Bring a Representative from a Local Charity or Community Service Organisation to Your Networking Meeting/Event

Though all of us are in business to make a profit, if it is the primary driving force in business, we become mercenaries to that process.  However, it is quite possible to make a good living while serving the greater good.  

Business truly can be honorable.  It can be something which improves people’s lives as well as supports and helps local communities.  

These aims can be accomplished not only by businesses helping to generate business for one another, but also by giving back to the community, mentoring others, immersing in a culture of shared learning, and collaborating with others.  

One of the sponsors of the 2015 International Networking Week celebration is BusinessVoices.org, a charitable initiative of the BNI® Foundation which is helping to build, empower, and contribute to communities across the globe.  In light of this, the 2015 Special Networking Exercise for International Networking Week is to focus on building ties with representatives from local charitable/non-profit/community service organisations.

Help make a difference in your local community by offering a charitable organisation the opportunity to engage with your network.  Reach out to a representative from a local charitable/non-profit/community service organisation and invite them to your networking meeting or event.  

Make 2015 the year that you find even more ways to live the Givers Gain® philosophy by proactively reaching out to charitable organisations and finding ways to simultaneously build your business and give back through supporting your local community.

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loMembers Details
Lorraine Pirihi
Director
Relaunch Your Life
www.relaunchyourlife.com.au
BNI Caulfield MidMorning in the BNI Melbourne South Region

Tell us about your business:

Many business owners over 50 feel like they are‘marking time’ and that every day is like ‘ground-hog’ day. They feel lost, lacking direction and clarity.

Through coaching and mentoring (via phone/Skype), I assist business owners over 50 reignite their passion for business and life.

When you’re over 50 you can hear the time ticking away and now more than ever it’s NOT the time to procrastinate, it’s time to make the most of what you’ve got!

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Aim to make 2 -3 quality connections at each networking event.

2. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up

3. Be a good listener.

What can’t you live without?

My diary and daily exercise.

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why? 

Personality Plus…we live in a world of people and this book helps you to communicate effectively with others.

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

Many years ago when I was in another business.

I understand the power of networking and wanted to join a structured network which provided the opportunity to learn, meet other business owners in the area and
gain more business.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

6 months

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

President

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

It’s provided a support network, I’ve met other potential suppliers for my business and it has helped me gain clarity on my target market.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

To use the BNI 1 on 1 template for every meeting you have.

The template makes a 1 on 1 so much more effective if filled in prior and emailed in advance to the person you are catching up with.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

The importance of having a progressive leadership team.

Your Dream Referral Is…

“Switched On” finance professionals…accountants and financial planners who service the over 50′s demographic.

Categories : Featured Member
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It’s not “Net-Sit” or “Net-Eat” – It’s “Network”. Successful networking is about learning how to ‘work’ the networking process – not just letting it happen.

In many ways, success at networking is the perfect example of the uncommon application of common knowledge. Most people understand that networking is important to their success – they just lack the step by step process to get the results they want.  Almost no one really incorporates a comprehensive methodology that will build a business through networking. Thus, the need to network is “common knowledge”, and the development of the methodology required to be successful at it is the “uncommon application”

We have found that businesspeople tend to fall into one of two groups when it comes to their views on networking. For many, the current mindset is that networking is a passive business strategy, not a proactive marketing tool. This attitude results in a scattered, often ineffective networking approach that consequently wastes the business owners time and money. Not surprisingly, when people feel they’ve been wasting their time and money on something, they’re understandably not going to continue.

On the other hand, some proprietors do consider networking a proactive marketing tool for their business. How can you tell? They make it a significant part of their marketing and business plans. They have networking goals. They may even have a budget line item for networking. Most importantly, they practice it and live it every day.

Networking for business growth must be strategic and focused. Not everyone you meet can help you move your business forward – but everything you do can be driven by the intention to grow your business. 

You have total control over who you meet, where you meet them, and how you develop and leverage relationships for mutual benefit.

Great networkers move their business forward, but they don’t do it alone. Great networkers have a plan, work to expand their network, go the extra mile, know how to get the most value for their time, communicate their message effectively, become the experts, capture their best stories and do what others don’t do.

People are drawn to them. New client go to them because they hear about them from so many people. Great networkers don’t need to do much selling, because many people come to them, ready to buy.

Imagine that! People coming to you, ready to buy! Are you smiling? You should be. Becoming a great, effective networker is within your reach. Your income is directly related to your ability to network your business for growth. Are you ready to get started?

Are you committed to actively growing your business by word of mouth? Have you decided that now is the time for you to advance from good to great?

If you’re ready, then let’s begin by discovering how well you are networking your business right now.  What are you doing well, and what are you doing not so well? You have to understand this in order to know where you are going.

