How to burn bridges on networking calls

I met “Donny” at an online networking event.

He identified himself as a leadership coach and following the event reached out to book a networking call with me.

The purpose of a networking call is to find opportunities for cross-referrals, collaborations, and to see if there is the potential to build a relationship. 

It’s not a sales call unless the person identifies themselves as someone who could use your help and expresses an interest in your services.

Five minutes into our Zoom session, it was clear Donny didn’t get the memo.

Although our conversation started with him asking what I do and where I hoped to take my business, it quickly veered into shady sales territory.

You know you are in shady sales territory when the person speaking:

  1. Talks more than they listen
  2. Assumes you have a problem without asking you what you’re struggling with, what you’ve tried, or how bothered you are by it
  3. Starts insinuating you won’t succeed unless you follow their exact methodology
  4. Launches into example after example of people they’ve made successful.

In short, the call becomes about them and their pitch rather than about you.

Blech! Ugh! Vomit!

Within five minutes, Donny did all four of the above.

I felt like I had been deceived about the purpose of our interaction, so I called him on it:

“Donny, I feel like you are trying to create a problem I don’t have so you can sell me a solution I don’t need. I was hoping we could just get to know each other on a friendly level.”

Donny’s face dropped and he excused himself from the call shortly after.

Beyond deceiving me about the purpose of the call, Donny made two other crucial mistakes.

One, he assumed because I was an entrepreneur and he helps entrepreneurs that I needed his services.

Two, he assumed I had a problem that I don’t.

Don’t be a Donny.

Your target market isn’t just a demographic. It’s a specific group of people with a specific problem that your business solves.

Your job is to qualify the people you speak with to see if they could benefit from your services and to trust that if they don’t, there are people out there who do.

This is what networking is all about: 

Expanding the number of people who know what you do and helping others expand their network at the same time.

Of course, if you aren’t clear on your market, the problem you solve for them, the way that you solve it, or how to find and enroll clients in a way that doesn’t feel manipulative or sleazy, networking won’t help. 

Instead, you need to focus on building the foundations of your business: identifying your ideal client, creating a signature offer, and creating a marketing strategy that focuses on your clients. 

This is where a VIP Day with me can help. It’s a customized full day of one-on-one co-creation where we get the above done so you can get on with your business and start making the income and impact you are here for.

If you think this might be of value to you, book a discovery call to learn more. 

Want more leads? Double down on your 20 percent.

According to the Pareto principle, 20 percent of your efforts yield 80 percent of your results.

A few months ago, I put this to the test when I audited all the marketing tactics I’d used in the past year.

Sure enough, I was spending the majority of my time on things that weren’t bringing in leads or income and the minority of my time on things that did. So, I decided to focus exclusively on the latter.

Since then, my business has more than doubled.

One of my coaches, Polly Hearsy, talks about how your business’s energy has its own form of expression.

In layman’s terms, this means some marketing tactics will work better for you than others for the sole reason that they reflect who you are at your best.

If your marketing is draining you, ask yourself this question.

“What sort of interaction with my ideal client am I craving right now?”

Do you want to teach a small group? Be a thought leader to a larger audience? Partner with them one on one? Help them listen to themselves with thought-provoking questions?

Whatever type of interaction you desire, look for a marketing tactic that reflects that style.

If you want more one-on-one time, focus on one-on-one networking meetings and reaching out to people already in your community.

If you feel called to be a thought leader, put your efforts into longer-form pieces like books, media appearances, and aligning yourself with other thought leaders. 

If partnering is your jam, look for collaborators you can cross-market with. 

Marketing is like jeans: no one style fits everyone equally.

What works for one person may feel awkward for you and vice versa for no other reason than that’s not where your business’s energy wants to go right now.

Like your business, that may change over time and that’s okay.

The social media channels you need to be on today

Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, Insight Timer, Pinterest…

The list of places to promote your business seems to never end with new ones popping up all the time.

It’s easy to feel both uncertain and overwhelmed. How do you know what works? How do you find the time?

Too often I see coaches and consultants choosing their channels by default:

  • “I was already on the channel, so it seemed easiest.”
  • “A course I took focused on that channel.”
  • “Everyone is talking about it so I thought I should go there too.
  • “I wanted to reach as many people as possible.”

This way of thinking ignores the most important aspect of your marketing: your target audience!

Which social media channels should you be on today?

The one where most of your target market hangs out the most often online. 

If your audience is middle-aged women, it’s not likely to be TikTok. If your audience is men in their 20s, forget Pinterest. If you’re a B2B company selling a service to larger companies, Instagram isn’t your best bet.

Your answer might not be the trendiest and that’s okay.

You might even find that your market isn’t on social media frequently enough to warrant using it to reach out to them. 

