PP 132: Networking the Right Way with Travis Chappell

Quick Show Notes: Travis Chappell

Travis Chappell shares common mistakes professionals make while networking. In addition, we discuss how connecting and engaging on Facebook increases your visibility, as well as Facebook group strategies — both good and bad.

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Episode Transcription: Travis Chappell

Kim Sutton: Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity. I am so happy you’re here. And I am thrilled today to have Travis Chappell with us.

Travis is a direct sales expert who has built teams for several sales organizations over a few different industries and is also active in the real estate market. Most recently, he decided to pursue his passion of helping others and founded Build Your Network, a podcast dedicated to helping professions grow their inner circle. Travis, thank you so much for joining us today.

Travis Chappell: Oh, man, thanks so much. Thanks. Thanks so much for having me on Kim. It’s a real pleasure. Real pleasure.

Kim Sutton: Oh, I love having you here. I love having another podcaster here because you and I have gone through a lot. As far as building our podcast goes, could you share some of your journey with the listeners so they know where you’ve come from?

Travis Chappell: Yeah, definitely. So I’ve always been that kid with the entrepreneurial itch, so to speak. And some sometimes I think that that’s (?) not really taught. It’s, it’s just kind of something that you have or you don’t have and… and that was something that I always had.

Travis Chappell: So when I was a little kid, I was always the one bringing stuff to school to you know, sell to the other kids and and try to make some money and I was always trying to hustle and negotiate with my parents on how much money they’d pay me to pull weeds in the backyard and all that kind of stuff. And so my senior year of high school, or going into my senior year, I started up a landscaping business with a buddy of mine, and started mowing lawns and putting in lawns and sprinklers and all that kind of stuff.

Travis Chappell: And I think the first… my first really big aha moment, Kim, was probably when I was sitting down in class, this was the first month of my senior year of high school probably. And I was not able to do the labor on a couple of jobs that I had bid. So a couple of landscaping jobs that I had landed the jobs for. And so I had to hire some people to do because obviously, I was in school full time as a senior and then had basketball practice and homework and all that kind of stuff. So enough time to go do the labor on the job.

Travis Chappell: So I just hired a couple college students to do the labor for me. And I remember sitting in class, one time and not paying attention to obviously, and adding up all the numbers and figuring out that I would probably make the same or more than the college students that I was paying to do the labor on the jobs and that was really when I sat there and thought about it. The value that there is in selling and in being the the owner instead of being the employee. And that’s kind of where my entrepreneurial journey kind of really started.

Travis Chappell: And so in college, I found a way to make money a little bit easier, which was through door to door sales and retail sales. And so I jumped right into that selling solar my sophomore year of college, I believe, maybe junior year of college and, and then ever since then I’ve been basically doing door to door sales and building teams and for a couple different companies in different areas of, of industry, such as solar and alarm systems, security systems and water machines and stuff like that.

Travis Chappell: And so that has led me all up to the point where I really wanted to start giving back and start helping other people do some of the same things I was able to do. And that’s when I really wanted to start Build Your Network which is basically the podcast dedicated to help people grow their inner circle, meet the right people in their fields, how to do it the right way, how to not be spammy, how to create actual deep relationships with people instead of just surface. Hi, nice to meet you type things. And so that’s, that’s kind of what’s brought me up to today.

Kim Sutton: Well, and as you know, and as listeners know, there’s no script for these episodes. So you just sparked about 18 questions. The first is, what did you go to college for?

Travis Chappell: Uh huh. It’s funny. I actually went to college for church ministries. That’s what I have my bachelor’s degree in.

Kim Sutton: Would you go back and do that again?

Travis Chappell: I would not knowing… knowing what I know. Now, I probably would not go back to college. And I probably would just go right into doing what I know that I was good at now. And at that point, I didn’t know that I was good at. Obviously hindsight is 2020. But if I had to go back and do it again, I would probably just go right into selling right out of high school.

Kim Sutton: I completely hear that I went for interior architecture. And if you took a look at my house, you would just laugh. There’s no interior design around here. Interior design is crayons, colored pencils and markers on every single surface from my children.