We’ve made the process a little easier by providing you a structured self assessment tool. Using this exercise you can identify your strengths and weaknesses.  Be honest. Be brutally honest.

It will help you focus on specific goals and accountabilities – and, without a doubt, it will keep you focused on the true meaning of business networking.

Complete your self assessment here.

Taken from The 29% Solution by Ivan Misner.  For more information and how to make really changes in your networking, pick up your copy here.

edwardMembers Details
Edward Bennett
MD
Civil & Structural Engineering Design Services Pty Ltd
www.civilandstructural.com.au
BNI Forest in the BNI Sydney Region

Tell us about your business:

We are an engineering consultancy with multi-displanary tasking in all forms of Building/construction projects throughout Australia

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Always have your Business card folder at the ready
2. Strive to give other BNI members referrals
3. Always follow up on referrals given to you

What can’t you live without?

My daily calender and my mobile phone

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

I found out through another consultant architect

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

2 years

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

I have found being a member of BNI to be very invigorating and explains the saying the early bird gets the worm

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

Nothing really I think one should find out how good BNI is by being a member

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

In our chapter we are just realising the benefit of our POWER GROUP and if one concentrates one will find a referral to all in the chapter one way or another

 

Categories : Featured Member
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Sue-Tanian-2Members Details
Sue Tanian
Owner/ Operator
Informal Photo Tours
www.informalphotography.com.au
BNI Traralgon in the BNI Gippsland Region

Tell us about your business:

We take amazing journeys to lands of stunning beauty and fascinating culture that not only are wonderful classrooms for our photo tuition but the perfect place for unique travel and life experiences.
Learn how best to capture the scenes that unfold before us with your camera to create images and memories that will delight and stay with you for a long time to come.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1) Be genuinely excited about a successful product and business
2) Listen to see how best you can match someone’s needs
3) Take a business each week to highlight

What can’t you live without?

People! I love people, I love travel and I love photography…to be able to combine them into my career means I am one spoilt lady! But the list is far more than just one item of course…

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

The Book that isn’t published yet! …it’s the one that is experienced in life with the people that make up our BNI group who share their knowledge…most probably stemming from a book they have read!!

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

A friend asked me along and I could see immediately that not only would my photo tours benefit from the networking exposure but that I could also learn more about my own business by helping and listening to others.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

9 months

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

Visitors Host

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

The knowledge I have gained by association with BNI has really given me direction mainly in the marketing side of promoting my Photography Tours and I really enjoy the motivation and inspiration that gets thrown around the room each meeting. We all keep an eye out for each other and helping as well as receiving support are important steps towards the success for me in BNI.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

Nothing…I think everyone’s journey may vary so it is great to develop that yourself and discover what is in store as you go.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

Some people/businesses are naturally drawn to others and I feel very lucky to be a part of a group that are willing to help your business grow and develop in the style that you want. The mentoring whether it be formalized or just someone wanting to take you under their wing is impressive and I am truly grateful for the members of our Chapter. And what a kick if you can return something for them!

Your Dream Referral Is…

I would love to meet people who would like to combine their love of photography with their love of travel to amazing locations around the world.
The journeys are very much about the life experience of meeting people and the way they live that will send you home with a bigger heart and a bigger mind so they are well suited to non-photographers also.

Categories : Featured Member
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sarahMembers Details
Sarah Robinson
Chief Copywriter and Owner
Verb Web Copywriting
www.verbweb.com.au
BNI True North in the BNI Leederville Region {Western Australia}

Tell us about your business:

Verb crafts words to build your business!

We support businesses that want to connect with their customers through the power of written content.

Developing online written content is our specialty. That means writing words that Google likes, which increases opportunities to rank well in the search engines.

We also manage social media, write blog articles, eNewsletters and print marketing material.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

- Meet with people, even if a job opportunity isn’t waiting. Great opportunities come down the track from making connections.

- When meeting, always be interested in the other person’s business and how you can help them.

- Be yourself. Even if you’re a bit weird, no one cares if you do a good job and remain authentic.

What can’t you live without?

Music, movies and funny people.

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

4-hour work week. It’s not all gold, but opens your eyes to alternative ways of working. (Especially when it comes to answering emails!)

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

One of my wonderful clients (Michael Taylforth from Land Insights), told me about it.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

12 months

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

Visitors Host

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

I love finding out how other business owners have overcome challenges. It also gives me one morning a week to take time-out and just think about building my business.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

It’s okay if you don’t find referrals for people straight away. You need to take the time to get to know people and their business, before you have confidence in referring them.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

Our BNI has a wonderful female president (Linda Grant from Great Circle Design). It’s lovely to have a smart woman in charge of our meetings!

