Episode 328: Let Me Introduce You to “Bob”

Synopsis

Ivan Misner with pipe-cleaner figure "Bob"

When Dr. Misner’s daughter Cassie was 8 years old, she made him a stick figure from red pipe cleaner and called it Bob. He promised to take it everywhere with him, as in this photo from Hong Kong. He started taking these photos so he could send them to Cassie when he wasn’t able to make it to one of her events. Dr. Misner still carries Bob in his briefcase, even though Cassie is in her twenties.

Bob teaches us two lessons about networking. First, he is a great example of how small gestures can forge powerful connections between people. Even when you can’t be there with your professional connections, reach out to make contact. Staying connected is part of building a powerful network.

Second, Bob is a terrific representation of why it’s so important to explain the value that you and your business bring to the table. If you ask a stranger to photograph you with a pipe-cleaner man, you need to explain why. Once Dr. Misner explains his reason for wanting that photo, people always understand.

Bob has his own photo album–if you go to the public Ivan Misner page on Facebook, you can see all the pictures.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 247: Making Your Mark

Synopsis

Marketing and sales is not something Dr. Misner was always confident about, but he unexpectedly became the marketing manager at a business he worked for, so he started reading and learned on the job. Sometimes our lives and our businesses go in unexpected directions.

The key to success in referral marketing is helping other people do what they do  best. So whatever business you’re in, build your own brand. Name recognition is the biggest challenge for small companies. For Dr. Misner, brand building was about writing (newspaper articles, blogging); for others, it may be video or podcasting. If you demonstrate expertise in your field, people will follow you.

Read Dr. Misner’s Entrepreneur.com post about this topic and tell us how you’re making your mark.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 203: “The Rest of the Story”

Synopsis

The title of today’s podcast comes from the late Paul Harvey’s radio broadcast. It’s “the rest of the story” about Ivan Misner and the founding of BNI.

When Ivan was six, his family moved from Pittsburgh to south-central LA. He wanted to be a lawyer, but couldn’t afford to attend a four-year private college, even with scholarships. He went first to a community college and then to a state school. He was accepted to law school, but realized he didn’t want to be a lawyer and went to graduate school in management instead. At the age of 24, he was supervising 500 people for the Census Bureau…making $16,000 a year.

This cured him of any desire to work for the government, and before long he set up his own consulting practice. Speaking and referrals were his main source of business. He created BNI in order to grow his own business. At the time, he didn’t have a clear vision of where he wanted to go professionally. Like most successful entrepreneurs, he’s bounced around a little bit.

Anyone can achieve success. But don’t just do what you think you should do. Do what you love. If you don’t do what you love, you won’t love what you do. And since you need persistence and commitment to succeed, it helps to have that passion.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 124: “People Are Talking About You. Are You in the Conversation?”

Synopsis

Word of mouth marketing is always working. It just may not be working in your favor.

Online networking makes it possible to stay more engaged and guide the conversation. Because of that, you have to participate.

Go to the search engines and set up alerts for your name, your company name, the title of your book or name of your products. That way you’ll know who’s talking about you and you can get in touch with them or respond on your own blog.

If you come across a complaint, a timely offer to fix the problem can turn it into an endorsement.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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