Becoming a Thought Leader with Jennifer Darling E17 – Transcript

Janet Fish 0:07
Hi, welcome to the Breakaway Entrepreneur podcast where we explore the entrepreneur mindset and the characteristics and traits that lead to success. I’m your host, Janet Fish. And in this episode we talk about becoming a thought leader with Jennifer darling. Jennifer leverages her 20 plus years of sales experience to help business owners become thought leaders using LinkedIn. Jennifer shows how she has used LinkedIn to grow her business and how she can help you to grow yours. She’s the author of increase your leads with LinkedIn 52 tips for sales success. I hope you enjoy our chat. All right, Jennifer darling, it is so fabulous to have you on the podcast this morning. How you doing?

Jennifer Darling 0:51
I’m doing fantastic and I have to tell you, I am just truly thankful that I’m here with you. I’ve had such a fun time with getting to know you recently.

Janet Fish 1:00
No, I’m so happy that it was it early and I forget who, um, who

Jennifer Darling 1:04
could have been earlene or and

Janet Fish 1:06
yeah, so it’s great. And I took your course and we’ll talk a little bit about that, because that was super fabulous. But let’s just start out with getting to know a little bit more about you. So tell us a little bit about you, Jennifer, darling, the most fabulous speaker and wonderful LinkedIn person in the world.

Jennifer Darling 1:24
Thank you so much. So I have my own business and I help people with sales and marketing. And what happened was I have actually come from the corporate world. So I have about 20 years of experience in advertising, sales and sales management. And I have worked for companies like Hearst and Comcast and selling TV advertising and digital advertising. I did that for quite a while and and I found myself kind of feeling a little bit bored at the end of it, and I was looking for something else to do that was more challenging and exciting and of course, advertising sales is challenging, exciting, but I done it for so long. So I I was just like it was funny. One day I was sitting at my computer and I got this email from one of my mentors named Jeffrey Gitomer, and he’s a world renowned speaker and this New York Times bestselling author of 12 books. And on the email, it said, Would you like to be a Jeffrey Gitomer certified advisor? And it was like, oh, oh, my gosh, that’s totally what I want to do. And so I signed up for that. And I went to become an advisor of him and it wasn’t much longer after that. I left my corporate job and started my own business. And that kind of just went like that was a crazy like, imagine the biggest and most twisty and upside down roller coaster. That’s what that was like the first couple of years just trying to find my own way of what is it that I’m going to help people with and who do I want to serve and how do I want to be in All that. So it took a little bit of time to iron that out. And now I finally feel like I’m very focused on what I want to do and who I want to serve. And I’m putting that out into the world.

Janet Fish 3:12
that’s so funny. I have a similar story. I was in corporate America for many, many years, and then decided I was bored out of my mind. I wasn’t challenged anymore. I was making a ton of money, but I just wasn’t challenged anymore. So I quit that job. And then I kind of had that same I quit my first soiree for a whatever the word is into being an entrepreneur was being a land developer in Mexico. So I like selling software at a software company to you know, land development in Mexico. So I understand that like squirrely early world, so how long ago was that for you? And kind of talk about that transition from like, what is what are the some of the first things you noticed that were very different from working for someone to working for yourself.

Jennifer Darling 4:02
Yeah, so that’s so such a great. Two questions there is that I would say so I’ve had business for it’s funny, because it’s like, how long have I had my business now. So I think it’s been like four years losing track. But I started out as I wanted to be the world, I want to be known as the world’s positive expert. That’s what I really want. I wanted to get so far away from advertising, sales and marketing and all that. And that was really great. But the challenge was people wanted to have a positive attitude, but nobody wanted to pay somebody to do. It all sounds great. And of course, I incorporate those things and what I do now, but the reality is that business was not working for me. And so I really had to get clear on what it was that I had had to offer. And so that took a little bit of time to do that. And the good thing is now I know like, I don’t want other people to have that sense. A crazy swirly roller coaster because now I think I know, like the two parts to not having that happen. And that’s just such a big awakening. And one of those things is focus. And the other one of those things is, knowing what your expertise that is that is, and being able to really work in that area. And then you can grow and do all kinds of things after you get that going. But getting that going, is really the most important part. So like going so far away from sales and marketing I needed like, I needed to have some time off. I really needed some more time off for like self care and reflection. And then I really needed to be using the tools that I had built up in a different way so that I could build my business say that probably that took a couple of years and and i think that that can be shortened for people but that that was a big learning lesson for me. And

Janet Fish 5:58
so now you’re speaking You’re obviously motivating. And you’re What can I say that you’re most focused on LinkedIn as that vehicle?

Jennifer Darling 6:10
Yeah, so I do professional paid speaking now. And I Well, I now there is no professional in person paid speaking right now, that’s all been off the table. But that’s what I was working towards was doing a lot more than I had my my business was booked pretty solid this year when we entered into the year. And LinkedIn is really something that I have put my arms around and really mastered it. And I’ve learned how to teach other people how to master it. So I would call that that’s what people know me for. And that’s my entry point into being different and teaching people something that a lot of people really struggle with. So I teach them how to use LinkedIn. And then we grow from there. So my own my outreach, my outbound marketing LinkedIn is speaking his referrals, networking, it’s those things that really all together, LinkedIn kind of helps me have a foundation with all those pieces so that I can build Top of Mind awareness with the people that I meet when I’m networking or referrals that have come in or speaking.

