inSide919 Trustees share their experience – Radio Show #1

NOTE: Due to a technical issue the program starts at the 2:10 minute mark, you can use your mouse to drag to this point.

In this 1 hour show I’ll visit with several of our Community ‘Trustees’. These individuals are great examples of how to leverage micro business networking and get them to share some secrets to successful online networking.
Localist News

Help-Line & Spotlight.. Olalah Njenga – inSide919

O is a member of NSA (National Speakers Association), volunteer counselor for SCORE and Marketing Instructor at Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh. She is also a Sponsor of the inSide919 network and offers the ‘Marketing with Ease’ course – which I love.

We will talk about marketing and also take ‘help’ calls from inSiders.
Localist News

Network and Growth Make Cents Within Inside919

It is that time. You are now ready to grow your career or business and make it even better in 2013. You have not networked a lot over the years, but you are seeing people more successful because of it. Especially for solo professionals, micro and small business, networking is a very smart thing to do.

Just as in Algebra, networking is a numbers game. Here in Insider land and across the our networks there is a multitude of events to go to. Chambers, Kiwanis, BNI, Rotary, Business After Hours; the list goes on and on.

It is not who you know or what you know. It is simply who knows you and who will recommend doing business with you. Visibility and engagement are critical. Regular attendance is essential so people see you, get to know you, and start trusting and referring you.

As you add up the growing list of contacts, you will find that good things will happen. Momentum is key to building opportunity. Relationships are indeed everything. The best way to grow is through your present clients and the new people you meet. This is the critical combination for success.

Selling yourself, your products and your services should never be in your event discussion. Give a business card when asked, and always just get to know the other person. It is essential to always remember that no one has ever ruined a relationship by listening. Out listen like you would out run or out jump someone. If asked, be very clear about the things you do and the services you offer. People will remember you the next time they hear of someone who could use your services.

It is human nature for us to do often something and quit it because of boredom or lack of focus. But being a persistent networker will pay off over time. By attending as many socials and events as possible over JUST 90 days, will bring a degree of success to a career or a business.

Remember the best thing anyone can say: “Really? I know someone that does just that!”

Photo: IMU Social Media

IMU Social Media</p>

Everyone’s Articles – The 919 Local Business Network

What’s Next for InSide919? My Predictions.

Now that Pat has rolled out the big change, I, for one, am curious to see what new direction things take with this network. I have always been a believer that online (or offline) networking is not a “body count” game, and that the one with the most “friends” doesn’t necessarily win. So, I think that this is definitely one of those times when “less is more.”

Personally, I am in a state of continual flux, as I have been for the past five years since first deciding to embark on the path of the entrepreneur. As such, I have come to see the wisdom of the “small town” networking concept, I have personally gotten the most benefit from eyeball-to-eyeball relationships. Some of my best relationships have been born from starting conversations offline and continuing them online.

I have found that resources like InSide919 have been valuable because, frankly, I can’t have coffee with everybody. I can only hope that, if I make the effort to put up some content with the intention of sharing something of value, that some people will read it and benefit from it. I have found that there have been a number of people who read my articles and watch my videos without responding online, but who later (sometimes months or even years later) mention that they got value from what I shared.

The heart of online networking, I think, is starting and continuing important conversations. That’s why I think that InSide919 serves in a “town hall” capacity, and that’s critical in a world where towns have gotten geographically bigger and more spread out. Facebook adds a lot of value of its own, but it can’t be the town hall. It’s too big. LinkedIn can’t do it, and neither can Twitter or Pinterest. So, I think Pat has created something that serves a unique and important purpose.

Here are some things that I predict will begin to happen on the network, now that we’re down to the “10%” as Pat said.

  • There will be less need for policing, and spammy content will dwindle.
  • Participation levels will increase.
  • Business referrals and collaborative partnerships will happen at accelerated rates–with higher profitability for all involved.
  • Community service projects will spring up, and their proponents/organizers will have an easier time garnering support from the local community.
  • The press will start paying closer attention to InSide919, perhaps at a national level.
  • The political landscape will shift as small business begins to become more actively engaged in local politics.
  • Other InSider networks will start to gain more traction.

I consider all of these to be positives. Anyone else care to make any predictions?

Everyone’s Articles – The 919 Business Network – Local Business Networking

5 Strategic Advantages Convey Media Group received from Inside919

When I decided to begin my business 10 years ago, one of the most influential books was Daniel Pink’s “Free Agent Nation.” This book offers a number of resources for the micro business owner to use to get started and explains how to use them. One of the most critical is a networking structure.

From the beginning Inside 919 has provided my company, Convey Media Group, with a unique way to network. Through my participation, I have met people in person and been able to strengthen these relationships both on-line through digital communication and off-line at various events. These people can tell others about our offerings including branding, marketing through video and social media, and communications and customer service training. Our company helps our clients by recommending these businesses. In turn, we provide more knowledge and value to our clients.

