Online Networking Redefined: Make Deep Connections to Get More Referrals

In this episode of the Humane Marketing podcast, we venture into the ‘P’ of People as part of our ongoing exploration of the 7Ps of the Humane Marketing Mandala.

Join me in a conversation with Cara Steinmann, the visionary founder of the Ravel Collective and host of the Ravel Radio podcast. Together, we delve into the art of authentic online networking, emphasizing the importance of core values, unconventional approaches on LinkedIn, and the profound impact of empathy on your business relationships.

Discover new insights that could transform the way you approach human connections and meaningful online networking.

"If you're going to network online, I think you should network with people who share your core values." – Cara Steinmann @sarahsantacroce #humanemarketing Click To Tweet

In this episode, Cara and I discuss:

  • Her experience with traditional networking and how she redefined it
  • How to bring our core values to our online networking
  • How Cara uses LinkedIn to create connections, but not with a lead-generation mindset
  • Online Networking for introverts
  • How to be intentional when networking online
  • The importance of quality over quantity
  • And so much more

Listen in below or scroll for the highlights and the full transcript

Online Networking Redefined

Cara redefines online networking as an opportunity to cultivate genuine connections. She emphasizes the importance of initiating conversations with individuals whose work feels aligned, focusing on shared values rather than transactional motives (think: who can I sell to). The goal is to nurture relationships that go beyond digital boundaries and Zoom Calls and evolve into real-world collaborations and partnerships. (that’s exactly what we do in our community as well – check out the Humane Marketing Community)

"Real business strength lies in the bonds we build, the shared laughter, and working together. It's about meaningful connections shaping the heart of what we do." – Cara Steinmann @sarahsantacroce #humanemarketing Click To Tweet

How To Create More Meaningful and Strategic Business Connections?

Rather than mindlessly scrolling, Cara proactively seeks potential connections while engaged in other activities like listening to podcasts or reading. Her approach is centered on identifying those who align strategically with her business – either as complementary service providers or shoulder-niche peers with a different focus within the same industry. She doesn’t see others as intense competition but seeks genuine connections with like-minded professionals who offer something different. This approach helps build relationships beyond surface similarities, creating a foundation for meaningful collaborations and referrals.

How Can We Make Sure Online Networking is Intentional and Not Overwhelming?

To ensure that online networking remains intentional and doesn’t become overwhelming, Cara suggests a strategic and thoughtful approach. Instead of mindlessly connecting with everyone, she recommends identifying individuals strategically aligned with your business, such as complementary service providers or niche peers. By focusing on quality connections over quantity, you can foster authentic relationships. Additionally, being present on platforms like LinkedIn for targeted networking, rather than aimless scrolling, allows for more purposeful interactions. This intentional networking approach promotes meaningful connections and avoids the trap of overwhelming oneself with unnecessary contacts.

What about Online Networking for Introverts?

This deeper way of networking actually really works well for introverts because we don’t typically love small talk or tooting our own horn all the time (do read this post about self-promotion for introverts though :-).

"I would much rather have an intimate conversation about things that matter than talk about what I do for people". – Cara Steinmann @sarahsantacroce #humanemarketing Click To Tweet

The 7Ps of Human(e) Marketing as a Roadmap – Aligned With Your Values!

The 7Ps of Humane Marketing and its 1-Page Humane Marketing Plan is a roadmap for Changemakers who want market from within, aligned with whom they are.
Rooted in reflection, they start with the P of Passion to think about our bigger WHY and then continue to help us figure our very own Personal Power: what’s your Human Design type? what’s our story?, how are we wired?, what are our values and our worldview? Picture this journey as an exploration of our vision, mission, values and the unique strengths we bring to the table. By intertwining Passion, Personal Power, People and Partnership with traditional elements like Product, Price, and Promotion, the 7Ps of Humane Marketing carve a path that not only resonates with our ideal clients but also amplifies the impact of our business.

It’s a holistic approach, where every marketing decision reflects the depth of our commitment, echoing the principles of a truly humane and conscious business.

