What Owners Need to Know About Networking During COVID – Debra Boggs

What Owners Need to Know About Networking During COVID - Debra Boggs

Due to social distancing, facemasks, and work from home orders, networking events ground to a halt in 2020. Sure, there are virtual networking events, but can you really make meaningful connections in 2D?

Networking expert Debra Boggs enthusiastically says yes! and shares specific tactics on how to work a Zoom breakout room and make connections on LinkedIn.

Get ready to up your virtual networking skills with this week’s interview!

Rich: And we’re off. As the co-founder of DNS professional coaching, our next guest works with interesting, talented and successful executives from all over the globe to equip them with the tools they need to advance in the modern job market. She has been recognized as a resume LinkedIn and job search expert by the wall street journal, the Washington post Forbes, the Huffington post, and many other career related sites.

In addition to serving as an international speaker and top rated. Podcast guest. She holds a master of science and management, bachelor of arts in sociology and an associate of science in labor studies. She is also a certified digital branding strategist through career thought leaders. But today we’re going to be digging into something we’re all struggling with these days, how to network during a pandemic.

So let’s jump into the world of networking in 2d with Deborah box Debra. Welcome to the podcast.

Debra: Thanks so much for having me rich. I’m really excited to be here.

Yury: Debra. I’m really curious about your path to becoming an expert in resumes, LinkedIn, and job search.

Debra: Yeah. You know, that’s a great question.

You’re it’s um, it’s kind of a long story. I won’t bore your listeners with too much, except to know that I am a resume nerd and I’ve always really loved it. I have, um, tell people my job exists because other people literally hate writing their resumes. And I have actual dreams about formatting documents.

So I might need a hobby, but, uh, You know, earlier in my career, I was, um, given the opportunity to serve as interim director of career services for a university while they were working through some grants situation. So it was on loan from another department. And when that position ended, I realized that, you know, my favorite part of that project, that that time was really working with our alumni and equipping them with everything they needed to get started for their job starts usually at the, you know, mid to senior level areas when alumni would come back for advice.

So. Setting them up with a resume, giving them the confidence they needed to really put their best foot forward. And so after I left that role, I really kept doing it just to kind of on the side. Um, as a freelancer, while I worked full time and it kind of snowballed took over my life. And, uh, a few years ago I took the business full-time and moved to the coast of Maine and hang out on the ocean and work with people all over the world.

Yury: Wow. That is a fantastic story. Well, thank you for being here and equipping those that needed your services with, you know, new and successful juries. That is remarkable

Rich: where we’re glad to have you here now. Although the vaccine is being rolled out here in the U S it’s still likely to be months before life gets back to some semblance of normal.

In the meantime business needs to get done. One of the things that people are using right now are these breakout rooms in zoo. And there are other platforms as well, but zoom seems to be the default, uh, either maybe after a webinar or as a standalone event. I personally Debra dread these events. How can I better prepare for them and do a better job networking through some of these zoom style breakout rooms.

Debra: Yeah. You know, great question rich. There’s no doubt about the fact that they are awkward and weird for most of us, myself included, you know, there’s just something very uncomfortable about getting in a room with a bunch of strangers virtually and staring at each other. And there are some ways you can, you can make this more effective and at least, you know, move the needle a little bit more.

There’s nothing you can do to really make it less awkward. Cause you can’t control other people in the room, but there’s ways that you can prepare a little better. And I suggest, you know, one of those things is we all have to introduce ourselves in these. In these sessions and it’s helpful to kind of have your introduction planned rather than just kind of get in a room with strangers and then not knowing what you’re going to say.

Right. And so prepare by, you know, having your 22nd elevator spit a pitch. And I say 22nd because no one wants to be, you know, that guy in the room who goes on and on and on about what they do. Um, and so make sure that you’re keeping it brief, you know, and, and that comes through preparation. The other thing you want to do is, um, You know, make sure, and I know that this doesn’t necessarily include what’s going on in the breakout room, but make sure that your, your, your digital, um, you’re putting your best foot forward, you know, online, through LinkedIn, things like that.

