28 May The Power of Networking
In this week’s The Faces of the Business episode, our topic is The Power of Networking and our guest is Kirby Monestime. He was a pioneer of social media marketing for American Express. Kirby also worked in marketing for General Electric in their credit card division. Kirby is the owner and founder of Content Redefined.
Kirby begins by explaining that a lot of networking is inspired by the interactions that you can have on social media. Many things can emerge from that and so networking does that for you, as well as social media – both online and off-the-cuff interaction with other people. Networking is not easy and it takes consistent effort.
Damon then asked Kirby to explain the different social media marketing channels someone should be on.
Kirby continues the conversation by telling the best guide on what social media channels you should use is testing and asking your audience. He also explained that when marketing, we need to abandon our ego 99% of the time because we’re trying to market to other people, rather than our egos.
He explained that social media brought about this whole two-way interaction level component that really didn’t exist that much prior. And then you have a method by which you can actually track the analytics. Social media opens up the ability to have conversations in a more public forum so that people can resonate with comments. As a result, social media’s evolution continues, and it’s becoming increasingly engaging.
Kirby then shared there are additional benefits to how you can market your products and services. LinkedIn is a channel where you can utilize its capabilities to enhance your brand visibility for your business. If you want to share a little more information, you’re not limited like Twitter to a certain number of characters. The most successful people are putting the idea of telling stories through LinkedIn into reality.
Then Kirby said that He wanted to help entrepreneurs and new business owners do a couple of things. Number one in a networking group, you can gain customer research, right? You can get business advice from people who might be tenured. And people who you know may own their own business.
Damon concludes his conversation with him by saying, “I just appreciate you stopping by today, Kirby, and sharing this stuff. And if people are interested in joining your networking, redefine your networking group, and go to WWE.com.
At the end of the episode, Damon expressed his appreciation for Kirby sharing his time.
Kirby Monestime is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Dental Plans Direct. He Leads all Sales and Marketing Efforts for Dental Plans Direct, a fee-for-service discounted dental benefits plan. This includes Email, social media, Google Ads, Website, Blogging, etc. He handles membership rates, provider inclusion rates, and overall retention metrics.
Kirby Monestime is a Marketing Leader with over 8 years of experience in social and digital media on both the agency and client-side. Before this, He was an Experienced relationship manager with the strong capacity to hire, train and lead high-performance teams and also maintain valuable client relationships through trust, education, and optimized results.
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Damon Pistulka, Kirby Monestime
Damon Pistulka 00:00
I hit the wrong button All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am excited today because we have none other than Kirby monos team here today. And with content redefined, Kirby welcome.
Kirby Monestime 00:27
Thank you. I’m so excited to be here.
Damon Pistulka 00:30
It’s awesome to have you and we had you were on the faces not the Juran manufacturing ecommerce success series. A while back, we had an awesome comment or conversation there. And we wanted to extend that conversation in a little different direction. And talk today we’re going to be talking about your background, we’re gonna be talking about marketing, your approach to marketing, and then we’re going to talk about networking redefined. And how launching a new networking group. So Kirby, you’re in sunny Florida today, I believe
Kirby Monestime 01:04
I am, it is not so sunny here today, however, on most days in his sight.
Damon Pistulka 01:10
That’s great, because you do need a reprieve from the sun every once in a while. So tell us a little bit about your background, and kind of your marketing journey, kind of how you got to where you are today.
Kirby Monestime 01:24
Sure. So first of all, again, thank you so much, Damon for having me here. It’s always a privilege to spend time with you. So thank you for that. In terms of my background, so I started off as a customer service representative working for JPMorgan Chase, as I put myself through school, and I went to CW post-college in on Long Island in New York. And when I graduated from college, I was then promoted at JPMorgan Chase into a quality assurance role, where I lead a quality assurance team. And then probably about a year and a half later, I was promoted to the lead in a marketing communications role.
So I managed a team of folks that were responsible for putting out a number of marketing communications to clients, to internal teams and vendors to partners, as well as to other constituents within the organization. So that was a while ago, that was about 25 years ago, maybe not. But that’s where my career kind of started on. So like I mentioned before I went to school for business management. And then I have a minor in marketing. But I have so I started in JPMorgan Chase marketing communications. After that I worked for American Express for a period of time, I managed a lot of their lifecycle marketing efforts. And I also did some acquisitions.
So bringing in new clients, and then helping them to stay with the franchise was part of my role there at American Express. And then I’ve also worked for General Electric, in their credit card division. And again, I mainly was responsible for lifecycle marketing. So everything from you know, bringing new credit card users on board to how do we keep them engaged and continuing to use their card throughout the lifecycle of their time as a cardholder with that business? Okay, um, so those are some of the big companies that I’ve worked for.