>> Read more about the 7Ps of Humane Marketing.
>> Read more about Marketing for Changemakers
>> Find out about the Marketing Like We’re Human aka The Client Resonator Program

The One Page Marketing Plan

Cara’s Resources

Ravel Collective

Follow Cara on Instagram

Follow Cara on LinkedIn

Sarah’s Resources

(FREE) Sarah’s One Page Marketing Plan

(FREE) The Humane Business Manifesto

(FREE) Gentle Confidence Mini-Course

Marketing Like We’re Human – Sarah’s book

The Humane Marketing Circle

Authentic & Fair Pricing Mini-Course

Podcast Show Notes

We use Descript to edit our episodes and it’s fantastic!

Email Sarah at sarah@sarahsantacroce.com

Thanks for listening!

After you listen, check out Humane Business Manifesto, an invitation to belong to a movement of people who do business the humane and gentle way and disrupt the current marketing paradigm. You can download it for free at this page. There’s no opt-in. Just an instant download.

Are you enjoying the podcast?  The Humane Marketing show is listener-supported—I’d love for you to become an active supporter of the show and join the Humane Marketing Circle. You will be invited to a private monthly Q&A call with me and fellow Humane Marketers –  a safe zone to hang out with like-minded conscious entrepreneurs and help each other build our business and grow our impact.  — I’d love for you to join us! Learn more at humane.marketing/circle

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes or on Android to get notified for all my future shows. If you’d like to receive regular helpful emails from me, then download my 1-Page Marketing Plan based on the 7Ps of Humane Marketing.

Raise your hand and join the Humane Business Revolution.

Warmly,

Sarah

Imperfect Transcript of the show

We use and love Descript to edit our podcast and provide this free transcript of the episode. And yes, that’s an affiliate link.

Ep 174

[00:00:00] Sarah: Hi, Cara. So nice to meet. Hi, you.

[00:00:04] Cara: Good to see you, Sarah. How’s it going? I’m good, thank you.

[00:00:08] Sarah: Thanks for having me. Yeah, I really look forward to this conversation with you. I was on your podcast recently and we really

[00:00:15] Cara: we’re

[00:00:16] Sarah: aligned, so I’m glad we have you on the humane part, marketing podcast, and talking about networking.

[00:00:23] Right? So that’s kind of your. Specialty and, uh, yeah, I want to just go dive right in. So tell me how did you come to make networking part of your specialty? And how did you build a community around networking? Why is networking so important to

[00:00:45] Cara: you? It was kind of an accident because I don’t really think of myself as a networking person and I think a lot of people probably feel that way because there’s this connotation around networking that it’s sort of like very businessy and very like you imagine yourself in a [00:01:00] room with very professional people and you’re handing out business cards and you’re talking about things that are very business related, but I think in my life, uh, in my career, I’ve sort of acted more as just a connector.

[00:01:12] I think of it as connecting with people and building relationships. And that’s usually not on a grand scale. It’s one person at a time, usually in a one to one conversation. And it doesn’t feel like what you would imagine networking to be. So I think maybe a little shift in the way we think about networking can help a lot of us who don’t like that whole, you know, big corporate business vibe and really care more about.

[00:01:36] One to one relationships and what goes on beyond the business. Yeah.

[00:01:40] Sarah: That’s already such a, a shift when you say relationship building versus networking. Mm-hmm. has that term work in it. Right. And so it feels like I’m the one going into this crowd and I have to work my way through it. Like, and, and yeah.

[00:01:58] Collect the business cards [00:02:00] and you know, it’s kind of like, yeah.

[00:02:01] Cara: That, and I think. Be I think expanding our understanding of network be working beyond or even relationship building beyond thinking of who we are going to build relationships with to thinking about who we can connect so they can build relationships, because then you expand your network exponentially because then they also.

[00:02:23] They also consider you part of their and both of you’re part of both of their network. And then they’re connecting. And then when they meet new people, they want to introduce you. So it’s kind of kind of like weaving a web of connection with people that you genuinely want to talk to and spend time with and respect.

[00:02:37] Sarah: It’s funny you guys use that term weaving because in our community, uh, we have. One of the calls that is kind of like a networking call, um, but we actually call it net weaving. So I love that it’s this idea of, yeah, we’re together and we’re getting to know one another, but we’re weaving, uh, these [00:03:00] relationships.

[00:03:00] Cara: And yeah, I love that. Yeah, we unravel. We have connection calls that are just to talk about whatever we want to talk about and connect. We had one yesterday and a bunch of us were on there just talking about what vacations we’re taking and a little bit about business and what we’re looking at challenges right now.