Janet Fish 7:20
So let’s I can if it’s okay, I want to dive a little bit deeper into into percent. Yeah, it’s

because I’ve struggled with it in the past of spending. As you know, we’ve talked I’ve spent a lot of money getting connections in LinkedIn, and I have a lot of 8600 connections or something like that. But it wasn’t until I met you, too, that I realized I need to do well I knew I needed to do something with it. But I didn’t really know how how did you pick the social media platforms out there or other forms of marketing? How did you pick LinkedIn as the one that you are going to really sink your teeth into and really make that the the cornerstone I will say the foundational component of your mind Getting two leads into your business.

Jennifer Darling 8:01
Yeah, it really is. And how I picked it was


fold. One was that most of my customers are fine are on LinkedIn, because they are either. They’re either corporations or I work with consultants and coaches and speakers and business professionals who work with people who are in corporations. And what I have found is LinkedIn is the most concentrated business social media platform. We’re like Facebook, I still use Facebook. But the thing about Facebook is, it’s like an everything. It’s like, throw everything into the kitchen sink. And that’s what Facebook is. It has a bit of everything. And so it’s not so concentrated on business. And really, if you look at Facebook, it’s not meant for business. And even the Facebook rules of your personal profile is that you shouldn’t be talking business. I mean, we all do we get, we get to find workarounds, but lean Not the culture at LinkedIn, you can’t, you shouldn’t be talking about business, and you should be giving value in business. So that was really one part of it was that I knew that my customers really were hanging out on LinkedIn. Or if they weren’t, they needed to be because their customers were active on LinkedIn, it’s very difficult to find a CEO, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Marketing Officer or CEO or any of those kinds of people on another platform besides LinkedIn. And if they are, it’s probably because their kids or somebody told them to get them, they’re not really there to look to have a business conversation. So that was a really big part of it. And I thought that LinkedIn offers some things that other platforms Don’t do like a publishing platform. They have a publisher built inside of LinkedIn and publish articles are searchable on Google, Yahoo and Bing. And so I knew that was a way to really give value to people through providing content and sharing a thought leadership For different for sales and marketing topics,

Janet Fish 10:03
and I love that I have learned more about how to utilize LinkedIn. And I don’t know how long have I known you a couple of months than I ever did before. And I’m sure I’m just scratching the surface of it. So let’s just step back a little bit. I know that LinkedIn is a part of what you do. But speaking is also a huge part of what you do. Talk about how you found your way in speaking how you overcame the fear unless you had it. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t have fear of speaking but talk a little bit about that journey.

Jennifer Darling 10:38
Oh, I totally had fear of speaking. In fact, when I got that email from Jeffrey Gitomer, and it said Did I want to be a certified advisor and I was so excited, so new, that meant I would have to speak to groups. And while I had been speaking to clients and giving presentations and speaking at sales meetings, it was very different than thinking of myself being up in front of a group of people. And having to speak to that group of people. So I’m hearing the pieces. I was like, I have to do something about this because if I really want this thing, then I need to not be scared to pieces. So I joined Toastmasters. And I remember giving my first Toastmasters speech and I had practice it in my backyard, giving it to my dogs for 10 hours on a five minute speech. 10 words, in my backyard out loud, my neighbor’s probably thought I was nuts. And I went and delivered the speech and I thought I was gonna throw up, I was shaking, my heart was going to pump out of my chest, you know, all that stuff. And I made it through that five minutes. And they gave me such wonderful feedback that I was like, Okay, I could do that again. And so really, it was like five minutes at a time, two minutes at a time, five minutes at a time every other week doing another speech and it became where Finally I knew being in the Toastmasters program that I had given 100 speeches because that was like the goal to get to this certain level. And so I’m like, okay, I’ve given 100 speeches. And then I just started giving speeches for a small fee. And it was like 50 bucks, or hundred bucks, or hundred and 50 bucks or whatever, anything, I could get a guest card, a gift card to arrestor like, whatever, right everything I could get. And then I had more speeches under my belt. And I tracked all of my speeches on the spreadsheet. So at the end of, I think this after I had graduated from Toastmasters, and then like at the end of my first or second year, I had delivered 65 in person, and 100 virtual speeches in one year. I was exhausted. I had done a lot of speeches, and then I also had joined the National Speakers Association, and they have a program called the speaker’s Academy. It’s really for building your business around speaking. So Toastmasters was for building your, your skills around speaking, and Speakers Association or speakers catalyst for the business piece. So I had a nine month training program with professional speakers. And I really got into that, and that helps with the business side of it. And, you know, it took so it took a couple of years, and I was really hyper focused on it. So probably was at a much faster speed than many of the people who are, are paid speakers. Right? Yeah.