Cause people are going to look you up and these are your only opportunity to make it. The first impression. So when you’re meeting these people in this breakout room, make sure not only for that event, you have good lighting. You’re, you know, dressed appropriately. Your background is appropriate, but also make sure that your LinkedIn profile is really highlighting the things that you want them to know, because that’s going to be the next step.

And it’s helpful to have those things done in advance because you can’t make a second first impression. Um, and then the other thing is just make sure while you’re going through these, uh, through these events, just to, um, you know, connect with people. During the event. So, you know, if you’re doing this breakout room, um, add your contact information and your, a link to your LinkedIn profile and a little blurb of what will you do into the chat.

Um, it’ll often spur other people to do the same, and that way you’ll get everyone’s contact information. You can reach out afterwards, which we can touch on a little bit in a minute, um, but make sure, you know, that way it doesn’t just die in the breakout room, because it’s really hard to make a human connection in these, uh, in these like short format.

And I will say. You know, sometimes they’re more structured than others. Some are doing a great job of having a moderator who’s, you know, guiding the conversation, making sure everyone’s included, making sure people have things to talk about, but I wasn’t one that was wildly awkward. Um, it was, uh, it was a big national conference and they did a round Robin networking and there was no information ahead of time.

And all of a sudden, you’re just in a breakout room with a stranger, with no information about what you guys have in common or why you would know this person or what you do. It was very bizarre. Um, And there was no information about like how long it should go and what you should talk about. And so you’re just.

In a room with one other person and trying to make awkward small talk with someone virtually. And so kind of having, um, having some thoughts planned out about what that might look like is helpful too. Cause it was, it was awkward.

Rich: So it sounds like that was some sort of LinkedIn version of chat roulette, but, uh, as I’m thinking about, you know, trying to get down, um, what I’m going to say in an introduction in 20 seconds, do you have some tips about like, What we should be leading with.

I mean, there’s so many different ways. I can say my name, my job title, my company name, but is there a better approach or something that you do, uh, that, that makes it a little bit more engagement again, engaging and maybe less awkward.

Debra: Yeah. Great question. So, you know, typical format kind of looks like, you know, name, location, especially if it’s a national conference or even if it’s local saying, you know, like I’m in Scarborough versus Portland, that kind of thing.

Kind of to make that a little bit more human. Um, Company name and then just a little bit of a blurb about what you do. So just, you know, a couple sentences about whatever the value is that you bring to your clients. Maybe people in the breakout aren’t necessarily the right client for you, but they could be referrals.

And so just giving people a quick overview of what you do, not all things to everybody, but whatever might make sense for that audience is helpful. You know, like for me, I’m a resume writer. For executives in a lot of my work, but I also do, um, LinkedIn profile work for executives, getting ready for investor pitches, things like that.

So it depends on the audience of what you would want to lead with. Um, but the other thing is it’s helpful when you’re online of adding a human element to it to way more than we would do live probably, or what we would have done virtually before, you know, where we usually keep it really professional.

And I know I, you know, my work life and my home life are very different, but. Right now, when you can’t make a human connection with someone face-to-face, it helps really to add rapport and build that connection. If you’re a little bit more human and add something personal. So if you could say, you know, and also learning how to blah, blah, blah, like I’ve been, I’ve been dabbling in learning Arabic lately, which is random, but something I’ve been working on, um, or, you know, struggling to whatever, something funny just to, just to build a human element into it.

Yury: Debra. I have a follow-up question. So you, you talked about making sure that when we go into those types of events, we are prepared. We have our intro paragraph with a link to our LinkedIn page. Some that we can copy and paste. You know, we have our Val well-polished 20 seconds elevator page, where we talk about name, location, company.

And what we bring to the table as a value proposition, as well as the digital devices in the background. Is there anything

Rich: else

Yury: that may help us to elevate our personas? Our digital personas above the, the rest of the kind of like audience do you know, make us more.

Rich: Attractive in a way

Yury: and kind of look, you know, make other people interested in following the conversation with us after the kind of like, uh, this group event.

Debra: Um, yeah, you know, I have found, uh, and this may seem counterintuitive intuitive, but I find that the best way to really make ourselves interesting in these, um, in these types of networking events. And I know I’m not following my own advice because I’m a guest on the podcast right now, but it’s to not talk much and really ask follow up questions of the person, you know, even if you don’t get an opportunity to really talk about your business or what you do, that’s okay.