Let me list a few of the advantages my company and I have received:

1. Model On-line/off-line Relationships
In-person meetings followed by on-line communications have enabled me to extend my marketing reach by forming critical relationships with established and new micro-business owners. I have formed relationships with coaches, social media gurus, web development professionals and a number of other business people who have helped grow and promote my business and whom I can recommend for their services. This has increased my profits.

2. Leverage from Events
Some of the events my staff and I attend are more formal like the monthly Big Lunch and Final Friday. These offer an opportunity to meet new business owners and catch up with old friends. I find less formal, more locally-oriented events are often even more valuable. The Tuesday morning Coffee Break and one-on-one lunch meetings and getting together for a drink have provided an opportunity to experience another business owner’s brand first-hand to know what he or she does in detail.

3. Create Critical Alliances
Convey Media Group has created alliances with three or four individuals and has translated directly to business inside and outside the network. These business relationships have paid many times over for the time and money invested in the Inside network.

4. Extend our brand
The business brand for my company and my personal brand are blended in the network and fashion a powerful mixture so that people on the network know what I do but also know something about the kind of person I am. This combination makes it easier for them to buy from me because we have built trust based on a whole-person and business relationship. These connections are longer lasting.

5. Educate about the Social Media landscape
I cannot over emphasize the importance of what I have learned through the network. Whether through articles posted by experts, in live training or in casual conversations with other members, I can keep up with the latest information about business techniques and social media strategies and tactics.

What advantages has your company received?

Everyone’s Articles – The 919 Business Network – Local Business Networking

Ning FEATURES Inside919 and Amy Shair for the 4th of July

I always tell folks that the stuff we do here gets noticed.

Amy Shair (one of our Network Partners) helped herself and Inside919 by simply sharing some local information.

Below is a portion of the post that came from the official NING Blog.


Things to make your 4th of July explosively fun!

Posted by Jason Rand on June 29, 2012 – 5:00 pm

Next week, Americans everywhere will be celebrating the 4th of July. It’s a holiday that’s code for fireworks, sparklers, outdoor activities, BBQ cooking and comfort food, camping, picnics, parades, stargazing, bluegrass and country music, warmer weather and spending time with friends and family. Not a bad deal, right?

Members of Ning communities nationwide are sharing about the things that make for a memorable and special 4th of July — and letting the world know what makes them as all-American as apple pie… or Bruce Springsteen.

The Chamber of Central Mass South Online is letting people know about its fireworks show on July 3. It’s one of the region’s largest fireworks displays! A few states south of Massachusetts, Amy Shair, a member of The 919 Business Network, shares over a dozen 4th of July activities happening in North Carolina’s Triangle area. Celebrations continue even after the 4th of July, and Morgen Connor shares about the July 7 fireworks show happening in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Read the rest of the post here.


Very cool and just another example that we may be small but it have a long reach and do get noticed.

Have a very Happy 4th.

Feel Free to SHARE this on Facebook and Twitter – it’s the Good Stuff! ;]

Everyone’s Articles – The 919 Business Network – Local Business Networking

Changes on Inside919

CHANGES IS GOOD! David Bowie has, Facebook and Google constantly changing, are you?

I recently looked at my ‘About Brenda’ page of my website and it seemed out of date. I took a few minutes to update with current events, add a few new tweaks, access my searchable key words and give a general new feel. This overall re-fresh does not effect my brand or my mission/vision of my business. You could possibly give the analogy of giving a new coat of paint to a room, not changing the size but just the feel of the room.

As a business owner, change and being able to adapt is essential to my survival in this & any market. I can decide today to change anything about my business, the payment method, the prices, the logo, or the website. If I was a huge company, I would have to assemble a committee, do a test-study, test market, analyze the changes and perhaps a year or two later we could initiate the changes.

You would not want to water-down or dilute your brand or image often, as you might lose your message. Too many changes too fast can be confusing and dangerous, especially if you already have your target audience. Stale is boring and not memorable.

Now that I have made those small changes, I plan on looking at my other profiles; Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are some of the venues clients find me. I want current and fresh information.

VERY soon, Inside919 is changing.  Pat Howlett is not diluting the brand but how members interact ;honing, perfecting and refining.  I have made changes in my profile.  I still have the same message, pen & ink artist.  I made a financial commitment to move from a participant to an INSIDER.  I post at least bi-monthly and participate in conversations.

What are your plans for Inside919?

Brenda Priest
Your Door & More

Everyone’s Articles – The 919 Business Network – Local Business Networking

5 Ways to Network Effectively within Inside919

This is the Triangle and we understand the critical importance of business networking in this economy. Regardless of what we do for a living, it is critical for us as solo, micro, and small business professionals to meet others and build both opportunity and business. Across this area there are several networking events each week that bring professionals together in both informal and formal settings to meet and greet each other.