Janet Fish 13:35
Okay, so in that you’re now used to work for a company. Now you’re building your own business. It’s you. I’m assuming at that point, it’s just you. Yeah, you’re an entrepreneur and you’re building your business talk a little bit about that journey. And the the challenges I was gonna say struggles but challenges is a much better word. Not everybody, wearables, but challenges we all have them. So talk about kind of that that journey. And if there were people or things that supported you in that, I’d love to hear about that too.

Jennifer Darling 14:09
Yeah, well, what’s interesting is I came out of the gate swinging. And I actually had quite a few clients right from the get go. And so, but I had some like an advertising, helping support them in advertising. So I was feeling really good coming out of the gate. But the challenge with that was that didn’t last but didn’t last long. Like I was fresh of energy, and I was doing great. And then about nine months into it that big the big client that I had left my corporate job with, which is a big part of my income, that ended that relationship ended. And so then I was like, Oh my god, what am I gonna do? And I got approached to go and work for another Corporation. And so I did, and I that was just it wasn’t gonna work anymore. I knew at that point, that Quit, that job was not going to happen for me anymore. And so that was six months. And then I left that job. And then I was like, Oh, crap, I have to make this happen. So I really got into it and thought, What can I do to make this happen? And I hired some I did hire some business coaches, and they were phenomenal. They have great programs. And I think that it may have been a little bit early for me to hire business coaches, I was hiring them. Probably I should have hired somebody that was working with newbies than somebody who is working with more advanced people. So that was kind of maybe a little bit of a learning but they they had a great they were great people and great support. I would say looking back if there was one thing that I might change that would have supported me is that I would have found a virtual assistant right off the bat and somebody who wanted to grow with me and my business that would have been made a big difference because I’ve seen spent a lot of money. I’ve invested a lot of money in coaching. And that’s been super duper helpful. And had I hit a parallel with the other side, which is the support team. That would have been that would have. I mean, I’m doing really well. So it’s not I don’t want to say like, oh, that would have, you know, made a huge change. But it’s one that I could see for people is hiring a virtual assistant, who is somebody who wants to grow with your business, somebody who doesn’t want to be you or do your business. So for me, it’s somebody who doesn’t want to be a LinkedIn Master, right? But who wants to support others is really important, because then that frees me up to have the time to be able to develop more and more and more creations. And then they’re there to support me in trying to figure out which box do we check in event right when we launch a nother campaign and we want to get people’s addresses because we need to ship them the book that they’re purchasing. Right? Like I could spend hours doing that that’s not really a good use of my time. Right,

Janet Fish 17:00
right. And I think people wait too long to do that. Because in their mind, they think I’m not making enough money to do that.

Jennifer Darling 17:09
Yeah, yeah. So to two pieces, integral pieces happen, because I don’t want to downplay the coach either. So what I see is like I miss business person, and I need a coach to help look at my business from their lens and see the potential and guide me towards that vision and potential. So the coach is super important. It’s just picking the right kind of coach for you. And then the other side of it is the support team to help you so you’re not spending your time on that stuff. You know, you can get a great virtual assistant for assistant for 20 or $30 an hour. And at first people might go oh my gosh, it’s so much. But if you can charge $150 an hour for what you’re doing, then then you weigh that and you see that that really investment is really important to help you get to the hundred percent So both sides, those two people are very important.

Janet Fish 18:04
Yeah, I tell my clients go out. And so I have this exercise that I give them. And I say, write down on a piece of paper, all the things that you do during your day of your course, your day, your week, your month. And that’s both personal things and business things. And then make two columns and at the top, say, things I like to do, and things I’m good at, and all the things you like to do and all the things you’re good at your check. And the things that don’t have any checkmarks are the things that you hire first. And typically, those are those things that easily you can find a virtual assistant to hire. And then I’ll say and I usually use the example of $50 an hour, which is a very conservative number, because you can easily find people much less than that. But I say if you hire somebody for four hours a week, that’s $200 and you spend those four hours finding speaking engagements, marketing your business, getting on LinkedIn, and engaging Putting together good content, if you can’t make $200, spending four hours a week really, really focused on that. You’re probably not in the right business. Right. So I think that is such great advice. So I’m what I’m hearing is tenacity, persistence, which is very common, but just the stick really stick with it. And it it’s clear to me that you had a plan. And I’m absolutely sure that whatever plan you started out with wasn’t the plan that you follow through now. It works like that. way other than coaches, were there other places that you went for support? How did you learn LinkedIn? I mean, you’re an expert. Did you just figure it out? Did you

