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019 – Chris Rabbit – Full episode
[00:00:00] Viv: Welcome back to another episode of marketing without social media. Now, before we dive in, I wanted to let you know that if you’re a service based business, that coaches, consultants, therapists, who wants to get to $7,000 plus recurring moms yes. Every month that needs help with growing your audience, maybe with generating regular leads or landing paying clients, then I’d like to invite you to eight.
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[00:01:15] Viv: Yes that’s they’ve guide.com forward slash game plan. Pick a day, pick a time that suits you and let’s chat today. We are deep diving into all things, networking with my amazing guest, Chris rabbit. Now following a conversation at a networking meeting with a fellow prolific network. Simon Glenn, the two entrepreneurs are realized the potential of unlimited and flexible.
[00:01:45] Viv: We love that networking opportunities held online to reflect the changing world. I mean, this episode, you’re going to learn why it’s not actually about the people in the room, your width and why you shouldn’t dismiss people [00:02:00] because they don’t apparently seem useful to you. We’re also going to talk about how we can keep in touch with people.
[00:02:07] Viv: We meet at networking meetings. And also we are going to talk about the art of conversation and how we approach networking meetings and the conversations that we are having. Within those meetings. So there is an amazing bonus for you and generous gift that Chris has given at the end of this episode. So do stay tuned for that.
[00:02:31] Viv: And I will also add the links in the show notes for you. So. Enjoy
[00:02:42] Viv: you’re listening to mark two without social media. With me, they’ve guide the podcast for people who want more clarity, connections, and cash in that business. I’ll be sharing with you proven techniques for leading entrepreneurs and experts from across the globe to help you to market without social media and to grow your business in a.
[00:03:04] Viv: At till we feels good.
[00:03:15] Viv: so Chris, welcome to the show. Super excited to have another fellow northerner here with us today on this show. How are you?
[00:03:24] Chris: Yeah, I’m really good. I’m really good. The sun is actually shining up north today, so it’s not nearly as grim as I’ll use other than this. Think it is so, uh, really glad to be here.
[00:03:32] Chris: Thanks for, uh, thanks for on
[00:03:35] Viv: a little bit of a context here too. It’s like, what do you want about Northern as well? I’m actually a Yorkshire less now living in, in Lancashire Scouser and Chris is on the opposite. He’s left blind cause you’re in, he’s now in Yorkshire. So we’ve kind of done a, uh, county swapsies, right?
[00:03:50] Viv: To. Someone else who’s up north. So Chris, we are talking networking today because you have created this [00:04:00] amazing space called Meow. Yes, I love it. So how did you decide and get onto the path of deciding to create now?
[00:04:11] Chris: Right. So I, I asked to take absolutely no credit for the. The idea was not mine. I have a wonderful co-founder called Simon Glenn, um, who someone said, looked like Keith lemon the other day.
[00:04:23] Chris: If you work with somebody as closely as we work with each other opportunities to take the piss out of each other in new ways, don’t come up very often. And so all of a sudden it looked like Keith lemon, but Simon is Simon and I are brilliant. We worked brilliantly together. We are very, very different people.
[00:04:39] Chris: I’m very commercial, very sort of taste driven, very matter of fact, and actually quite good at managing people. Simon is extraordinarily creative. Doesn’t give a shit about the detail has no commercial sensibility really, but he’s wonderful at bringing ideas into fruition, but it was Simon. The basic functionality of the platform assignments I did when I was receiving calls from my customers saying thanks.
[00:05:01] Chris: But no thanks. Um, Simon was panicking because he was laid off in the credit crunch in 2009. And that’s when he starts working for himself out of necessity. And when the whole COVID thing here, he was like, this is all going to happen again. And everyone’s going to put their marketing budgets cause he’s a graphic designer and designs websites, Brandon, you know, we look the way we do because of Simon, he panicked and said, you know, marketing budget is all going to get put into the mattress.
[00:05:31] Chris: Everyone’s going to lock the doors and that’s. W w bad, I can’t go out to network to get any more new business. Everyone started going on zoom and both Simon and I independently of each other. And we knew each other were attending these zoom meetings of like 40, 50 people. And it’s just
[00:05:54] Chris: horrendous things. And, you know, you started to see people in these rooms, [00:06:00] all of a sudden it camera, camera, camera. And because people would just disengaged in droves because you were simply spectating and listening to picture, to picture, to pitch, and it became this sort of joke that you turn the camera off and do the ironing.
