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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to network with your biggest idols and names in your industry? Is the idea of networking with them too daunting or seemingly impossible?

On this episode, I chat with Travis Chappell who is a master at networking with anymore. Travis is the host of the Build Your Network podcast and he has interviewed the likes of Grant Cardone, John C Maxwell, Kevin Harrington, Jack Canfield and more.

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"You have to detach yourself from the expectation of receiving anything back. Be willing to add value without that expectation attached to it, or else that law of reciprocity doesn't kick in. You have to be willing to add value to people... and continue to make yourself better and that way you can add more value to more people. And the more value you can add to people, the more influence you'll have with them."

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Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • The story behind how Travis went from doing door to door sales for a solar company while going to bible college, to becoming an entrepreneur and starting Build Your Network
  • What made Travis decide to focus on using a podcast to grow his online business
  • How long it took him to start seeing financial results from his podcast
  • Why Travis paid $6,500 to attend John Lee Dumas’ mastermind in Puerto Rico
  • The strategy that Travis uses to get Grant Cardone, John C Maxwell, Kevin Harrington, Jack Canfield and more on his show
  • Why giving value is so important when you want to connect and network with someone
  • Travis' tips on reaching out and following up

Resources Discussed In This Episode:

Full Transcript

Chrys: On today's episode, we'll be talking about how you can connect and network with anyone that you want. I first got to know about my guest today after hearing him on the Entrepreneurs On Fire podcast with John Lee Dumas and I reached out to him to have him on the show and he very, very kindly said yes. So he's the host behind the Build Your Network podcast. 

So here's my guest, Travis Chappell. Travis, thank you so much for jumping on this episode with me today.

Travis: Yeah, man, happy to be here.

Chrys: We connected on Instagram after I posted an Instagram story about your interview on Entrepreneurs On Fire when I was just out doing my Saturday morning run. I heard you talked about networking and one of the things you said was to use Instagram to connect the person that you want to connect, which I did. And then you replied.

Travis: It's funny when you actually do the things that people say to do, how they actually work sometimes, you know?

Chrys: Yeah. And here's the thing. You have built a business on creating connections and networking, but a lot of people don't know this. You started off doing door to door sales for a solar company while going to Bible college. How did you go from selling solar panels to your current business, Build Your Network?

Travis: That's a good question. There was a lot that happened in between all of that stuff that you just said. Yeah, I was in Bible college. A friend of mine started knocking on doors, I started knocking on doors with them. Just started doing really well with it, then I realized that I was not going to be in ministry.

And so it was this time where I was just trying to figure out exactly what that would mean for my career, my whole life since I was 11 or 12 till the time I was 21 about to graduate college, I had always thought I was going to be a youth pastor or something like that. When I figured out that wasn't the route I was going to go, I had to make some adjustments and really figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

So door to door was kind of like the fallback just cause like that's what I had done in college and it made me good money. I had good time freedom with it. I was a hundred percent commission, so I would work like 15, 20 hours a week and brought in six figures for the first time I was knocking doors for selling alarm systems. And so it was going really well and I didn't have anything that was super upset about, but all I could think about was the future. 10 years down the road, what am I going to want to be doing on daily basis? And this just wasn't it - going door to door was not it.

So at that time I basically just looked at what I was doing and was just like, man, I need to make an adjustment and do something different or else I'm going to be stuck doing this for a really long time. And the longer you're in something like that, the more trapped you are because the better you get at it and the more difficult it is to switch something. So if it had been 10 years down the road and I was making... like had a ton of connections in the space and I was known by everybody and I knew everybody and I was making a half a million dollars knocking doors or whatever it is.

And I have several friends that do that, and they make a good living and I don't cast any shade on that industry at all. I think it's fantastic industry. Just for me personally, that's not what I wanted to see. So I knew that if I kept putting it off, it was going to become more and more difficult to leave anyway, so I just kind of bounced and for the first time in my life ever, dove into personal development.

To give you an idea, I probably read five full books in their entirety by the time I was finished with college, and that includes all the books that I was supposed to read in college that I read, like the back cover and wrote a report on or whatever. Leading into this year was a huge change in scenery for me on a daily basis, because basically all I did was consume content. I read books, I listened to audio, I listened to podcasts, listen to YouTube. That was the first time I ever dove into podcasts at all. And the more I started listening to them, the more I started thinking like, man, I think this would be a lot of fun, that this is something that I could really get pretty good at.