Kim Sutton: What would you say is one of the biggest mistakes that business owners and entrepreneurs make in networking, building their relationships?

Travis Chappell: I think the biggest mistake is thinking of networking as a one time event. So what I mean by that is when when you go to a conference, and we were just talking about before we hit record that you were going to a podcasting conference here in a couple weeks down in San Diego. And I think when when people think of the word networking, that’s what they think of they think of, well, hey, let’s go to an event and then let’s network there. And I think that that’s the wrong way to do it because I feel a lot of times if you think that it’s all about just a three day event or this thing here, or this weekend thing here, then the, the way that you’re going to treat that three day event is different than the way that I think that you should treat it meaning that if you if you go to a three day event, just to be like, Oh, this is my networking time for the month or whatever, then you’re really going to spend a lot of time spamming people instead of building and cultivating deep relationships with people.

Travis Chappell: I think that you have to look at networking as just something that always has to be happening. Something that’s it’s an activity that always goes on. And is something that is perpetual.

Travis Chappell: It’s not just Well, we go to an event and that’s when we network and then we go to this chamber of commerce meeting and then that’s when we that’s when we network, you know what I mean? So, I think that you can be sitting at a coffee shop and overhear a conversation about something that you know a lot about and you can network there and you know, it doesn’t have to be handing out a business card. I don’t even have business cards on me and stuff like that. I just add people on Facebook and try to get to know them as a person instead of trying to cold call in person.

Travis Chappell: I think a lot of people treat networking events and networking in general, like in person cold calling, so they just go up to you shake your hand, give you a 90 second elevator pitch and then give you their business card and then boom, move on to the next one. And I think that that’s a very short term approach.

Travis Chappell: And I think the long term approach is always always always going to work out better for you in the long run.

Kim Sutton: I am over here laughing because if you could see my PC right now, I have illustrator open where I finally after five years, just finished designing my business cards which have not been submitted yet, by the way the Vistaprint and I think that’s why maybe I was just supposed to chat with you. Well, I’m not gonna. I was just supposed to chat with you. You just saved me. $40 plus rush shipping. 

Travis Chappell: Of course, of course, and then having business cards isn’t a bad thing, I don’t want people to think that it’s bad to have business cards. It’s definitely good to, you know, get your name out there. But I just think I… just to me personally, if when you go to an event, you have 75 business cards in your back pocket by the time the day is over. So I don’t know many people that sit there and go through every business card and shoot an email out to every single person that talked to them, that I think that there’s just a really big disconnect with that version of networking.

Travis Chappell: And so what I like to do is try to create a… really an actual connection with that person. And then if I do that, then before they leaves, I friend you on Facebook, and of course, everybody’s on Facebook. And if not, they’re on Instagram or Snapchat, they’re on some sort of social media that I also have. And I’ll go follow them on there and I’ll go to their page. I like a few things all engage with their stuff a little bit.

Travis Chappell: And what happens is when you start engaging with other people on Facebook, Facebook’s algorithm picks up on that and then they will start to shoot your stuff to their newsfeed. They’ll be able to start engaging with you back and forth. And now you’re actually developing a relationship with somebody, instead of just throwing in a card into a deck of 150 others that they’re probably never going to read again.

Kim Sutton: So I was going to (?) a little bit later, but you just sparked my interest. I know you wrote a book and ebook about Facebook marketing. But did you just say that when I start conversing with people on Facebook, that that, that Facebook, their algorithm will start sharing more of my materials?

(Still cleaning up transcription but thank you for checking it out!)

Travis Chappell: Yes. So when you engage more with people on on Facebook, so if you are constantly looking at other people’s things, and you are liking, commenting, sharing and stuff like that, and you just recently became friends, then Facebook will shoot a couple of your posts up to not the top but near the top of their newsfeed. So when they’re scrolling through, it gives them a chance to engage back with you.