Your Dream Referral Is…

A business that needs a website written from scratch but perhaps doesn’t know where to start.

Categories : Featured Member
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It happens to all of us – sometimes we’re so self-absorbed we become unaware of what’s going on around us.  If that’s a temporary state of affairs, there’s nothing wrong with it.  But if it’s a systematic methodology, well, that presents problems for effective networking.  

In a café the other day, the other latte sippers were merrily engrossed in their conversations when a severely disabled fellow with two crutches entered.  I noticed him looking around intently and it didn’t immediately dawn on me why he was scanning so carefully.  But he stood just inside the door and continued to stare.  Well this is interesting, I thought.  What’s going on here?

Slowly, he began to make his way between the tables and chairs and sippers ignorant of his difficulties.  These were all fairly closely positioned and, of course, he began to struggle.  Now, I’m not a hero but when you see that, you’ve got to do something, right?  So I got up and moved a couple of chairs and tables and requested that a couple patrons move in while he made his way.  He was appreciative and I felt good for having helped.  Anyway, as I returned to my coffee the reason for his initial studious viewing of the café came to me – he was problem solving.  He was searching for the easiest path to a vacant table.  But this only came to me by taking the time to see the world through his eyes.  

Some people think networking is a dirty word.  They think it’s schmoozing and trying to gain advantage by being a slick operator and smarmy.  Well, I can tell you from experience, people who network in this manner may be effective networkers for a short time but pretty soon people will see through them and their effective networking days will be numbered.  Me?  I think of networking as seeking opportunities to help people and the best way to quickly become aware of these opportunities is to view the world through their eyes.  Then I ask myself, what problems does this person need help with?

One of the biggest hurdles routinely encountered by BNI members is regularly generating referrals.  By being in a helpful state of mind when you’re out networking you will notice referral opportunities become more easily identifiable.  This is because wanting to be helpful keeps you present to the problems of others.  Additionally, engaging in a steady series of One-on-Ones is an excellent strategy for discovering the problems your fellow chapter members are able to solve.  So, when you are out networking and encounter people who have such problems you are in a position to simply marry the problem with the solution.  Hey presto – that’s a referral!

So get out there and get networking.  Don’t be self-absorbed, view the world through the eyes of the person you’re talking to, see their problems and introduce them to your fellow chapter members whom you know can solve them.  And the referrals?  Well they’ll just happen.

Best of all though?  Not only is this state of mind quite likely to generate business for you and present referral opportunities, it’s also highly probable to leave you with the best pay off of all – feeling good for having helped.  

Article provide by Braith Bamkin who is the Executive Director of BNI Melbourne West & Geelong. Find out more about Braith here.

Categories : Referrals
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Braith Bamkin PortraitsMembers Details
Braith Bamkin
Executive Director
BNI Melbourne West and Geelong
www.bnimwg.com.au

Tell us about your business:

BNI is the worlds largest professional networking organisation

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Take things slowly, developing a good network takes time.

2. Invest in getting to know people – it takes time but pays off well in the long run.

3. Be present for opportunity

What can’t you live without?

My iPhone

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Networking and Sex by Dr Misner and Hazel Walker

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

I was invited to BNI at a local networking event and I joined because I was so impressed with the quality of business being generated

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

Member for 3 years

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

Education, Visitors Host

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

I loved the process at BNI so much, I bought the business. It has changed my life and I now love every work day being able to help people.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

BNI Podcast is an amazing resource

Your Dream Referral Is…

I am always looking for the right people in Melbourne’s Western suburbs who want to start their own chapter.

Categories : BNI Guest Columnist
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Tony_03Members Details
Tony Ozanne
Owner
Business Coaching Canberra
www.tonyozanne.com
BNI Business at Sunrise in the BNI ACT and North Tablelands Region

Tell us about your business:

Work with small to medium business owners to create change and achieve results via coaching, goal setting and accountability. I am a keen advocate of finding a win- win solution for businesses regardless of budget and have several options available in including the Small Business MBA webinar program.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Just like NIKE- Just do it….it you don’t engage in networking you won’t build your contact sphere.
2. Learn from those with more experience, don’t be afraid to ask “How?”
3. Plan and Be Prepared for your networking- know your target, know your approach and focus that approach based on the group and the dynamics.

What can’t you live without?

My phone, computer and access to good wifi connection when away!

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Of course, my own!  “Business Tips from a Business Coach” by Tony Ozanne (available from my website or Amazon).

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

I had heard of it when I started my business, and it was only by chance at the launch of my business that I was invited by an attendee who I had never met. I went along the next week as a guest, and applied the following week…the rest is history!