Because. You know, ideally, and again, we’ll talk about this, but there should be follow up after this networking event where you’ll have the opportunity to do those things, but in the actual breakout, when you have a very limited amount of time, it’s really great to, to ask the person, um, following questions like, Oh, okay.

What, what are you, who are your typical. Clients, or how has business been this year? Or tell me more about that, you know, open-ended questions that really get your, um, your other people in the room talking really. Um, it helps you, you know, according to studies, uh, you know, even if you talk very little asking, follow up questions, these open-ended questions, it makes you seem more interesting actually.

Yury: So it’s like, you know, the traditional way of showing that you’re curious in the other person, you know, the same thing that we would do in the person to person the band, or like in, in flash, right.

Debra: Yeah, no problem. I think sometimes when they see, okay, well we’ve got five minutes. I’ve got to get everything out.

You know, it’s actually a little bit counterintuitive, but it’s really better to kind of take a step back and chat a little bit more.

Rich: And Deborah, would you say that there is a, you know, we’ve been talking about the zoom breakout rooms, which sometimes can have multiple people in them. Is there a different approach you take when you have an opportunity of speaking to somebody one-on-one like when we’re doing a networking event, but it’s, we have the ability to do a one-on-one conversation.

Do you take a different approach at that point? Or is it pretty much the same rules of the road?

Debra: Um, pretty much the same rules of the road, except I am probably a little bit more personal with one-on-one than I am in a, in a larger group. I can feel like I could make more of a human connection and rapport and talk more about personal things than I would about.

You know, then I would in a larger group. So I think you can just have a little bit more of that human connection, even if, and I know this seems weird, but even if really, you know, business never actually comes up, that’s okay. It’s really about networking and meeting new people and forming connections and, and it’s all right.

If it’s not all business all the time.

Yury: So you saying that the, uh, the traditional ABC rule, you know, always be closing should not be applied to, to this type of scenarios because, you know, my question is, um, when we, when we participate in events,

Rich: should we

Yury: pitch as much as we can? Or should we introduce ourselves before we introduce the companies?

Or should we continue to stay focused on other individuals in the room?

Rich: Is there, like,

Yury: you know, three different ways we can, you know, go about it. And I’m just trying to find what would be the right balance or what would be the most beneficial, you know, having the limited amount of time in front of the people or in front of the people on the screen.

Debra: Right. Um, you know, that’s a great question. I. I tend to have an approach where I, I don’t pitch. I just, you know, in my introduction, I tell people what I do and who I am that way. It kind of establishes that, that, that way they know. And they can ask some more questions if they’re interested, but then in the followup, cause you know, it’s important to keep things moving, you know, keep the momentum going.

So after an a networking event, I immediately follow up either with email or LinkedIn profile or LinkedIn connection. And in that, you know, it’s helpful to add some additional information or, you know, offer to make an introduction for them or do something that’s a value. And for me, I do something that.

Relates to my business. So, you know, Hey, I know we talked about such and such. I’ve got this, uh, this, um, you know, guide for you or, or I was thinking more about this. Have you checked out this article, something like that, that kind of brings up top of mind what I do again, and that kind of gets it going organically.

I’m not a strong, um, I guess I’m not a hard sell kind of person though. So I think in other industries and things like that, it might make more sense. But for me personally, I don’t ever really do an actual pitch.

Yury: Gotcha.

Rich: Before we move on to LinkedIn. Yeah. Which is something I definitely want to cover. I just want to kind of wrap up the whole idea of these virtual networking events when you’re approaching one Debra.

Well, when your clients are, do you recommend that we have an agenda or objectives in place? And if so, how do we know if it’s been a successful event when you’re done with one of these networking events, what makes you feel good about it versus maybe feeling like you didn’t take full advantage of it?

Debra: Yeah. Um, such a great question. I know it can be really nebulous cause sometimes especially if we’re not making a hard pitch, it takes a while for these things to come to fruition. Right. Um, for me, a good event is meeting a diverse group of people, kind of, that would either, for me personally, uh, be a group that would either be connected to.