Travis Chappell: And then and because you just became friends, so Facebook wants to see hey, they’d be become friends because they actually want to engage with each other, they just like, you know, shooting friend requests everybody. So if you engage with that person on three or four of their posts and liked and commented and do all this other stuff, and then all of a sudden they see one of your posts scrolling, as they’re scrolling, they’re a lot more likely to hit the like button or the love button or reaction or type of comment or something like that. And, and then when that happens, as soon as they engage on a post of yours, then all of a sudden, the majority of your posts are gonna start popping up in their newsfeed more and more and more often,

is this just personal posts are also

posts from my business page,

whatever account that you use to engage with them on. So if it’s Yeah, if it’s your personal, most of the time, it’s gonna be a personal page, because a lot I think a lot of business pages don’t really engage with people a lot, but it’s completely up to the way that you run your Facebook accounts.

So at the event that we are talking about listeners, I’ll be at Steve l shares new media summit actually later this week. So prior to this event, Episode recording. I’ve actually been dealing with a little bit of imposter syndrome, just because I am an icon and a lot of these other podcasters have huge numbers and I’m not going to disclose my numbers, but I was like, Oh, you know, I don’t want to seem like small fries. But I was listening to a podcast a week or two ago. I don’t remember which one. I listened to so many. And the guest was talking about be interested. not interesting. Hmm. So, before I go into my question, I must also share that, surprisingly to a lot of people. I am an introvert. I may be here behind the microphone, but I am an introvert. big crowds of people sometimes overwhelm me. But I decided that my approach at this event was just to go and sit down and engage in conversation and get to know the participants prior to coincidentally enough Speed networking day that we have all day on Sunday. They have two minutes to pitch themselves to be on our podcasts. What would your advice number one be for an introvert at an event? And number two? Oh, I forgot number two positive productivity not always perfect.

Well, number one.

It’s funny that you say that game. And it’s actually really interesting. The more people that I talk to about networking, people that have large audiences, and that are big influencers, who are also introverts, and I’m honestly the same way. So I was talking to Chris guillebeau, recently from side hustle school. And we were having conversation. I just interviewed him on the show his episode released in the next few weeks, but he was talking about how he’s an introvert. And I was explaining to him how I feel at networking events. And he was like, well, it kind of sounds like you’re an introvert to man. So It’s funny that you asked the question because I think I’m more of an introvert when I go to an event, it is not my instinct to go up and start talking to people, I would rather sit down with a cup of coffee and get on my phone and catch up on Facebook messages or call a friend or a sales rep of mine, see how they’re doing and that that is more how I would how I would naturally be at a networking event. And so my biggest piece of advice here would probably be this. Don’t feel like you always have to change who you are, just because that’s what people say. So what I mean by that is, a lot of times it is good to get out of your comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong, some of the best things in life happen outside of your comfort zone. So it’s really good to stretch yourself sometimes but what I have learned is that if you are put into a situation where you are outside of your comfort zone the whole time, you remember that feeling of uncomfortability and The next time you go to book an event, you might be more hesitant because you didn’t really enjoy yourself last time, because you were uncomfortable the whole time. So don’t feel like you have to be the person that’s, you know, the extrovert you because you’re an introvert, that’s not who you are. So play to your strengths. And the best way to do that, I think a large event is to try to just focus on cultivating relationships with three or four people throughout the event. So instead of focusing on talking to 300, or 400 people and handing out 1000 business cards and meeting every single person you come in contact with, maybe just meet a couple people the first day and then and then try to try to coordinate at another time during the event where you can meet up with them and grab a cup of coffee and develop a really deep relationship with that person a little bit more if they’re okay with doing that. Because sometimes, sometimes if you’re an introvert and you might be okay with doing that, but an extrovert might be like, Hey, I got to go talk to this person, this person, this person, this person, this person, so I don’t have time to do that. And that’s fine for them if they’re if they’re that way. But I would say just play to your strengths. Don’t feel like you have to be Be the extrovert. It’s good to do a little bit of that definitely. Because like I said, a lot of good things happen outside of your comfort zone. But a lot of times it’s good for you to play to your strengths. So sit down, try to cultivate relationship with two or three different people. And really, really make a couple of friendships, actual friendships that will last longer than the two or three days at the event.

