After starting their own home based business, Mia and her husband Andy decided to grow it with the sincere intention to help other people. Over time they built a successful network of distributors and customers. They now help home business owners to build meaningful relationships with their clients, customers and prospects.
What is the name of your business and what inspired you to start?
Our business is Authentic Networker . When I first started in business for myself six years ago, I didn’t understand how to listen to clients, how to prospect effectively, how to network, or how to feel like my business truly reflected me. The whole thing felt insincere and I made endless mistakes before starting to get it right. I decided to blog part-time about the idea of authenticity in business. When my husband left corporate a year ago, we decided to create work that we both love, and expanded Authentic Networkers into a multi-faceted business.
Tell us about your business
Authentic Networker helps business owners improve their strategies for relationship marketing and personal branding. We host local networking events & workshops, facilitate an online mastermind community, and offer digital resources and webinars.
For customers who are looking for relationship marketing systems, we distribute SendOutCards as our preferred client appreciation and follow up tool.
Where is your business located?
We work from our home in Rouge Hill, and work primarily with local businesses in Durham (though we have customers and community members across North America).
Who is your target audience? Why would they benefit from your service?
We work with entrepreneurs who believe in the relationship economy, and who want to actively build better relationships with their clients and prospects. We’ve connected hundreds of businesses through our local networking events. We teach businesses how to stand out in a saturated market, develop deeper connections with their audience, increase brand loyalty, improve follow up, and ultimately grow their referrals and their client base.
How do you effectively raise awareness of your business and getting new clients?
When we first began our business, we didn’t have any local business contacts, and we wanted to meet people whose philosophies went well with ours. So we built our own networking group from scratch with our ideal clients in mind. In eight months, it has grown to almost 650 members, and has introduced us to amazing business relationships that have turned into a steady stream of clients.
How do you stand out from your competitors?
We love getting to know people, and do our very best to walk the talk when it comes to relationship
marketing. We laugh a lot. We have a lot of fun at our events, and some incredibly real (and sometimes raw!) conversations about business. We try to ask the right questions, listen to people’s answers, and help them with strategies and tools they can use right away. And we endeavour to give as much value as we can before asking for anything in return.
Do you have certifications, awards and accomplishments that have been attained for your business?
Our business requires none! Andy and I both have an extensive career background in education, public relations, organizational storytelling, workshop delivery, public speaking, writing, design, and leadership. We deliberately created a business model that would fit our skill set.
What are the two toughest challenges that you face as a business owner and how have you over come them?
Our toughest challenge is that we began our business as a result of losing our primary income. So it’s
been absolutely terrifying about half of the time, and exhilarating the other half. It’s so hard to make the right business decisions when you don’t have a safety net! Considering this obstacle, I’m floored at the growth we’ve had this year and the way our vision has resonated with the community.
Our second toughest challenge? Balancing the business with our three young children and our elderly
parents. Our family needs us as much as our business does. Talk about testing your mental, emotional, and physical stamina! It’s forced us to get really clear on things like scheduling, job divisions, and giving each other the gift of sleep when we can.
What advice would you share to entrepreneurs?
Get really curious about your prospects and clients. Ask them questions and listen to their answers. And follow up those conversations like a human being instead of a spam bot!
What special offers do you have coming up that you would like to share?
We are always hosting networking events, webinars, and workshops. We’d love for you to join our Facebook and Meetup communities, and come out to a networking event if you’re in Durham!
Where can you be found on social media? List them below.
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