And once I had that thought, I knew that I was going to do it, I let imposter syndrome sink in. So I didn't end up starting the show until about 10, 11 months after I knew I was going to do it. But then that ended up leading me into some coaching with John Lee Dumas, with another mentor of mine Jeff Brown, and launched the show in August of 2017 and now we are August of 2019, it's been 2 years and almost 320 episodes later and everything's going well.

Chrys: So you were saying that back in college you wouldn't even read all those books that were given to you. So suddenly, one day you start to consume more content, more videos, more books, more podcasts. What gave you that change? Did someone talk to you like, Hey Travis, you gotta consume more content? Like what was that change?

Travis: I think it was a couple of things. Number one, my back was against the wall and number two, I was finally reading material that was interesting to me. And when you're going through school, if you're not like an avid reader, which I am not, I've changed my identity to turn into a reader. But naturally I never read anything growing up and I hated it. I got straight A's all throughout school and the only class that would fluctuate between a and B was literature just because I hated it. I was like, why am I being forced to read this stupid poem from the 1800s, it makes no freaking sense to me, this is so stupid. I was really upset about as well. I just was never a reader.

I think it was those two things. It was the material that I actually cared about, I actually cared about business and entrepreneurship and personal development and stuff like that - so it was material that I cared about. But it was also because my back was against the wall. The way that I grew up, the culture depicts a lot of people just get married young. So that's kind of how it was for me. I was 21 years old, 22 years old, I had a wife and I had a mortgage. I bought my first house at 21.

From that point, that's a weird place to be in when you're not working and you're trying to figure out what to do with your life, but you have a mortgage to pay and a wife to provide for. And luckily I got lucky and my wife's amazing, she actually went back to work there during that time. Actually, when I said went back to work, she went to work basically for the first time and making some good money. We had a real estate investment pay off very well, and so we're just kind of living on that and going through some savings while I just sat and figured out what I wanted to do next.

So that was a super interesting time, but I think it was just cause my back was against the wall, I didn't have any answers and I was searching for answers. And when you're searching answers, it was just as simple as looking at my life and going, okay, well I've never done this stuff before and these are results that I had. So if I want to get different results, I should probably take different actions to get those results. And that led me down the rabbit hole of personal development.

Chrys: So your back was against the wall, you were considering more content and then you created your own podcast. What gave you the idea to start a podcast? Why not a YouTube channel? Why not a business [inaudible]. So why a podcast?

Travis: So throughout high school and college and stuff, I felt like I was always pretty good at writing. Just when I would read other people's stuff versus my stuff, I was just like, this doesn't even make any sense. Sentence structure came pretty naturally to me, English grammar came pretty naturally to me, but I hate writing. I just don't like the practice of it, I don't enjoy sitting down and typing and banging out something on my computer for a while. I just didn't like it. So podcasting basically just seemed to me like a verbal blog, which is something that I felt [audible] like, Oh I'll do blogging. And I was like, no, I wouldn't hate that. So that's a no, but podcasting seems super interesting.

And then the reason why I recommend people start with podcasts over anything else is that it's cheaper and easier to get started getting good at creating content. So eventually you're going to want to be on all platforms, in fact I just started releasing a good amount of content over on YouTube like a month ago. Slowly starting to send some people over there to check out some of that. But I think eventually you should be everywhere. But I think starting in podcasting is a really good thing to do because this setup right here, if you're not watching this video and you're listening to this, I'm showing my microphone right now. This is an ATR 2100, this mic is like $63 on Amazon right now. This thing is literally $18, $20 - this is like a $83 set up. $83 set up including this little pop filter on the microphone.

So super cheap and easy, but it gives you really good quality cause that's the big thing. Creating content - you want to have a credible brand. And if you just start on YouTube and your stuff is horrible cause you can't afford to hire somebody that knows how to edit videos or produce good quality stuff, you better be really funny. Funny people can get away with having horrible video quality on their YouTube channel because people watch it because it's hilarious.

But if you're trying to create good quality business content and it's not good quality stuff that you put out, then it's gonna be really difficult to do that. And so podcasting is the easiest way to get started doing that if you don't have an existing audience anywhere. Plus I think that it's more difficult to get an audience on a podcast than probably any other platform, in my opinion, including YouTube because searchability and discoverability on podcasts is absolutely horrible. So if you can build an audience through a podcast, first of all, it's going to make it easier to build an audience on all other platforms, but also your relationship with your audience is much deeper.

