Learning From Your Online Community, with Shannon Giordano

Sept 10, 2021

The Mass Business Podcast

Season 1, Episode 10 – Learning From Your Online Community, with Shannon Giordano

In today’s episode, we have Shannon Giordano talking to us about business coaching, being involved in Facebook groups of like-minded people, and the challenge of finding the right systems and processes to put in place to grow your business. Shannon is a social media marketing consultant who believes in using social media for good. Shannon tells us about discovering her gifts and as usual, we also talk about building authentic relationships and continuing to find ways to educate ourselves. Are you ready? Let’s go!!

Resources mentioned in this episode – 

TagOmatic      17Hats     The Lazy Genius Way – Kendra Adachi

Contact Shannon – 

SerendipitySocialMedia.com     Instagram    Shannon@Serendipitysocialmedia.com

If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on our show please visit us on Facebook or at our Website –

MassBusinessPodcast.com     Visit Us On Facebook    Subscribe On YouTube

MORE Word Of Mouth Referrals: Lifelong Customers & Raving Fans

MattWardSpeaks.com

Shannon Giordano-audio
Tue, 8/10 10:07PM • 37:13

Matt Ward 00:00
Hey, welcome back to Episode 10 of the mass business podcast. I’m your host, Matt Ward. And today we have a special guest for you. Shannon Giordano, from Serendipity Social Media. Shannon would tell you she’s not a digital native. But she loves social media when it’s used for good, to connect us, to share authentically, and to build relationships. What she gets out of bed four in the morning other than her three year old chinook, Gracie, and the need to get her teenage boys after school is helping midlife women, business owners, and entrepreneurs put a plan in place to build social media community that they dream up. Today we’re going to talk about the growth of Shannon’s business, the growth of all businesses as it relates to social media, and more specifically, building those relationships and educating yourself. Are you ready? Let’s go. Welcome to the mass business podcast where small business owners, also known as risk takers share their stories about the growth of their business and themselves. Our interviews, and our content is focused on growing a small business and understanding networking and referrals. I say it all the time. And I’ll say it again today. You never know where your next referral will come from. Hey, welcome back to the Small Business podcast. Great to have you on the show. Shannon, thanks for joining me.

Shannon Giordano 01:44
Thanks. Nice to be here.

Matt Ward 01:45
Yeah, so we’re gonna dig right in. I mean, you Why don’t you just in a quick nutshell, share with the listening and viewing audience here on YouTube or on all our great podcast platforms. What it is you do?

Shannon Giordano 01:59
I spend my time helping business owners figure out a social media strategy and content creation plan that really works for them to build a community online.

Matt Ward 02:08
Awesome. And one of the things I love about what was in your intro was this idea that it’s about authentic relationship building, right. And I think so much. So often in small business, we get this idea that we have to be somebody we’re not that, that we have to be the person that other people think we should be. Talk about that authenticity and how you bring that to the table with your clients.

Shannon Giordano 02:36
Yeah, I mean, I think that that’s what I mean, when I say using social media for good, right? There are a lot of uses for social media that are not so good. And the glossy photos of perfect people living a perfect life, I feel like especially during the last year, with all the challenges we’ve had in our country, I feel like people are showing up much more authentically showing a behind the scenes look, showing what it really feels like to put yourself out there, including me, I mean, I talk to people all the time about how they need to put themselves out there. And I realized I wasn’t putting myself out there so well. So you know, we all do it. It’s hard, it’s hard to be visible, it’s hard to share. But you know, it’s important to share the right things.

