Michelle Tverberg

How To Be Good At Networking With Michelle Tverberg

Paul:
How to be good at networking. There are definitely some tried-and-true tips.

Michelle:
Versus coming in, I’ve got you know 20 business cards and I’m gonna make sure everybody I talk to you gets one in their hands, that approach I would just put that away — sure, have them available, but wait, just wait, and learn about other people.

Paul:
Today we are speaking with an entrepreneur who runs her own photography business she is the co-founder of Twin Cities wedding and Event Professionals which she started in 2009 with Matthew Sherry. The group has been going strong ever since and with over a decade’s experience in networking she has a lot of insights to share we are speaking with none other than Michele Tverberg.
So okay this whole word networking, I mean it’s kind of a buzzword we hear it all the time. You know Webster’s dictionary says the definition of networking is the exchange of information or services among individuals groups or institutions.

Michelle:
(laughs)

Paul:
I like their little addendum though they say it’s specifically the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.

Michelle:
It just sounds so formal and that’s I guess why I’m shut laughing about it because, oh just my outlook on networking and just having it be a piece of my life and the business
that I have and and that sort of thing I’m happy that that’s not the definition that is about it because it sounds a little stuffy I don’t know I think that there’s I think that we definitely overuse it in business like network network network it is such of a buzzword.

Paul:
So I’m curious you you started a networking group TCWEP Twin Cities Wedding and Event Professionals, you started that ten years ago, or you know whenever people are listening to this– you started in 2009. So you have a lot of experience in networking how would you
define it according to how you and your group does it?

Michelle:
When I think back to when we started this group, there was just a handful of us back in 2009, I mean the recession was going on and businesses were struggling and I mean when we started this networking group as Twin Cities wedding and event professionals, I mean we were looking for business, and we knew the strongest business is word-of-mouth referrals and so how do you get that? Well you gotta you gotta get to know people they have to
get to know you trust you build those relationships be able to refer you make recommendations to each other so that is at the core of what this group is all about is being able to have those word about referrals being able to refer each other how do you be able to do that is that you go to network and you get to know people and you build those
relationships you spend time with them and you get to learn about each other and what are their services that they provide and what type of clients do they are they looking for and how you can you know connect people with that and the more you give and and learn about other people’s businesses and how you can help them is really when you receive the benefit and that comes back to you.

Paul:
From your 10 years experience how do you be good at it like what’s that what’s some of the secret sauce that you would recommend for people?

Michelle:
oh that’s what I would I mean being approachable. Smiling and just being approachable in your body language be up and around be willing to mingle around and talk to people is a would be a real big tip that I would highly recommend is don’t go sit down right away actually mingle around as much as you can during that open networking time and just try
to you know jump in on some conversations but that are going on and meeting people and showing that genuine interest in them you will find that if you do that that is going to be versus coming in I’ve got you know 20 business cards and I’m going to make sure everybody I talk to gets one in their hand I would that approach I would I would just put that up Oh extra business cards have them available but wait just wait and learn about other people and then you can give them that information you know all those it presents but that expectation of I’m going to get my business out there and one or two
meetings or events that I go to it’s just going to take time to build relationships that if you go in with that expectation to try to just I’m going to meet one person I’m going to get to find out about what their services are I’m going to actually find out if they’ll do coffee or if I can visit their venue or something outside of here to kind of make that a goal and work toward that and just getting to know other people in the meet somebody new
get to know about their services so don’t take the business cards and shove them in people’s faces people don’t do that but I think it’s just knowing it yeah just going in there it’s like I’m going in there to to meet people and learn about their businesses and and maybe how I can help them that is a if you can just that mind mindset is very
powerful I can talk about some, Terry Uy Lennon and Amy coppersmith have they came together and they wanted to help a couple that military couple and they out of collaborating and they came up with a fairy godmother project where they gift one military one wedding to a military couple a year it’s a beautiful thing and yeah and then until resources are you and she’s a florist and you let him floral in events and Amy Coppersmith Coppersmith photography and those two gals yeah they’ve got a couple years under their belt with this project and that has been one of the wonder you know a huge wonderful thing that I’ve been able to see come out of this some relationships and them being able to
know other vendors and resources that they could pull on is that the testimony to networking and collaborating and creativity and a giving spirit you know to pull things like projects like that together it’s a wall thing for me to witness no absolutely it makes me happy

Paul:
Have you seen people come in with, because I know that I’ve had friends specifically that have come to the group to network for business and they didn’t see results in the first time so they never came back and I look at that and I shake my head a little bit and you must shake your head with that a lot I would assume?