[00:03:14] And then we have a small, small business mastermind where we all break off and then we have a happy hour once a month. And otherwise we’re just hanging out in the community, getting to know each other and asking business related questions and personal questions. And, you know, it’s about, I think it’s a little bit deeper than just.

[00:03:30] What do you do and who do you do it for? Like the pitch does, the elevator pitch doesn’t matter so much when you know somebody. Yeah.

[00:03:38] Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. You really addressed something there. It’s this superficiality that I always hated at networking events that I felt like people were only listening to themselves talk and preparing what they’re going to say next.

[00:03:55] Listening to me and, you know, really having a conversation. And then [00:04:00] of course you add, you know, this was prior to COVID you add kind of like, you know, surrounding noise to it and you don’t really hear one another and it was just

[00:04:10] like

[00:04:10] Cara: a nightmare. It is. It’s a nightmare prior to COVID. I, I always loathed.

[00:04:17] In person networking events, conferences and things like that, because it just, I knew I was going to end up in situations talking to people who really weren’t necessarily a very strategic fit for like a strategic partner or referral partner, and that they would, like you said, just be waiting for their opportunity to say what they needed to say about their business and having a lot of surface level conversations because I think a lot of business culture requires you to leave the personal at home.

[00:04:41] And I don’t want to do that. I think we bring ourselves to our work and to our business, our core values, the way we operate. And I would rather, like we were talking about introverts before we hit record. Right. And I don’t really consider myself an introvert, but when it comes to those kinds of things, I really act like one, because I would much rather have an [00:05:00] intimate conversation about things that matter than talk about, you know, What you do, what you do for people, because that’s gonna, if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to find that out.

[00:05:08] Anyway, we can’t help but talk about that. Right.

[00:05:10] Sarah: Yeah, yeah, no, it’s so true. It’s these deeper, meaningful connections and conversations and actually. Also pre COVID, um, there was this, uh, movement on, on LinkedIn, uh, called the LinkedIn local events. Yeah. And so me who always hated networking all of the sudden, I was like, well, these events kind of had a different tone because they, they came with topics and they were really open to this idea of.

[00:05:40] Bring yourself to the conversation, bring the human side to the conversation. And so I actually put my hand up together with, um, another, uh, local friend here. And we started creating these LinkedIn local networking events. And, and we created themes, you know, where people would pick [00:06:00] cards and have really deep conversations and people loved it, people were like, Oh, this.

[00:06:05] So different. Right. And then every now and then the person would walk in and you could tell, you know, they were like business suit and they probably had their stack of business cards and they’re like, what is this? Why

[00:06:17] Cara: are people doing here? It’s funny. Cause I had, I used to host a speed networking event in Ravel and, um.

[00:06:24] I actually, I learned this from a coaching program that I was in and they would do a lot of like more personal questions. And so I love that we only did it once a month and I was like, we need to do this more often. And so the challenge was calling it speed networking because what we actually do when you get there is break up into small little breakout rooms.

[00:06:40] And I would. I would offer questions or topic starters, like what’s the weirdest thing in your fridge right now? Like things that don’t have anything to do with business, but you end up deciding kind of who you really mesh with and who you want to take that relationship further with and really get to know about them and their business and how you can support one another.

[00:06:57] Cause you don’t really want to support people you don’t [00:07:00] care about. Right. So that’s kind of the first step, I think, is deciding who you want to care about. Right.

[00:07:05] Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. Before you also addressed core values. So, so huge. What do you think are the, you know, the core, or I guess there’s two questions. What are the core values that we should bring to networking and why do they

[00:07:21] Cara: matter so much?

[00:07:23] I think we should bring our own core values to networking because the truth is we are all I like to think of them as core drivers because I think corporate culture has kind of ruined the term core values for us. We think of the little poster on the wall that doesn’t really mean anything. But if you really get into your core drivers, what it means is it’s what motivates you.

[00:07:40] It’s what drives your behavior. So my core values are freedom, authenticity and connection. And I notice when I’m in a funk or when I’m out of sorts, it’s because something is going against my core values. So if you’re going to network, I think you should network with people ideally who share your core values.