[00:06:14] Chris: Or in some cases, people forgot to turn the camera off and started doing the things. If you see those videos, we’ve all seen those. Um, and no surprise, cause there’s just so desperately. And I’m just . This is good. This online stuff is good because all of a sudden he was meeting people from America and Australia and Germany and France and wherever and different, and are actually close to home from the south coast, from Scotland and Wales and new castle from wherever play people you would never see in local networking event.
[00:06:50] Chris: So we thought, oh, this is really good. I like this. But these big meetings are an absolute non-starter. So what’s the bad. It’s the best formula. So we thought, well, okay, well four feels right, because it’s nice and symmetrical. So it appeals to the OCD in him. And also on most platforms you can just about cope with four open microphone.
[00:07:14] Chris: Yeah. So it’s that ability to have a proper conversation that if I, okay, sounds all right. We can do something with that, but we’re still using zoom. And it was wildly popular. So we started off on the Sunday, put an advert out, saying the Zuma day. And that’s when he called it a Zuma day and put it outside.
[00:07:32] Chris: I’ll be doing this every day, Monday to Friday and within an hour, he was full from the following day. By the time that meeting had finished, he was full. Wow. And by the end of that week, he was full for six weeks in advance, completely booked up three places every day, one slot today, we incorporated the business on the 20th of May and the rest, as they say.
[00:07:56] Chris: So we, so we were carried on zoom until April the [00:08:00] following year. So we did nearly 12 minutes on zoo. By the time we’d finished on zoom, we would in 60 hours of network in a
[00:08:06] Viv: week.
[00:08:09] Chris: So not between 2028 volunteer hosts doing two slots a week. So hosting the meetings, all one meeting an hour. Um, and we were, we were running meetings with people coming in from the Philippines, from the west coast of America, from the east coast of America, everywhere in between loads of UK people and yeah, 60 hours a week.
[00:08:32] Chris: We were the biggest single point network in business in Britain.
[00:08:36] Viv: That’s amazing. How did realize how. You’ve gotten so, so early on and promote that, like, how did you get the word out at that point? Because obviously, you know, the world’s
[00:08:50] Chris: changed word of mouth. So we, we will, we will do that doing the whole social media thing.
[00:08:56] Chris: So we’ve lots of push outs on social and we were doing marketing and all the rest of it, but we didn’t have huge amount of money. But what we did have is something called a Mac. Which was after the meeting, the host as part of their commitment to what they were doing. And they were all volunteers, God loved them, would sit and write a little synopsis of their meetings, so they would set up away.
[00:09:19] Chris: And so, you know, I’m Dave and I met Viv and Chris and Jane and we sat and we had a conversation about. Well, it’s very nice and Viv does this and so-and-so does this and so-and-so does that. And they’re all looking to talk to X, Y, and Z, and we tag you all in and we post it on LinkedIn with a nice image that generated the sort of viral, interesting, like no nothing you’ve ever seen, because all of a sudden it was going to four networks and then four networks were sharing it with them and commenting and all the rest of it.
[00:09:57] Viv: That’s awesome. I love that. That’s like [00:10:00] phenomenal, really phenomenal. I mean, I, you know, it’s been so interesting because we’ve all had different experiences of networking through, you know, through the pandemic. And as you say, the force people in a steam room, just so difficult to say, what are the things I wanted to talk to you about today?
[00:10:15] Viv: This idea about, it’s not the people that you’re in the room with, you know, um, and why you shouldn’t dismiss people because they’re not immediately evidently useful to you. And that sounds terrible. Is it useful? But yeah. Um, cause that’s what happens, isn’t it? People like, oh, they’re of no use to me. I’m not going to talk to them or there’s no worth no, no point following up with them or keeping in touch.
[00:10:36] Viv: So talk to us about this idea.
[00:10:39] Chris: So I’ve always been a believer in the fact that you don’t go to network and sell you, go to networking to give you, go to the networking, to help you go to networking. Some, listen, you go to networking to try and promote the other people that you meet in the room. If what they do resonates with you, that’s networking.
