As a huge fan of using social media to build a tribe and make genuine contacts, I am always mindful that you can never underestimate the value of face to face networking and building quality relationships with others. Business connections work in mysterious ways, very much like everyday life, and you really have no idea what the universe has in store for you. One thing you can be sure of though is if you create a conversation with a genuine intention to learn more about the other people in the room ... magic happens, literally.
I’m a Facebook for Business Specialist, living in Spain. On October 10th 2017 I will be speaking about Facebook Tips for the Female Entrepreneur at The Women’s Inspire Network Women's Inspire Network National Event. How did that happen? Back in September 2016 I attended Social Day UK – Birmingham. How I got there from Marbella, is due to a combination of circumstances of missing out on seeing Lucy Hall speak in Spain and Ali Meehan from Costa Women telling me I had to go! The whole day was like being in a social media toy store and online marketing master-class rolled into one, and I loved it.
During lunch I chatted with Samantha Kelly and offered her a lift back to the airport. On face value that would sound just a regular kind of thing to do, but it turned into something that has lead to a plethora of opportunities. The ride itself was at the very least hair-raising and unforgettable for the wrong reasons. I’d failed to mention to Samantha that I was in a rental car that I was finding tricky to drive and I was about to take her on a road network I hadn’t used in over 12 years, plus bearing in mind I live in Spain I was also driving on the wrong side of the road!
There was a particular, let’s call it high-risk, situation when she didn’t actually scream because I think she just stopped breathing and went white, but we made it to the destination on time – job done. Despite the road-safety issues, we managed to chat the whole way and by the next day I had been added to the Women’s Inspire Network Facebook Group. On the first day of being a group member I couldn’t resist jumping in and trying to help answer someone’s question about Facebook. The support and inspiration within this peer to peer group is tangible, and the achievements the ladies make in their businesses is testament to how Samantha nurtures their confidence and encourages interaction from everyone.
It’s not all rose-tinted glasses as set-backs and disappointments are embraced with equal vigor by the whole group and everyone joins in to help those who are ‘having a bad day’, because you never know when it’s going to be your turn. With Facebook being my topic of interest I readily lend a hand and offer support. Much of my work in Spain has been helping those where tech is not their talent so any opportunity I have to help others further afield I’m happy to do so. As a result of not just sitting on the side lines but being proactive as well, many of the group members have reached out for further advice or even to see how we can create a working relationship together in the future.
Contributing and adding value to the group also adds to my success, quite simply, as when they have had a good result from my guidance it makes me feel fantastic, but also the news I received a few months back it literally has led to a success that is way beyond connecting two individuals. This is how I came to be invited to speak at the Women’s Inspire National Event. Showing my skills as a trusted mentor in the WIN group has led to Samantha Kelly, none-other than the Tweeting Goddess herself, asking me to speak at her event as the Facebook Specialist. I was blown away with the invitation and overcome with Samantha’s generosity.
This is an opportunity not to be missed so, with my passport at the ready I’m heading to Dublin in October. Whether it be online or offline there really are no boundaries or limits in this modern era of networking. You never know when the next influencer will need a lift to the airport and you certainly never expect a small amount of time invested in answering people’s questions can have such an impact on your life.