This story will make you want to network (honestly!)

By Justine Clay


While I don’t ‘do’ resololutions, I am making a commitment to get out and meet more of the creative talent that I work with, as well as like-minded collaborators and business resources this year.  I realize that the only way to build great new relationships with like minded people is to seek them out. In short…to network more.  

Photograph by Andre LambertsonThere’s nothing like seeing someone successfully do what you know you need to do, so today, I’d like to instroduce you to Johann Elysee, founder of Sterling & Black Associates.  Johann helps for-profit, non-profit and government organizations across industries to conquer their chaos by creating systems, implementing processes, and streamlining information and data.  She whips teams and organizations into shape, creating systems, processes and resources (from brochures to websites) that are informative, engaging, beautifully designed and, above all, user friendly.

 When Johann and I started working together her goal was to define and align with her unique talent, refine her message and get more projects with her ideal clients.  What she didn’t need help with was networking – she was all over it! 

Despite being a self-confessed networking skeptic, and a single mum to boot (the best excuse in the world to skip networking events), she put her resistance aside and made a commitment to get out there.

So what convinced her?  A fellow board member (and expert networker) explained the connection between meeting people and driving business results in a way that made perfect sense to her logical mind and didn’t feel in the least bit sleazy. She decided to take his advice and make a plan to meet as many relevant people as possible.  By December this year she was seeing connection points between people that were now in her network and the people she wanted to meet.  

So, what are the results?

  • She is meeting people that she would never otherwise have met.
  • She’s developing a strong relationship with a Center of Influence in her industry.
  • She’s getting opportunities that she never would have come her way before.
  • She can categorically say that 2014 will be a materially different year in terms of revenues because of the networking she did in 2013.
  • She was invited to the to Mayoral Inauguration.
  • She has been invited to pitch an program to an ideal client.
  • And, as she said “The best result is that I can now see how the process works and I BELIEVE that I have some control over the outcomes”

Thanks Johann for sharing your story! 

I’ll be kicking off the year as I mean to go on with the following events. Care to join me?

Freelancer’s Union – Social Good Think Tank – January 15th at 6.30 p.m

Delve – Networking fabrication at the Textile Arts Center – January 24th at 6.30 p.m.

In Good Company – Monday Night Netwroking – January, 27th at 6.00 p.m.

Does the idea of talking about what you do send you running in the opposite direction of a networking event? Perhaps I can help.  I’d love to hear from you, so if you’d like to set up a time to chat for 15-20 minutes please feel free to set up a time here.