I’m laughing again, because Travis I haven’t been to an event. Well, really, period. But I haven’t been to an event with more than 40 people since I became an Infusionsoft certified partner three years ago. Wow. And I was pregnant with twins at that point. But you’re so right. I mean, I walked I’ve left in those three years, I’ve built really strong relationships with three or four of the other people who went through the certified partner training with me. So the real reason why I’m laughing is just leaving my house and something other than sweatpants or yoga. That’s uncomfortable Enough already. I mean, I came home from Kohl’s last night and I was like, Oh, I was telling my husband I hate trying on clothes. Just, you know, having to look presentable. That’s enough uncomfortableness for me. listeners, I love meeting you. I’m just so much more comfortable connecting with you on social media. But yeah, yeah. So let’s get let’s jump over to your ebook. Thank you for all that wonderful insight. By the way. I am definitely going to be taking that to heart. And again, you saved me 40 bucks on business cards. Can you share about your ebook with listeners? Because I know you’ve already touched on some of the subject already.

Travis Chappell: Mm hmm. Yeah. So the ebook that I wrote is called Groupology: How to Network in Facebook groups Without Being That one person. So we, I think Facebook groups are a very useful and practical way to build your network but not a lot of people are utilizing them, and not a lot of people that are utilizing them are doing it the right way. And so I wanted to create a resource. When I was looking for stuff out there when I was trying to build this whole thing. I was I was looking up stuff, hey, what are other people saying what are tips other people are throwing out there and I could not find anything online, of how to do it better. Being a participant in the group, I found a lot of stuff on how to run a Facebook group and how to be an admin on a Facebook group and how to grow your Facebook group and all these other, you know, strategies and tools and tactics, but there was nothing for the person that’s a part of a few Facebook groups is really trying to make the most of them. And so that’s what I really wanted to create. So it’s 10 tips that I’ve found to be very, very useful while you are working in Facebook groups, and there’s so many people that I’ve talked to that have literally made thousands and thousands of dollars just by being a participant in a few Facebook groups. And so there’s a few awesome pieces of advice that it’s things that I’ve learned from other people, things that I’ve learned Through my own kind of trial and error, and a few of them have to do more practically with the Facebook algorithm like we’re talking about. But then a few of them are more on a philosophical level as far as make sure you’re giving value before you’re taking value and, and stuff like that. So if you head over to build your network, dot c, O, forward slash, Kim, there will be that free ebook there, you can hit the button and we’ll send it straight to your Facebook Messenger account. And then you can also join my facebook group from there and, and utilize some of the practices that you find in the book.

Oh, that’s fabulous. I’ll be definitely requesting it. I think I already did. But again, what is one of the biggest mistakes and I know this is the positive productivity or the positive productivity podcast. But I think it’s also important to share some of the mistakes that we see ourselves or other people making As a group member, and also as a group admin, what is a mistake that you see them making that you would advise against

as a group member, the biggest mistake that I see is again, not thinking long term. And I did the same exact thing when I started getting into Facebook groups myself, and it never works out, it never works out. So you hop into a group, you’re brand new to a group, there’s 10 15,000 other people in that group. And the first thing you do is go over a type of post about what your business is and drop a link there. And then you’re expecting you know, because you saw this post previously that add 483 likes and 1000 or 2000 comments and all this other stuff. And so you post that there and you’re expecting to get a ton of business, but then you get zero likes and like three people I even actually saw it. It’s because you’re thinking short term, you’re going into the group thinking what can I get out of this group instead of what can I give to this group and I had a guy actually asked me that actually At the last event that I was at, when I was talking about Facebook groups, and about my facebook group, and he was like, Well, what am I going to get out of your Facebook group? Why would I join your Facebook group? And I was like, you know, man, if that’s you know that I’m not trying to be offensive here. But if that’s the way you feel, if that’s the way that you’re coming into it, then I don’t really want you to join the Facebook group, to be honest with you, because I don’t want people coming in my facebook group thinking, what can I get out of this? What can I get out of this? What can I get out of it? Get out of this. And people coming into my facebook group thinking, what can I give to this? And what kind of value can I add to other people? How can I give back and help others through this Facebook group and that’s the most important part of the whole idea to me, is making sure that you’re coming in with that giving attitude. And so the biggest mistake I made in the biggest mistake that I see a lot of people make is they’re thinking way too short term. They come in just trying to get something and get something good something instead of being an active member of the group liking commenting on other people’s stuff, somebody asks a question to answer the question, then you ask a question and then stay highly engaged in those groups. And then do it that way. And I think, I think that leads into another mistake that a lot of people make, which is being a part of more than five groups.