But, you know, I have worked for smaller companies as well. I was the brand manager for an event production company in New York City. I’ve worked for Toronto on doing marketing. So Toronto is a famous Watch Company. For those of you that live in New York, you may be aware of it, I did social media marketing for them. I was actually a pioneer of the social media marketing for American Express.
So I lead the first social media Acquisition Group it out American Express in their credit card division. So I started out and that was how do we integrate a social media strategy into our overall you know, overall marketing strategy for our clients and for our business? So I was, you know, I started that team and I was very instrumental in creating the content measuring the analytics and really delivering you know, social connection through the American Express brand.
Damon Pistulka 04:53
Wow. I that that is when you start talking about that it made my mind kind And of rates because kind of explain. And I know we may be getting off slightly off topic here. But what was it like before social media? And what was it like after you had social media because that was in the time when social media was becoming a thing, right?
Kirby Monestime 05:16
So social media was was Brent, I wouldn’t say brand new, but social media was on the cusp of becoming something large. And you know, prior to that, you have all of your traditional marketing channels, right. So the way you really talk to people or influence people would be through direct mail, it wouldn’t be through your website content, right. So you have a lot of your traditional channels.
But when we broke the mold with social media and utilizing that in marketing strategy, what we did was we opened a whole new element of how people connect with one another, which is a large part of my overall business strategy and how I take marketing and a different approach because for me, it’s all about the story that you’re able to tell about who you are, and what your business is all about for your clients. And it’s also all about how they get to share their story with you. And social media is great, because it’s really, you know, it really ignites a two-way street with conversation.
You know, if I compare that to direct mail as a marketing channel, as an example, you send out a direct mail piece. And that’s it, you know, your consumer reads it, and you don’t know if they’re interested, if they’re not interested, etc. With social media, where people can leave comments where they can like, where they can share, you have the elements of connection right there. And then you have a methodology by which you can actually track the analytics and see how well you’re doing.
So I think that was a great question, Damon, because it really, it really gives you two different perspectives. From a marketing standpoint, one, which is a one way interaction in terms of marketing, whereas social media brought about this whole two way street interaction level component that really didn’t exist that much prior.
Damon Pistulka 07:19
Yeah. Yeah. And that those companies, were they doing a lot of email marketing as well.
Kirby Monestime 07:25
Yes. But a lot of the email marketing with templated, email marketing, right, so it was yeah, you know, email marketing that was sent out in mass, it may have been designed to email, there wasn’t really that large opportunity for people to really have a conversation. And, and, and a public conversation as well. So I think the other piece about social media is, it opens up the ability to have conversations in a more public forum, so that people who either resonate with, you know, comments that you make, or people who are feeling the same thing, or people who want to expand upon maybe a comment that you’ve made, you know, it allows for that level of interaction.
Damon Pistulka 08:12
Yeah, that’s really cool. And I just think it had to be such an interesting time as that was coming together. And in really how it just fundamentally changed the way marketing was done.
Kirby Monestime 08:26
I mean, yeah, it was, you know, social media has had such an impact. And as you see, the social media landscape begins to grow. I mean, you started with these early adopters, like, you know, your Twitter channels, and now you see Instagram blowing up in Tecton. So the evolution of social media continues to enhance, and it’s so engaging, and so fun to be, you know, part of that whole transformation in the social media landscape.
Damon Pistulka 08:55
Well, in in as we’re going to, we’re talking about today, the power of networking, social media is really where virtual networking kind of the infancy and it’s really developed through social media.
Kirby Monestime 09:12
Yeah, I would say that a lot of networking is inspired by the types of interactions that you can have in social media. Networking is and I’m so excited to be, you know, having the opportunity to talk about this topic because, you know, networking can change the life and the trajectory of your business.
Again, through the opportunity to have, you know, a two way conversation or a three way conversation or a four way conversation. Many things can emerge from that. And so networking does that for you, as well as social media. So yes, there they are. Both, you know there are a lot of things that happen in networking groups that are inspired on and that are prompted added by social media activities.
Damon Pistulka 10:03
Yeah, yeah, good stuff. Well, I kind of got kinda got distracted there because I was really interesting. And I wanted to talk about that. Because, you know, it is a part of when you think about House marketing involved, first of all, and we’ll continue talking a bit more about marketing, social media forever as change, or change the least the trajectory of marketing and how marketing is done, I think for virtually everything, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you agree?
Kirby Monestime 10:31
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Social media has a grave impact on just how marketing is viewed. It’s an additional layer of marketing, there are additional complexities that go along with it. But there are additional benefits to how you can market your products and services. I mean, if you think of social media today, you have things like stories you have real so there’s video integration, in your social media, you know, you have the capability to do surveys, you have the capabilities to do things like, you know, this or that, or just elements where you can ask people for feedback. So that also opens the door for customer research, right?