The adage that, “It is not who you know, or what you know, it is who knows you that is essential” has never been more valid. When a reputation is made with someone you meet, there are no cold calls to struggle with, only recommendations and referrals to act upon.

The purpose of any networking event offered by Inside919 and others is to build awareness and traction for the possibility of commonality and focus. The two main reasons to meet new people are to build strategy and gain the possibility for referrals. Learning from others and getting opportunities to build business just makes sense for everyone.

Positioning yourself for networking success takes strategy, time, process and planning. Here are some things you should do to create that successful interaction:

Weigh every word: Every word you speak says volumes about you. Words can change your perception to negative very quickly.
Actions are important: Remember that people watch you in every situation and in every networking event; your non verbals can show your intention.

Dress for success: First impressions are essential. Don’t over dress and don’t under dress. Appearance means a lot so be neither sloppy nor slick; just be yourself. People judge you by the way you look.

Attitude is everything: Are you self- serving or people serving? Treating everyone with respect and adding a sincere smile goes a long way in networking. People respond to niceness.

Your best networking partner is you: The way you think and see yourself is critical. It affects the way to meet and the way to network. Others always pick up on your level of confidence and outlook.

Remember that these local networking events are a blend of business and social, so it is critical you do not treat these situations as a time for bad jokes and noticeable drinking. Just be yourself and follow the principle of continuing to focus on others in a positive way.
Networking in the right way with the right message will always bring continued success.


Photo Credit:

Everyone’s Articles – The 919 Business Network – Local Business Networking

Google, Websites, SEO, and Inside919

I joined Inside919 in late November, but did not become active in the group until January. I have posted articles, gone to networking meetings and learned a few things along the way. One of the first groups I found on Inside919 was a business networking group called Raleigh Business Connections. I checked them out and noticed they badly needed a better website. I thought it would be a good opportunity for me – perhaps they will let me make their website for them? I really wanted to make their website, partly because I wanted more experience making websites and partly because I knew I could make a great website for them that would bring in new members. So, I joined and they agreed to let me make their website. Cool!

It took me about a week to put the website together and after a few tweeks post-launch, I really liked how it looked. After researching other business networking websites, I felt this one was more professional in appearance than almost all others (most business networking group websites are really shabby!) Around this time, I spoke with Pat Howlett, Martin Brossman, and took a SEO class taught by Bob Walton – one of the Inside919 SEO guru’s. I had also been working with Eric Erikson (also an Inside919 member) with Lizardwebs Computer Services. Each of these people spoke with me and gave me tips, advice, and outright instruction regarding SEO. So, I decided to apply everything I learned (and retained) about SEO to the website I made for the networking group.

I launched the website on February 22, 2012, which is just over three weeks from today and I have kept an eye on the search engine ranking in Google. When I launched it, the website the group previously had did not even rank on Google (it ranked below page 20). Two weeks ago, the website I made for them was on page 8. Last week, it was on page 2. This week it is on page 1! It is currently number 7, after the ads at the top, for “business networking groups in Raleigh” and “Raleigh business networking group.” (Inside919 is #1 – no surprise there).

It’s funny. Last fall I looked at a WordPressfor Dummies book and shelved it because it was over my head (that was the first time I was too dumb for a Dummies book!). Now, I am popping out great looking WordPress websites that rank high on Google search engine results. And, most importantly, having a lot of fun doing it! It is just so much fun to make websites for businesses that portray them as leaders in their field! I love helping people in this way!

Here’s the link to our Inside919 page.  It’s a great group, so come check us out!

Thanks again to Pat Howlett (especially for launching Inside919 in the first place), Martin Brossman, Eric Eriskson with Lizardwebs Computer Services and Bob Walton!

Everyone’s Articles – The 919 Business Network – Local Business Networking

Hopelessly Devoted To You A Cult Song For Olivia Newton John and InSide919

Hopelessly Devoted To You A Cult Song For Olivier Newton John

Listen to the scene as Chilean fans of Olivia hoot, holler, and sing along.

They know every word and have seen the movie “Grease” numerous times.

Olivia has traveled far from her early songs and movie roles. She has survived

life challenges and been a role model for women around the world.

Olivia sings with passion about love, devotion and living life to the fullest. Through sickness and health,  finding your passion and inner light helps move you through the most difficult times.

Seeking out those who can support you makes all the difference. And, as the motto of Inside919, “Make a difference, locally,” I encourage you to give someone a smile and a song today. Make someone laugh and sing. Pull someone out of despair or the darkest hole when you see them struggling.

Ask them to join you at one of the events and meetings which Pat has so graciously and joyously arranged for our local community.

Final Friday | Time: February 24, 2012 from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
NEW LOCATION and TIME : Rally Point Sport Grill
Organized By: Pat Howlett & Martin Brossman
Room for 70 Attendees.


Everyone’s Articles – The 919 Business Network – Local Business Networking