Networking is a very important part of building your brand and your business. I spoke with Monica Pena of Mundu Media about how she has built her business through networking.

Monica Pena 0aff482Tell me about Mundu Media?

At MUNDU Media, LLC , we balance our experience, creativity, strategy, and analysis to produce positive growth. Services include marketing consulting, strategizing, training, and managing social media needs.

What services do you provide?

MUNDU Media offers a series of workshops on growing your online presence successfully on platforms like LinkedIn, Meetup, and Twitter: plus creating the correct content for your brand.  W.A.N.T (stands for Working on Accountability with Non-negotiable Time ) has also been implemented into the MUNDU Media curriculum.  W.A.N.T. is more than just an accountability group, it is a time that attendees do their work and are able to ask technology questions. Often professionals attend workshops on using such platforms and do not implement them. This program helps turn intent into action to achieve WANT results! It is a an encouraging space that attendees can ask questions. One service I do enjoy is helping businesses with events that help them launch services or products.

You are known for networking and bringing people together. How did you started networking?

I am actually an introvert, so this has been quite a journey. When my husband and I first started our family owned construction company, our first customers were family and friends. We quickly realized if we wanted to be successful, we had to grow our circle of influence. This is when I first got out of my comfort zone and started networking. I was fortunate enough to join groups that were welcoming and this made the experience less scarier than my imagination. I like to bring people together by connecting them, as I feel that was what I experienced through trailblazers I met on the first events and organizations I quickly got involved with. My online presence is an extension of my offline presence and has assisted people I met networking find me when they needed my services.

Many people fear walking into a room where you have to talk to people you do not know. What three tips do you suggest to get over that fear?
• Be strategic and selective.  Know who is your audience and see who is an industry partner. Collaborating with individuals aiming at the same goals make a great support group. Find groups that will encourage, educate, and create an atmosphere you look forward to attending each time.
• Be prepared. Make sure you represent your personal brand/company well.  Being prepared and dressed appropriately will give you confidence when meeting new people. We are living in the perfect era, that we can do research on organizations and people before attending a meeting.  Be aware that research can be done on you as well.  Make sure your website and online profiles are up to date. Take control of your online presence.
• Network until it becomes a habit.  If networking is uncomfortable for you, set goals on how often you will network.  When repeating an activity long enough, it will soon become a habit and be easier.

What made you create the Austin Influencers group? Austin INfluencers photo

I found the time I was spending in traffic had increased when attending other network events and noticed that there were not many groups in north Austin to become involved with.  I wanted to discover my side of town while meeting people that lived or worked in my area.

What is your vision for the group?

Presently North Austin Influencers offers individuals an opportunity to enhance their leadership skills by building relationships with like-minded individuals through:
• Professional Development- Monthly leadership based professional developments have ranged in topics from successful negotiating, getting organized to improving leadership skills.
• Monthly mixers- Business professionals and executives, business owners and entrepreneurs from a diverse group of industries meet each month for professional mixers where highlighted influencers help raise awareness on many initiatives and attendees collaborate with manageable results.
• Whenever possible we incorporate philanthropy.  We have raised more than $1000 for local scholarships, more than 100 coats for students in Williamson County, and this month we are having a children’s book drive for children in neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU) Family Support program for March of Dimes initiative.
My goal for the group is continue to grow collaboration within the members, offer diverse topics that allow attendees to grow, and positively impact the community. networking-event-to-support-local-businesses-and-raise-money-for-charity-21560102

What are the benefits of networking?

Those that know me know I support buying local. Networking has supported those efforts by giving me options on buying from those that I network with. In turn, people I network with have chosen to use my local services.

What are the negatives (if any) of networking?

I have had to set guidelines on how many meetings I have as there just is not enough time in the day.

Do you believe networking is essential for a small business owner to do?

Yes. Even for the fact it helps having people you know striving for the same goals that understand the hurdles you must go through.  I have being able to build my client list through networking as well as my suppliers.

Can there be too much networking?

Follow up is key.  If there has not been enough time to follow up, then this is usually a sign that the networking needs to slow down.  This is why it is so important to be strategic and spend some time planning the calendar.

Can you give three tips you feel everyone should know about networking?
• Networking will not result in immediate results, but if consistently working towards goals the results will show.
• Follow up is key.  Figure out what valuable information you can offer people you meet.
• Being prepared and practice will  build confidence.
• Be aware. Especially if new to networking, spend some time as an observer.
• Don’t wait for the perfect situation to get started.

Is there anything else you would like to mention that I may have forgotten?

For businesses that have reached a point that they want to grow or looking to launch a new product/service, it helps to meet with a professional for guidance.  The right strategy can save time, energy, and money.

Monica Peña
MUNDU Media, LLC
http://www.mundumedia.com
512.627.3943

Check dates and locations for events/workshops
on building your presence at:

http://mundumedia.com/calendar/

@mundumedia @monicapena @paigeturna @meintheatx #ujimamagazine #networking #community #business

Embrace Your Community

Damita MIller-Shanklin

damita@ujimamagazine.com