[00:07:58] And then you’ll [00:08:00] naturally network in a very comfortable way. Like when I started Ravel, I very intentionally invited, I seeded the community with women who I knew shared at least one of my core values, knowing that birds of a feather flock together. And so it worked really well because now we’re up around a hundred women and anyone who’s referred someone has always been an amazing fit.

[00:08:18] I have to do very little background on the applicants now because if I know Maggie int introduced someone else to the group, I know Maggie and I know she’s not going to introduce somebody to the group who’s not a good fit because her core values align really well with mine. Yeah. So I think that makes it just so much easier to predict how someone’s going to behave and what you can expect from them.

[00:08:40] Sarah: Yeah, and it really defines the community,

[00:08:42] Cara: right? Yeah, it makes it easier to hold that community in a shape, like my goal when I started Ravel was to create a community, just create a space and hold it in a shape, such that people would feel comfortable and vulnerable enough to connect with one another and really get to know each other.

[00:08:58] And by inviting the. [00:09:00] Types of people who would be strategically aligned to be most likely to refer one another, like complimentary service providers. They’re all B2B service entrepreneurs and they’re women. So they have a lot in common and, you know, financial professionals who serve agencies can network with coaches who serve agencies.

[00:09:17] And because they share core values, they’re going to probably get along pretty well. And it makes it easy to build that kind of rapport that they need to. Want to connect with one another and see what’s up in their business and say, Hey, you should talk to so and so. So it’s like kind of building relationships with like the happy by product that you get referrals in business works really well.

[00:09:36] Yeah.

[00:09:37] Sarah: That makes a lot of sense. Usually we hear this this idea of quality over quantity. Um, you just mentioned your communities about 100 people. Um, so, so what do you think about quality over quantity in terms of the networking? Is it a, is it a numbers game or is [00:10:00] it a quality game or is it something

[00:10:01] Cara: in between?

[00:10:02] I think it’s quality over quantity, 100%. And I think it’s evolving, honestly, constantly, right? Like, so if you’re, cause your business evolves, maybe you shift who you serve or how you serve that person. Um, and so maybe you have a handful of really great referral partners and. you shift your business a little bit.

[00:10:21] You might have to, some of those referral partners, it might not be as strategically aligned anymore. And maybe they stay, you stay friends, but you might start looking around for different strategic partners who might be more well aligned, but it’s not like you have to shift your whole network. You just start networking with a few different people and start figuring out who, who fits with you.

[00:10:38] Um, and I think like a hundred is a lot of women. Like, I don’t, I don’t intimately know every member of the community anymore. When it was like 20 women, it was like, It was really easy. And, but what we’ve done is we’ve separated into smaller groups too. So we have a Slack channel where we have different topics.

[00:10:55] We have rabble travel, and we have ADHD all day and moms. And [00:11:00] so we have these different things that we care about. And the women who gravitate to those channels tend to get to know each other well enough that. Even if they’re not strategically aligned to refer one another as well as some others would be, they kind of cross pollinate between the community, the micro communities within the chant, within the community.

[00:11:17] And then they say, Oh, you know who you should get to know. So there’s a lot of paying it forward, introducing people to other people. That is such a, an underrated gift that you can give someone is to say, I think I know somebody who you need to know. Who would, you’d benefit from knowing each other. I mean, making a connection between two people who you think would get along is such a gift.

[00:11:38] Yeah.

[00:11:39] Sarah: Yeah. So true. Um, you mentioned a few times this word strategic, and I guess it’s for you, it’s like, well, there’s a strategy to networking because again, as an introvert, This idea of networking can sometimes feel so overwhelming because we think, well, does that mean I have to network with [00:12:00] just anybody, you know, so it’s like, Oh my God, I don’t have the time to network with just anybody.

[00:12:07] So, so what, what is a good strategy, um, that feels, you know, empathic and yet very strategic. Um, and I guess time conscious as well.

[00:12:20] Cara: Yeah. Yeah. I think. Um, that’s probably how most people think of it is just like, it’s very overwhelming. You have to make a lot of people think there’s a list you have to make and you have to contact X number of people a day.