So social media has like taken a lot of your traditional marketing channels. And it’s, it’s provided a new opportunity and direction to do some of the things that we used to do.
But in a way, that’s more connective, as you can see, with social media and private messaging, and just, you know, the number of functionalities that are available to you, there’s just different ways to communicate, whether you’re a person who is, you know, really literal, and but you know, how to be short and precise, and you want to send some short messages through Twitter and, you know, Max, minimize your capacity to write as many things like you have that opportunity, you have Facebook, although in my opinion, Facebook is not as prominent as it used to be, because their algorithms are really strict.
And because you know, unless you’re spending a lot of money on ads, the likelihood that your content is going to be viewed by many people starts to slim down, you know, more and more. But that being said, it is a channel where you can definitely utilize its capabilities to enhance your brand visibility for your business. It’s also a channel where if you want to share a little bit more information, you’re not limited like Twitter to a certain number of characters, you can share more than you have Instagram, which is a visual platform, you know, where people are using it for imagery.
So you’ve got LinkedIn as well, which has, which is a networking tool in and of itself. And you know, but also, if you the most successful people in LinkedIn are really starting to operationalize the idea of telling stories through LinkedIn. So not just talking from a business perspective, but integrating a little bit of the personal and their stories and their content into their overall LinkedIn strategy.
And you’re going to be seeing more and more of that, you know, as time goes on. But I only recommend in every single marketing channel, if you want to be a success, you absolutely have to be a little bit a little vulnerable, you have to share a little bit of your story, and you have to be willing to connect with people and answer questions. But you also have to be willing to, you know, want to gain information from your users, and really use that information as part of your story or your strategy.
Damon Pistulka 13:54
I think it’s wise advice, wise advice. And it’s a great, a great overview of those of the social media ecosystem, because I there’s so many people, I mean, in just from a marketing standpoint, you if you’re on Facebook, or you’re on LinkedIn, or on Twitter, or any of these, there’s so many different marketing companies that are trying to grab your attention to go this way, that way.
And each one of them is saying that this is the best platform, I think, in marketing, you really need to have a guide almost anymore just because of the complexity of individual platforms, the different kind of business you have and how that specific business would want to need to be portrayed on a certain platform even sure, because
Kirby Monestime 14:40
I’ll tell you this, and I apologize to you Oh, no. I will tell you, you know, the best guide as to what social media channels you should be using is testing and asking your audience. So if you you know, I always say to clients that I work with them You know, we have to, and I may have said this the last time you and I chatted, but we have to when it comes to marketing, we have to abandon our ego. There is, you know, I and you and I have talked about this a number of times as well, I believe in conscious marketing and part of conscious marketing is really abandoning your ego. And what does that mean?
That means, in the simplest of terms, if I was my ideal client, and I was selling to myself, then yes, all of these great ideas that just popped up in my head, that would be wonderful, I could put them on paper, I would sell it to myself, and I’d have, I’d have a win right there. But in most cases, 99% of the time, we’re not trying to market to ourselves, we’re trying to market to other people. So the same way, we have these convictions about what should be in our marketing, because our ego tells us that a very well rounded, mindful individual would say, I need to pull away from my ego for a second.
And I need to ask my customers, what messages really resonate with them? What types of imagery resonates with them? Which social media channels are you living in? And are you communicating and more effectively? Because when they give you those answers, those are the places that you want to start marketing your overall business. So tapping into your consumer and your customer is, is the best way to get an answer about how to market to them. Just ask them. That’s the best way.
Damon Pistulka 16:38
That’s awesome. I just sit here grid. And while you’re talking, because it is. That is. I mean, every executives got an idea of how I think how they should be marketed. Right. And honestly, as you said, doesn’t really matter what you think, go ask your customers and then figure it out. Because you’re, how many times do you see now this is a question, kind of a side question is that? How many times do you see what me as an executive think, and what the customer say is the same?
Kirby Monestime 17:10
I mean, it’s usually, I would say 75 to 80% of the time, there’s a differentiation in the thought process. And I want to clarify, like, some of your thoughts as an executive, or some of my thoughts as a business owner, could be relevant to your audience. And it could be some of the questions that they want answered. But is it the top question? Or is it answering a problem that they might have?
Or is it addressing a pain point that they’re experiencing? Or is it speaking to a passion that they have? Right? So there has to be a balance. And when I talk about ego abandonment, it’s not to say that, you know, we do not have the wherewithal to understand what our clients need?
Because oftentimes we do, it’s just a matter of how do we create the messaging and a hierarchy that makes sense in a way that it’s going to influence your audience to want to purchase from you or work with you. So it’s really about messaging hierarchy and making sure that that hierarchy is correct. But not but we do as individuals, I just want to reiterate that, like as individuals and as entrepreneurs, we do have a lot of great ideas, and a lot of ideas will, can work for our audience. It’s just that that should not be your only method of research to drive a strategy in your business.
