Mark: This is Dr. Mark Page, I’m the founder of 5 Star Genius. I’m honored to have with me
as my guest today the award-winning designer of the Network 360 mobile app Melina Shaw.
Melina: Thank you so much. It’s so great to talk with you, Dr. Mark. Thank you for having me.
Mark: Now, a lot of people might think that networking maybe is kind of hard and that you already have to be involved or know everyone for
it to work. Would that be an accurate assumption?
Melina: I mean, yes, it definitely can be. I think networking comes naturally for certain people, and I
think for other people it takes practice to make it perfect.
Mark: Do you think it really is possible for a business to grow just by networking?
Melina: Of course, most definitely.
Mark: So now maybe how can someone who sort of is kind of shy sort of maybe succeed at
Melina: It’s this really simple foundation of getting familiar with the events going on in the valley and
being prepared of walking to an event and approaching people. I think once you are comfortable
with approaching people and getting the foundation of starting a conversation, it can lead to many
Mark: I think for a lot of people it’s … They’re all there for networking, so to kind of just walk up and
start talking, it’s okay, well, they kind of expect it because you’re networking.
Melina: Exactly. That’s definitely true.
Mark: Can you maybe give an example of how a person can attend a networking event and maybe
join in the conversation without feeling kind of dorky?
Melina: I think the best way to answer that is when you’re walking to a
networking event, you want to know who is going to be there. You want to feel the room out. You
want to look around and see who is standing where and what conversations are going around, and
you almost kind of want to walk the room, and you almost want to take in different conversations
from different points of the room. A lot of times people are very scared to interrupt a conversation,
but at a networking event, you kind of have to do that to interact. I think the first part of walking
through a room, you want to ask people who they are and what they do, and that will generally lead
back to you. People are going to ask you exactly who you are and what you do, so it’s kind of like a
Mark: When you are kind of walking around the room, is there some advice that you have about kind
of breaking the ice or how to kind of maybe make an interruption when, again, you may be a little
shy, maybe just getting started out with this. You’ve been doing it for a while, but is there kind of a
little piece of advice that how to get somebody to kind of just go for it?
Melina: I guess the best advice I could give is you know your business and you know what you’re
looking for, and it’s almost like you want to walk into a room and you want to create friendships. At
the end of the day, you don’t want to walk into rooms selling anything right off the bat. You almost
want to sell yourself before you’re selling your products or your service. I say that because a lot of
times people come up to me and they just throw their business card at my face without telling me
who they are as a person and why they’re there at the event. I guess the best feedback I can give to
anybody as they’re networking is, you know, walk into a room and you’re looking to create
friendships. That’s really the foundation of what networking starts at.
Mark: If I have a business and some employees, would it be okay if they went instead of me? Would
that be a good way to do it?
Melina: Absolutely. I mean an employee can definitely … I mean, if you’re talking about you owning
your own business and you’re sending out people under you, I mean absolutely. If they could attend
… Depending on how many employees you have, you can send one to one event and another to
another event, but I think in that circumstances, it’s better to do that because you can have one
person focusing on one of your products or one of your services while the other employee is
branding or focusing on another product or service. A lot of times you don’t want one person to walk
into a room and hit somebody with A, B, C, D, E.
You almost want to walk into a room and say this is what I do, and this is why, and I’d like to get to
know you better and see how I can brand this product with you. Yeah, if you have employees under
you, it’s definitely probably the better route, and you can probably work with each one of them
saying you’re going to go to this event, you’re going to focus on this product, and this service only,
and as for the other employee, you’re going to go to this event and focus on the other product and
the other service.
Mark: To kind of get you spread out to more and more people so more people find out about you?
Melina: Right, and that’s another positive way to look at it.
Mark: Alright, so you’ve won some awards with your mobile application there. Congratulations.
Melina: Yes we did.
Mark: Maybe give a little rundown of sort of how the application works and how it would benefit
Melina: The networking app is kind of from Networking 360, and what it really entails is a virtual
business card. What happens is nowadays people walk into a networking room and they’re throwing
their business cards left and right, and, of course, as you may know, as a lot of us know, business
cards tend to get lost, thrown away, left in the car, left around the house, around their office, or you
see stacks and stacks and piles and piles of cards, binders filled with cards, and they don’t get
followed up correctly, and they don’t get followed up right away. They just get shuffled in all the
piles, so now with the virtual business card, you’re able to walk into a room and start talking to
somebody and say, hey, let me see your virtual business card. I’d love to scan your card.
Every virtual business card will have a QR code on it with their picture, with their name, their
address, their e-mail, their phone number, and elevator speech that you can change weekly, daily.
You can change for each and every event. What happens is you scan that QR code, and that person’s
virtual business card will pop right up on your phone. As long as you have that app open, their card
will pop right up. On that card, you can star that networker, you can send them a message, you can
schedule a meeting with them, or you can leave a note. Hey, I met Dr. Mark. The Phoenix Metro
Chamber of Commerce. We had a great discussion. You need to follow up with him on the 5-Star
Marketing approach. Then what happens is you can schedule a reminder, you know, on Tuesday, call
Dr. Mark at 10am. It’s really getting you to follow up with every networker you’re meeting.
It’s getting you to create that more persona connection with them, and it’s also keeping track of
every person you’re meeting, and you’re able to move that virtual business card based on what
events you met them at, and also what industry that they’re from. Let’s say a month from now, you’re
like, you know, that guy I met at this networking event, the Phoenix Metro event, let me find his
virtual business card. I’d love to share his contacts with a friend of mine. I go back to the industry, I
pull up Dr. Mark, and I can send your virtual business card out to ten of my friends who could use
your services and use your marketing approach with the press of a button.
People can also see Dr. Mark has a thousand stars, and Melina Shaw has five hundred stars, and so
and so, and it really can tell you who is in an outstanding networker [inaudible 00:22:52] just your
average networker. If you want to be outstanding, you want to go out, you want to network, and you
want to create connections. It’s really telling you who do you want to associate yourself with and
who do you want to do business with. That’s just like the start phase of everything that I’m trying to
create with the virtual business card. The mobile app also has coaching videos that people can
watch. If you’re a networker or if you’re paying to be a networker, which is 4.97 a month, or if you’re
paying to be a business, which is 9.97 a month, it comes with free videos every month. These videos
will kind of guide you on the best way to network. How to walk into a room, how to send a follow up
e-mail, how to engage in conversation, and so on. There’s a lot that it entials, and there’s a lot that’s
going to be established within the app moving forward.
Mark: That sounds like a great way to really kind of keep things organized there.
Melina: That’s what it is. Nowadays, in my generation, everything’s a press of a button. I hate looking
for things. If I can’t look for something, I’m moving on to the next person that’s right there in front of
me. If that person’s not in front of you, you’re losing business at the end of the day.