[00:12:31] And that feels very impersonal and kind of, um, like required, which doesn’t feel good for a lot of people. Um, I’ve approached it differently. Like I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. Um, just for networking, though, I don’t spend a lot of time scrolling on LinkedIn, but if I find somebody offline, say I’m listening to a podcast or reading a book or find somebody’s website online while I’m Googling or going down a rabbit hole of some kind, and I feel like they are strategically aligned with my business, meaning either they’re, uh, [00:13:00] Complimentary service provider.

[00:13:00] So we serve the same client, but we do different things, or we are a shoulder niche peer, meaning that we do different things or do we do the same sort of thing, but for different clients. So maybe I serve, um, the financial industry and they serve, um, like agencies or something like that. And so we can refer one another because we don’t really serve the same ideal client, and this requires knowing what you want and what you’re good at.

[00:13:24] I don’t think we are all suited to do, you know, the same thing. We’re, we’re all so different. I think it also, I think it’s a successful networking in this way requires that you don’t believe in competition. We’re all so different. There’s so much, so many factors that we can own as, you know, authentic to who we are that maybe somebody else doesn’t want to own.

[00:13:45] And if we know ourselves really well, we can understand what we do best and who we are best suited to serve. And then there’s just no way that somebody else is going to bring exactly the same thing to the table that we are. So. We have to kind of get rid of that idea first. And then we’re free to [00:14:00] network with people who look like they do something similar to what we do, but probably don’t do exactly what we do or for the same person.

[00:14:07] Um, and then you can also look for people who are, um, centers of influence coaches for, if you serve entrepreneurs, maybe you’re wanting to network with coaches who serve entrepreneurs, and maybe you’re a done for you service provider or something like that. So they’re in a position to refer you there.

[00:14:24] The people you’re looking for to network with are the ones who are most likely to be in a position to refer you. So not somebody who’s working in a totally different industry with clients that aren’t even related to you. Um, but I don’t, I don’t think you have to go like search for them. I think you can listen to podcasts that are interesting to you and just start taking note of.

[00:14:47] Someone who’s interesting to you, who you think you might like and say, is that person in a position to refer me perhaps, and then you can just reach out to that person individually. I usually on LinkedIn because it’s the easiest place to get [00:15:00] really connected with somebody. Yeah,

[00:15:03] Sarah: so the idea is really to find referral partners.

[00:15:07] and connect with them.

[00:15:09] Cara: Yeah. And to be open about it and say, Hey, I think we have a lot in common. I think we might benefit from knowing each other. Um, I like you. I like what you’re doing. Let’s connect and just say hi. Mm-hmm. .

[00:15:20] Sarah: Yeah. Do you then stop at the, you know, first conversation or how do you. Because it, you know, we always say in networking, you have to stay top of mind.

[00:15:31] So how do you stay top of mind with this

[00:15:33] Cara: person then? I don’t think everyone is going to stay top of mind all the time, right? Like, you’re gonna, you’re gonna meet a few people who you really click with. And a few people who you don’t really click with. One of the reasons that I started Ravel was because it is hard to stay top of mind when we’re all busy and we’re all running around doing all our stuff all day long.

[00:15:52] And I don’t, I’m not the kind of person, let’s do, we have to do what works for us, right? If you’re an organized person and you like lists and you use a [00:16:00] CRM, maybe you can stay top of mind with people in your own strategic way. I can’t do that. So I put everybody in a container that I like so that I can stay connected with them in a container.

[00:16:12] We, we naturally stay connected because we’re having calls or somebody is asking a question and we’re learning more about their business that way. And we’re commenting and sharing our expertise. And so I think it’s about proximity. And then if you’re connected with them on LinkedIn and you’re following them, you might see them.

[00:16:26] It’s like, The top of mind thing I think is more about the mere exposure effect than, than the top, than staying top of mind. It’s just staying in front of someone who you want to, to stay connected with. And you can do that in a lot of different ways just by commenting on their stuff on LinkedIn. They see you, you learn a little bit more maybe about what they do and it don’t think it has to take a long time.

[00:16:46] It can take five, 10 minutes to, to go on. And in the case of LinkedIn, I would say like a lot of people suggest. That you’d be connected to a ton of people and follow a ton of people. But I find that really overwhelming. So [00:17:00] I only follow and want to be connected with the people that I really want to stay connected with because then my feed isn’t really overwhelming and I can just, I can see the people that I want to stay in touch with and I can comment and like, and stay.

