From the start, BNI has been an integral part of my business and continues into year six. I founded JC Social Media in the summer of 2011 shortly after graduating from university. I had heard great things about BNI networking meetings from my immediate network and joined just three months later! Having attended a couple of visitor days, I knew it would not only be a great source of business, but also a way I could support other like-minded business people by passing referrals on to them.
I was a member of BNI Sunrise in Birmingham and now David Glenwright, the head of training services for my company, takes the seat. At BNI Sunrise the members work together as a powerful business community. We all socialised regularly together, which helped to ensure we really knew each other and each other’s business. Having a trusted network of suppliers and supporters at my fingertips also proved to be a huge advantage when it came to publishing my first book, #Winning at Social Media. I was able to utilise and showcase the skills and expertise of my fellow BNI members, which greatly assisted with the process. Spencer Slater of Voice Showcase proofread and edited the text whilst PHd Design designed the all-important book cover. I then called upon the whole chapter to help me determine which cover would suit the book best and Kingate Press will be on hand to produce the physical copies. Throughout the process, I continued to receive support from the mentor figures I have in the group, especially within the marketing power team, who were able to guide me through some useful do’s and don’ts when it came to producing my eBook. This is certainly one of the key benefits of being in such a friendly, helpful chapter.
The support I received from BNI Sunrise was definitely second to none, however the increase to my business is also a huge benefit. Social media companies were relatively new when I joined and once my fellow members understood what my company had to offer, quality referrals began coming my way. One of the best referrals I’ve received to date has given me seven ongoing clients! BNI Sunrise now accounts for about 30% of JC Social Media’s total revenue.
It’s great knowing that all your hard work in finding other people great contacts is appreciated and reciprocated, and I guess that’s the beauty of BNI!