Is that,

yeah, yeah. And in my ebook, that’s one of the tips that I that I that I give is like, don’t go past five groups because you need to stay actively and highly engaged in the groups in order to make sure that when you post something, that you will get some engagement back on your posts. So if you’re a member of 25, or 35 groups, you’re never going to be able to spend that much time unless that’s literally what you do for your own your own. The lead source for your business is being in Facebook groups, and you have time to be actively engaged in all those groups, but most people don’t. So I would say pick no more than five five groups that benefit you the most, and that you love the most you love being the you love being a part of the most and you love giving back to the most be part of those five groups be actively engaged in those groups, and it’s going to focusing on the smaller amount of them is is going to benefit you much better in the long run anyway. But I think all of those all of those mistakes kind of tie back into the fact that people are looking to short term. They’re not thinking long term at all. And then as an atom’s you

for a second Yeah, go for it. Last year, I was, I’m embarrassed to admit this last year, I was part of 180 Facebook groups. I was focusing on income instead of impact. That was the launch of the positive productivity podcast, folks. But as soon as I realized that it was supposed to be about impact and not income. Yeah, I quickly started cutting that down. I think I’m still part of more than five and I’m definitely not in there as much as I should have been. But the amazing thing is, one No, it’s not amazing based on what you just shared. I made exactly zero dollars and zero cents.

Groups. Exactly, exactly. That’s the that’s it. It’s just it’s a disconnect. Because in your brain you’re thinking Oh, like the more you know, it’s a numbers game, the more people that I throw my link out there to the more groups I’m engaged with, the more people I’m going to be able to connect with. And it’s actually the complete opposite of that. So if you really want to build deep relationships with people online through Facebook groups, then you got to cut that list down and just really get involved with those groups.

I had a spreadsheet that would tell me what day I could go in and share my stuff on, you know, poster link here, it’s share your stuff day. And that would be the only reason I would ever go to some of these groups was because it was, you know,

time for you to share. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Time and time for you to go get something out of this instead of yet. Exactly.

And I was in a thread of 500 other people, so most of them never even saw it. Hello. No, that’s not. So what would be your piece of advice for the group admins,

group admins. is a little bit it’s a little bit different as far as advice goes. But probably the biggest thing is, I would say, to make sure that you are the most active and engaged member of your own group. And that you have certain themed days that make you post in the group four or five, six times a week, or maybe even a couple times a day. But you want to be the one leading and being in the forefront. People need to see that you’re always engaged in your group. In fact, I need to make a post to my group after we hop off this phone call that to make sure that I’m staying completely highly actively engaged in there. But that’s probably the biggest thing. So for me, I have one one of my theme days is spotlight Saturday and we what I do is I take one person from the group that’s been engaging a lot recently and I do a quick bio on them and ask them a few questions. And that way everybody in the group can go on their comments of like Engage that person. And if they have any referrals for, you know, whatever type of business, that person that has, then they can reach out to them and help them out in that way. And it’s just, it’s just I’m trying to make it just the most giving type of community possible so that people really get that philosophy.

You’ve just brought up another question because I do have themed days. However, I’m using Edgar, which I absolutely love for auto posting, but I’ve just realized that maybe I’m answering my own question. It’s taking that away from me. So even though the post is going out, I’m it’s out of sight out of mind. I’m not going in and I’m not engaging. Hmm. And

they’re using something like Meet Edgar that’s totally totally up. Everybody does that and it’s a good idea to make sure it keeps you accountable to posting but what I would do is also at the same time that you have that auto post going off in your Your Meet Edgar, I would set something on your phone, that reminds you like just a little reminder or calendar, event, something that will make you go into that group and engage in that post. If you’re not responding if I mean, obviously, if you have a group where you have thousands and thousands of people and there’s 1000 comment threads, then it’s a little bit different. But if you have less than 1000 people or less than a couple thousand people, and you’re not replying to every comment on every post, and you’re not liking those comments and engaging back with those people, I think that you’re missing a really big opportunity to really engage with your audience.