[00:17:12] In front of them. And then they remember me.

[00:17:15] Sarah: Yeah. So, so, so does that mean that you actually, you know, hide some of the updates of people who you don’t want to see anymore, just so not, not to.

[00:17:26] Cara: I just unfollow them or disconnect. I am a little bit ruthless that way because it’s, we only have so much time and I don’t really want to be connected with people that don’t align with me really, really well.

[00:17:36] So, you know, when I. I’ve been on LinkedIn for a long, long time, but my, my career has evolved. You know, if the past 15 years I’m doing very different things than I was in the very beginning. And so I, when I decided to reinvest in LinkedIn as a way to connect with people, I went in and I, I had, you know, thousands of connections and I got rid of all but 400 and some odd.

[00:17:57] Because it was like, if I don’t want to have coffee with this [00:18:00] person, I don’t need to be on LinkedIn with them. And perhaps that’s different if you’re not an entrepreneur and you’re trying to get a job. I don’t know about that, but for my situation where I want to spend time connecting and networking with people who care about the same things I care about.

[00:18:18] That means there’s a lot of people I don’t need to connect with. And I don’t want to waste my time looking at their stuff. if I don’t care about it. Right. And they don’t know, so it’s not mean or anything.

[00:18:33] Sarah: Um, yeah, it’s really interesting to, to see how, you know, usually we always hear, Oh, use LinkedIn for lead generation, right?

[00:18:43] Yeah, that’s not how you’re looking at it. You’re like, well, I, Only want the people I care about. And so they, yes, they might be potential clients or they’re, you know, some other level of connection or

[00:18:59] [00:19:00] network.

[00:19:00] Cara: That’s how you. I think that’s a giant, you’re speaking to something that’s really important that I think a lot of people miss.

[00:19:05] It’s a giant mistake to go into like a community or a networking container and think you’re going to sell to the people in that container. You’re the benefit of being in a container with a hundred women. Is the connection to the 150 other people they know that they might be able to connect you with.

[00:19:24] And yes, we buy from each other. I’ve purchased products and services from tons of the women inside Ravel and we buy stuff. We hire each other all the time, but it’s not because we’re sharing our offers and trying to convince each other to buy from us. It’s because we happen to know each other really well, and we have a problem and we know that person can solve it.

[00:19:42] But most of the time we’re introducing someone. To another person, like I’ll run. I talked to a friend of mine, or I go to an event or something, and I hear somebody has a problem. And I will say, I know somebody you should talk to. Let me connect you with so and so because I know what she does. And I like her and I know she’ll do a good job.

[00:19:59] Right. [00:20:00] So we’re, we’re building the relationships. We’re not selling to people and LinkedIn is You know, a breeding ground for people doing lead gen on LinkedIn. We should be doing strategic networking.

[00:20:11] Sarah: Yeah, I think that that’s really the, the, the difference is not thinking of everybody who is somehow looking like a client just because they, you know, have a human body that, that you think of them as your ideal client.

[00:20:29] And especially if you then think of a community where Uh, you know, the minute you bring that kind of energy into a community, the community is basically, yeah, it’s destined to

[00:20:41] Cara: fail. I’ve seen it happen in Ravel a couple of times where a couple, where a couple of people have, you know, crossed that line between, Hey guys, here’s what I’m doing.

[00:20:49] Check it out. Cause we want to share, we want to share what we’re doing and we have a space for that, you know, but, um, a couple of people have, you know, gotten a little bit salesy with it. And it’s not that they [00:21:00] get slapped down or anything. It’s just that nobody responds. Right. It’s just not something people are looking for in a community where we’re trying to build relationships.

[00:21:10] But what we do is we have calls and we connect with one another and we learn what’s going on. And then we will often share on another person’s behalf. One of our, one of our members, Cara, Cara Hoosier, she’s getting ready to publish a book and it’s really exciting because she’s been through an incredible journey to get where she is.

[00:21:25] It’s called burnt out to lit up. And it’s about. preventing yourself from burning out and what to do when you get there. And she’s getting ready to launch this. She’s looking for people to help her, you know, do reviews and read her book. And I was super excited for her. So instead of her getting on there and she’s saying, Hey guys, look at what I did.