Damon Pistulka 18:43
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, to listen to the customer. And we know that it’s not just throwing stuff out there. And, like you said, the customer may value something that you’re not even thinking about your product. Absolutely. And, this is a great example of how many times our products become wildly successful for a reason other than the developers intended.
Kirby Monestime 19:06
Absolutely. It happens all the time. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 19:09
exactly. So you talk about the affirmative statements in marketing, you mentioned a couple of times, what, what’s an example of that? I guess, I’m trying to understand what using affirmative statements in marketing. So
Kirby Monestime 19:27
essentially, um, you know, in, in my humble opinion, and through what I’ve seen, you know, working in marketing for several years, what I’ve uncovered is that when we use affirmative statements, we’re actually telling the universe what we want. You know, it’s the Power of Thinking it’s the power of, you know, being mindful. It’s the power of conscious thought. And all of those theories can be intertwined and integrated into your marketing and when you’re using an affirmative statement in your messaging.
So instead of saying things like, you know, we, we aim to be the top brand that does X, Y, and Z, you know, we want to say we are the top brand that does X, Y, and Z. And by that what we’re doing is we’re telling the universe, exactly the position that we want our, you know, businesses to be in. And I’m gonna be honest, you know, some people, this sounds like pie in the sky, it sounds a little woowoo. It sounds, you know, for some people, it can feel that way. But I have practiced this type of methodology time. And I see the benefits and the impacts that it can have, when we utilize it. And when we’re steadfast and utilizing it.
Damon Pistulka 20:51
The example you gave was spot on, you read those two sentences, we aim to be the best, or we are the best, the impact is undeniable. The second one is much better. It is it’s felt in and you really you understand why it almost compels you to I understand why you should do business with them. Rather than the first one? Well, we would like to be the best, but we really aren’t. Second one is, we are the best.
Kirby Monestime 21:20
Yeah. And if you think about it, if we’re saying we aim to be the best, well, how do you classify yourself now? So as a consumer, as a consumer, I would pick up that statement, I don’t know if it’s just marketing brand, but as a consumer, I would pick up that statement and be like, Okay, well, you want me to buy your product, but you don’t even say I’m convinced that your products are top of the line. So why I purchased that product? Yeah.
Right. So it’s this idea of being you know, you know, affirmative about your services, about your products about how you position your business, even goals to when I bring on a new client, in my business content redefined. One of the first things that I do at Discovery is, give me your top three goals. Because, a marketing strategy is going to be very different. If you tell me, Well, my goals might, if you were to tell me that my goal is to increase leads to my for my business, that’s going to be very different.
And a strategy that I might suggest would be very different for that versus a, you know, I want to retain the existing clients that I have in my business, right? What is bringing on new clients? And what is it going to take to engage them and to have them understand your products and services rather quickly, and see the benefits of that in a way that it influences them to buy immediately? And the other one is, you’ve already done the work, you’ve already these people are already subscribing to your products or service or your brand.
So now it’s how do you keep them glued to you? How do you what kind of fodder do you feed to them to ensure that they’re continuing to see the ongoing value of your products and services for that specific consumer? So it’s really, really so when I talk to clients, I’m like, talk to me about what your goals are. And even if we go back to affirmative, you know, the affirmative terminology, even with when we’re talking about our cold, right, it’s very different. If I say to you, David, my goal is to increase the number of leads in my business, right?
That’s a very different statement than Damon, my goal is to increase the number of leads in my business by 3000. And I want to do that by you know, may 30 20. Right, so now I’ve created a goal that’s actually measurable, because I, there’s a number of, of clients that I actually want leads that I’m actually targeting and that I’m actually thinking through that I can meet. And I’ve also made it time-based, right. So I’m saying I want to do this by me. 30. And at the end, you know, may 30 2022. It’s a very different statement when you define your goals with more clarity.
But that is also part of this approach of conscious marketing that I’m going to continue to grow in brand over the next you know, year or so from my business. Because it’s, it’s you are being very specific about you know, hey universe, this is what I need to grow my business in this particular timeframe. And so you can support that the universe has heard what you’re putting out there on you’re consciously thinking through that and analyzing that in your head. So now all of your actions that you work towards, to be focused around that, you know, primary goal that you’ve set for yourself. That is very clear.
Damon Pistulka 24:57
Yes, that is and when you did, it doesn’t I mean, we’re you’re using marketing as an example. But this is the same thing in business too. I mean, this is the same thing. It’s like, hey, if I want to increase my profitability to, you know, 1 million to $1.5 million, by the third quarter of this year, you know, whatever, however, you’re measuring it year over year, on a monthly basis, or whatever. When you do that, though, and you say, Listen, I want it to be this amount. At this point in time, your mind automatically comes to how do I get there? What do I do? Yeah, and really engages you in a different manner, than if it was a little bit less definite.