People in my ideal, um, client target or people that may be my ideal client target. And even if no one says, Hey, I’d love a resume written or I’d love a LinkedIn profile written, right? That second, having people that actively engaged with me and are interested in continuing the conversation for me is a success.

Rich: Awesome.

Well, Jen, take this out of the, uh, the bet. Yuri, are you there?

Yury: Yeah. Sorry. You know, I had a little bit of a struggle with the connection. I’m sorry, guys.

Rich: That’s okay. Why don’t we just

Debra: say, if you’re going to pause real quick, I’m going to turn my, um, Dish dishwasher off. I didn’t realize it was on and I can hear it in the background.

I hope you okay.

Rich: Uh, we can go ahead and take care of that. That’d be fine. Um, and we’re, I’ll just make a note that it was somewhere around 18 minutes.

All right. So, uh, when she gets back URI, do you want to take the let’s shift to LinkedIn question? We’ll keep going. All right. Awesome.

Yury: Awesome. Thank you.

Debra: Yep. Sorry about that. My husband started it and I didn’t realize it. And then I could hear it. The bathroom I thought, Oh my God.

Rich: No worries. No worries. All right, so we’re gonna S we’ll to your, why don’t you take a moment of silence and then jump in.

So it’ll be easier for us to find this

Yury: part. All right. Perfect. All right. So Deborah let’s shift to LinkedIn. How do you find the right people to connect and network with?

Debra: Yeah. So, you know, it, it can be kind of weird to just think of random people and, and send connection requests. But, you know, I like to do two different things.

Um, I like to, as you’re reading through your, your LinkedIn feed, you know, if you’re staying active and what’s going on in, in your feed and, and industry news and things like that. If I see an article that was written by someone, um, you know, written about someone that was really interesting or they’re doing interesting work, especially here in Maine, because I don’t have a deep network.

If I see people doing interesting work here in Maine, I’ll send a connection request and say, you know, I’ll find that person on LinkedIn through the search. Um, send a connection request and add a note saying, Hey, I saw your article about. Blah, blah, blah. You know, you’re doing some really interesting work.

I’d love to connect and more often than not, they do connect. And then you can stay up to date on what they’re doing. You can add comments to, you know, whatever they post in the future. And after you send a couple of comments, they get used to seeing your name and your, your face. Um, then I send a request to asking, just to have a virtual coffee, um, because that’s not.

That’s not pitchy. You know, I think a lot of times on LinkedIn, especially with the use of bots, they send out random connection requests and then immediately send a pitch where this is really a lot more, um, you know, connection based and a lot more human focused. And, uh, so that’s one way I find, you know, people that might make sense for me.

And the other way is, you know, searching for certain industries. Uh, you know, if you use the search tool, you can really drill down into industry location, um, uh, job title keyword. Things like that. So if there are specific people that make sense for you, uh, you can do it that way too. Like for me, I, um, I partner with recruiters and head hunters a lot because they’re a great referral source for me.

So, you know, head hunters who are doing executive searches will often have executives who need resumes written. And so while I’m not pitching the recruiters specifically, I get a lot of work from that, from that. A group of people. So I have, you know, thousands of recruiter, connections through LinkedIn that have been done strategically through the search, you know, sending a message, um, offering help, especially when, you know, pandemic really hit.

I put together some free resources for job seekers and I sent them to the recruiter saying, Hey, you know, if we’re getting people who are displaced by COVID, here’s some free resources, um, it just makes it less salesy. And now I get, I would say probably 40% of my business to recruiter referrals and those referrals from recruiters.

Rich: Fantastic.

Yury: What are you, what do you think about the strategy? Where, and it happened to me several times when people who wanted to connect with me, uh, they would tag me in the post thinking that, you know, a certain post may be of any interest to me. And sometimes in most cases actually very irrelevant. Uh, and I just, you know, get a little bit lost.

Like, why am I even tabbing this time? Like, what’s the point? Like, do you have any recommendations around different, you know, tactics like that, that can help kind of like, you know, attract and attention to the potential, uh, you know, connection on LinkedIn.

Debra: Yeah. You know, that’s a great question. And, and I completely agree with you.

