cardbacio, I believe, is the pronunciation of his name. A number of groups were created by Fendi Shaw, including the BNI Global Property Power Team.

So there are a lot of power teams that have created groups in BNI. There is a photography power team. There is a Wedding Powerhouse Referrals power team, a business opportunities group. A lot of different groups up on BNI representing many, many interests.

I think one of the things that you want to do is if you start a group or you join a group, you have to be active. Be on there and post messages. Many of these groups have hundreds and hundreds of messages.

I’ll give you some examples of what I have been talking about in my group, if you would like to hear that, Priscilla.

Priscilla:
Yeah, please.

Ivan:
So we talk about a lot of different topics. If you are a BNI member and you would like to know what’s new, what is going on in the organization, I often post things that are happening in the organization. I also post some of the articles that I have been writing about. If I have a new article, I post that up there so you can see it.

Recently, I have been talking a lot about the member experience and what makes a good member experience. We have been talking about what is a good potential BNI member. We have talked about some of the books and material from books that I have written, like Who’s in Your Room? And the possibility of work-life balance. They all make great topics. How do you pass referrals to fellow members? A lot of great topics.

One of my groups is called From the Founder. So I invite you listening to this podcast to come join my group. It is one of the larger groups on BNI Connect. We have well over 2000 BNI members who are very active in the From the Founder group.

My other group is Why BNI? So if you have a great BNI success story, I would love to hear it. A lot of our success stories go up in the Why BNI? group on BNI Connect.

Those are some of the groups that are on there. You can join a group if you are in the public groups section on the right hand side of the group box. When you go to the group, you can join. Just click on Add.

You can also do searches on groups by the search field to find out the topics for groups or maybe find out who has created a group. Also, if you have created a group, you can invite your contacts to your group to help get it started.

The groups piece of BNI Connect is a very forward-thinking piece because it gives a platform for our BNI members to actually reach out and talk to one another globally. This is the local business, global network piece of BNI Connect because for the first time in the history of the company, our members can actually talk to each other all around the world, usually through one platform.

And nobody else can get it. This is an old garden. Nobody else can get into BNI Connect unless you are a current BNI member.

So join a group. It’s an important piece of the Get Connected, Stay Connected campaign.

Priscilla:
Okay. So one question I have is some people may be leery about joining a group because they think they are just going to get inundated with emails. How does that- can you control that?

Ivan:
Yes, you can control it. You can, in your settings, say I don’t want to get any emails at all. When somebody posts something, I don’t want to know about it. And you don’t get anything. I don’t recommend that one because then you never know what is happening.

However, you can get a summary. I could be wrong, but I think the summaries are weekly or daily. So at the end of week, you can get a summary of everything that happened in the group that you are in. Or at the end of the day, you can get a summary of everything that has happened in the group. I recommend those.

I get an email as soon as somebody posts. When somebody posts, I am immediately copied on that. You can do that, too. If you are in a group and are really interested in what is happening in that group, you can get an email for every post that gets put up.

So you have your choice. You have control. At the very least, I recommend that people get a summary because it is hard to stay engaged if you don’t know there is a conversation. The only way to know there is a conversation is to get at least the summary. Does that make sense?

Priscilla:
Yeah. Do you get overwhelmed getting an email every time somebody posts something?

Ivan:
No. With me, I have all of my messages from BNI Connect going into one folder. So I set up a rule so that when there is a posting on BNI Connect, it goes into one folder. Then once a day, I go through and take a look at all of the individual messages that were posted. So in effect, I kind of do a daily summary but I like to know in real time when people are posting, so that is what I do. But you can just get one email a day if you want by doing the summary.

Priscilla:
Okay. That sounds good. You said that on From the Founder, you are talking about new changes on BNI and so forth. What kinds of things are those?

Ivan:
Well, whatever is happening in the organization. New things that I am writing about. I talk about global branding, and sometimes I talk about our podcasts. I talk about a lot of my blogs, the BNI Business
Index, whatever is sort of top of mind for me.

I have talked about the Get Connected, Stay Connected program. We have talked about accountability partners, networking and non networking events. I mean, all kinds of different topics, whatever.

Oh, here are two really popular ones: What do you love about a BNI meeting? And what drives you crazy about a group? That one has been pretty popular. People have some strong opinions on what drives them crazy in a BNI group and I am sure by mentioning this, that is going to get even more comments when those people participate. But those are really active topics in my From the Founder group.

Priscilla:
And how many people did you say are in that group, Ivan?

Ivan:
In From the Founder, there are over 2000 participants. Altogether with the groups, we have actually over 1600 groups in BNI Connect now. And each group has, you know, anywhere from a couple of members participating to hundreds and hundreds of members. A couple of them have 1000 or more. The From the Founder group is one of the largest groups. I really do recommend if you are listening to this podcast, go there and join.

One of the things about technology is that it flattens the communication hierarchy. It enables members from all around the world to communicate directly with me. I talk to members. I don’t even speak their language and I am able to communicate with them there.

Google Translate is a wonderful thing. I have had actual full blown conversations with members from many different cultures and languages using Google Translate. It’s not perfect, and I haven’t offended anyone yet with my interpretation of what has been said. You know, like I said, it’s not perfect, but it’s a great way to communicate with people all over the world.

Priscilla:
I bet it is one of the few social networking groups where people communicate internationally.

Ivan:
Yeah, I am sure that it happens on some sites, possibly LinkedIn and maybe Facebook, but a lot of people tend to connect with people they already know. With BNI Connect, if you are going to another country or going to another part of the country you live in, you can reach out to chapters and members and have a dialogue, let them know that you are going to visit. You kind of get a warmer reception when you show up because they are expecting you and you are able to have a dialogue before you actually show up to a chapter which is a much more powerful way to network.

Priscilla:
That sounds great. Do you have anything else that you would like to share with us, or is that pretty much it?

Ivan:
That’s pretty much it. You know, the Get Connected, Stay Connected program we have been running all year. It is a way to continue to build up our use and and member utilization of BNI Connect and it is working. We are getting more and more members engaged in the BNI Connect program. We do a special podcast on the first of every month about the Get Connected, Stay Connected program, and we will be doing one next month.

Next month’s podcast will be not just join a group, create a group. We will be talking about how you create your very own group if you don’t already. I am guessing people will try it before then, but that is what we will talk about next month.

Priscilla:
Oh, perfect. Okay, well thank you.

Ivan:
Thanks, Priscilla.

Priscilla:
Well, that’s it for this week. I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by Global Networking Show, which is hosted by Andy Lopata and Dr. Ivan Misner. Thank you 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.

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