Kirby Monestime 25:43
And I certainly agree with that it does engage your mind and your process in a different manner. Also, you know, and I share a lot of this insight, because I have worked at these larger organizations. And, and you know, and some of these ideas, we’ve actually, you know, implemented over time.
So that’s where I used some of these great learnings. But think about it also, from the perspective of, you know, if you manage a team, you are giving your team developmental guidance on what is expected of them, you know, there’s clarity around what’s expected of them. So this way, if the goal is met, or if the goal is not met, you have a measurement in place by which you can define whether it’s been met or not met.
If I just tell my employee that is now working for me, hey, I, you know, your objective is to bring me new leads. Well, if this person brings me to leads, they had conquered the objective that you set forth for them? Yes. But by that by having a clear, defined statement about how many leads are is included in these new leads number, and how long it’s going to take, or how long you expect them to get to that point, you’ve really provided direction and clarity for somebody in a way that allows them to become a success. And obviously, in this idea of mindful and conscious thinking, we all are successes.
Damon Pistulka 27:08
Yes. Yes. And understanding that too. It’s like you said, if you give them a specific goal, they understand what success looks like,
Kirby Monestime 27:20
Absolutely, clearly understood. Success for your business.
Damon Pistulka 27:24
Yes, yes. Yes. And, you know, we use this with our clients as well, when we start to talk about what’s your, what are your goals for next year, because in our instance, we use that in the fact that okay, your business is worth X dollars today, when you’re ready to exit, you want to be why. So that means we bought it this much time, we just break it down, we say if you need to grow by double that, then by and you’re going to be in here for two years. So by the end of the first year, we want to, we want to go up by 50%.
And that means that the dollars in revenue has to go up each month by this much and that means our profitability will go up this much. And our value of the business will go up this much. And when everybody starts to see those numbers, and we start to break those down into weekly increments, because that’s how we are in our clients, we always work on a weekly basis, all the way through,
sometimes even in marketing, when our clients are sophisticated enough that they understand that I need to have this many marketing qualified leads that will turn into sales that will turn into actual profits, we can get down to that point with them. But my point is, it’s amazing when you break it into that level of detail as to how much more successful teams and individuals can be. Because they’ve got that weekly goal. They know what I got to do 10 This week, so they know that that’s two a day.
They know that if I go to lunch, and I haven’t done one I got two to do in the afternoon. It’s just so interesting. And then you talked about putting it out to the universe too, because I think that, that by them understanding they things, they’re talking to people about none, whatever the energy, they’re putting out, whatever you want to say I think it helps them to actually achieve those goals because they’re heightened, and tuned in to really how do I achieve those goals on a daily basis. But it’s amazing the difference in teams when you do that, and I’m sure you saw that when you’re managing teams to
Kirby Monestime 29:27
absolutely and on top of that it works the same the other way as well. Right? So if you’re a team member, if you’re part of a team and all of a sudden, you know your leadership gives you this objective to, you know, obtain 300 leads by the end by May 31. And here it is May 15 And you’re at 315 leads, how powerful is that for you as an individual? Right? How driving is that? How influential is that for you as an individual to say, Hey, I’ve actually hit this goal.
Now I’m going to exceed this goal. And you have a measure by which you know, you hit the goal, or you can exceed the goal on. And so that’s a powerful, you know, creating measurable goals is a powerful component of a great leader, a great leader is going to outline some very strategic and measurable goals for the people that work for them.
Damon Pistulka 30:23
Yeah, and it’s, it’s, it’s the solid foundation of a marketing, successful marketing strategy, no matter what you’re doing, really, I think,
Kirby Monestime 30:33
absolutely. And I know we’re talking about in light of goals, but there are so many metrics, you know, when it comes to social media, whether it’s clicks, whether it’s impressions, whether it’s, you know, level of engagement, there are, there are different analytics, open rates for emails, like, depending on what channel you’re utilizing, there are different analytics that apply to those channels.
And, you know, another thing that I like to tell my clients is, Google is one of your best friends, right? So you know, if you don’t know what the average open rate is, on an email, just, you know, go into Google type, what are the average rates for open rates for this type of email? And you’ll get some baseline measures that you can use, and then you can compare your kind of output against that.
Damon Pistulka 31:22
Yeah, yeah, that’s great. It’s great, great to know and remember, and realize that the information is available,
Kirby Monestime 31:28
it’s absolutely out there and available, we just have to get it just like abundance. He has a lot of abundance in the world, I love to share that with people. There’s a lot of abundances out there in the world, we just have to go out there and grab it.