[00:10:58] Chris: And the magic comes when everyone in the room starts to agree that that’s the way to do it. And they start to promote.
[00:11:06] Viv: Yeah, totally.
[00:11:08] Chris: That’s the magic. The people who dismiss people in the room, because they’re not relevant are idiots, frankly.
[00:11:16] Viv: Well, you don’t know who, who, who else people know? You know, they might not be your ideal client, but who, you know, who do they know?
[00:11:23] Viv: You know, who would be a great connection? Just let’s have that conversation as networking. They might not be. Useful in terms of becoming a paying client, but actually they don’t have an absolute oodles of connections. And, you know, there might be something a year down the line, two years down the line, people pivot businesses, pivot, you know,
[00:11:41] Chris: it could meet someone on a bus the following day and tell them about what you do.
[00:11:45] Chris: And that could be a multi-million pound contracts. And if you dismiss them out of hand, you, you take all that. Right. What we’re trying to create something now is, is a community of people that are genuine community of people who are able to either help and support [00:12:00] refer, um, listen, offer a bit of input feedback, whatever else, but behave as a.
[00:12:07] Chris: Genuine community to look after each other, to refer business to each other, to help advise support. Listen, we’ve got a, I’ve got a great story about that. That says exactly what you’re talking about. Very early on in the lifecycle of VR, we were still the Zuma day chat phoned up Simon on Friday afternoon and said, I’m busy on Monday morning.
[00:12:28] Chris: Who’s on my zoom today. And Simon went. Go away and nasty say, go away. You said Fox to Oscar. That’s not, that’s not the way it works. He says you turn up because he knew what was going on. This guy was a sales director and on his call, we knew there was a health and safety consultant and a social media manager.
[00:12:51] Chris: Okay. And we also, your salmon also knew the F he told him he wouldn’t show up on Monday morning because he was a sort of person. Was of the opinion that unless they’re relevant to me, they’re not interesting to me. That’s not the way it works, turn up and find out. So he turned up and the guy in question says, you know, hello, I’m so-and-so and I’m a sales director of packs.
[00:13:17] Chris: And the two of them chimed in and went, I’m a health and safety consultant and a social media manager. And this mishaps face went like this.
[00:13:26] Chris: So Simon spotted that, I mean, right. You’re going first, tell us about you and this, that, and the other. We’re now very sustainable and this that, and the health and safety guides latched onto sustainable and went and just broke the meter. What you need to talk to my best mates. And the Chapman question was still feeling a bit sore, I think.
[00:13:49] Chris: Cause when our right. Okay. What is the sustainable business cards? And he went now. I don’t think you understand what I’m trying to say. My mate is the sustainability director of a multi-billion [00:14:00] pound property business with places all over Europe. He’s got X, millions of quints to spend this year and cannot find a company that does what you do in the space with a sustainable alternative for the plastic they would normally use.
[00:14:15] Chris: Would you like me to. And I understand that relationship now is worth over 3 million quid. Wow. And that would never have happened if we’d allowed that chance to self censor, that meeting alone define the feature of what we do, which is you can tell us who you don’t want to meet. You are not allowed to tell us who you’re.
[00:14:43] Chris: What we’re trying to do is bring the intimacy and humanity and, and sort of to democratize the network and experience, which is why you can network on me out nine o’clock in the morning at nine o’clock at night and everywhere else in between is because if you’re, uh, you know, and forgive me, if I sound like a chauvinist, it really isn’t meant to, but we have huge agency with working moms.
[00:15:04] Chris: If you’re a working mom, you are effectively excluded from breakfast, networking. You are effectively excluded from after work networking. Yes. And frankly at lunchtime, you just want your bloody lunch? Yes. Okay. So opportunities to network for that particular section of the workforce are really limited and we’ve got hundreds of them on there because they can come on at three o’clock in the afternoon and have an hour’s worth of network in an environment that’s.
[00:15:36] Chris: And physically secure and you don’t get networking decade bothering you. Yeah. But you know, the whole thing is to bring the humanity intimacy back into the process. And so what we’re advocating is actually making connections because connections for connection’s sake are good things. But if you think about it for people in the room, everyone really.