Matt Ward 03:12
It’s It’s It’s so interesting, the cobblers kids shoes approach to business because when I had my website agency for 16 years, we were the last people to do our own website. Like we would do it but not nearly as much as we recommended others to because it was just getting in the way of things. And when you, the authenticity piece is interesting, because when I became a professional speaker, one of the things that I found was that I had what I refer to as speaker’s voice. So I’d get on the stage. And that’d be like, Hey, everybody, I do all like the radio DJ thing. And all it was just not me. And I’ll never forget I was in a training program. And I’ve had a number of speaking coaches, and I was on the stage doing a small bit like a three minute section of a speech. And I looked at him and I said, You know, I just I don’t know, I just want to say dude, like, part of what I was saying is I just want to say, dude, and he goes open say it. And I’m like, but that’s not. That’s not Mr. Matt in the suit, you know? And it was one of those moments that I realized, you know what, I’m you. You gotta just be yourself and sometimes in business is really very, very hard to do that one of my coaches, Tamsen Webster was so great. She wrote in her new book, The red thread that you gotta be, you got to know who you’re for and who’s for you. And I tell my clients all the time, you don’t need from, you know, from a client base, typically, service based business professionals need less than 50 clients, they don’t need 1000s of clients. And so if we’re authentic, that’s who we are. Right? That’s, that’s an amazing piece of that. Talk about your business journey. What do you find have been some have the challenges and struggles and small business for yourself. I mean, this is just you right or do you have a team? How does that work? You know,

Shannon Giordano 05:07
it’s funny you say that. So I, when I first started my business, I had this idea that it was going to be agency like, right that I was going to have people, whether they were employees, or 1099, or whatever, I hadn’t figured that out. But the more I got into it, the more I realized, I don’t really want to manage people, I’m much better on my own. So that was my first learning. The second is, you know, you, you know how to do a thing, right. But it’s really hard to know how to make a business out of the thing that you know how to do. So putting systems in place has been probably the biggest challenge for me. I think, finally, this year, after almost 10 years in business, I have all the funnels and the systems in place, and the, you know, lead pages and the 17 hats for my CRM and all that stuff. But you know, in the past, it was just me trying to hammer it out and figure it out. And I would spend hours poring over things that I thought, if I bring someone else on to do this for me, it’s going to get done so much better, so much faster, more efficiently. But you know, that’s hard, I think, as a business owner to let go of some of that control, and to know that you’re better off bringing in people that are really good at what they do to do the parts that you’re not good at.

Matt Ward 06:11
I think the number is nine, I believe the first nine episodes have talked about the ability to or lack of ability to release control in our business. And it’s interesting, because I did build an agency, right, I had eight employees at one point, I had 15 at one point, and it scaled back down to eight, and I realized some of the same things that you’re talking about. And now, I’m a solopreneur. Right now, as a coach, I am a professional speaker, I have a team of people, but it’s still it’s still defined as solopreneur ship. And it’s interesting because I look to improve a process every week. Right? Look to improve a process every single week. So I wrote my new book, I call it shitter rate, right? So you throw as much crap against the wall as you possibly can. And if you can keep 1% Awesome, awesome, awesome. I give some inside baseball to the podcast the way we do the podcast scheduling, right, we managed in a Trello board, we manage the people who apply, who are approved who schedule and then who get on the podcast, right? And so just this week, I figured out how to automate it. So when when someone applied and created a Trello card, and it gave it a yellow label, then when they’re approved, they’re green, and we email them. When they book a time it automatically finds their card in Trello and moves it to a new list that says booked. Right. So we’re not manually having to do these things. If we can automate systems and process in our business, it makes our life so much simpler. And I even my personal life, Shannon, I’m trying to automate. Like I don’t, I don’t want to be like, like I literally put all my bills on auto pay. I know that might sound crazy to some people. And that’s a control thing too right, early on. When I was in my younger years. When I was in my 20s. I couldn’t like, you know, the money management stuff was a big problem for me. And now I just like I have one bill pay account and everything goes in it just it all charges that account. And it’s just so much more peaceful in life. Yeah. And so like, so how do you pick and choose? So I have so many questions about this. But let’s go back to the learning process of this, because that’s our sub theme for season one. And so when we think about, there’s a couple of things that I’ve learned already in talking to you on the podcast, which is the first thing is that you learned you did not want to be an agency, you want it to be a solopreneur. Right. Tell me about that realization. When did that happen? How did that occur?