Jennifer Darling 19:50
talk I did just for I did just figure it out. I had to say with LinkedIn, I did just figure it out and true and not true. So with LinkedIn, In, there’s a technical piece of LinkedIn. And then there’s the branding and positioning piece of LinkedIn. I didn’t just figure that out, I had 20 years of advertising experience. And that is what truly makes the work I’m doing and LinkedIn so different than what other people teach. Because I didn’t just figure that out. I had 20 years of experience that I’m applying towards teaching people how to use LinkedIn, to promote and market business and to grow their network and built up my awareness. The technical side of LinkedIn, I did just figure out, I did I, I never attended a LinkedIn course. But in my speaker’s Academy, that I talked about earlier, we had a speaker come in, who leave us a class on a half day class on LinkedIn. And what I learned was that I was already really far ahead of everybody else on LinkedIn just based on what I was doing. But he taught me the technical pieces of how to measure what I was doing and then that was that took it to another level. And so it happened with experience. This is the thing like, What you said was, you know, I know you had a plan. Well, my plan was never to teach people how to do LinkedIn. My plan was never to be a master at LinkedIn. That was not my plan that showed up on my door. As a matter of, I mean, it truly was kind of like a gift was like, Here you go, and I’m couldn’t ask for a better gift. The problem was, I was fighting against it for a year. I was like, This isn’t what I do. I do bigger things and bla bla bla and I was going against the grain going against the grain. And then this woman named Laura gives Brad a summit in Orange County, I flew down for it and out of a whole weekend. The one thing that stuck with me like, just hit me in the head was if you’re working so hard on going against the grain, you’re not in the right spot and if there are things that are coming to you that are fitting with the grain An easy for you, which for me was LinkedIn, then you need to focus on that. And so that was a big that was a huge awakening for me was like, well, we’re, I’m fighting so hard to like make these other things happen when this thing has happened so naturally so I would give that advice for other people’s like, look at look at what’s happening easily for you and see how how can you move toward toward that?

Janet Fish 22:26
And that’s such a fabulous message. I experienced that a little bit myself. I i’m not i haven’t always been a coach. Well, let me say, I have always been a coach since 2015 when I 2005 when I started my business, but it wasn’t the main thing that I did. I did it kind of on the side because I was working with another organization and and I was a real estate person I did fix and flip real estate I did international land development, and I did a bunch of things, but that wasn’t my main focus. And just like you said, it came very easy. easily to me and I got a lot of pleasure from it. But I can’t tell you how many times I almost quit. And every time I did quit and every time I quit, I get all these clients. Yeah, I had a mentor, a very, very dear friend of mine who unfortunately passed away. But he coached me when I first started coaching. He taught me how to coach. He said, Janet, the day that you embrace it, that’s your gift is the day that you’ll realize that’s what you’re put on this earth to be right and wow, and that’s me, okay. It’s to help people in my vehicle is through coaching yours is through LinkedIn and the other things that you do, but I just love that because I think people do. They fight to, to follow a path that they think they should, when, what they what their real path is right in front of them, which takes me to talk a little bit about Opening up to the universe and letting the universe bring it. I don’t want to get super woowoo although I am pretty woowoo but opening up to the universe, and also the kind of the role of of intuition or just listening to others and the silence and the universe or whatever it is for you talk about I mean, obviously that had a had an impact on you talk a little bit more about that.

Jennifer Darling 24:26
Yeah, it certainly did. And, and I think when I talk about fighting against the grain, it’s it’s as if you are the hits are coming at you and you’re just ignoring them.

Janet Fish 24:41
Until they cross the head with the two bucks sickly.

Jennifer Darling 24:44
Exactly. I used to go

Janet Fish 24:46
to a big check to do something like I don’t really want to do that. Okay, maybe I will.

Jennifer Darling 24:50
Yeah, exactly. I say, if you’ve been, you know, Gasman throwing pebbles at you. Pebbles, pebbles, pebbles and you just ignoring them. somebody throws a giant boulder next You up here.

And then you are going to listen. So it’s kind of like that, um,

you know, it’s so interesting. So

I have to say, when I got really focused, and I mean really focused. I don’t mean just thinking about it, but what else can I do to hyper focus on this one thing? Things started to really take shape. Now I also have to look for, what is it that I need? What are skills that I need to help me with? So for example, I was great at consulting and advising people to give me your problem, I will help you unpack it and I will tell you what to do and send you on your merry way. That was how I was doing everything how I rolled, but when somebody came to me and I knew they had like, a mindset block or an issue or a fear something that could couldn’t get past, I was very uncomfortable with that. I’m like, What in the world am I going to do with this? Who can I refer them to? And I called it emotions. I’m like, they have these big emotions. And it wasn’t emotions, I had the wrong term for it. The reality is they were, they were stuck in a place and they needed something past that stuck. And I didn’t have the skills or the tools or the knowledge of how to do that. So I had to look for All right, well, where can I find this? And I’m sharing this with my friend and she and I are walking are sharing this with her and she says, I might want to think about coaching. And I said, Well, I don’t know about that. You know, I’m really good at telling people what to do. But I really good at like guiding them to figure out their own answers. And I also learned at that time, there’s a very big difference between consulting and advising and coaching they like should have definitions in the dictionary of what these things are, because they’re very, very deep. Sometimes we use the word synonymous. But there’s different approaches. So what happened was I got trained for coaching and like, a really intense coaching program that’s ICF, certified international coach Federation side and spent hundreds of hours. And my business has has really changed, too, because I am able to see when somebody needs my advice and consulting, and when somebody needs coaching and really needs to get through that stuck part. So that’s been a really big, that’s been a really big thing for me and honestly been like in the last seven months. So when you ask about like how the universe opens up and kind of guide you towards the right direction, had I not move to that that temporary house that my husband and I were in, I wouldn’t have seen my friend Tina, we wouldn’t have been walking Yorkies we wouldn’t have been having a conversation about joining the ACE Coaching Academy and I wouldn’t have done that and that wouldn’t have allowed me to be fulfilling this area in my business that I really needed to figure out so that I could do a better job according to my clients. And when you open your eyes, those signs are everywhere. They’re everywhere like right now. So LinkedIn is like my thing. And but my real thing, the thing behind the thing is helping people to become get move into a roles of changemakers and thought leaders. That’s my real thing. Like, that’s what makes my heart sing. I’ll teach you all day about LinkedIn. I love it. It’s so much fun. And where I want to take you on a journey to help you make a big wave in the world with whatever that message is that you have. And that’s really to be a thought leader.