[00:15:58] Chris: Given the right triggers [00:16:00] and those triggers are different. Every meeting can bring about 200 people to mind. Yes. Which people they are depends on those triggers, but you’ve got that Rolodex and you had the Jesus spinning around mine goes like, you know, he’s always on the go.
[00:16:16] Viv: So how do we keep in touch or nurture those connections that we make at networking sessions?
[00:16:24] Viv: Because, you know, we can meet somebody, but then. If we just let it go cold, that can be really difficult to pick up content in the future. What do you recommend to people? What are your, what are your suggestions to people?
[00:16:37] Chris: I think a good, any good network and event will end up with a couple of things that you need to do, even if it’s not send me a link to your website or drop me an email with the telephone number on or whatever.
[00:16:51] Chris: Um, but it should end up with a couple of things that you need to do. First. The first thing is. Yeah, don’t, don’t not do it, you know, and this is the first thing, the last thing you want to do is not do the first thing you said you would do because you might as well just set fire to any potential relationship that you started anyway.
[00:17:12] Chris: Um, so do you feel that. If you’re going to re you know, introduce them to someone that you think might be able to help them, make sure you do it. If you’re going to send yourself and make sure you do it, if you want to do whatever you said, you’re going to do mate, bloody show you do it. You set off on the right foot.
[00:17:27] Chris: Then I think it’s impossible. If you are a prolific network, it’s a maintain active contact with every single person that you meet. And at that point, I think you need to be a little bit selective. Okay. So start to think a little more. Critically, if you like about the people in your network and who is worth investing some time in.
[00:17:49] Chris: And I know that that sort of flies in the face a little bit of what I was saying, but let’s face it. We’re not in business to network where we network to further [00:18:00] our business. And there has to be a degree of critical thinking. No, it’s difficult to maintain the pressure on as this inner connection that you have.
[00:18:09] Chris: And I think it’s impossible and you know, um, not desirable to even try if I’m honest, Yeah, but I think it’s like anything. It’s how you build relationships in real life versus how you build relationships in business. You know, there are friends out there you’re not spoken to for ages, but you might occasionally comment on a Facebook post that you see with either photos of what I must say.
[00:18:32] Chris: Oh, brilliant. And it’s just that touch point now. And again, that little touch point that keeps you fresh, keeps it going. It might turn into a little conversation. It’s exactly the same with business connections.
[00:18:43] Viv: And one of the things I wanted to touch on before we kind of wrap up today. I did have, we were talking before we hit record about social media and I guess like digital technology really today, you know, devices really hindering the art of conversation.
[00:19:02] Viv: And I know you touched on that. You have experienced this, uh, in your pre. Uh, Korea that you were helping people to train sales teams, just to actually be able to have a conversation. If there’s something you find when it comes to networking. Now that people actually struggle with how to have conversations.
[00:19:21] Chris: Very simply. Yes. It’s very much down to setting as well. You put people in a room in a big room and you ask them to pitch in front of people. British people would rather die than speak in public. And, um, that’s a literal thing. I would rather be killed than speak in public. And I think it’s something like 64% of people voted that
[00:19:45] Viv: way.
[00:19:46] Viv: Okay. Thank you. And I are the exceptions to the rule in this thought where I’m like, put me on the stage. I’m happy.
[00:19:51] Chris: Yeah. But there is a huge majority of people who just hate it. So you put someone in a room full of 50 people and say, right, go [00:20:00] for it. But the arts conversation is really hard. I think culturally, actually we are moving away from the ability to pick up the phone to people.
[00:20:10] Chris: I find you put the, anyone in the right setting where they feel like they’re supported and it’s a safe space. It doesn’t take long from sales to commence the show. You know, we always refer to me hours, you know, you can call on me. I was a. Yeah, laser-focused networking ninja and have a great time, but you can also come on as someone who is terrified of their own shadow, classic introvert personality type.
[00:20:40] Chris: Who’s never networked before because they’re simply being too afraid of doing it. And within a couple of minutes, those people are out and they’re talking to each other and they are, you know, getting into having a conversation with people they’ve never met before. And that’s something that is entirely new.
[00:20:56] Chris: Yeah, and I think it’s about setting. I really do. And actually we’ve got professional services.