Shannon Giordano 09:02
Well, you know, it happened at multiple points, right? So I would get so much client work that I would think oh my gosh, I can’t do this, or I’m working 12 hours a day, how am I going to get through this, I really need to hire someone. And then I would really think about it and think actually, what I really need to do is carve out the work that I don’t really love and give it to someone else that I can bring on partners, I can have people that are really good at the thing that they do. So I don’t have to figure out Google Analytics and how to run Google ads. I have a person that does that, that I’m happy to pass that work over to or some of those kinds of things. I think that it just took me it took me a while I read a few books about it. I had to try to figure out in my own style. I am not a great manager of people. I don’t want to be responsible for someone else’s career. I think I have to do enough of that with my teenage boys right I have to help them along in their life path. But I just had to get honest with myself and realize what are the things like how am I if I’m you know that like working in your brilliance or working in your light, what are the things that I do really well? And how can I do more of those and less of the things that I’m not great at. So it was, it wasn’t like a one time thing that I just instantly made the decision. It was over the course of time, these realizations, these Aha’s, that I had about myself, my learning style, my gifts, the things that I do well, and the things that I don’t do well, and, you know, kind of letting go of that.

Matt Ward 10:24
How did you? How did you discover your gifts? You just mentioned your gift. And I think that’s one challenge that a lot of small business owners, you know, so I, my new book I wrote, called the high five effect, how to do business with people that bring you joy, I believe that most people left the corporate world because they wanted three things, more money, more time and more freedom. And they get none of those when they start a business. Part of it is understanding their gift, right? And getting into their zone of genius. How did you discover that?

Shannon Giordano 10:54
Boy, that was a process too I mean, I left the corporate world. And because I thought, wow, I won’t have to leave my driveway at seven and get home at seven or eight at night. And then of course, the first few months of working for myself, I was working longer hours than that. So it you know, it’s a process. But I think that in the beginning, I took on every piece of work that someone threw my way. And then over the course of time, I realized there were certain things that I just really wasn’t good at, I didn’t want to book speaker opportunities for someone I didn’t want to cold call and do development work. And you know, because sometimes people think you’re going to take on all of the work that they had, I had to really think about the stuff that I was good at. And then then I spent a number of years logged in as clients all the time not at all being the front person just figuring out what’s their strategy, what should they be doing and saying, what platforms should they be on all the stuff that they needed to do? And I think over the course of maybe the last two years, I started to realize that there were probably I was better at the high level of helping someone figure out the strategy, then I was at scheduling a post at 2pm on Facebook, and in Hootsuite for Twitter and LinkedIn. And you know that like the tech, the real tactical stuff. So it’s been an evolution for me. And part of it came from COVID. I mean, I had a number of speaking engagements last year in front of Women’s Business groups who came to me and said, you know, hey, do you have a coaching program? I can’t pay you to do my social media, but I sure could use you as a coach. And like any entrepreneur, I said, Sure I did. I do. And I I did not. But that was a great like an aha moment and universe saying to me like this is what you need to do. This is what you want to do. This is what you’re good at, this is what you love to do. Just do it.

Matt Ward 12:28
So a couple of things about that I too, was in the same spot. 2019 did 35, 36 speaking gigs, was lined up for 2024, great momentum. 50% of my speaking gigs in 2019 were paid. And then 2020, the last one I did was March 7 in Ohio. And they booked me on March 8 to speak on March 21, in Ohio in Cleveland. And on March 10, Ohio shut down. So that was a huge, huge issue. And at the time, I didn’t do much coaching. And so I had to. So one thing I learned and I’d be interested to know if you agree with this model is sell it before you produce it.