Damon Pistulka 31:40
Yeah, yeah, there’s 100% 100%. So today, we’re gonna talk about the power of networking, I think you and I are an example of power and networking. First of all, because you met Kurt Anderson, Kurt Anderson, I did a show we met on the show we connected well, and we said, let’s do this, I think that when we, when we look at the power of networking, in our lives, I would, I would like to, first of all, for you to kind of explain what the power of networking really means to you and how it’s affected your business life and, and personal if that, if that makes sense to
Kirby Monestime 32:18
Sure. So, so I’ve done a lot of networking over the years. And, you know, I’m going to share openly how I feel about some aspects of networking. There are definitely networking groups that are out there that are, you know, transactional. And I think that those networking groups are great for individuals with a transactional mindset. So those people who need deadlines who need goals who need benchmarks, and they need them to be dictated to them, in order for them to see success.
However, there are also you know, and I tend to favor, you know, networking groups that are very relationship-oriented, where you are doing things like, you know, having a meet and greets, outside of the networking, you know, the regular networking meeting, so that you can connect with people on a deeper level, because I’m in marketing, about 93% of people.
And I may have shared this on the last interview that we had, but 93% of people buy from a place of connection, they buy from people they know, like and trust. And so maybe there’s an undertone of necessity, you know, and a lot of in most cases, there’s an undertone of some sort of necessity or desire. But most of the time, the tipping point for people is how do I connect with your brand? Or what your brand represents? Or what philanthropy or brand, you know, subscribes to?
Or what is your story? You know, I , in the last interview that you Kurt and I did, I shared a lot about, you know, my story about me growing up and how my dad was, you know, was an entrepreneur or tried to be an entrepreneur, and that’s what inspired me. But unfortunately, he had so many failed attempts, and he never got to see his dream of becoming an entrepreneur come to fruition. And I shared that story. And if I could tell you how many people reached out to me, and the first thing they said was, you know, thank you for sharing your story.
I went through a similar situation where, you know, I was growing up and we had a bankruptcy or I recently suffered a bankruptcy and saw the impacts to my business. So these stories are what thread people and networking groups are a great opportunity for different people from different walks of life who just want to support each other for them to come together and share kind of what their story is, and you will be amazed by the level of business that you can incur, just by being vulnerable with your story and sharing that story with other people.
And so then I, when I look for networking groups, I look for networking groups that are more relational, that you know, really, that really encourage people to connect with one another, share your stories, you know, have me outside of the actual, you know, meeting itself, and really find ways to connect with one another. Because I promise you that those connections will breed business, they’ll breed new partnerships, they’ll breed new friends. And so it’s really important to kind of find the mechanism in which you can connect with people and tell your story. And networking groups are the perfect way to do that.
Damon Pistulka 35:48
Yeah, yeah. That’s awesome, by the way. Great explanation. I just, yeah. Well, because you feel it when you go into a transactional networking group. It’s like, Hey, do you have any leads for me, I don’t have any leads for you yet, at least for me, Guy leads for you. It’s like, Hey, I don’t, I don’t just have people every day that. And when you’re a relational person, you don’t have that, you know, people. And if somebody has something, a problem that they need solved, or something that we’d like to talk about, you might know somebody that can help them, or you may, you may be able to help them, but it’s not. It’s not the here’s a nickel, there’s an echo kind of thing.
Kirby Monestime 36:30
Exactly. And nine times out of 10, the relationship breeds the trust, right, you know, let it take you and I, for example, in the example that you Kate, and you gave before I met Kurt in a networking group, Kurt introduced me to you, we were on a show, you know, his notes together, or you guys are together, and now I’m on you know, I’m on the faces of business with you, right?
So it was the relational aspect that drove this partnership that we have developed and that we’re going to continue to develop, right. And so again, I don’t want to not transactional for some people, it’s amazing. And it’s great, and it works, and it serves its purpose. Yeah. You know, for me, as you can tell by kind of my energy and just kind of the way I talk to people, I want to know about you, I want to know what inspired you to create your business, I want to know about your new puppy, like, I want to know those types of things.
And in those conversations, we will get to business. And, and whether we end up being business partners or not, whether I give you business or you give me business, there’s always this opportunity to share referrals back and forth. And because I’ve established a relationship with you, I feel more inclined to be able to share, you know, I take referrals very seriously. If I refer a person to somebody else, I need to know a little bit about this person, because I take all my relationships seriously.