If you spend a lot of time on social media, you might think this is the only way to market your service but, as I’ll talk about in an upcoming post, there are many, many more.

When it comes to building your business often less is more.

Stop trying to be all things to all people on every channel and you may find that you start getting more traction with fewer tactics.

Need help with your marketing strategy? Book a 30-minute complimentary consultation.

Care what people might think? Do this instead.

Stop worrying about what other people think! 

How many times have you heard this advice? (My mother said it to me just last week.)

It’s not a simple thing to do.

In fact… 

It’s not even a human thing to do.

Humans are pack animals. Historically, we’ve needed the tribe to survive. Fear of rejection is a deeply rooted part of who we are as a species.

Caring about what people think is fundamental to civilization. It helps us function effectively in groups. (Imagine what traffic would look like if people didn’t care what others thought.)

If you care what people think, congratulations! You’re human. (If you don’t, you might be a sociopath.)

So stop telling yourself to stop caring what people think.

Instead, stop telling yourself you know what other people think.

Because as much as your subconscious is 100% certain that when you do the thing that scares you – be more visible, change directions, reach out to a big shot, or take some other leap – you will be outcast and banished to die a slow, lonely death, guess what?

Your subconscious is not psychic.

It doesn’t actually know the future.

So care what people think, yes. But don’t assume you know what they are thinking.

And when you do know for sure what they think – because they told you – don’t let that stop you from doing what you know deep in your heart is best for you.

You got this.

Marketing not working? Ask yourself these 5 questions.

You’re posting on social media, sending out newsletters, telling everyone you know about your business, and still…


If your marketing isn’t landing, it might be because you’re trying to be too many things to too many people.

Your business, and by extension, your genius isn’t for everyone.

Trying to make it so dilutes your message and makes it harder for your dream clients to know if you’re the right person for them.

The first step of marketing is getting crystal clear on who you want to engage with.

How clear are you? Answer the following questions:

  1. When you think of the ideal client for your service, do multiple categories of people come to mind?
  2. When writing a post, do you have a hard time starting the post with you because it wouldn’t apply to everyone you want to reach?
  3. Do you have a hard time describing the outcomes you provide for your clients in tangible terms such as make time to relax or increase sales rather than generalizations like change your life or improve your business?
  4. Is your pattern to search for work and take on whatever you can get rather than actively promote yourself as an expert for a specific type of client?
  5. Are you afraid to lose your current clients even though you know they aren’t the type of person or business you’d secretly love to work with?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you need to narrow your target market and summon the courage to start marketing to them.

It takes guts to niche.

But, if you’re marketing a new business online it’s an absolute necessity.

Consumers, be they individuals or businesses, don’t look for generic help. 

They look for help that can solve their specific problem, so the more you speak to a specific person with a specific issue the better.

Plus, the more you specialize, the more you become known as the go-to expert in that area.

If clarity is an issue for you, I can help.  Book a complimentary 30-minute call and let’s talk.

Stop exhausting yourself with content creation

You know you should be posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter; sending a newsletter; blogging on Medium; giving talks on Clubhouse; hanging out and offering value in other groups; creating free training, and doing a million other things to market your business.

So, you

  • summon some courage,
  • write a post based on what you’re thinking,
  • second-guess yourself and completely rewrite it,
  • spend two hours on Canva trying to create a cool graphic to go with it,
  • post it,
  • wonder if you’re on the wrong platform,
  • cross your fingers and hope that someone sees it,
  • look at the clock and realize half the day is gone.


Sharing stream of consciousness content on what inspires you that day can get you likes and loves, but it doesn’t encourage the right people to work with you.

Content creation is NOT content marketing.

Yes, you want people to know and like you but, you also want them to trust that you can solve their problems.

You want the right people to reach and ask about working with you.

You want your posts, emails, and other free content to ultimately lead to sales.

This is what a content marketing strategy does. It’s a non-pushy way to show your expertise while building bridges with your audience.

It doesn’t mean you can’t share what inspires you, but it does mean sharing it in a way that encourages your audience to act.

Content marketing simplifies.

With a content marketing strategy:

  • You don’t have to be on every social media platform or use every tactic– only the right ones for you and your audience.
  • You know exactly what to say and when to say it with an easy-to-follow formula for posts and emails.
  • Creating content becomes a proactive act of self-expression rather than a guilty afterthought of “I should be doing this.”

This is what you get with a Magnetic Messaging VIP Day.

It’s one day where we articulate your core message, create your content strategy, select the best tactics and channels for you, come up with your posting pattern, and schedule three months of content in one easy-to-follow calendar.

If you’re tired of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks and ready to get deliberate with an authentic messaging strategy that sounds like you, contact me to see if a Magnetic Messaging VIP Day is right for you

Stop sabotaging your authority with hedge words

I just wanted to… I’d like to tell you… I kind of think that…

If you use phrases like this in your emails, posts, lives, videos, or other marketing, STOP!