Shannon Giordano 13:09
Yes, I’m a big proponent of done is better than perfect. And you got to test it out. I mean, that’s what I did last year. That was I felt like I was on a listening tour. Right? I was putting out there. What I thought people wanted to hear, but what I really needed was people to tell me, what are they, what are they struggling with? And so I thought they were struggling with, you know, tone of voice and the messaging but they were also struggling with strategy, knowing where are their clients living? What are their you know, what are their client avatars, like all this stuff that I think about all the time, I didn’t realize not everybody was thinking about. So it was great to kind of test out this group coaching program and hear from people exactly what they were really struggling with. Because that helps you know, what’s my next offer? What’s my next thing that I’m going to tell them about or share with them?

Matt Ward 13:55
Yeah, in the summer of 2020, I ran a beta program. And I was like, Okay, here’s the deal, you get a super discounted rate. But the agreement is we go through the program, and then at the end, you give me the feedback. Right. And that’s, that’s a great model to try and get there. Talk to me about, a bit about how you continue to learn in your in your business and grow. And what are the things that you’re learning right now?

Shannon Giordano 14:18
Yeah, you know, there’s so many ways that, I listen to podcasts a lot. And I have podcasts that I listened to that I want to learn from, and those are ones that I listened to when I’m on a dog walk. Then I have podcasts that I listened to just to like fill my soul while I’m working. And I also have, I’m in Facebook groups and I have a number of women who do similar things to me or even if not the same. And we meet and talk about, you have that kind of water cooler talk like what’s happening with the Facebook algorithm. How are you helping your clients get around it? What do you seen for engagement, what’s a good app to do this or that so you kind of have to have a community of people too, that are willing to share their behind the scenes and know that you’re not going to steal their secret sauce and steal their clients. You just have to get together and share information to help you learn. So I love a good self help book, I’m reading this one right now called The Lazy Genius. And it’s brilliant. It’s all about being genius at the things that you love to do and being lazy about the things that really don’t fill your soul. And I, you know, so I’m constantly listening to podcasts, reading books, and talking to people and just trying to figure out what’s working. And I also learned a lot from my clients. Because the questions that they ask me realize, Oh, that’s something that they don’t know about that that’s what they need to know about. And I need to know more about it. So, you know, there’s a lot of ways

Matt Ward 15:30
That’s super interesting. I mean, this, there’s so much to unpack there. The thing about Facebook groups is interesting, because if you get in the right group, you can learn a lot. What do you do if you’re in a group, where it’s just not, because I have this group, that’s 2000 business owners plus in in Massachusetts, of the mass business connections, and we struggle sometimes to get people to share the strategies, or these tools and tips and things like that, from time to time, people are sharing them. And, and it’s increasing, because I’m talking to people about doing it saying, hey, look, you have your valuable content, other than pitching your business, right? That we don’t allow that in our group. It’s about sharing and connection. And so people are starting to share more, but how would how, you know, what is a business owner to do if they’re not if they’re in a group that’s not sharing as much as they’d like it to be?

Shannon Giordano 16:27
Yeah, I mean, Well, the first thing you can do, if it’s a group that’s not working for you, you can leave first, you know, secondly, I think I would talk to the group owner and just say, hey, are there things that we can do, because some of the group’s like, it’s hard to keep a group going, I have a free group, and I have a group that’s paid. That’s part of a group program that I’m doing. And I feel like the paid group program is much more active because I think that they’re invested and sometimes the free groups, you know, people check in haphazardly and so it’s, it’s, it can be hard to keep, keep things going. But some of the techniques I’ve seen that work really well is when the group owner features some of those businesses in interesting ways like in Facebook Lives or in allow, you know, a video and like you said, it doesn’t necessarily have to promote their business, it can just be teaching a skill that we all need to have that they’ve figured out how to do, or talking about something that they’re really good at, you know, like flower arranging, which I am not good at, or, you know, something that…..

Matt Ward 17:25
I’m not good at that either. That’s okay, we’re in the same boat. So, what’s this, you know, with the pandemic, having happened in 2020? We’re now we’re now in 2021. And beyond, what, what are the struggles that you see, as a business owner yourself? What’s the biggest challenges that you face as a business owner?