[00:21:02] Viv: Chris, tell us, before we wrap up today, uh, how can people get involved with Meow? What is the best way to sign up or put all the links in, in the bottom. But if someone wants to start and try out me out, how many times a week or a month would you suggest the recommend sort of people, uh, join and having meetings so that they get the most.
[00:21:24] Chris: Right. That really is a bit of a moveable feast, but we always say, if you can do three a week, you’re going to get them. You’re going to get a really good introduction to what, what the platform can do. Um, there is it couldn’t be easier to treat. I mean, we just asked for a very, very basic sonnet process has a little bit about yourself.
[00:21:43] Chris: We don’t ask for car details because we’ve, we’ve learned through bitter experience. If you do that, people run away. So there’s no, there’s absolutely no obligation. You’re going to free two week China. As a matter of course, if anyone’s listening to this, [00:22:00] please drop me an email and say, I saw you on Vince podcast and I’ll give you another couple of months before.
[00:22:07] Chris: Wow. There’s a little special offer for everyone listening out there. Um, but come, just come and have a try.
[00:22:14] Viv: Yeah. So tele fringe spread the word. Yeah, shit. Share the link.
[00:22:18] Chris: Oh, by the way, if you join up and you join our referral scheme, you get paid to do that.
[00:22:25] Viv: Oh, we love that. That’s fantastic, Chris. Thank you so, so much for being on the podcast today, it’s been awesome to speak with you.
[00:22:32] Viv: Thank you. Thanks. So there you have it folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of marketing without social media today and feel inspired to take action in your business, whatever that looks like for you. And as always, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for tuning into another episode of this podcast. And if you haven’t done so already, please do subscribe to the podcast.
[00:22:58] Viv: So you don’t miss an episode, speak to you soon. .
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Networking Tips From Co-founder of the biggest single point network in Great britain
Networking is the lifeblood of business growth and self-development.
But the recent pandemic hindered networking for a lot of entrepreneurs, including our guest Chris Rabbitt.
The sudden change made a huge negative impact on his career BUT it also gave him and his co-founder Simon Glenn the pathway to create a successful online networking platform MEEOW.
Networking held online showed unlimited opportunities around the globe and whole new potential. It makes networking possible without even leaving the comfort of your home!
This episode we are going to deep dive into all things networking with my amazing guest, the Co-Founder of Meeow, Chris Rabbitt. Listen as he shares their successful online networking story in the midst of a pandemic and how to make real connections through networking.
In this episode, you will learn the key things about networking such as:
- Why we should NOT dismiss people because they don’t apparently seem useful to you.
- How to keep in touch and nurture the connections we gained at networking sessions.
- The importance of talking to people beyond the screen and the art of conversation in networking meetings
Chris is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of business experience in a range of sectors. He has a passion for finding and solving business problems, a passion put to the test when his consulting business was dealt a fatal blow at the start of the Covid pandemic.
Undeterred, Chris forged ahead with new business ideas – COVID was simply a problem to be solved. Following a conversation (at a networking meeting) with a fellow prolific networker, Simon Glenn, the two entrepreneurs realised the potential of unlimited and flexible networking opportunities, held online to reflect the changing world and, thus, meeow online networking was born.
Chris’ ethos is simple – networking is the lifeblood of business growth and personal development. Building a business network and creating real relationships is the key to success. This is why meeow was created to provide the most effective, intimate and human networking experience, online.
Co-founder of meeow, Chris Rabbitt, is a prolific networker with over 20 years of experience of creating a network that really works – online or face-to-face – and connecting small business owners for long term success.
Connect with Viv
Links mentioned in this episode
15 Minute (free) Lead Accelerator Gameplan Call – www.vivguy.com/gameplan/
21 Ways to Get 1-1 Clients Without Social Media – www.vivguy.com/21ways
Connect with me via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Join my free monthly coaching & mentoring calls here: https://bit.ly/vivFMC
Get a 1 month free trial to Meeow. Just add in the code VIVMADEMEDOIT at the billing page.
Connect with Guest
Here’s a glance at this episode:
4:00 – MEEOW’s history and phenomenal success
10:15 – Why should you not dismiss people because they don’t apparently seem useful to you.
16:16 – How do we keep in touch or nurture those connections that we make at networking sessions
19:02 – The art of conversation in networking meetings
21:02 – How to get involved with MEEOW and a wonderful surprise for you!
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