Phrases like just, really, kind ofI think that, I guess that, and sort of are what language experts call hedges. 

In marketing, hedges diminish your authority.  They say “This is what I think but you might not agree so don’t hate me.”

Consider the difference between:

I just wanted to send you this email to let you know about a new service I’m offering.


I’ve got a new service and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

The first sentence starts with an indirect apology for bothering the reader. (If your service is something that can help, it won’t bother them.)

The second gets straight to the point and loudly declares “Come and get it!”

Women hedge more than men. 

I’ll be honest, when I started creating content, I was a hedge queen. Even now, I have to watch myself. (I almost wrote women tend to hedge more than men. Tend to is another hedging phrase.)

So if you’re like guilty of, you know, beating around the bush in your communication, get out those shears and trim those hedges.

You are an expert. You know your sh*t.

Now go out there and own it!

3 types of bios all entrepreneurs need today

Like your headshot, your bio is an essential part of your marketing. 

But, given the multiple channels you use to promote your services – social media, websites, podcasts, opt-in content, joint ventures, networking, and more – one bio no longer cuts it. 

Instead, you need three.

1. A Longform Bio

This is the brand or personal story that goes on your website about page and can also be used for:

  • your LinkedIn summary
  • additional information on your Facebook business page
  • longer opt-in content such as a free e-book

2. A Boilerplate Bio

This is the one-paragraph description of your business you use for:

  • your Facebook business page description
  • your intro to your LinkedIn summary
  • workshop, podcast, and public speaking introductions
  • guest blog bios
  • shorter-form opt-in content

3. A Single Sentence Bio

This is a short summary of who you are and the value you provide that you use for:

  • your business description on Instagram and Twitter
  • your Facebook personal profile 
  • in-person networking introductions

How do you write all of these?

Like all your marketing, start by thinking about your ideal clients and who you want to connect with. What would be most interesting to them? Then, either write a long-form bio and whittle it down to the shortest possible statement of the value you provide; or start short and then extrapolate.

Writing each type of bio upfront will save you from having to craft them under a time crunch later on.

Tongue-tied when it comes to talking about yourself? Hate writing? Learn more about my bio writing services

Overcome your fear of sending too many emails

“I don’t want to spam my list by emailing them too often.”

I hear this frequently from heart-centred entrepreneurs and I get it. No one wants to come across like a used-car salesman.

If you’re holding back from an important marketing tactic out of fear people will think you’re pushy, it’s time to reframe the conversation in your mind.

You perform a valuable service.

The people on your list signed up because either:

  1. They thought something you offer (a freebie or paid service) could solve a problem they have, or
  2. They are interested in you as a person.

Some people on your list genuinely want to hear from you. Some of these genuinely need your help.


It takes people on average eight encounters with a brand to remember it.

That’s why on TV (and increasingly on social media) you see the same ads over and over. 

When you send out multiple emails, you give your audiences a chance to get to know and remember you.

Furthermore, the stakes aren’t as high as you think they are. 

For most people, less than one-third of your list will open your emails. (Smaller lists tend to have higher open rates because people personally know the sender.)

This may sound discouraging, but it’s not because…

If your subject line is compelling, the right people will open your email.

After all, you’re reading this! 😉

Remember, marketing isn’t about you.

It’s about connecting with the people you serve whether that’s through

  1. an ongoing content marketing strategy to build your know-like-and-trust factor or
  2. a sales campaign that helps prospects who are ready to buy transform their lives through your services

Emails are one tactic in a larger content strategy.

But the only way to benefit from them, is to take a deep breath and hit send.


I send my weekly emails twice: once on Friday and once on the following Tuesday with a different subject line to people who didn’t open Friday’s email. It’s an easy cheat to boost open rates. You can automate this in Mailchimp or Mailerlite.

The #1 Secret to Compelling Writing

Dear name,

I am writing to inform you that I’m going to be giving a workshop on…


No, I’m not giving a workshop on blech – that introductory sentence is blech. 

Why? The entire first part of it is redundant.

Why not just say I’m giving a workshop and save your readers from tripping over the other 11 words?

The secret to compelling writing isn’t writing – it’s editing.

The next time you write a post, email, or web page, review every sentence and phrase and ask yourself:

  1. Does my reader need to know this?
  2. Can I say this in fewer words?
  3. Could I use a better verb? 

Here’s a pro tip:

Search for any verbs ending in ing. If any version of to be, to do, or to have precedes that verb, you can likely tighten things up.

For example:

I am going to be giving becomes I am giving.

I have been sharing becomes I shared.

If you want to be buying becomes If you want to buy.

The magic of masterful writing is in what you put in but what you leave out.