Shannon Giordano 17:45
Yeah, you know, I think it’s to continually evolve the systems, like you said, you know, having these systems in place, they don’t, they don’t, they’re not perfectly in place. As you start, right, like your Trello situation, they kind of evolve as you go. And you start seeing, oh, if I gather emails in that way, it’s going to be much better behind the scenes. So for me, it’s going to be consistently evolving my systems, and accountability like I have, I have a woman that’s an accountability partner, for me, I call her my COO. And we meet and she holds me accountable, and we plan things out, because it’s really easy for me to tell somebody exactly what they need to do. And it’s really hard for me to stay on the same track for myself. So it’s, you know, consistently putting my mouth or my money or my money, where my mouth is, whatever that saying is, and, and having accountability partners, and paying for business coaching, that’s been life-changing. For me, I never put money into myself, as you know, with a business coach until about two years ago, and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent.

Matt Ward 18:44
As a business coach, myself, I call I’m not truly a business coach, in the sense of just overall business stuff. I mean, I can help people with that stuff. But I, my whole thing is, is coaches should have coaches, right? They if they believe in coaching, they should have coaches themselves. So absolutely.

Shannon Giordano 19:04
Because you don’t know what you don’t know. And it’s really hard to highlight back on yourself the things that you’re not doing well, and you kind of go Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s true.

Matt Ward 19:13
So as things are starting to open back up, you know, how are you focused on generating more opportunities for your business? Because I know that we often talk about, you know, sales is, is the solution to everything, theoretically. How are you generating more leads? I mean, are you doing a lot of networking and getting a lot of referrals and things like that?

Shannon Giordano 19:35
Yeah, you know, I do a lot of networking, mainly with women’s business groups and women’s networking groups. I think that I, for me, I’m sort of still going to be like halfway in the online world. I mean, my job is pretty online. Anyway. So offering free webinars offering free talks on things like hashtags or things that people struggle with ad campaigns, things like that. And then trying to do some in person workshops is Well, and in my own local community, which has been really fun, we you know, just to get together with a group of other women around a table and help them figure out some things that they didn’t know about. So my focus for the fall really is to put together some masterclass type webinars for online and some in person as well. And then to just keep building those relationships.

Matt Ward 20:19
Got it? Now, as you’re building these relationships, are you able to sustain them? I mean, how, what is your best mode of communication with people to sustain the relationships that you build?

Shannon Giordano 20:32
Yeah, um, you know, what’s interesting is you’re right, you can get zoom fatigue, you can only meet with so many people in a week, right? To kind of deepen those relationships. I think that I’m trying to get smarter around who to meet with how long to meet with them what to offer, because sometimes you do, like, you end up offering a lot, and you can’t be everything to everyone and be everywhere. So it’s, it’s a little more targeted. I live on email, I’m totally Gen X, my kids would roll their eyes and be like, why do you check email because I love my email. So I’ve constantly on email with clients and with friends and with colleagues. And I spent a lot of time on social media. So I, you know, obviously, I’ve got Facebook groups that I belong to, and connecting with people in that way, Facebook Messenger, it’s interesting for me to remind myself that not everybody is going to check their Facebook Messenger 17 times a day, like I do. So it’s, you know, I try to keep myself as you know, like, available to people as possible. But I also try to keep certain periods of time, totally not available. I do try to unplug at night, I try to unplug over the weekend, and most of my clients know that they need to text me if they need to get me on the weekends.