Because 80% of podcast listeners claimed that they listened to all or most of the episodes when they hit the play button. 80% of podcast listeners, like that's a crazy high statistic that say they listen to all or most of an episode, once they hit the pause button. YouTube, the average watch time is around four minutes. I forget the exact number, but it's around four minutes - average watch time on a YouTube video. If you're trying to get your ideal client or customer to build a relationship with you and therefore get to know, like, and trust you, because trust is really what allows people to have a business.

If people don't trust you, they don't pay you and no matter how good your products or services are, if they don't trust you, they won't pay you - bottom line. So using a relationship marketing tool like a podcast to get people to build a real relationship with you, you add a ton of value to them and they learn something, they implement something in their lives that makes a huge difference and they got that from you for free.

All that does is build that trust factor, but it's just way more difficult on other platforms to grow the amount of time that you're spending with your customer than it is on a podcast because you could release ten one hour podcast episodes and if people listened to six or seven of those, then they probably have a pretty good trust factor with you at that point. Whereas if you want to get to seven hours of watch time on YouTube with an individual, at four minutes at a time, that's going to take a really long time to do. And even more so with Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or any of those other platforms.

So I think podcasting is just the way to really stand out and build genuine relationships with your audience. At the time I didn't know any of that at the time. At the time, I was just like, oh this seems like a fun thing to do. And I looked at JLD's income reports and I was just mind blown, that dude made that much money from the podcast. And so I was just like, okay well this seems like something cool.

So it was more like an exposure thing and a preference thing because I personally didn't consume a ton of content on YouTube. Even that year when I was consuming a ton of content, probably less than five hours on YouTube and the majority of it was podcasts and audio books. So my preferred platform was podcasting anyway. So it just kind of made sense for me to go that route.

Chrys: Did you think that your podcast was actually going to be your business today when you first started out?

Travis: I hoped. That was the whole reason I started it. I Had a credit card, one credit card that I put everything on my podcast for cause I didn't want to pay for my podcast out of my personal bank account. So I had a credit card, but I put everything on my podcast for and whenever I started making money on the show, I started paying down my credit card.

By the end of those first 6 - 8 months, I had $40,000 on a credit card that I had invested into the show in mentorship, masterminds, coaches, web design, logos, tickets to the event, airfare, hotel at the event, getting out, meeting people, all that stuff. It was about $40,000 when it was all said and done by the end of the year.

But by the end of my first full year, I had the card completely paid off through income directly coming off a podcast. And then after all of that debt was paid off, I was able to go full time with the show, and now I've been full time for almost a full year now.

Chrys: Okay. Let's talk about the income. So what were you doing for your podcast to actually start getting money coming in? Did you get sponsors, were you selling stuff, coaching? What were you doing?

Travis: The first thing I ever did was a mastermind. Just a bare bones minimum mastermind. You just got to start somewhere and that's what I did. I spend a lot of time with my audience and I got to know them, and got to know some of the problems that they were having and I built something that I thought would take care of some of those problems. And then I sold six people into my first 3-month mastermind and it was dirt cheap and I included an event ticket in the purchase price. I probably ended up breaking even on that. It was not a big money maker.

But what it did help me do was get my feet wet, also get people used to starting to pay me a little bit of money and then also it built a better relationship with those people cause I added a lot of value to them during that time when they're in my mastermind. So there's a lot of great things that came out of that and then that led into another mastermind. I also started doing more one-on-one coaching and group coaching now. I've got an event coming up, I have my a one on one coaching still, I have group workshops, online course community, and then I'm launching a higher ticket mastermind towards the end of the year. So there's a lot of different things going on now.

Chrys: On your podcast, you've got a lot of guests coming on talking about how they network with other people to grow their businesses. How did you turn all these interviews with all these experts into something that you could claim for yourself? Like, I am also good at networking, right? And eventually sell your masterminds because you're interviewing people, you're not the one actually sharing the strategy, so to speak.

Travis: Yeah, good question. So you don't have to be the expert to create good content. And I think a lot of people tell themselves in order to put off creating content. Like, well, you know, once I have my first exit, then I'll start creating content. Or once I hit seven figures, then I'll start getting content. Once I do this or that, I'll start creating content. You can have a full time career built off of just being an aggregator of content. And if you don't believe me, look at people like Tim Ferris - literally just aggregates content for a living. Same with Joe Rogan - Joe is more of an entertainer than a personal developement content aggregator like Tim Ferris would be. But there's countless examples out there of people who literally just do this for a living.