Janet Fish 28:53
So LinkedIn is your way of feeding your funnel to find the right people.

Jennifer Darling 28:59
Yeah, use We could say, you certainly could say that Yeah. Now link was my thing like LinkedIn, I was charging for my course linked to, you know, that was my thing. That was my paid program that I had for people. But I changed that up and a big, drastic way recently.

Janet Fish 29:17
Good for you. So I, it sounds from listening to you that it’s always been happy, happy Joy, joy. I set my mind to it. I figure out what I want to do I bob and weave with the punches because things come chances are, it hasn’t always been that and there have been some times of challenge. So you don’t have to go deep into what those were. But I always like to explore how successful people face challenges and then work through challenges because the last thing I want anyone who listens to this podcast at all is to think that being a successful entrepreneurs easy, and it just comes to you and your if you’re struggling, that’s your problem because we successful entrepreneurs don’t have that that’s not the truth at all. So I like to always spend some time talking about how successful people work through the challenges that they have encountered through time.

Jennifer Darling 30:27
I think that’s a great question. When you were asking me I was getting chills as you’re asking me the question. Yeah, really. So I told you that I went back to work at a corporate job for six months, and then it wasn’t working out. So we both agreed that I had to leave and so that was in December of 2018. Now that was only that was not very long ago. Right. So in May of 2019, five months later, my husband pulled in the driveway and informed me that he had been laid off from his job. So now not only did I quit my job and I had no income from that, I mean, I had a little bit of incompetence certainly wasn’t enough. He came in right after me five months later, and he had lost his job. And it was a time where nobody was hiring for that position that he was in. There were no temps for him. And we really struggled. And we struggled for a long time and we honestly lost our house. We had been in our house for 17 years. Thank God, we actually we sold the house we didn’t like have to foreclose on it. But even that was a struggle finding a buyer for our house because we had this property that was completely in an in a neighborhood that was very different than the property so it was very difficult to find the right buyer. We did but it took us months. I mean, we were like hanging on by a thread there at the end. And then what happened is so we sold the house, we moved out into a temporary house which was a rental house in a really old neighborhood and a lots of old people but it was backed up behind like the busiest street in Sacramento and there were like a lot of drug dealers and a lot of things going down. The neighborhood was quiet but it was really close to this other thing going on. And we had people stealing our my mom had made. We were contributing to a nonprofit organization for young women and my mom had hand crocheted 27 scarves. And then she had a handmade two quilts for my husband and I based off a T shirts that we sent her from all this we have traveled to somebody stole that off of our lawn. right before Christmas of our cars were broken into. My husband had a truck and a boat that was stolen the boat was torch like it was going down. I mean it was going down. It was bad. I spent a month in bed in January of 2019. A year ago. I spent a month in Bad just, I just, I just got done, I gave up. I’m like on, check me out of here, I’m done. I wasn’t gonna do anything to myself because I don’t, I couldn’t. I just didn’t believe that. But I was like, I’m done. If I get in a car accident tomorrow, and I go, I’m cool. I’m out of here. And I had made a commitment to a group of friends who were in Canada. And I’d made a commitment that I would come up and do a mess with them. They were six very powerful speakers and I really was felt very privileged to have the invitation to go hang out with them, and so I couldn’t let them down. So I went up to Canada and I spent four days with them in a mastermind and I left feeling very inspired by them. And I went back and then we had some other stuff go down. And meanwhile, like my brother, who’s 42 had a heart attack so I had to fly home emergency flight for that, like all this stuff was happening off my house, all these things and and I can’t Back from Canada and I was just re energized. And then I had and then the conversation happened about getting the coach training and all that stuff. So things started to look up. And then my husband got a job. And he was living two hours away from me. So for the whole week, so I was taking care of my dogs, which I have a lot of dogs. And it was just it was a lot of pressure. I mean, it was like it was so easy just to give always I was on. I was on LinkedIn, teaching people LinkedIn, and the other half the time I was on LinkedIn looking for a job. Because it would have been way, way, way easier to go get a job than to do what I was doing, like 1000 times. And so I was always looking for I was interviewing for jobs, right? But I would go interview I’d give out like give my best interview and I walk away and go.