Right? Yeah, so referral is, you know, through a networking group, you get to learn more about people and their personas and you know, how they communicate with other people and how they, you know, position themselves on camera and how energetic they might be, you get to see that and that starts to build the trust. So networking is all about that, you know, looking at people’s body language, experiencing how they communicate not just seeing orally in an email, but listening to how they talk, seeing their energy seeing their passion, people who are passionate are the types of people that I want to refer to other people. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 38:41
yeah. And you’re so spot on because in those networking groups, those relationships that you build John McLean always says hunt the relationship always comes to my mind whenever I heard the word relationship because it really is it’s a different kind of way to grow your business really or develop your circle of influence, not even influence on you because I think circle of influence to me is kind of a kind of a icky term for lack of a better word, because I just want to be around the smartest people I can be and I think that for me, it’s so it just the passion for me is really to meet more interesting and smart people doing other cool things.
Because when you do that, that networking that you’re doing their and meeting those people that are really it’s like, whoa, you do that. That’s super cool. Tell me more about it. And listen to them. Just being a part of that. Make I know I don’t get smarter from it makes it feel like you do. Yeah, but it’s that’s the way that I view networking because that’s i And the funny thing is you want to talk to me 10 years ago, I would have not I would I would have said I was full of shit.
The same thing I said right now, I honestly would have said that and But when you understand that and, and I hear you speaking about it, I can see it in your eyes that you this, this love for getting to know people and know what’s cool about them and what they’re passionate about allows you to really, really network at a deep level and a level that will put that know, like and trust in each other, to be able to refer people and refer business, if it makes sense.
Kirby Monestime 40:27
Absolutely. And you mentioned Leno before, I gotta give him a shout-out. He’s actually joined my networking group, and I’m so excited to have him be a part of it. Awesome. He’s an awesome mind and an awesome guy. And I love having him in my circle. So I just wanted to give him a shout out whether he’s here or not. The universe knows and well, yeah.
Damon Pistulka 40:48
Kirby Monestime 40:50
But yes, to your point about the connection, and passion, so much of that is received through a networking group. And you know, what’s different about the networking group that I’m creating is that my networking group is open to not just entrepreneurs and business owners, but I’ve opened it up to passion seekers. So there are so many people that are out there, they may be retired, they may be going through school, where they haven’t yet, you know, they either they’re out of the job market, or they haven’t decided exactly where they fit in the job market yet.
And then there also, there are also some people who are in the job market, but they are just passionate about things outside of making money. You know, maybe it’s skydiving, or maybe it’s fishing, or maybe it’s their children, or maybe it’s their pets, right. And they are, they’re passionate about something, but they don’t have a forum to share their passion with other people. And so I’ve created my networking group is for passion seekers, and entrepreneurs and small business owners, that are looking to meet new people connect with new people share ideas, but share their story as well.
And that’s, that’s a little bit about what differentiates, you know, networking redefined, which is my networking group from other, you know, networking groups that might be out there. Because, again, I think people need a forum to share their ideas, their passions, ask questions, and they need a place where it feels safe for them. Right. So part of my networking group is to make sure that I create a space that is safe for people, for people to ask any question that they want to ask or share anything that they want to share? You know, as long as it’s, you know, respectful of everybody else within the group?
Damon Pistulka 42:49
Yeah, well, yeah, I wrote down the word safe, because it’s funny that I was thinking about that today. And some of the events that we have, and some of the events, with my company actually your way that we have, when we invite business owners in to come and talk about their business talk about challenges, they have to be able to, you know, to honestly give them free advice and help them with what we can while we’re talking to them. And the very word came up with me, how do you create a safe environment for that?
How do you create that safe environment where people can, can let their guard down and say, I really don’t know what to do here. Or I screwed up. And I just would like to get a couple ideas. Because that’s safe. That safe spot is what people are looking for.
Kirby Monestime 43:39
Yeah. So I mean, so creating a safe space is about your messaging and your positioning. And part of it is about that. So as an example, in my networking group, we’re going to have a private Facebook group, only members of the group will be allowed to join. And part of the rules of the Facebook group is, you know, you can ask questions, but other than asking questions, you’re encouraging members, you are celebrating their wins, you’re celebrating their successes with them. It’s not a place to poach the private Facebook group is not a place to poach business, it’s a place for people to connect with each other on a deeper level.
And it’s a place for people to really be able to celebrate the successes or even share their failures and get encouragement from other people. Right. So it’s really about the types of messages that you promote. It’s about the types of structures that you create. You know, when we were in my networking group, you know, we will do breakout groups.
And in those breakout groups, there’ll be smaller groups of one or two people that are talking to each other. And as one or two people talk to each other by virtue of diminishing or minimizing the number of people in that group, that open Hands up more of a space for people to be vulnerable for people to share their experiences for people to feel that it’s a safe space for them, where they can be, you know, where their thoughts and ideas can be honored. It’s really the safe space is about creating an aura. And then it’s also about creating safeguards within your networking group that really keeps it structured to a certain number of people.