And the thing is like the side effects is you end up getting pretty good at it, right? When you spend a ton of time with experts talking to them, like when I spent a ton of time with experts who have billion-dollar networks, and I asked them how they built it and then they tell me how they built it, that's a pretty good way to learn and then start implementing. I started using a lot of the same strategies that I was learning from people and then coming up with my own stuff to connect with all the people before I would interview them and ask them about it.

So it was just like this insane saturation of a certain topic that takes your knowledge from super beginner to pretty advanced pretty quickly just because it's the biggest accountability partner ever. And then the people that you're talking to are literally the experts on this kind of stuff. So you have no choice, it's inevitable that you're going to get better and more knowledgeable about it even if you're not even really trying.

Chrys: Early on in your business, you were saying that you attended John Lee Dumas' mastermind where you, I think you're paid $6,500 to spend a few days with him in Puerto Rico. How did that mastermind specifically changed the trajectory of your business?

Travis: Probably honestly more of the mentality of getting used to investing in myself, like making it a habit of seeing something, finding an opportunity and pulling the trigger. I think that habit has served me really well. I've wasted some money for sure. Probably about $20,000 that I've invested in different things that just didn't end up working out and I didn't do my due diligence on them and I learned a couple lessons along the way. But that's all part of the game.

You just learn those lessons and you move on and I try to avoid it next time, but I would rather be the guy that invest in everything for myself, then the guy who invested nothing for myself because I'm a big believer that time is the ultimate asset. Money is not the ultimate asset. So if I can exchange money to cut my learning curve in half or by a third or whatever it is, then I'm most likely going to do that.

Chrys: Can you share an early success that you had that changed your business?

Travis: That's a good question. Probably when I got Elena Cardone on - was a pretty big early success where I felt like I had made a good amount of connections in the space that John Lee Dumas had operated in making that initial Clayton initial connection with him. And I got a good amount of pretty top tier guests on the show at that point. But what happens is that there's these things called structural holes that exist within networks of people, and so what you'll find is that when you move from industry to industry to industry, you'll see that all of these people over here, they all know each other and all these people over here, they all know each other, but there's nobody that's bridging the gap between those two.

Maybe they've heard of each other or spoke at a conference one time, but like there's not a lot of relationships that are happening in the middle of there. So when I got on these other people on my show, directly and indirectly through my connection with John, like, Grant's whole circle wasn't really part of that. He had an entirely different circle.

So getting Elena was a step in the right direction because that is the one that allowed me to eventually get some of the other bigger people that were in Grant's circle, which eventually led me to get Grant, which eventually led me to get a bunch of other people on after that. So that was probably an early success that I attribute a lot of the different people, the guests along the way too, because that was a foot in the door for sure.

Chrys: So I'm going to ask you in a bit, and I'm very, very curious to know how you actually got Elena on your show, because that is a huge turning point for you.

But before we go on, today's show is sponsored by my Messenger marketing agency, Chrys Media. We work with our clients to help them get more leads and increase engagement and sales with Facebook messenger marketing. So if you're interested to learn more about Facebook messenger marketing and how it can help your business and go check out my free online training on how you can use Facebook messenger marketing. So go to hackyouronlinebusiness.com/messenger after today's show. 

I'm looking at the list of names that you've interviewed and it's like the Emmys for business. You've interviewed Grant Cardone that we just talked about, John C. Maxwell, Kevin Harrington, Jack Canfield, and so many more. I see they are all in the 100th or 200th episode. Did you intentionally wait till you achieve more episodes before you actually reached out to these big names?

Travis: No, I mean some of them, yeah. But no, it was mainly just because people like that don't typically give other people the time of day if they did not see some sort of success or have some clout or came from a personal recommendation or referral. They just don't take you seriously and it's just way more difficult to find a way to get ahold of them until you reached a certain point.

Chrys: Yeah, and I want to talk about that, actually reaching out and getting one of them, because I'm a huge fan of Grant Cardone. I watch a lot of his videos on real estate investing, not I've ever invested in any real estate, but I just love his videos. So we talked about Elena Cardone, who is actually the wife of grant Cardone. Share with me, how did you get Grant Cardone on your show through Elena?