I don’t want to do that. Right. It’s there if I want to say left me but I don’t want to do that. So I just kept going and going and going and finally, my husband got got a job where we never in a million years would have thought we would move on And I had one requirement and that is all my entire life. I wanted to have a swimming pool. So I required that. Whatever we bought, I needed a swimming pool. I didn’t care about the size of the house or whatever. So he I went through hundreds of pictures of houses in this new place were moving. And I found this one, I found several houses you looked at, but then I found the house that we’re in right now. It’s half the size of the house that I sold, and I’m so thankful for it. I have a beautiful swimming pool, my husband’s back at work, I have own office space, and things are calm. In my world, things are calm. And so now I’m going from I really had a lot of scarcity in my life for years. For my whole life actually just a follow up because I could back up and give you more challenging stories. Starting out, right. This is the first time where I have just felt like

at ease graceful

Just like I’m on top of the world, and it’s crazy, because we have this crazy stuff going on in our world right now. And yet I’m feeling really good and give a lot of give a lot of way to help other people feel good and support them too. Yeah, so this My life is not without challenges and begs so many challenges, like close friends say to me, I don’t know how you ever, I don’t know even how you got to this part.

Janet Fish 36:26
So okay, so what a great story. One that I would have never guessed knowing you. I’ve only known you for a few months. So I’ve known you haven’t known you before that. And attest, very strong testimony to what we talked about as entrepreneurs. It’s the it’s the persistence. It’s not like we don’t want to stay in bed sometimes like the whole Coronavirus thing where I don’t know two and a half months into it. I was great. I was running hard running hard running hard. Trying to figure out how I was going to keep my business going for about two months, and then I’ve hit the wall. And since then, it’s been much kinder and gentler to myself, I don’t run as hard. But it’s something about the and we haven’t always been entrepreneurs. I was a corporate person in 205, right. But there’s something about our traits that, that have us. Okay, that sucked. Now, let’s just get up again, and let’s do what we need to do. And the word that comes to me and has come to me since the first time I saw you, which was actually on Jake Ballantine’s, he did a thing you were on and I already knew about you, but I saw that I’m like, I gotta, I’ve gotta listen to it is powerful. That is the word that when I look at you and I hear you, the word that comes to my mind is powerful. And and that’s, that’s how I see you. So

Jennifer Darling 37:53

Janet Fish 37:54
know. I’ve connected with you from the moment that we first talked on the phone And then I took your class. And so I want to talk a little bit about about that. Because for me so my LinkedIn story is I paid a lot of people a lot of money, thousands of dollars over the course of years. To help me get direct connections, that’s really all they got. It was supposed to get me business, it never really got me business. Then I hired recently, I would say probably two years ago, somebody else an expert, I gave spend $1,000 with him and never really got anywhere. What I love about so I took the course that you’re going to talk about, and I already had 8600 connections, so I don’t spend a whole lot of time getting connections. But what I do is, and I the book, it’s over there, I was going to have it right here so I could pick it up because I’m sure the 50 to two secrets tip But you eat you weave those through. Now I spend pretty much every day, 1530 minutes on LinkedIn doing the things that you’ve kind of taught me to do to make connections. The thing that I see different about LinkedIn and you tell me whether this is true or not, like I go when I post on Facebook and my group, well, I know that a very small percentage of anybody who’s in my group or likes my page, or I’m connected to ever sees that. In LinkedIn, I feel as if it’s all business owners. And more people see what I have I get more bang for my buck. So anyway, talk a little bit about that. Talk a little bit about how you help people, because especially now we can’t leave our house. We can’t go to networking events. So now more than ever, like, let’s get online and let’s let’s use the power of LinkedIn to grow our businesses. Yeah.

Jennifer Darling 39:56
Yeah. So I think that people First, most people get confused and overwhelmed when they get a LinkedIn by what do I do? I’m in LinkedIn, I create a profile. Now what do I do? And so they’re confused and overwhelmed. So they get out, and they don’t do anything. So one is about looking at LinkedIn for what it is. And it is a place to build relationships. It’s a place that work with people and build relationships. It is growing your network and important thing. Sure it is important. But for me, I’d rather have a network of 1000 people who we have real valuable, relatable, interactive conversations or content than having 30,000 people who were not engaged. It’s just like a name. So I think one of the things is, what do we what do we do on LinkedIn and it’s, it’s a mix. It’s a mix of growing your network. It’s a mix of giving value. It’s a mix of communicating with others. People that’s really a big part of LinkedIn is communicating with other people and building relationships building Top of Mind awareness. A lot of people have profiles that look like resumes, or they talk all about them. And it’s like having the, it’s, there’s no place like LinkedIn, there’s just no place on earth like LinkedIn, where you can have a business profile. It’s like the Google for business professionals where people are gonna go and check you out, and see if you’re legit. And see if you’re positioned to be the person that they’re looking for. It’s like a diet, Yellow Pages online. Individuals are professionals. This is such a beautiful thing. So positioning is really important. And even more important is engaging people and building relationships and that just thinking about yourself, like what am I going to get? And I’m not saying you’re doing this today that because I know you’re not I know you. It’s not about that though. But people think oh, I’m just gonna go there and promote, promote, promote, promote and Get clients get clients. And the same really what it’s about my book is called increase your leads with LinkedIn. And what we do is we talk about increasing your leads in our authentic way, building relationships that build long term clients. And generally our higher dollar clients, if you just want to go and like have transactional deals, transactional deals are typically lower dollar and short term and less, less relationship oriented. So what you do on LinkedIn really can make a difference in your business. And to me it’s also like hub for everything else that you’re doing. And it’s two parts. So one is you can grow your network with LinkedIn at the beginning. So like LinkedIn speaking referrals and networking, you can you can grow your visibility using those tools. But then you take those other three and then how are you going to keep and get those people you might send them up to be on your email list, they might opt in. For that, and that’s great. That’s perfect, awesome. But we know not everybody opens your email. So then what’s the second way that you could layer on that to be building relationship, and that’s LinkedIn. So not only is like an entry place to grow your network, but it’s also a hub to keep your network engaged with you, after you have connected and to build Top of Mind awareness. So when they’re ready, then they’re thinking about you or they refer you to somebody. They share your information. I mean, it’s just such a, it’s just such a different tool, but you really know how to really need to know how to use it.