We know when people tag other people who they’re not close with in posts that are a little bit irrelevant, it can be tacky. It’s kind of like trying to leverage your network, um, for their own personal gain, right? Because they want all of your connections to see their stuff. It’s really more effective to comment on their posts because they’re getting the engagement lift in the LinkedIn algorithm, which they may or may not know about, but it’s, you know, You call it karma points later, we also see your name and your, your headline and your photo.

And then they see your comment. And it’s a much better way to engage with their content rather than forcing them to engage with yours

Rich: beyond tagging, um, or commenting on their posts. Uh, there’s a point where we ultimately ask for the connection and I find that. Probably three quarters of the people who look to connect with me, leave no message whatsoever.

I always, when I want to connect with somebody, unless it’s one of those weird times when LinkedIn won’t let me attach a message, but usually I will always explain why I want to make a connection, which I have found to be a much more effective solution. Um, but everybody has their own. So. If we’re moving to the point where we’re actually sending out that invitation dealing, then how do you recommend we break the ice with people reaching out to,

Debra: yeah.

So I like to exactly leave, uh, add a message every single time. And a lot of people don’t know that you can actually leave a message if you’re on mobile too. Um, you just have to do an extra step. And so, you know, I, I won’t go through the details of how to do that here, but please look it up because you can easily leave a message if you’re, if you’re sending connection requests on mobile too.

Um, but it always helps to add a connection, um, message because people need to know why you’re reaching out and it also makes it less salesy. You know, they’re not going to think, Oh my gosh, she’s going to try to sell me something immediately. If you have a reason why like recently, um, you know, especially with me working with, you know, executive level clients, sometimes they’ll mention someone, um, during our call, like so-and-so’s a mentor to me or, or I’m really close with so-and-so.

I will reach out to that person in a connection request if it makes sense for me. Um, and just say, Hey, I was just on the phone with them. So-and-so they used to, you know, they mentioned how, what great work you’re doing and whatever industry space, whatever it is, I’d love to connect and learn more about your work.

It’s just that, I don’t know that person. They have no reason to connect with me, but they would probably not accept my connection request. If I didn’t tell them we have a mutual contact in common. And here’s why I’m interested in your work.

Rich: So do you have any

Yury: specific, you know, recommendations or probably a list of recommendations?

How we can. Eliminate this, you know, slime in this or sleaziness in the communications because some people not like. We, we all have different personalities and we have all different kind of like styles of communicating, but I’m sure there are standards that, you know, we should abide by, or at least drive to kind of like adhere to not to come across as like used car salesman when we are discussing something on LinkedIn.

Debra: Yeah, that’s a good, that’s a great question. Um, one of those is, you know, I, I get a lot and again, these are from Bob’s typically, but I get a lot of messages or maybe someone’s having their virtual assistant do it. I don’t know, copying and pasting, but the connection request will say, you know, I came across your profile and I see that you’re doing interesting work in a, in a similar area.

I’d love to connect them. So general and it has nothing to do with me. And I, you know, I know they’re sending it to everybody and that makes me crazy. Those people are immediately denied a connection request by me personally, because they’re not being, you know, sincere, but I see someone’s profile and I see, you know, Hey, they worked at someplace or, or their background photo is really interesting or something about that.

I physically saw their profile and notice them as humans. I’ll put that in my connection request. Cause it makes it less sleazy. It makes it less like, Hey, I saw this and I’m interested in connecting cause we have. Similar backgrounds. Like it just makes it more real, um, in same thing with the messages, I just make sure, you know, it doesn’t mean that I’m never going to pitch them, or I’m never going to say, Hey, here’s what I do.

But in the first, you know, connection request, if they’ve accepted my connection, I always immediately respond with, you know, thanks so much for accepting my connection. It’s great to meet you. I don’t ask anything of them. I don’t offer them anything. I just respond in a message saying thank you because that.

Typically, um, elicits a response from them and then I can start a conversation and it’s not just immediately, here’s my pitch, but they’ll, they’ll send me something else in response. Um, one thing in, and you know, this is coming from a female. I do want to say I’ll connect with people. People will send me a connection request.

I check them all and make sure they’re real people would, you know, I don’t want to connect with bots. Some ways you can tell is like, you know, did they only have one or two connections then why would they be connecting with me specifically? Things like that. Um, But occasionally I’ll connect with someone.