Travis: So this kind of goes back to my connection with John again. In Puerto Rico, I wanted to find a way to add volunteer to work a booth for him at a podcasting conference coming up. And so I went to that booth and I sold a ton of journals for him. And so then he ended up inviting me back to work the next event with him, which was this event called Thrive that was happening in Las Vegas. So I went to that event with him and worked the booth for him there.

And it happens to be that Elena and Grant were both speaking at that event, and so when I was in the back working the booth, somebody was up speaking, Grant and Elena came in the back door. So there weren't a ton of people around them, but the people that were standing in the back or in the sponsorship area like where I was, flooded Grant and he had three or four people around him and people were taking pictures with him and talking to him or whatever. And this was when Elena was really beginning to start on her social presence, I don't know how many followers she has now,tThis was back when she had like maybe 50, 60,000 followers on Instagram. She was getting started to build her personal brand after Grant's.

And so I saw her standing by herself and I just went over and started talking to her. And because I was the only one talking to her, I had her full attention and we talked about 10 - 15 minutes. I ended up tagging her in Instagram post, a story that day. She replied and said, great to meet you or whatever. At that point I replied back and said, hey, I got this podcast. I would love to get you on and she said yes. From that point though, it took me another two and a half months of following up to actually make it happen. She's just such a busy person. And so I finally was able to make it happen.

And then at the end of the interview I asked her if she knew anybody that she thought would be a good fit for the show. And she's like, well, have you heard of Grant Cardone? I was like, yes, I have. And she goes, well, I'll introduce you to Grant. I was like, great, this is awesome. So she makes an intro email to Grant's executive assistant and I literally got turned down. So I got an introduction from his wife and his gatekeeper still stopped me dead in my tracks. And to her credit, she was doing her job as a gatekeeper. I know her, I still know her, she doesn't work for Grant anymore, she works for somebody else, but she's a great executive assistant and she did her job like she was supposed to.

But at the time I was not happy about it obviously cause I was like, oh man, I thought I found this backdoor through an intro from Elena and it just didn't work out. So at that time I basically just decided, well I have to make this a no brainer for Grant. So that's when I started really working at the people around his circle and the people that he was going to have speak at his conference that year. I started making a plan to go get all those people on and not just because I wanted Grant on, but all of those people were also awesome at what they did and I wanted all of them on too.

So I ended up just going on and getting probably six or seven other people that I knew he was familiar with and trust or had already done business with. So by the second time I reached out to him, I had probably 8 or 9 names, maybe 10 or 11 and his wife was one of them, of people who had already been on my show that I knew that he knew and had a good relationship with. So at that time I just said, yeah, it's time to get you on basically, and so he replied back, yeah, sure, let's do it.

Chrys: Let's talk about how you got those 8 to 9 people on that show. Because I mean they are not small fishes as well. They're big names. So what did you do to actually reach out to those 8 to 9 names that you want it to connect with?

Travis: You just reach out more people than you want. There are just so many people that are like, I want these eight people and then they only reach out to those eight people. It's like, no, no, no. Go reach out to 20 people that are all similar and if you did seven or eight yeses, fantastic. The thing is, the more yeses you get, the easier it is to get the next yes, because they see social proof of people that they already know, like and trust that have already trusted you with their time to come on your show.

So when I had someone like Elena, it was easier to get Brad Lee, or when I had Elena and Brad Lee, it was easier to get Ed Mylett. And when I had Ed Mylett, Elena and Brad Lee, than it was easier to get the other people that I had on my show at that time and bring them all on my show. And then by the time it got to Grant, it was just easier for him to say yes because there were too many people on there that he had a relationship with.

Chrys: During your interview on Entrepreneurs On Fire, one thing that you kept saying over and over again was how we have to give value to others, especially if we want to connect and network of them. So can you share with my audience why we need to even think about giving value when we want to connect or network someone?

Travis: Yeah, so one hands down, 100% you network will always increase in direct correlation to the amount of value that you add to other people. That's just the bottom line. Look at anybody with like a super high net worth network. Take somebody like Mark Zuckerberg for example. He can connect with probably anybody in the world that he wanted to connect with, like literally anybody. The reason is that he is a person of value, he has a lot of value to offer to people. He's has a lot of social influence and he has a lot of money, like an unlimited amount of value that he could potentially add to anybody. Therefore he can connect with anybody. Does that make sense?

