How Networking Can Help You Build a Stronger Business

 Dishing With Judith

Social media is a wonderful thing, it has opened new doors, expanded our global reach, and boosted our potential for creating positive change in the world to an amazing level. But, in my opinion, the one thing it can’t do is replace face-to-face interactions. According to the experts at HubSpot, “there isn’t a single technology that will replace the power of in-person relationship building.”

When researching this, I found an amazing infographic along with excerpts from Richard Branson’s blog that supports the importance of personal connections even more. (You can check it out HERE). While acknowledging the power and prevalence of digital communications and online social media, research shows that face-to-face conversations tend to be more positive, and perceived as more credible, than online conversations. Our body language, the inflection (or way we speak), is as important to the bottom line of the conversation as the actual words we use.

Bottom line, in-person conversations and communications build strong, better, relationships.

My good friend and networking expert Toni Caruso agrees. As the managing director of the eWomen Network in Calabasas, CA, and a networking and etiquette expert who is called on to speak and teach about just these subjects, she said she has seen a lot of “dos and don’ts” when it comes to relationship and business networking, such as:

Don’t think having a glass of wine and talking about family is networking for your business. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you’re creating personal relationships (friendships), instead of mutually beneficial business ones.

Do learn to make valuable business connections by asking the right questions and learning how to “Give” instead of “Sell” in your conversations. I notice that in social media and many in-person networking organizations it’s become no longer about how can I help you, but more about what you can do for me. That’s the wrong approach, what you should be asking is “How can I help you, what are you all about?”

I couldn’t agree more. Learning to navigate the social aspects of life will benefit you in any type of business, no matter what you decide to do. For myself, as I transitioned from building one business to the next, it was the connections I made and the professional relationships I built that carried me through and helped me find success each and every time.

To learn more about how to walk into a room, ask the right questions, and create connections that benefit everyone involved, check out my Dishing with Judith podcast featuring Toni Caruso by clicking HERE.

Do you have a networking strategy that works for you? A question that opens people up and helps to create immediate connections and in-depth conversations. I invite you to leave a comment here on the blog and share. Or send me an email at judith@judithmancini.com, I’d love to dish with you about it!

~ Judith

Judith Mancini is producer and host of “Dishing with Judith,” her popular radio talk show on Women 4 Women Radio (w4wn.com) and iHeartRadio.com. Broadcast live in-studio from Burbank, California, Mancini’s guests  include celebrities, musicians, artists, authors and anyone with powerful knowledge or a spicy story.  Her co-host, Noelle, a fashion designer/blogger, social media expert and founder/CEO of Digital Media Strategy offers weekly “fashion finds” and lively commentary on all the new social trends.

Connect with Judith

Email: dishingwithjudith@gmail.com | Web: www.dishingwithjudith.com | Twitter: @dishwithjudith |  Facebook: @DishingWithJudith

Business: How to Use Blogging to Create Loyal Fans and Customers

Dishing With Judith

Do you blog for your business? There’s a lot of writing required when you own a business, and social media/blogging adds a whole new aspect to it that I know a lot of my readers want to know more about. Recently I dedicated a podcast to a topic I think many of my listeners have questions about – blogging for business. My guest, Dawn Mena, a former LA Times editor, works with people who struggle with what to write for their blogs and pretty much anything else to do with their business. She shows them how to get the results they are looking for by applying simple strategy principles, and a lot of personality, that inspires audiences and keeps them coming back for more.

We had a lot of fun talking about her journalism background. And agreed heartily that no matter how humble we are about our business or entrepreneurial adventures, we all have “headline” stories that when shared with our audience (via our blogs, bios and websites),  create stronger connections and loyal fans.

Now, when it comes to blogging, Dawn shared three very easy tips that we can use to create blogs we can be proud of (and support our business, too!) I know I’m going to start using these right away, I hope you do too!

Tip #1: Have a strategy

Writing without strategy is like trying to travel without a map. You’re going to do a lot of work, put in a lot of miles, and might not get where you want to be. Dawn’s tip for using strategy with blogging is to think “backwards.” Decide what your end goal is.  Maybe it’s selling a product, promoting an event, or getting people to sign up for your newsletter. Now plan out your blog articles so that they all support that end goal. Like leading your readers down the right path, right? That’s strategy!

Tip #2: Use your bio

Make sure you write on your website About Page or in an introduction blog post a conversational sharing of your story. Elements you should touch on include stating clearly who you work with, what you provide, and how you do it (a little about your products and services). Then weave in the interesting parts about why you do what you do, what makes you the person that is so good at it, and the ways you connect with your clients or customers. Story helps people visual how they can work with you, and gives them connections that keep them coming back.

Tip #3: The secret to really great copy… personality!

Too often, Dawn shared, we tend to write like we’re being graded by our teachers instead of letting our true voices and personalities shine though. That’s the ticket, however, for creating meaningful dialog – letting loose and letting your personality be heard in the writing that you do for your blog. How to do this? Write as if you are speaking directly to your favorite colleague or client. Your readers will love it  – and you’ll shine through as a much more authentic, personable you!