Matt Ward 21:39
Right? I mean, I talk a lot in in the coaching that I do for for people about these touchpoints, and how the more often we can touch people, even if it’s the smallest minute way, whether it’s a text, whether it’s an email, whether it’s a Facebook chat message, LinkedIn chat message, you know, the more our names are in front of other people, the more likely we already get referrals, right. And so that’s why networking works so good. That’s why public speaking works so good. That’s why all of it as a whole overarching works so good, is because you’re increasing the amount of touchpoints, the thing I’ve been telling people a lot lately is how do you outrun a bear, Shannon? You don’t. You outrun your friend. Right. So in the world of business, you don’t outrun a bear you outrun your competition. And the funny thing is, it’s not hard to be great at what we do. Right? Because the bar is set so low, right? We in our situation, we know that people choose our service, because they can’t get hold of the other service providers in our industry. yet. If that’s true, why aren’t we just literally jumping at when leads, opportunities, referral partners, contact us, relationship building, contact us to do like, you know, one to ones and things like that anything that allows us to increase the connection piece is a powerful way to continue to grow our business. And I think that that’s a big thing. You’re involved in a lot of networking, I imagine. I know, you said you would, you do public speaking What do you do to market your business?

Shannon Giordano 23:27
Yeah, you know, I mean, speaking opportunities are obviously probably the best lead magnet that I’ve got. And I also I do post on my Facebook and my Instagram page. And on LinkedIn and Twitter occasionally, I would say the majority of my business comes from speaking opportunities. And often it’s an online speaking opportunity, like a virtual speaking opportunity, from email marketing. So I have an email list that I send, and some occasionally from social media posts. And so occasionally, it’s, you know, I’ve shared an offer and somebody reaches, reaches out to me, and says, Hey, I saw that offer, I’d love to talk with you. But for the most part, it’s often word of mouth. It’s often because I met a web designer in a women’s networking group, she has a client who really needs social media strategy, and she connects me, that sort of thing.

Matt Ward 24:11
I would imagine that web designers would be fantastic for you provided that they’re not providing the service you provide.

Shannon Giordano 24:17
Absolutely. Yeah. And in my experience, most web designers don’t really want to do social media. I mean, it’s kind of funny when even when I first started my business, and I would say that I do social media marketing, I always got asked, do you design websites? And do you do SEO? And I’d be like, no, no.

Matt Ward 24:32
So those are the partners you want to surround yourself with. Yeah, because those are the outgoing referrals. And then those are the people that are going to kick back the referrals the other way. And I mean, I would imagine you get, you know, one a quarter from every one of those partners. If I was a social media agency company, I’d have 20 web developers 20 web designers, 20 SEO people. I would do everything in my power every single day to connect with one more of those people.

Shannon Giordano 25:01
Yeah, yeah, it’s so true. And also, I think on the other side, too, because as you get more and more work that you love, you can start carving out work that is not necessarily in your sweet spot. So like for me, I can run ads on Google. But it wasn’t my sweet spot, because it requires creating a landing page, which is really more of a web developer. So I’m able to have an expert that does that. So I can focus on the stuff that I love to do. And even sometimes, I’ll field out, you know, Facebook ad campaign work if someone wants just a Facebook ad specialist, and I have people so you have a lot of people that feed you and then you have to feed other people as well, the things that maybe they would be better at than you are at.

Matt Ward 25:42
Yeah. I mean, I think that’s so interesting is it comes back to surrounding yourself with great people. Yeah, and this is, this is a common theme that we hear all the time in small business, which, you know, especially if you’re a solopreneur. Right, it can be a lonely journey. So get into these communities that you talked about getting into these networking groups, sometimes people join networking groups, not because they want referrals, sometimes they join, because there are like-minded business owners in the group, who they can bounce ideas off of, while it’s not meant to be a mastermind, it can serve as that for the right person. And in the right group, you know, and I think that, look, I, I joined a networking group in 2000- late 2004. And I was in it for 15 years. And I sold my agency for over a million dollars to someone I met in the networking group.

Shannon Giordano 26:41
Oh, wow. Yeah.

Matt Ward 26:42
So you can’t, you can’t underestimate the value of a long-term relationship.

Shannon Giordano 26:48
Definitely.