Think they’re real. Maybe they are. I think they’ve got good intentions. And then when the, see, when the conversation starts, the first thing they ask is either how are you today? Or where are you from? And those two questions may be. Maybe harmless, but I very rarely have connected with anyone, male as a female who asked, where am I from?

Or how am I without it, without the next thing being creepy. So

Yury: that’s what

Rich: she said.

Debra: I just want to tell men who are not meaning to be creepy, that, that 95% of the time, if you ask where you’re from, which is did my profile, or how are you today? It’s always, it will never get a response from a female because their response always invitation invite something creepy.

So, um, that is one thing I’d like to throw out there and like, if I could put a billboard up and let men know, like don’t do this, it’s, it’s creeping women out.

Rich: That’s some good advice. I can’t say that I’ve ever asked that because one of the first things I do is I check out where people are because I have a hard and fast rule that I’ll connect with.

Basically every business person in Maine, you know, that’s always been one of my things. So I always do check out where people are from. Um, so. Here’s here’s an issue that I get all the time and there’s gotta be a better approach. So I made the connection with somebody and immediately they go in for the sale.

And if it’s not the sale, it’s this phrase, Hey, you know, I love learning about people’s businesses. And I wonder if there’s any synergies between us, how do you feel about a 10 minute zoom or virtual coffee? And honestly, I’m not saying that there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but first of all, it almost always comes from, from financial planners.

I’m all set there. Right. But the other thing is it’s this ask of like, Hey, listen, I don’t have 10 or 15 minutes to give you if we’re just getting together for coffee. Like it’s, it’s a cold open. In my opinion, there’s gotta be a better approach so that when we are ready to ask for time for somebody, cause that’s what we’re asking for.

Even if it’s free consulting, we’re asking them to give us their time. What is in your opinion, a better way to move to the point where the person would be much more open to finding time on their calendar.

Debra: Yeah. You know, great question. I’m going to flip that a little bit and talk about, you know, as a, as a business owner as well.

So I have that case too, where people will ask me, you know, in a LinkedIn, I don’t know them personally, and they’ll say, Hey, can you take a look at my LinkedIn profile? And let me know if I need to make any changes. Well, that’s asking for free time, right?

Rich: Can I pick your brain is right up there with one of my least favorite sayings,

Debra: but anyway, It makes me crazy.

And it’s still, I mean, you know, maybe it’s only 10 or 15 minutes, but that’s 10 or 15 minutes taken away from my business. And so I always will turn it back on them and say, you know, happy to do that. Um, why don’t you let me know when it’s all updated and ready to go when you’re ready for someone to review it.

Cause I let them know, like, you know, I’m not, I’m not just gonna look at it as is. I’m assuming you need changes, you know? And then once I’ve given them a to-do list, You know, or, or an action item, I guess I will say, you know, they may never come back, but if they do come back there, they really mean it. And they, they have spent the time and invested the time in preparing.

Um, and then I’ll go ahead and do it. So, you know, it kind of gives them an action item. Um, So on, on my side then, um, I make sure that I have a real reason to connect. Uh, like, you know, I don’t just want to say, you know, Hey, I just want to chat, um, spend 10 minutes talking about whatever you’ve got going on and it’s more about, Hey, um, I saw you’re working on X and such project.

I’d love to learn more about that. Would you be open to a 10 or 15 minute conversation? Um, because then it’s not. So open-ended like, I’m gonna, I’m going to pitch you. It’s more about, Hey, something. Physically you’re doing right now that I have recognized in the market I’d love to chat about. And that way they, you know, and they may or may not want to spend time on it.

And that’s fine because everyone has their own opinion on how they spend their time. But, um, but at least it makes it less open-ended and less like someone’s going to think, Oh my gosh, they’re just trying to get something.

Rich: Makes sense.

Yury: Fantastic. Well, Debra, at the end of every episode, we ask our guests this staple question because you know, it’s very near and dear to our hearts and very meaningful to the listeners of this podcast.

So here’s the question. What one thing would you change if you could to improve the business ecosystem here in

Debra: Maine? Yeah. You know, I have thought a lot about this question, especially since you guys provided it early. So I appreciate that. And I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it. Um, you know, and admittedly, I don’t have a deep connection in Maine, um, because I, you know, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m from away and, um, and I’ve moved here, but my clients are national international.