Don’t forget, Dawn also offered something special for listeners (and this includes you, too!) – a free guide filled with tips for building a loyal audience for your blog. It’s available on the home page of her website at www.dawnmena.com. Let me know how your blogging efforts go – and anything else I can help you with by leaving comments below or emailing me at dishingwithjudith@gmail.com.

Thanks for being here, I’ll meet you in the next post!   ~ Judith

Judith Mancini is producer and host of “Dishing with Judith,” her popular radio talk show on Women 4 Women Radio (w4wn.com) and iHeartRadio.com. Broadcast live in-studio from Burbank, California, Mancini’s guests  include celebrities, musicians, artists, authors and anyone with powerful knowledge or a spicy story.  Her co-host, Noelle, a fashion designer/blogger, social media expert and founder/CEO of Digital Media Strategy offers weekly “fashion finds” and lively commentary on all the new social trends.

Connect with Judith

Email: dishingwithjudith@gmail.com | Web: www.dishingwithjudith.com | Twitter: @dishwithjudith | Facebook: @DishingWithJudith

LAUGH AWAY ANGER

People take life far too seriously. There are important issues in our world such as child abuse, war, poverty, starvation, disease, etc. These are all matters critical for the well-being of humanity. Each one needs to be addressed and resolved quickly in order to protect mankind and eliminate unnecessary suffering. But we give too much credence to incidences of little value and in turn cause ourselves grief and heartache. Add to that the unnecessary anger we experience and it’s no wonder we’re all so miserable.

Elbert Hubbard: “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.”

Laughter is a powerful tool that possesses many valuable qualities and serves multiple purposes. On a physical level, it strengthens the body’s natural immune system, reduces stress hormones, improves cardiovascular health, reduces pain, relaxes muscles, and much more. On a personal level, it brings people together, boosts moral, alleviates depression and stress, minimizes negative conflict, puts people at ease by reducing tension between them or in a particular situation, and increases our overall enjoyment of life. It also alleviates fear and anxiety, energizes us and makes us feel more alive; it puts us in a more positive optimistic mood, encourages resiliency, and intercepts, minimizes, and even heals anger. On every level, it’s an attribute worth utilizing in all aspects of our lives.

Dr. Bernie Siegel: “The simple truth is that happy people generally don’t get sick.”

But how do you use laughter to thwart anger? First and foremost, it’s critical to train ourselves to not take things so seriously. If someone comments that your homemade cupcakes are dry, rather than take personal offense, which leads to hurt feelings and anger, one can choose to respond with humor. “It’s my secret ingredient – sand.” Everyone can have a good laugh rather than becoming angry, putting people on the defensive, or escalating a simple comment into an argument.
Taking the proper steps necessary to be physically healthy, such as exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, etc. is critical to warding off disease. So is developing a “laughable lifestyle” necessary to protect us against the perils of anger. Here are some suggestions.

The Laughable Lifestyle:
Look for humor in every situation. ~ Associate with funny, playful people including children.
Watch funny videos, TV shows, movies. ~ Go to a comedy club.
Read the comics in the newspaper. ~ Learn some good jokes and tell them to your family, friends, and coworkers.
Share a funny story with others. ~ Read funny greeting cards in your local Hallmark store.
Attend a laughter yoga class. ~ Be silly with your kids/grandchildren.
Do anything and everything silly: wear a funny hat when you go out to dinner; sing and/or dance while food shopping; skip instead of walk.
Engage in fun activities (bowling, miniature golf, etc) and make them funny.
Make some silly memories now! Those inane moments are the treasures that bring us joy as we age. They become some of our fondest memories and will naturally stir up laughter when recalled.

Look at the Lighter Side:

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Too often, we beat ourselves up for making poor decisions or not being good enough. We are hyper-critical of ourselves whereas we might be more understanding and compassionate towards others. Whenever we create a blunder, unless it causes serious duress to another, make light of it. Laugh at yourself!
When I moved into my current house, I chose an interesting color scheme for the living/dining room. My husband suggested I paint a small area first to determine if in fact I’d like it. But I was so confident that I painted both rooms in their entirety only to discover I was not happy with my color choice. Not only did I make this error once, I repainted nine times in one month before settling on a basic beige. Rather than be embarrassed or berate myself, I made sure to tell everyone my hilarious story of indecision. I embellished it each time I related it to someone new. Twenty years later, I still get teased and twenty years later we’re all still laughing about it. We’ve gotten a lot of laughter mileage out of that one incident.
Say or do things in a humorous way. Whenever possible, use exaggerated movements, funny facial expressions, a silly tone of voice. Embellishing any situation adds an new dimension of wit.*