Janet Fish 43:34
So one of the things that I kind of knew, but I have a much better understanding of now that I’ve gone through your course, is documents and articles and ways that you can it’s a publishing platform, which I’ve never thought of it that way before I I had a blog for a long time, and I would post some articles, my blog posts up on LinkedIn, but I never really thought about Have it as a publishing platform where people can go and read my articles, or read my documents. And so it’s To me, that’s awesome. Because people who want to find out more about me or find out more about you can go and look, and then they can find all these things that you have done in one place. And I don’t know any other platform other than a website. Yeah, that that provides that.

Jennifer Darling 44:25
Yeah, yeah. I mean, your website has that and I love everybody needs a website. Everybody has a website. And if you do a website, right, it is going to really help you. But if you don’t know what to do about a website, you’re probably like most people, and it’s really a reactive tool. So people go there when they know about the website, but LinkedIn, they’re going to be served your profile, even when they’ve never heard about you. And so then people can check you out by going in looking at you know, what are the articles that you’ve written, and documents as I like, you could post your ebooks And a place that people can go see a list of all the rich richness that you have shared. And the other place too is with testimonials. They call them recommendations and LinkedIn. But I, you cannot post somebody else’s testimonial and your recommendations, they actually have to go do that. So we know that you’re legit if other people are commenting and putting recommendations saying what it’s like to work with you. And I think that’s another piece of social credibility in a world where we’re not right now. Out meeting people in print to be able to, to be able to get credibility from that avenue, is that we have to where are we looking? We’re looking online and most people, professionals, business professionals are going to LinkedIn to look for you and and see how it is that you’re making a contribution and whatever industry you’re in.

Janet Fish 45:55
Yeah, and I find for me interesting if I google, my name, The first thing that comes up is my LinkedIn profile. Yes, my

website, not anything, Facebook, but my LinkedIn profile is the first thing that comes up a few, you know, yep. But in my in its for

Jennifer Darling 46:12
most, it’s for most people. It’s for most people because Google and LinkedIn work very well there. And LinkedIn is optimized on Google. And so are the articles you publish, which is just amazing thing. I had an article go viral had 6000 views. And it was seen all over the world. Yeah, by people who are not I didn’t even have 6000 connections.

Janet Fish 46:33
Yeah, that’s powerful. All right. Well, I know that you’ve got a few minutes because I know you have a hard stop. Talk about how people can learn more about the course. And we will. I’ll put the links in the show notes. Yeah. But talk a little bit about the course that’s coming up. Why they would Well, I can tell you right now you absolutely want to take this course. She talks about Give, give give. And I’ll tell you, thank God for the replays because it is a firehose And I and I know a little bit about LinkedIn. I went into it knowing of it is a firehose, but oh my god, the wealth of information that you give. So talk a little bit about that.

Jennifer Darling 47:09
Yeah, yeah. So what happened was I had built this course. And I had conducted the course many, many times. And then COVID came around, and I spent a couple days in bed. I mean, let’s get real, like maybe a week in bed depressed about this whole thing, because all my speaking engagements gotten canceled. And I really was thinking, How can I just give back and be put meaning into my life right now with all this stuff going on? Like, what can I do? And I thought, you know what, this is totally crazy. It’s nuts. But I’m going to give away my free course. I mean, I’m going to give my magnet course my deep dive LinkedIn. I’m going to give away all my stuff to LinkedIn. And I’m just going to put it out there and I’m going to help people and that’s what I’m going to do. So that’s what I did. My business coach thought I was nuts. My Anybody, everybody else thought it was nuts. And I thought, you know, what cares? Give me a reason to wake up in the morning. And so I put out my mastering LinkedIn deep dive course. And I did it as an accelerated course. And I had tried different links before. So I did it as a four week accelerated course, where we meet twice a week. Day one is training. And day, the second day of the week is q&a. Because I have so much content that I don’t slow down on the training, I’d give it all to you. And then in the q&a, we slow down a little bit and I take question answers. So what I what I’ve done is that I’m teaching people, how to master LinkedIn, how to use it, to grow your connections, how to use it to grow your business, how to position your business, I mean, you would be shocked at how many people after they take my course realized that they were not positioning themselves properly or that they’re even confused about who it is that they’re positioning themselves to the first place or what their messages are So I decided after I did that first course had so much fun that I did it again. And I’m in halfway through the next course right now I did again for free. And then I just decided I’m gonna do it again for free the next month and I’m just gonna decide one month at a time, whether I’m doing it for free. You know, I just I’m going day by day right now, I can’t really plan much into the future. So I’m going to keep doing it for free. As long as it’s the it’s the right thing to do. And I’m not booked in out on you know, this back on circuit and speaking engagements. And I don’t know this actually may even change my whole business model to I may want to do less speaking engagements and stay at home and from my computer and give give, give more. And so you learn soup to nuts, how to build your profile, how to write it, how to present yourself, the technical pieces of LinkedIn, you learn how to create a blog, how to write a blog, all the different ways that you can create content share content, how you can connect with people and get people’s attention, how you can grow your network and build relationships. You learn everything that I know about LinkedIn that so many people don’t know, to help you with your business and it’s free.

