Dr. Misner and BNI member Julien Sharp about how BNI can make a cross-country move easier. There are many ways BNI can help.
- Your local BNI chapter can help you prepare for the move through referrals to realtors, moving companies, etc.
- Joining a BNI chapter in your new new location gives you instant connections there—it’s like having family there.
- You have a reliable source for referrals to professionals whose help you need, from tech support to plumbing.
So if you’re planning to move, make sure you find a BNI chapter in the city you’re moving to and ask the director how BNI can help. BNI can help your friends, family, and colleagues, too.
Julien has also created inter-chapter BNI groups for people in her own profession, to encourage “co-opetition” and create teams who can do larger jobs. She also “subs” regularly for members at other BNI groups.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 074 –
Hello everyone and welcome back to the Official BNI Podcast brought to you by networkingnow.com, the leading site on the net for networking downloables. 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?
I am doing great, Priscilla. Thank you very much. I have a guest with me today, a good friend and member of BNI, Julien Sharp. I have known Julien now for almost five years. Julien was an editor for one of my books, Masters of Sales. She did a tremendous job. She did such a great job that she got another referral for me. She is the editor for the BNI Director’s Manual. She has done the leadership team manuals that go in them. She has been a member of BNI for a number of years. She can tell you how long. She got another referral. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about that, Julien. I referred you to Entrepreneur Press, and that turned into a reasonably considerable deal, didn’t it?
I would say that “reasonably” is the understatement of the year. Hi. It is nice to be on here. Yes, in January, I got an email from Entrepreneur Press that said Ivan Misner recommended you to write a book. We have the title all ready and no author. It was How to Design and Launch an Online Networking Business. That happens to be where I am taking my whole communications consulting company. I said sure. It has since then been completed, as far as the initial writing. It is in production now and it is set for a spring ’09 release date.
Congratulations on that. Everyone listening to the podcast can keep their eyes open for that. Julien is a great writer. I am looking forward to seeing your book. You are going to be talking about a couple of things, one of which is moving cross country. You did a little move from Miami Beach to New York in 2006, didn’t you?
I certainly did. As a matter of fact, my spouse was transferred up here for a job. We weren’t sure how long we were going to be up here. Being a writer, it is very easy to do from anywhere. When we were up here for some time, we thought we might go into Toronto. I was able to, while I was just new to New York, work all of my referrals that I had built through my relationships from Miami. Over a year and one-third generation referrals kept me floating, just working nonstop for over a year.
Then when I realized we were going to be living in New York full time, I immediately joined a BNI up here which was in January of this year. I have completely built an entirely new and growing communications firm here in New York based completely off of relationships in BNI, both here and in Miami.
You bring up a really good point. I see a lot of people. We live in a very mobile society. We move from one state to another state- certainly from city to city, sometimes state to state. We even have from one country to another country. You almost immediately have a whole cadre of professions that you can call upon. We like to see them come back into BNI. Many, many do. But if nothing else, they have a whole cadre of professions that they can call upon to help in making the move. Did you find that of some value for you?
Certianly. I used a BNI referral for the cross country move. When I came up, I needed computer so I called BNI where there is a computer person who can help me get set up here in New York. That is the first place that I call, rather than looking up in Google certain vendors, I know that I want to get a vetted professional. That helps in a lot of ways when you are working with BNI.
I really wanted to touch upon this in this podcast because I see many BNI members move. A lot of them use BNI services when they made the move. I have even seen many BNI members when they have a family member- one particular was a daughter who moved from back east to Phoenix. The director put them in touch with a lot of different contacts and really laid the groundwork.
Now that I think about it, my inlaws moved from one place to another. We put them bin touch with a local BNI director who laid out every service that they needed including finding a real estate agent who was able to get them a rental condo for a year.
Moving from one area to another, BNI can really be used that way. A lot of people don’t thing about it. We have a lot of success with that, including within your chapters, creating some inter-BNI groups, which you happen to be involved with. Do you want to talk a little about that?
I sure will. Actually, when I got here – of course, New York is a very good place for a business. A lot of businesses need writers. I found that I was going to be busier and I could actually have too many jobs. That is a good way to be, but I needed to use some contract writers. Rather than just put an ad in the paper where there are a million writers here, I put together an inter-BNI writers group.