Don’t take others seriously, either. When others make mistakes or behave in a manner unbefitting them, laugh it off.
A driver made an illegal left-hand turn at an intersection, cutting me off and nearly causing an accident. When I honked my horn to show him the “no left turn” sign, he went ballistic. Flailing his arms like someone swatting bees and ranting hysterically, I found myself amused at what a fool he was making of himself. Surprisingly , rather than become annoyed at his childish behaviors, I began laughing at his idiocy. “He can’t be serious,” I remember thinking to myself.
Be warned that you must be sensitive in this area. Never make fun of the person but instead joke about the incident if it allows for it. Be certain that you know the individual well enough to interject humor into the equation. Be very cautious when proceeding because this could backfire if you are inconsiderate of the other person’s feelings and situation. And keep in mind that sarcasm is not humor – it’s passive aggressive anger and is never appropriate to use against another human being.

Look for the humor in a dark situation. With very few exceptions, one can find humor even in the saddest, loneliest, or scariest times. A cancer patient, after losing her hair from radiation treatments, quipped that she was grateful that she didn’t have to dye her hair any longer. “It was such a pain!” she joked, “and expensive!” Unless it is a moral issue or one of life or death, most distress can be alleviated with a joke or two.
When our basement flooded years ago, my husband and I spent a total of fourteen consecutive hours siphoning up water. He moaned and complained the entire time. I got a rubber duck out of my closet, placed it in the four inches of water that covered the floor, and while I vacuumed up the water with my shop vac, I sang the rubber ducky song from Sesame Street. I took a difficult situation and brought humor into it. The task was far less aggravating for me than it was for my husband.
I recently had company for dinner. While making homemade biscuits, I forgot to add baking powder. Needless to say, they did not rise and were hard as a rock. My son-in-law commented that they looked like hockey pucks. The next day, I called him to say that I put them outside for the squirrels to eat but even they found them distasteful. They were, however, having a ball playing hockey.

Groucho Marx: “A clown is like aspirin only he works twice as fast.”
“If you can find humor in anything, you can survive it.” Bill Cosby

Surround yourself with reminders to laugh. Cut out cartoon strips or funny photos and place them on your refrigerator door, your desk, the bathroom mirror, etc., anywhere that they will remind you to find humor today.
Wear a clown costume while you’re mowing the lawn; spray paint your hair two different colors before visiting your mom; put smiley face stickers all over your shirt before going to work.
The more you seek humor the more you’ll find it; the more you pursue laughter the less you’ll focus on anger.

Have a laughing buddy. Like joy, humor shared is humor multiplied. Sharing laughter with others keeps relationships healthy and uplifted. It acts as a bonding agent that brings people together (unlike anger which causes a division). Relationships become more playful, vital, and supportive. It heals resentments, disagreements, and hurts, puts things into their proper perspective, and unites people in difficult times. Like chicken pox (only in a good way) laughter is contagious and when you share a good chuckle with another person, it magnifies your own joy as well.
Laughter at funerals used to be frowned upon but when my mother-in-law recently passed away, everyone was asked to wear crazy socks and ties. We all shared funny stories about Mary that soothed the loss and brought her family together. It was definitely what she would have wanted.
One of my favorite pass times is listening to my girls giggling with their cousins. Even though they’re all in their forties, they still laugh as they did when they were single digit ages. Their laughter is infectious and soon everyone within earshot is chuckling as well.
Don’t have a laughing buddy readily available? Pull up a video on Youtube of babies laughing. I guarantee it will activate your funny bone.

A smile is the beginning of laughter. So initially, you may want to begin with being conscious of your smile. Use is often; display it every place you go; share it with everyone you encounter. Make it the most important accessory you wear each day. It’s more significant than your makeup, hair style and color or wardrobe.

We are naturally drawn to laughter. It is our birthright and makes us feel good. And since you can only experience one emotion at a time, choose humor. It will prevent anger from arising and keep you healthy and beautiful at the same time. And it’s free. Doesn’t get any better than that.

Q** Will Rogers: “When I die I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did – not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.”
Rodney Dangerfield: “My psychiatrist told me I was crazy. I said I wanted a second opinion. He said, Ok. You’re ugly too.”
A.A. Milne “People say nothing is impossible but I do nothing every day.”
Walter Matthau: “My doctor gave me 6 months to live but when I couldn’t pay the bill he gave me 6 months more.”
Rita Rudner: “I love being married. It’s great to find that one special person you can annoy for the rest of your life.”
George Burns: “I’m so old that when I was a boy, the Dead Sea was only sick.”
Charles Lamb: “I always arrive late at the office but I make up for it by leaving early.”
Mitch Hedberg: “I wish my name was Brian. This way when people misspell it and call me Brain, it’s like getting a free compliment and I don’t even have to be smart to notice it.”

*See comedian Sebastian Maniscalco: https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-004&hsimp=yhs004&hspart=mozilla&p=sebastian+maniscalco#id=1&vid=c8c50ba0daa711f73c07e0b6571fb0d7&action=click
**www.AZQuotes.com
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