Janet Fish 50:16
Yeah, it’s amazing. It’s not just a course. It’s you, right? I mean, I have an online course you can go buy my online course I can give you that online course for free if I decide to do that, but that’s an automated thing. Your course is you. Right? It’s live.

Jennifer Darling 50:32
Yeah, it forces me it’s like

Janet Fish 50:34
and then you and then you have a group that you that people answer questions in and then you do the q&a once a week. I mean, it’s a labor intensive, you and your brilliance.

Jennifer Darling 50:46
I had to hire two virtual assistants to help me manage it or not manage the group but manage the whole program right. So I have I hired to purchase a first I did it all on my own. And it’s all I was doing like this. It was always in the second month, I decided I need some help. So I hired a team to help me give away this free course.

Like this sounds crazy, right?

Janet Fish 51:11
And and yet you I mean, I’ve signed up for the ongoing membership. And there’s a couple of different I mean,

Jennifer Darling 51:19
yeah, and I do make offers throughout the course. So I offered a professionally designed people’s banner and help them create their positioning statement and yours is all yours is one of my favorite. One of my top five favorites. I love yours.

Janet Fish 51:33
I did a fabulous job on that. And yeah,

Jennifer Darling 51:36
it’s gorgeous. Yeah, so I make offer so throughout the course course and I had my best month ever giving, giving something for free.

Janet Fish 51:44
Yeah. And I think that it’s interesting what I’m finding with a number of clients, who are now having to readjust the way they provide or market they’re changing aspects of their business that will forever change. for the better, right? You’re not out on speaking engagements. You had one of the best months you’ve had, like, what does that tell you? What do you keep? You know, so I’m seeing that in a lot of my clients and I’m trying to figure that out for honestly for myself is how I, how I reposition and change my business, because we’re going to forever be changed. And if we don’t find silver linings and all of this shame on us.

Jennifer Darling 52:26
Well, and one of the things I had a lot of shame around speaking of shame, is that I was in an organization that really promotes paid professional speaking, and that was where I was going and, and any, any any invitation to free speaking, I was like, nope, nope, nope, not doing that anymore. I wasted a lot of time and money doing that. And that’s because I didn’t have anything to offer people afterward. I wasn’t clear on that. So that’s changed. I have shame. Like if I did something for free, then what value is that to people and now I might forget Give us, you know, I just want to give, give, give, give, give, and I’m going to attract the right people sure are a lot of people going to take what I give them and go implement on the stuff. Yes, great, go right for it. If you can do that, do it. And if you want some more super, then I would love to be the person to help you get to the next place, or create your own program. I’m working with a client right now we’re creating her program. It’s so much fun. Actually, I’m working with three people, we’re creating their programs. And it’s all around the model of give a lot of values so that we can get big voices in the world.

Janet Fish 53:35
And I said that to me, is all I’m doing right now. I’m just giving, giving, giving. I’m working with a ton of clients that are just trying to figure out how they survive today, and how they pivot to thrive later. And I’m doing a lot of it almost all of it just because what else are you going to do right now?

Jennifer Darling 53:58
Right? One of my future things is to be like You I would like to have a podcast. So I want to be like you, Janet.

Janet Fish 54:04
Well, I want to be like you, because you are like super strong and super awesome. And maybe I’ll have some teeny, weeny little inkling of as much success with my LinkedIn stuff that you have. So, all right, I know you’ve got a run. I love you dearly. I could spend another hour talking to you. So I’m going to reserve the right to have it back on. Awesome. And then when you start your podcast, should you do it? I certainly want to be a guest on it.

Jennifer Darling 54:29
I would love that.

Janet Fish 54:31
All right, they don’t rate that I want to the membership thing, so

follow up with that.

Jennifer Darling 54:36
Okay, I will. Alright, thanks. Have a great day. You too. Bye.

Janet Fish 54:42
Thank you for listening to the breakaway entrepreneur with Janet Fish. If you liked our show and want more check us out at www dot breakaway if you have any questions please please email me at coach at breakaway business coaching calm. I’ll answer your questions and and up Coming podcast, subscribe to make sure you get our next episode as soon as it’s available. Have a great day.

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