So if you're starting from the very bottom and you don't have much to offer, you don't have any money to make it count, you don't have the influence, you don't have any platform, you don't have any relationships, you don't have any of those things, you have to find the thing that you can add value to. Maybe it's a skill set, maybe it's just time, maybe you're 19, you don't have any real skills or anything like that, but you have a good attitude and you have time that you can volunteer to help somebody and learn from them.

Go do that. Find whatever that value add is for you and continue to make yourself better and better and better because the better you become, the more valuable of a person you become, which means you can add more value to more people, which means that you can connect with more people easier. It's just like this big snowball that continues to happen when we start focusing on the value add without the expectation of receiving anything in return because that's a really big one.

I'll have people reach out to me and it's transactional. Like, hey Travis, I want to get you on my show. I'm like, okay, cool would love to. And it's like, but I also want to come on your show. You are [inaudible] the reciprocity style to begin with so that those aren't the people that I want to fill my network with is a bunch of people who are going to have transactional relationships with me. If you only want me on if I have you on, that is not as advantageous to me because I've been working on my show for two years now, 300 plus episodes and you have 15, you just started - you're thinking the wrong way.

You're thinking of like, I'm going to do this thing for you and then you can do the same for me. If that's the way that you're adding value to people, you're always going to be frustrated because you create these virtual contracts in your mind that people are obligated to fulfil without really actually being obligated to fulfil those things. So you're going to have this thing, in my words like, well, I did this thing for that person and they didn't do this thing for me like I was expecting them to do. 

And now you just go with life creating these relationships and then burning the bridge because that person didn't fulfil the thing that you thought they should've fulfilled because you added value to them. So you have to detach yourself from the expectation of receiving anything back and be willing to add value without that expectation attached to it or else the law of reciprocity doesn't kick in.

You have to be willing just to add value to people, add value to people, add value to people, and continue to do that and continue to make yourself better. And that way you can add more value to more people and then the more value you can add to people, the more influence you'll have with them and the better your network will be.

Chrys: Can you give me a couple of specific examples of how you've added value to the people that you wanted to connect with?

Travis: Yeah, so now it's a lot easier. Like I was saying now it's a lot easier for me because coming on my show is a value add now. I have a platform and I have a real audience like there's an actual value add there. So when I was at the beginning of my show, it was more of a value add to me for them to come on my show because I had nobody listening and all it did was help me build my credibility and help me get better guests.

So there was more of a value add to me than it was for them, but now it's switched a little bit and obviously depending on the guests - that goes back and forth all the time. If it's a huge name guest, then probably more of a benefit to me than to them. But for a lot of people, it's a more benefits to them than it is to me.

So there's a huge value add piece right there, which is why I encourage everybody to have a platform - a YouTube channel, a podcast, and Instagram, Facebook, whatever it is. Build something where you have a platform that people want to come on because that will allow you to connect to a lot more people. So platform is a big thing.

To give you a good example too, another mentor of mine, Cole Hatter, who runs the event Thrive. So when I was at Thrive with JLD, I ended up joining the mastermind that's attached to Thrive, which is through the guy who runs Thrive, which is Cole and his wife Sonia. And I was talking to him about the event business and what he did to get started in that and basically he lost money on the first three Thrives that he threw, but it was worth it to him because it allowed him to connect with all the people that he wants to connect with.

And now he's business partners with people like Eric Thomas, somebody that he watched in junior high for motivational videos and now he's like a business partner with him because he's able to connect with E.T through his events that has 1200, 1500 people at it because that was a value add to ET to get in front of that audience. And then they were able to build a good relationship and build the rapport with each other and now they're in business together.

Like having a platform is huge, so for me it's my podcast, for Cole it's his events. Other people would be their YouTube channel, whatever it is, like that's a really great value. It's hard to say because everybody's different and everybody has a different way to add value.

One of the biggest ways that I add value now is not only through my podcast but also through introductions to other people. I find myself connecting a lot of people now because that's a huge value add to other people, so I always try to be the connector of people and I don't ask for anything. If they do business together, I'm just happy that they were able to work something out. I detach myself in that outcome, but all it does is build goodwill in other people's eyes with you if you're always trying to add value and not asking for anything back.