[00:21:43] I said, can I share this with the community? Because it’s really awesome. And she was like, sure. And so I said, you guys look at this, our member, our fellow friend here. is publishing a book. This is so exciting. Who wants to help her? I know that anybody else in here who is publishing a book would want the community to help them too.

[00:21:59] [00:22:00] And so it’s a very different message when you lift up another woman, as opposed to saying, look at me. It look at her sounds a lot different than look at me. Sure. So we help each other that way. Yeah.

[00:22:12] Sarah: At the same time you as the host. What would you do? And this is not to do with networking, but just as a, you know, fellow community host, what would you do with a member, you know, several times trespasses that kind of unspoken rule that we’re not selling in this community?

[00:22:34] What would you do?

[00:22:36] Cara: We had one instance in two years. In the last two years, we’ve had one instance where someone really kind of did cross the line. And I wasn’t online that morning, but I got a bunch of messages from other community members who were like, Hey, we don’t like this. Like we got to do something about this.

[00:22:52] Um, and they were upset for me because she was trying to poach a bunch of members into a different community, which I think is fine actually, because [00:23:00] it’s, I mean, I don’t think poaching is fine, but I think women should have more than one community. They serve different purposes. I. intentionally keep Ravel at a very reasonable price because I want to belong to many communities, and I know that other women do too.

[00:23:13] Um, but the way she went about it was really kind of gross. And so I had to respond to that because the community was saying, this feels gross and we don’t want to be around this. And so I did ask, I said, we’re going to go ahead and Remove you because this is not how we operate in here. I wish you know, but bless and release This might just not be the right place for you Which is important to remember because there are people have different core values people believe different things They operate different ways and just because she doesn’t operate the way that we want to operate doesn’t mean there’s not a place Where that’s totally fine for people to do, bless and release.

[00:23:46] Um, so it’s really more of like the community managing itself. I don’t moderate and I don’t tell them what they can and can’t do.

[00:23:54] Sarah: So, yeah, but in a way it’s beautiful to have them, you know, kind of [00:24:00] show up and say, Hey, this is not how, this is not how we run here.

[00:24:05] Cara: And yeah. And yeah. And that’s my whole goal with the community is I don’t, I’m not a coach.

[00:24:10] I don’t. Sell them anything other than the place inside the community, like the space. And so that’s what, how I view it is. And I mean, we’re kind of getting away from networking into community at this point, but I view it as myself just holding space in a particular shape. And that’s my job is to make sure this play, this space is safe and a good place for people to be vulnerable and build relationships.

[00:24:31] And if they can’t do that, I’m not doing my job. So it has to be a safe space online. Yeah, yeah,

[00:24:39] Sarah: that’s beautiful. Yeah, we kind of meshed community with networking, but that’s what

[00:24:45] Cara: you’re, that’s what it is, right? Yeah, it, if when you’re networking, you’re building community. It just may not have a specific container it lives in.

[00:24:54] Sarah: Yeah. And I also think. If we’re changing that [00:25:00] term of networking into net weaving, then that’s what we’re really doing in a community is weaving a web together because the whole definition of a community is people being connected with each other. Not just to you as the host, right?

[00:25:17] Cara: Totally. Yeah. And, and I, and this is why I use Slack, but I pay for the analytics.

[00:25:23] I could use it for free, but I want to see what’s happening behind the scenes, which is valuable because more than 50 percent of the conversations that are happening inside the community are in the DMs. And I know I’m not having that many conversations. There are thousands of conversations happening during the month.

[00:25:36] And I know I’m not having that many. So there are a lot of private conversations happening and partnerships. Um, I introduced a couple of gals recently who are now partnering in business and, and they’re super excited and doing some really amazing things. And I know that has nothing to do with me, but we’re weaving.

[00:25:54] These connections, not just for us, but for other people as well. And I think not, you don’t even have [00:26:00] to, like, we can think of containers as smaller things, even text threads between two people or three people. Like if I have several people I want to connect with, because we all live locally, we’re on a text thread together and the three of us send funny memes to one another.

[00:26:12] And it doesn’t have to do with business all the time. Yeah,

[00:26:16] Sarah: I agree with that. It can also be more fun, right? It

[00:26:18] Cara: should be more fun. Don’t you think we should have more fun? I need more fun.