Matt Ward 26:49
You know, and I think that these things take time. And referrals take time. They don’t come tomorrow, you don’t throw up a shingle and all of a sudden referrals are coming tomorrow, their relationship based transactions and then take time to build trust. Have you seen that sort of bell curve or so to speak? I don’t know if it’s a bell curve, but the curve where, like, I tell people, the activity you do today produces referrals six months from now, right? Are you seeing that in your business as well?

Shannon Giordano 27:19
Yeah, I do. And I think also part of it is mindset, right? It’s that whole Bernie Brown living in scarcity or living in abundance. So if you live in abundance, then you realize that there’s enough work for all of us that just because someone else that does, what I do is being really successful right now does not take away anything from me. And I should want to align myself with that person not compete with that person. So really, I think it’s this kind of this, you know, abundance mindset and realizing that you want to surround yourself with super successful people doing great things in the world. And it does not have any reflection on how successful you’ll be, except that it will lift you that whole, like, I have all these all these quotes, rising tide lifts all boats, whatever, you know. So I really, really, really believe that. And even you know, you have those moments where you look and you see, wow, that person is doing so well. I’m a little envious. And then you have to say, No, I need I need to align myself with that person, I want to, I want to be in that energy. I want to be with that, you know, rising tide.

Matt Ward 28:18
Going back to the 10 years ago, when you started your business, what’s the one thing that you know, now that you wish you would have known then?

Shannon Giordano 28:29
I probably would have spent more time thinking about it as a business, as opposed to a thing that I love to do and wanted. So I love the creative part of storytelling and figuring out the platform’s. I didn’t love the, How do you invoice clients? You’ve got to have a CRM, like how do you know? I didn’t love all that. But I wish that I spent more time upfront planning that out. And I didn’t, I just jumped in and took all the client work I could get and had all these manual processes until I was drowning and then realized, okay, I need more. So I think that I wish that I had hired someone or had a partner who had this business mindset that was thinking about all the businesses stuff, and not the thing that I wanted to do that could have helped me.

Matt Ward 29:12
Hmm. That’s so valuable and when you know, because you were you were the technician, not the visionary so to speak when it comes to the….

Shannon Giordano 29:23
Well, I would say I was the visionary as far as the creative content. I just wasn’t the visionary as far as the pipes like, the process pipes. Like if you put your email address in here that will kick off an automated email that will come to you. I like writing the email telling you the story in the email. I didn’t want to have to figure out the pipe the two things had to connect.

Matt Ward 29:44
I’ll never forget Shannon when I hired my GM the first week he was with me he did an audit on our hosting clients and found that 25% of them were not being billed. Look at that you’re paying for your salary already. Right? At that time we were charging chump change for hosting. It was ridiculous. I mean, we were charging $7 a month. Oh, wow, I sold the company. We were charging 100. Yeah, like there’s a big difference, right. And so it’s not a what, you know, I’m realizing rather quickly back in those years how things just weren’t sustainable, right? So you think you’re setting a price and you’re setting a market price on something, but the problem is everybody else set the wrong market price. Right. And they’re not going to be around in five years, either. They’re going to be one of those SBA statistics, you know, and so, you know, you can’t always follow the wrong people in business. I wrote that in my book that you surround yourself with great people, but do your due diligence, because if you take advice from a person whose company is failing, and you don’t know it, they’re gonna give you bad advice. I think that’s a that’s a big piece of the pie. So you’re doing a lot of in the, when the pandemic kind of shut everything down, you know, a lot of the networking went virtual and whatnot. What are your thoughts on the whole networking thing now? Are you doing virtual? Are you doing in person? Are you doing hybrids? What are you doing?

Shannon Giordano 31:09
It’s total mix. So there are some chapters of women’s networking groups that I belong to that are staying virtual, some are doing one meeting a month virtual one meeting a month in person, I’m taking part in both whenever I can on, there’s a collective here in the town that I live in, we do a power hour every Wednesday morning, and a bunch of female entrepreneurs get together we get in person and sit around a table together. So I’m trying to do both. But I am recognizing that I forgot how to build commute time in I don’t know if you struggle with this. But all of a sudden, I realized I’m doing back to back zoom meetings all day. And now someone wants to meet me 20 minutes away from my house. And I realize I don’t have the 20 minutes to get there or get back. So I’m having to be a little more protective in my calendar, again, than I have been in a while. So it’s, it’s an interesting mix of trying to get out in person when I can, but also holding back some time so that I can have more meetings by zoom too, because sometimes that can be more effective.