Wow. You just gave me an action item.

Yeah, Note to self schedule that time and every day and I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t been doing that. But

it’s, it’s exactly what you’re talking about is making an impact versus making an income and when You know, when when people are constantly listening to what you put out and engaging with your content and stuff like that, I just think that it’s I just think that’s it makes a much bigger impact. If you’re going to engage, engage back with them after they do it with you. So

Chevys, I saw recently that a couple big groups were being archived, I think was the expression, because the owner of the group found that people weren’t really responding. I think it I think she said that it may have actually been impacting the exposure of the posts off of her Facebook page. Have you seen anything like that?

I cannot say that I have, but I will do a little bit of research into that. That’s that’s intriguing to me, but I have not heard anything like that before.

But I do need to follow that up that the group has actually been archived I saw this past weekend, so maybe she felt that it was different, but yeah, it was a very large group. With about 60,000 people in it, and a very engaged community. She did also find, though, that she just went with a group that large. I mean, you just gave the numbers, you know, under 1000 you should be the in there responding. But more 16,000 you know, she just lost the ability to be in touch with me, right?

Yeah, it’s way more difficult that way for sure. For sure.

Yeah. Yeah.

Well, this has been completely enlightening for me and I’m sure it has been for, for other listeners or for our listeners. Where can listeners find you online and connect? I’m sure Facebook.

Yeah, great question of Facebook is probably the social media I spend the most time on so you can if you type in Travis dot chapel 15 in the search bar, that’ll be my personal profile, shoot me a friend request and shoot me a Facebook message to I, I always respond to any Facebook message that I get. So I’m really highly involved in Facebook and Facebook Messenger so Travis Chappell 15 in search bar that’ll be my personal profile should be a friend request should be messaged and say what’s up and and we’ll chat then. And then don’t forget to head over to build your network dot c o forward slash Kim to pick up the copy of the free e Book Group ology and then you can also find my facebook group there if you want to join. They’re

fabulous. Thank you so much, listeners. All these links will be in the show notes at KIM sutton.com. forward slash p p 132. Travis, thank you so much for being here with us today. Do you have any parting words of advice or inspiration that you would like to offer to listeners?

Yeah, definitely. I’ve touched on it a couple times today and I want to kind of hammer it home a little bit more. And that is the concept of thinking long term. And I think that there’s way too many people that are short term thinkers and And it’s going to really take its toll when you look back on the time that you had in your career is what I what I truly believe in. So, what Tony Robbins always calls the front porch test, I believe he calls it. I’m a big believer in that is that whatever you’re come to a crossroads or decision, and you’re thinking whether or not you should do it. And it may have some fantastic short term benefits, but maybe doesn’t have some long term. Maybe you’ll have some bad long term side effects or you’re not exactly sure how it’s going to affect the future. Just picture yourself on the front porch and your retirement days, wherever you wherever that is for you. If it’s on a it’s a beach house or in the mountains or whatever it is, you’re sitting on your front porch in a rocking chair, and you’re thinking back on your life. Am I going to regret doing this? Am I going to regret not doing this? And I think that that long term thinking will enable you to live a better Life over the long run. And there’s just there’s I’ve I’ve ran into the issue very, very early on in my career where I was always short term, just when can I get the next dollar? When can I get the next dollar. And now that I’ve switched that sometimes I’ve taken a hit short term, and I’ve actually lost money short term because I know the long term benefit is going to be better. And some things, some things I still haven’t even seen the return on. But I just know for a fact that in the future, it’s going to come back to me. And so I think, I think that thinking long term, it’s always going to benefit you more, and I would encourage as many people as I can to do that.