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

4 years almost

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

President, Membership Committee, Education, Visitors Host

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

The biggest benefit has been in the number of great people and businesses that you become exposed to. Not only do you form business relationships with them, but many turn into great friendships as well.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

That I would actually enjoy and look forward to those 6am wake ups every Thursday. Have to say that it has taken a while to enjoy it, but after so long it kind of feels strange if you don’t have BNI and don’t have to get up early one week. Oh, and what were ‘dances’ 1 to 1′s, closed business and all these coloured forms…

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

Not so much a story, but more a lesson or learning….It does feel strange at first when you join, and you will take time to get to know the group and them to know you, but it is worth the journey.

BNI should fit in with your business marketing process as simply on of the many tactics you execute in conjunction with other aspects, and use it to build and grow your brand and your positioning.

Your Dream Referral Is…

A multi site franchise group looking to develop in house coaching or business development skills to take their business to the next level.

Categories : Featured Member
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likeYour BNI Chapter Facebook Page, when used correctly, is an excellent tool to increase your chapter’s and its members’ visibility. However, creating content can be time-consuming and confusing if you aren’t exactly sure what to share.  

To get you started, we have gathered the top 20 content ideas that will make your BNI Chapter Facebook Page come to life – and start real conversations.

The Top 20 BNI Chapter Facebook Page Content Ideas – Revealed!

1. Weekly announcement regarding the open business categories your chapter is looking to fill.  

Example: “We have 35 business professionals who are looking for a reliable plumber whom we can send referrals to. If you know a great plumber in the <YOUR CITY> area, please invite them to visit one of our weekly meetings at <LOCATION, DAY, AND TIME>.” 

If you are not sure which professions you should be targeting, check with your Chapter President or local BNI Director for help.

2. Welcome message to a new chapter member – post each time a new member is welcomed. BONUS POINTS: include a picture of the new member induction.

3. Congratulations message to renewing members.

4. The upcoming 10-minute presenter(s) – and the business/personal contacts members should invite who might benefit from the presentation.

5. Member, Chapter & BNI Testimonials.

6. Thank you messages to visitors who attended meetings.

7. A key point learned during this week’s BNI gathering, or during a one-to-one meeting with another BNI member.

8. Thank you messages for referrals and closed business.

9. Special event info: create an event page on Facebook first for each special event, and then include a link to the event page within the status updates on your chapter’s Facebook page. You should post about the event frequently leading right up to the event date. Include images for greater impact.

10. Training events: again, create an event page on Facebook first for each training event, and then include a link to the event page within the status updates on your chapter’s Facebook page. And don’t forget: images draw the eye and get your posts read.

11. Member accomplishments and awards (i.e., community or association awards). And… you guessed it: and pictures of the occasion!

12. Achievements – Referrals, Closed Business, Visitors:

number of total referrals / closed business / visitors by the chapter for the month, quarter, or year; 

equivalent outstanding member’s stats (don’t forget their photo or company logo).

Examples: “Our chapter generated <$xxx,xxx> of closed business during the last quarter!” OR, “Thanks to chapter member Jane Doe from <THEIR FACEBOOK OR WEBSITE PAGE LINK>for giving xx number of referrals last month.  She was our Top Referrer – congratulations, Jane!”

13. On a monthly basis, announce how much a seat is worth in your chapter.

14. Dates of upcoming Chapter Director visits.

15. Other networking events in your area: your chapter’s Facebook page will become the go-to place for finding out what’s going on in networking in your city. Other networking events are a great source for inviting visitors to your BNI Chapter – so let your members know where else to network.

16. Got your member featured on the BNI Australia blog? Shout about it – and encourage other members to get featured, too. Here is how to get featured.

17. Utilise the weekly BNI Podcast announcement on www.BNIpodcast.com.

18. Share articles from http://businessnetworking.com/ written by BNI Founder Dr Ivan Misner.

19. Link to posts from http://www.bniblog.com.au.

20. Utilise articles and insights from the monthly BNI Australia newsletter

BONUS TIP:

Highlight your chapter members and their businesses by creating a Chapter Member Photo Album on your BNI Facebook page. Include a description of their services and contact information. Tag each member in their photo so it will also appear on their personal profile, and mention their business Facebook page for even better engagement!

So there it is, your Top 20 Starter Guide for your BNI Chapter Facebook Page.

What other content do you post on your chapter’s Page? 

What posts get the most comments and views?  

What times work best for your posts?

The rule is: post, examine – and do more of what works best for your specific audience!

We would love to hear from you and see what other content you have been sharing on your BNI Chapter Facebook Page.  

Let us know in the comments below or on the BNI Australia Facebook Page.

Categories : Facebook
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