Matt Ward 32:04
And I’ve talked a lot about this on some of my videos that I produce on YouTube is that, you know, most people show up late to zoom meetings now. I don’t know why that is they hit the link right at the time that the thing starts, they never show up to three minutes early, even 15 minutes early. Right. If you were going to an in person networking event, you would show up early, right? the other thing is people are choosing to stay on virtual versus in person, because they feel like it’s more productive. Because the drive time and what I’m telling people is you can still do in person, you just have a responsibility to be prepared. So take it take, you know, on Monday morning, produce a contact list of people, you want to call that week 10 people and their phone numbers. And then when you’re driving, make those calls, right. And some of the best times that you can just leave voicemails, that’s just as good as talking to people many times, but you’re doing what I call no added time activity, you’re already driving there. It’s like walking and listening to a podcast driving and listening to podcast driving and making contact calls, which allows you to have touch points with people, increases the amount of touch points you have, increases the amount of referrals and increases the amount of money you’re able to bill people at the end of the year. So I we just have to think of it as being able to be productive with our time in it every given day. You know, I

Shannon Giordano 33:31
agree, I agree. And remember the pleasure of being in person with someone that it’s amazing. You know, it does, it lifts your spirits you leave happy and you know, you just have to remember how to do it, you just have to remember how to protect that time meet for an hour, don’t meet for three hours, you know, and there are effective ways to incorporate it back in and it’s great to be in person with people. I am loving it.

Matt Ward 33:55
Shannon, what tip What software do you use in small business? What software tip Could you recommend to our listening audience on on the podcast channels that are listened to or on YouTube watching this? What one piece of software? Do you recommend that people check out and see if it could change their business?

Shannon Giordano 34:11
That’s a good question. Um, I guess I would say an app that I use quite often now lately is a app called tagamatic. So if you’re posting on Instagram, and you want to have lists of hashtags, so for me, I post on Instagram for a lot of different clients, and myself. So I want to easily have hashtags that I don’t have to manually type in on my phone every time. So I create master lists of hashtags on this app, and then I’m able to just copy and paste them into the Instagram posts and it’s revolutionized my Instagram posting.

Matt Ward 34:43
Oh, wow. How about that so if your a grammar an Instagramer or whatever that nickname is, I don’t know. I don’t I’m not too I haven’t, I haven’t account I post to it, but I’m not really knowledgeable in the terminology of instagram., I’m much more Facebook and LinkedIn eligible, but yeah, that’s a cool tool. Check it out. We’ll make sure we put that in the show notes. Thanks for coming on the show Shannon. How can people reach out to you and get in touch and talk to you more about building a relationship and or possibly using your services?

Shannon Giordano 35:16
The best way is to go to my website, serendipitysocialmedia.com there are lots of call to action buttons that really just go to my calendar to book a consultation. If they prefer email, Shannon@serendipitysocialmedia.com and I instantly get back to you. I’d be happy to chat.

Matt Ward 35:33
Awesome. That’s great. Well, we appreciate everybody checking us out Episode 10. Until next week, and next well the next business day is when we release the next podcast. Don’t forget to live happy, smile a lot and high fiving everyone around you take care. Thank you for listening to the mass business podcast where we focus on growing a small business and understanding networking and referrals. Don’t forget to like on your favorite platform and share out this podcast. This show has been produced by Heather Grant, music by Cailte Kelley. All rights reserved. I’m your host, professional speaker, author and word of mouth referral consultant, Matt Ward. Don’t forget to live happy smile a lot. And high five everyone around you.

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