There were about five or six writers in BNI and in the last six months, I worked personally with all of them. I have given them jobs that I had to outsource. They did such a great job that we have joined together. Once a month, we meet at my conference room at my office and we have a writers group. We do cross referrals. We are able to take bigger jobs because we know that we have a good team of people to work on them. We give each other advice. We all have different writing speciatlituies. It has been really great. I think it has been really successful.
We are having our fourth meeting coming up in October. People are looking forward to it. We have a Google group, so we can keep in contact midmonth with that. It has been really good. I don’t think that I would work with another group writer that wasn’t in BNI because I know that they have the sort of same mentality that I do and the persistence to work on a job. Obviously, they have been vetted by BNI’s membership team. You really can’t ask for anything better than that.
You were talking about working with people. From one perspective, someone might look at it as competitors. Correct?
I think so, but I didn’t coin this term. I know that I have heard it somewhere in BNI when I was in Miami between 2003 and 2006. It was called coopetition. I can’t give credit to whoever coined that. It might have even been you. It is something that I think works really really well. We all write web copy but sometimes the web copy is so great and such a large job that it takes two people. I might not be able to take the job all by myself. Why not bring in another good web copy person to come in and work with me on it. Then we would both get something that maybe neither one of us could have done alone.
I firmly believe in coopetition. At least for my profession, it really seems to work.
Especially for a number of professions. I just want to point it out because it is a great opportunity for BNI members to cooperate with who might be competitors. Some people might look at it as competitors. But really, it can bring more business, not less business. It depends on what you do with them. You actually created a company with them, did you not?
I did, in fact. It turned into a company because I am a writer but I am also a salesperson. I love to be out looking for people and managing the projects. A couple of the writers said, “I would be very happy if you just wanted to send work my way. You could be out selling for all of us.”
By then, I had been brewing for a long time an idea. I founded a company called Philo Creative Communications. It is a comprehensive communications company. Obviously the main service is copywriting, but copywriting now is going very, very digital. So my company has a real focus on webcopy, optimization copy, also copy for social media – any type of communication. Our credo is “Words by design”. I’ll tell you exactly what that is. We can design the words for any kind of media to get your message across.
I was just going to say you have photographers, internet marketing specialist, graphic designers and everything. I am guessing- I could be wrong but I am guessing that you are getting a number of those from BNI groups, yours and others.
Absolutely. I will tell you. In New York, there are a lot of BNI chapters. It is kind of a unique opportunity. I sub every week at least once on Tue. or Thur. My group is Wed. A lot of times, I sub twice. I am not so much making competitive relationships outside my group, but there are a lot of different types of professions that are not in my group. Every single relationship that I make for this company in communications, I at some point need a web designer. I need an internet marketing person. A photographer, yes we have a whole LinkedIn package that we are working on.
I have the ability to do direct mail campaigns. All of this is done by strategic relationships with people and every single one of those has been forged through BNI.
We need to wrap up but I wanted to focus on two main points in this discussion that I think are of value to the members. One is if you are moving, it is a great way to start fresh in a new area. If you are not moving but a business associate of yours is moving, BNI is a great way to help them start fresh. If a relative is moving, it is a great way to come on into a community and feel like you have a lot of people. I had one person tell me it was almost like they had family in that other city because they connected very quickly. That was the first thing that I loved about what you did.
The second thing was the inter-BNI group and the creation of a company that uses BNI members from multiple chapters to help support the primary business. I think those are two really brilliant points that the average member could benefit from hearing. Anything that you want to add before we wrap up?
Not at all. Like I say, I thank you very much for the opportunity. I think that there are very creative ways to use relationships far beyond going to the meeting and obviously passing referrals. That is the start, but with what these relationships can do in this new wave of people communicating, it is really important to think about how you can use these relationships because they are a goldmine. They really are.
Thank you, Julien. I appreciate you taking the time to do a podcast with me today. Priscilla, I will turn back over to you.
Okay, great. Thank you so much, both of you. That was such an interesting podcast and I think it is extremely valuable. We call it power partners in our BNI group. It is a whole new way of thinking about using BNI.
That is it for this week. I would like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by networkingnow.com, the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thanks for listening. This is Priscilla Rice and we hope that you will join us next week for another exciting episode of the Official BNI Podcast.