[00:26:25] Sarah: Um, Yeah, maybe, maybe that’s a good way to close with the, with the fun networking. Um, but maybe just also for people who right now, you know, there’s so many communities out there yet, yet they’re like, well, I don’t either, I don’t have the funds or I just can’t decide which one to join.

[00:26:45] So how can you start networking with that community as, or with that community notion without being in a community? What kind of advice would

[00:26:55] Cara: you give? Um, I would say, I would say just [00:27:00] start connecting with people you enjoy. I listen to a lot of podcasts and I reach out to people who I think are excellent, either hosts or, um, interviewees, guests.

[00:27:10] And I just tell them, I really, I like just start, start connecting directly with people that you admire, or you think have something interesting to say that you align with. Um, because like, there’s that thing homophily, we’re attracted to things that are similar to what we love or, or who we are. And so we’re, they’re going to be attracted to you.

[00:27:28] If you share something either, I mean, location’s really obvious, but beyond that, like core values or a mission or a purpose or something like that, like, I think you and I initially got connected on LinkedIn long, long ago, because I heard your podcast. And I was like, I, you’re doing awesome things. We need to be connected.

[00:27:45] And like, it didn’t go anywhere for a long time. We had a little back and forth on, on LinkedIn, but eventually here we are trading podcast interviews. And so I think being in it for the long game and having conversations in the DMs, not expecting every [00:28:00] conversation to go somewhere, but being open to it going somewhere.

[00:28:04] Yeah.

[00:28:04] Sarah: And probably also not coming with this expectation that. Everyone you reach out to is gonna open your, their calendar

[00:28:13] Cara: to you, you know, like, yeah, like when we connected initially, I was not expecting a one to one call. I, we live across the country, across the world from one another and we’re both busy and eventually maybe we connect, but I genuinely just wanted to tell you that I really like what you’re doing.

[00:28:30] And I think that’s people want to hear that it’s people are open to hearing that you agree with them and that you like what they’re doing. And if that’s all it is, you’ve put some good energy out in the world and you can leave it at that. Right,

[00:28:41] Sarah: exactly. It doesn’t doesn’t have to become a lead generation.

[00:28:45] Cara: Yeah, it doesn’t have to even become like a really intense networking like relationship there. We’re going to have this whole gamut of closeness in our network, right? And we don’t have the capacity to be really close. With a bunch of bunch of people like [00:29:00] 510 people, we’re going to be really close with.

[00:29:02] Um, and if we’re all running in roughly the same circles, there’s going to be opportunities for collaboration and referrals and those things. So it’s a little bit of a leap of faith, but you got to just trust that if you’re doing good work and you’re helping people and people know you do it, that they’re going to tell somebody exactly

[00:29:20] Sarah: plant those seeds.

[00:29:21] Yes, that’s wonderful. Well, do you tell us a bit more about rattle and your community

[00:29:28] Cara: and where people can find it? Yeah. The website is ravelcollective. com and it’s for women B2B service entrepreneurs. So financial professionals, lots of marketers, content writers, stuff like that. Consultants. We’ve got some coaches, some, um, coaches for women entrepreneurs, and it’s just a networking community, a really casual networking community where we Get to know each other.

[00:29:50] A bunch of us are going to Mexico in a month together. I haven’t met three of them, but I, and it’s not an official event. I just said, Hey, I’m going to go to Mexico for a week and [00:30:00] do some like 2024 business planning. If anybody wants to join me, I’ve rented this house. And so it’s not, you know, we probably won’t talk business all the time, but.

[00:30:09] It’ll be fun. So we’re kind of trying to put some of the fun and like person to person relationship back into business so that we can rely on, I don’t know, our, our relationships to sustain us instead of, you know, just relying on ourselves. So yeah, it’s 39 a month and it’s month to month and it’s just a space that I’m holding for women who want to build more professional relationships.

[00:30:34] Sarah: We’ll make sure to link to it. I always have one last question, uh, Cara, and that’s, what are you grateful for today or this week, this month?

[00:30:45] Cara: Oh my goodness. I think I’m most grateful for my family this week. It’s there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of lonely people out there and I have a wonderful husband and a, an amazing son and I’m really [00:31:00] grateful for them.

[00:31:02] Wonderful.

[00:31:03] Thank you for having me.

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