Michelle:
Well it’s just… yes. Because it’s that expectation that’s never going to be met and because you’re not you’re not building any relationships in that short of a time frame. I mean you really networking and to do it well you’re in it for the long haul and that is just you just have to know that that’s got to be part of it it’s not an instant quick.

Paul:
When do you in general and in your experience, I know you say long haul, but is there a timeframe do you start seeing it?

Michelle:
I really see that cusp is like that 9 to 9 months to a year which I know it sounds like a
really long time but really our events are once a month so if you think about that is you know we’re talking 9 9 to 12 times of being at an event and getting to have people start to know recognize understand who you and know what your services are to know you and be able to recommend you and a lot of people quit right on the cusp of like you’re just starting to really get known in the group and people are you know so that would be my my piece too is just kind of stay in there a little bit longer because a lot of times people stop coming right on the time frame when they would actually start to see the fruit.

Paul:
And I can speak to that too just to echo it really quickly I mean I myself I am not specifically in the events industry but I you know through the work that I’ve been doing with you at sea Tcwep for the past year really once like like you said around the 9-month point I was noticing because when I’m at events you know I could easily move around the room and and do some of the things that I do but it’s getting harder because a lot of
people are stopping me and they know who I am and they want to talk business.

Michelle:
Right as a yep you’re known you know remember you and yep so now you’re in that beautiful place of where yep the where you recognize then you’re known and people want to you know interact with you and and that sort of thing

Paul:
So like we only have a couple of minutes left is there anything that you would really like people to munch on or think about before we let you go

Michelle:
yeah I mean the thing that I mean what I love about networking and which is just as you started this thing with you gave a definition of a man what I love about networking it it is connecting people it’s creating those win-win relationships that happen and then that creativity that comes that takes off and goes to a level that I just couldn’t do on my own so networking is if you aren’t doing business on your own or your job or that sort of thing networking allows you to meet people become and being hired and to grow will solve problems to when you can come to a safe place and people understand you know what your what your job demands are what your needs are and that sort of thing too or you just have things that you need to bounce off somebody else that you know in the same type of industry and that sort of thing so it’s really a good yeah support system as well and it can even grow I mean networking and what we become I feel this group is like a work
family and we know each other and we take care of each other and we have each other’s backs and I mean some of the relationships that I have formed and not just me I mean there’s story after story of people in our group I mean some of those people have met and they vacationed together I mean there’s just it can go on and on but what I love is that we yes and we work on certain projects and that sort of thing but I mean we’ve done a fundraiser one time that this group pulled together and did and one of our members her sister was has cancer and we decided that we were just going to help out and we we pulled
together the fundraiser and there were just some beautiful people that came in I mean Tammy with Muddy Paws Cheesecake and Hope Glen Farm sponsored the event, Paula and Michael you know a seal Applebaum I mean she spearheaded that thing I went to we went I’m able to do it without that girl she just came in I mean we had a live option Wow online
I’ve heard that she’s great yeah so I mean there was a pieces that came
together but it’s because we were we network and we collaborate together and people’s strength then can come forth and shine and I mean just things come together that you can’t do on your own so that was just one of those beautiful testimony to it you know and we’ve had I mean some something to that we have ways to support each other we’ve had a gal about tada serious health issue had some surgery and that sort of thing wasn’t able to
drive yet but she wanted to come to an event was hoping to get find a way to maybe have somebody you know rideshare with yeah because our group is well connected and we have these amazing resources a cauldron a with grenades limousines we were able to have you know a limousine come get that gal and bring her to the event but some of our people the people that are in this group they do there are some amazing hearts in this group that want to come alongside people and encourage one another and just let each other up and help each other succeed I mean that is really the core of what you will find this group to be which makes me really proud.

Paul:
Awesome it’s probably probably speaks to why you guys have been around for a while too. Well thank you so much Michelle looking forward to seeing you at the next event

Michelle:
Great thank you so much

Paul:
to learn more about Michelle log onto DelightPhotography.com or TCWEP.com

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