So, um, so, you know, but, but what constantly comes to mind for me is. You know, Maine is doing some really cool things. Some really interesting things in technology, some interesting things in, in leading edge education, uh, you know, and in so many different industries, but we’re, we’re bad by and large PR outside of Maine on what we’re doing.

You know, I, as I talked to clients all over the world, I typically will. Um, you know, I bring up that I live in Maine because it’s a, it’s a natural conversation starter because everyone has opinion about, Oh, that’s. It’s so beautiful up there or, yeah, I took a vacation there one time or, Oh my gosh, you probably have so much lobster, but that’s really, all we’re known for is vacations and lobster and, and beautiful coastline and not, you know, Oh, wow.

You know, I knew a startup who was doing really innovative things or, well, they’re real institutes doing amazing work with, with, uh, you know, with Northeastern things like that. And so. I think if we were better at promoting the really interesting, really valuable business that’s happening here, we’d be taken more seriously too, you know, for businesses to do business in Maine and also to attract top talent from other areas of the country to relocate here too.

Rich: Oh, great answer. Deborah Love that. Uh, this has been fantastic and I’m sure a lot of people are going to want to connect with you in a non-creepy way, uh, online after this interview, um, where can we send them? Where would you like people to connect with you?

Debra: Yeah. So, uh, you can reach out on LinkedIn, uh, Debra bogs, uh, D E B R a B O G G S.

Or my website is D S pro coaching.com. Uh, so that’s S pro coaching.com and, uh, I’d love to, you know, meet and connect with anybody.

Rich: Awesome. And of course, we’ll have those in the show notes as well. Debra, this has been great. Thank you so much for coming by today and hanging out with us and sharing your expertise.

Debra: Yeah, thanks for having me. It was great meeting you guys. Thanks a

Yury: lot. Have a great day. Thank you.

Rich: That was really good stuff. Very helpful. Especially for me. I know that it’s going to be several more months before I start going out to any in person networking events. And like I’ve said a number of kinds before.

I think COVID has been around long enough that it will have probably altered our behaviors for much longer than the pandemic actually exist. So this type of advice on. Digital networking, virtual networking and LinkedIn is, is definitely going to be key. If you missed any of our conversation with Deborah, or you just want a full transcript of the episode,

Debra: head on over to

Rich: fast forward, maine.com/seventy.

And now as a part of the show where we do our fast takes. So URI, what was your fast take for today?

Yury: Well, there are a lot to impact. However, I want to focus on one specific thing and we will know that. Is a key to success. And when we talk about preparation for networking in the digital environment, there are a couple of things that I want to practice myself.

And I also want to encourage other people who are listening to this podcast and you will do the same. So first things first, make sure that you have your. Intro paragraph or some kind of paragraph with information about who you are, where you work and how people can connect with you. If you, if we’re talking about, um, zoom in the environment, also make sure when you introduce yourself and you actually have a chance to say it out loud on camera and on the screen, you have a proper elevator pitch.

And the other critical thing was to make sure that your digital investment is controlled, meaning your background, your camera, your audio, and your, uh, internet connections are pretty important. So

Rich: if

Yury: you keep that in mind, you think you are going to be 80% ahead of the curve. So that is my fast egg

Rich: rich.

Yury: What was your fast egg?

Rich: Well, I definitely focused on the LinkedIn side of things as I’m really doubling down on the amount of effort that I put in putting into LinkedIn, especially on prospecting these days. And I love Deborah’s approach to find the people you want to connect with and kind of take a look at what they’re sharing and posting.

Comment on what they’re doing. That’s what gets you seen? That’s what starts to build up that familiarity. And then you can ask for the connection and then after you’ve had a little bit of connection, then maybe you ask for the meeting or, or a pitch or something like that, but don’t rush into it. And the other quick thing was just that I think men, when they’re approaching women from a networking standpoint through LinkedIn, need to be careful not to raise any red flags, uh, inadvertently, um, and just to make sure that they’re aware that.

Certain behaviors are going to be seen a certain way. Those are my fast aches. And I think with Deborah’s help, we’re all going to do better. Job of networking in a 2d world.