Damon Pistulka 45:25
Yeah, yeah. That’s, that’s great to understand and understand how you’re doing it because it is, that is one of the things when you really want to create a network networking. A, I don’t know, organization, place, whatever you’re doing virtual physical doesn’t really matter is how do you make a safe space?
How do you make it comfortable enough, that we can build those deep relationships that you can sit down, that could sit down next to you, or we could do this, and I can, I can say, Kirby, I just really screwed up. And I don’t know what to do, or I had this great, great win today. And, and it’s, you know, and to be able to share it and find others to find joy in you finding success, you know.
Kirby Monestime 46:14
And I also think part of that, so, I believe that, you know, leadership and support starts with me. As the leader of that group, I vow to be vulnerable with my networking group, because I want to foster that vulnerability in them. So I’m going to share about my wins, but I’m going to share about my my developmental opportunities and learnings, or challenges that I’ve encountered. It’s really important for us as leaders, to be vulnerable and to create through our own behaviors and interactions, to create a safe space for other people that we might interact with.
Damon Pistulka 46:56
Yeah. Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. And, and so, before I forget, how do people learn more about your, your networking group? For you? Are you at the marketing and the networking group?
Kirby Monestime 47:13
Yes. So if you go to my website, we are content redefined.com, you will see in the navigation that there is a join networking redefined. So you can join via that avenue, you can also email me directly at content redefined. email@example.com That’s contact redefined. firstname.lastname@example.org. And I’d be more than happy to I would actually love to connect with you personally.
Have a conversation, talk to you more about the group and, and what you know what, what we’re going to be doing in the group, and really just, you know, walk with you and see if that is something that is going to be a benefit to you. You can also find me on Instagram at contact me to find out. So there’s a couple of ways that you can reach out to me.
Damon Pistulka 48:05
Very good, very good. Well, I wanted to make sure I asked that before I forgot. Because sometimes I do get out of these. And we forget to do that. So that’s awesome. So we are content redefined.com.
Kirby Monestime 48:16
All right, we are contact redefined.com. Yep. And you can, you know, you can join the networking group there. There’s also a contact form on there. So if you want to reach me on You can reach me through there as well.
Damon Pistulka 48:28
Awesome. Awesome. So we got that. When, let me hear a bit about your story of the power of networking before we finish up here.
Kirby Monestime 48:42
Yeah. So as I started to mention earlier, I’ve been in multiple networking groups, I recently joined master networks. I had this idea of creating a networking group last year. I started planning this just because I wanted to figure out find a way to help entrepreneurs and new business owners do a couple of things. Number one in a networking group, you can gain customer research, right? Because you’re gonna have different people and personalities in that group.
So you can ask a lot of questions about, you know, your brand, your products, your services, you can get business advice from people who might be tenured or people who you know, may own their own business or be, you know, entrepreneurs as well. As part of my networking group. I’m creating opportunities for people to be mentors or mentees or have accountability partners. So that’s, that’s another piece of it.
I have gone to many networking groups before and recently I joined master networks. What I found is that when you are invested in who you know, you will certainly see the benefits. I would say that for content redefined, which is my marketing company, 85% of my business comes from people that I’ve met in networking groups. I’m having conversations with them, having conversations with them outside of the networking meeting itself. But having then seen how I operate in a networking group and how I communicate and how I engage, that has brought me a ton of business.
So I would say somewhere between 85 to 90%, of the business that I get in my, in my marketing company today, comes from the power of networking. But I’ve been to many networking groups before, in person and online. All of those networking groups have inspired me, because in all of them, I’ve met new people. I’ve made new friends. I gained new business. I’ve been able to, like I said, obtain customer research, get business advice, gain referrals, come up with new marketing and strategic ideas. There are so many benefits if you join a networking group and you use it to your advantage.
Damon Pistulka 51:13
Yeah, yeah, I agree. Well, that’s, that’s awesome. And, and I just appreciate you stopping by today Kirby and sharing this stuff. If people are interested in joining your networking, redefine networking group, go to WWw.wearecontentredefined.com.
And, and you got to come find the information, their contact form and everything. So they can get in touch with you and talk about that if they want because it sounds like you’re putting together. There’s some great people that you’ve already mentioned John and others that are going to be on it’s going to be a great group. So thanks so much for being here today. sharing your story. It’s always a pleasure.
Kirby Monestime 51:58
Damon, I love being here with you. You’re amazing. And I’m glad we’ve connected on this level. I’m grateful for you. And so thank you so much for having me here today. I can always appreciate the opportunities.
Damon Pistulka 52:14
Yeah, yes, me as well. Well, thanks so much everyone for being here today. They Kirby for stopping by. We are content redefined.com. Look at his networking group. Get on that thing. Check it out. Talk to Kirby. He’ll, he’ll tell you what it’s about. Sounds awesome. Thanks so much, everyone. We’ll be back again later this week. Thanks.