How to Leverage Your Network the Right Way with Benjamin Shapiro

Episode #178 the Wingnut Social Podcast

Do you know how to leverage your network? Do you know how to communicate with your personal and business connections in a way to foster relationships? And what’s the best communication medium to get the job done? Benjamin Shapiro joins Darla and Natalie in this episode of Wingnut Social to share his personal formula for success. Don’t miss it!

Benjamin Shapiro—not to be confused with the political commentator—is a Brand Development and Marketing Strategy Consultant. With 15+ years of experience in marketing, he honed his skills to find THE best method to leverage his network. His goal is to help companies grow and scale using effective marketing strategies. He is also the producer and host of the MarTech podcast. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:53] Twizzlers + Tequila 
  • [2:19] All about Benjamin Shapiro
  • [6:29] How Benjamin got into marketing
  • [13:59] The ROI Benjamin sees from networking
  • [16:45] Should the approach be different for designers?
  • [18:07] How important are LinkedIn connections?
  • [19:04] Mixmax: the email software Benjamin embraces
  • [21:23] How to adopt this strategy to your own business
  • [22:42] GDPR/Privacy Policy implications
  • [27:02] How to stay in front of your prospect
  • [28:46] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [35:03] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Benjamin Shapiro

Resources & People Mentioned

Leverage your network by being relationship-focused

When you market a new product or service, most people think they have to start by marketing to people they don’t know. Instead, Benjamin emphasizes that you need to be relationship-focused and start with the people you know. You can skip steps by working with the people you’ve already built trust and credibility with. 

For example, when Benjamin launched a website he started an email campaign. He broke his professional network into three segments:

  1. The people ahead of him in his career
  2. The people he considered his peers
  3. The people already in the consulting space

He notes that the way you reach out to each of those groups is going to be different. So Benjamin formed a personalized formulaic email to start conversations with each category. 

The moral of the story? The same way you think about targeting your customers is the same way you should target the people within your network. Take the credibility you’ve developed and leverage that. You can shift the focus to just your products and services and not have to worry about selling yourself.

Why Benjamin is an avid fan of email marketing

You have to think about: Who do you already have credibility with? What is the lowest-friction way to get in front of them? 

How many people you need to connect with and convert depends on what your relationships are like, what your products are, what your price point is, etc. So how does Benjamin prefer to connect with his network? Email. Benjamin believes that a one-to-one email is the most personal and has the highest conversion rate.

When Benjamin emails somebody, he often sees an 85% open-rate and 25% meetings scheduled. The conversion rates for having email conversations with people you already know is astronomically higher than marketing to them through other means. 

Benjamin prefers to use the MixMax platform (over services such as ConstantContact or Mailchimp). Why? MixMax allows you to create an email template that allows for different variables to be filled out by you (name, time period, project). Instead of writing a whole email, it’s filling in a few words.

What’s the best approach for a new or seasoned designer to take to leverage their network? How can you adapt this strategy to fit your business? Listen to the whole episode to find out!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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