There's two ways right there: Build a platform or build an audience and then connect people with other people. If you don't have connections, maybe it's buying a course or buying a mastermind or buying something high ticket from that individual. Maybe you don't have money. Okay, well let's go back to the time thing. Like I said, you're 19 years old. You have no money, you have no experience, no skills, you have no connections. What do you do at that point? Okay, well you got time. So like go in, ask for some advice, take their advice, do the work and then come back to them and see if you can volunteer at their next events or help them sell some of their materials or maybe just be active in a Facebook group.

There's so many ways to add value. Once you understand what people are genuinely looking for, that's a huge value add to me. I love it when I see people in my Facebook community that are always engaging and posting new things and commenting on other people's posts and helping other people. I see their names pop up all the time because I'm managing that community on a day to day basis. Those names stand out to me and mean more to me cause they're adding value to me and to the other people in the group community.

That's a super small thing that anybody can do, but it does add value. Is that going to get them like a free month of my time? No, because that value ladder - is down here, right? That's what I was saying is that the better you become, the more value you can add, the more people you connect with.

Chrys: You talked about Facebook groups for connecting, you talked about Instagram on another interview. What other platforms are great for networking and connecting with the people that you want?

Travis: All of them. Instagram is my favorite, hands down. Facebook, second favorite. But all of them are good. I don't do enough on LinkedIn or Twitter, but those are both... you got to be everywhere. I personally don't think that you can focus on every platform. So once you get to a certain point that you can hire a team member that can focus on every platform for you, but whatever platforms you do pick, like you gotta just be super engaged on that.

Chrys: So it's not so much about the platform itself, it's about how you provide valuing and actually connect with that person. Right. So it could be on Instagram, it could be on YouTube, it could be on LinkedIn and Facebook, whatever platform, it doesn't matter.

Travis: Totally. Yeah, I would say it kind of depends on your industry or your niche too. Because for me, a lot of people that I know and want to connect with are on Instagram. But maybe if you're more in the corporate world, you're probably going to find not a lot of them are on Instagram. And if they are on Instagram, they'll probably have 200 followers and it's like a private account. It's only for their family and pictures of their kids or whatever.

So maybe LinkedIn would be a better place for you to be if maybe you're in the corporate world and you're trying to connect with corporate people. You just got to know your industry, your niche, and look for the top people in your industry and ask yourself, where are these people hanging out?

Chrys: So can you share with me when you want to reach out to someone, what do you normally say in that first message that you send to someone?

Travis: Yeah, so there's a whole list of them. More or less what it is is, and I have a YouTube video on this where I actually type out full templated email that I sent to somebody. So it's not just blanks and stuff, it's literally an email that I send out. I pressed send as soon as I was on recording the video. So there's a YouTube video on this so it will break it down for you. Basically I start with something complimentary. I lead with value every time and try to let them know that I'm not just like some random guy that reached out cause I know that they have a big following. Like, I actually follow their stuff and I really enjoy like some of the content they're putting out or whatever it is.

So I start with that and then I move into a little bit of information on myself so that they can know who I am. So like, hey, what's up? My name's Travis, I'm run a top business podcast called Build Your Network, and then I always link to my website on the Build Your Network thing. I used to put a ton of information that in the message, but super busy people don't have time to read through and respond to stuff like that.

So now I just put a hyperlink there and if they want to read more about me they can, if not, no worries. I'll just put that there. And then I throw in some credibility and I say some of the guests that I've had on in the past and I include a bunch of names that I know that they're familiar with cause I go to the people that they follow on Instagram or Twitter or whatever, and then I have a meaningful request, which is, I would love to add you to the lineup, would you like to share your message to the audience, thanks in advance. 

Always thanks in advance, cause I want to open that psychological loop that I want them to close. So I'm going to thank them in advance for something that they haven't done yet because it might increase my odds of actually getting them to do, whether it's conscious or subconscious, it's something that I think works pretty well.

Chrys: I took that advice from your interview with Johnny Lee Dumas and I started using it and I think it actually helped just a little.

Travis: It's never going to be the thing that boosts your response rate by 600% but 5% to 20% and why wouldn't you do something? Even if it was only 2% or 5%, why wouldn't you do that? You know what I mean? Anything that you can do that doesn't take you an insane amount of effort but increases your odds of getting response back. Why would you not do that?

Chrys: Do you follow up with them if they don't reply you? How many times do you follow up them?

Travis: Just depends on how bad I want them as a guest. Some people I won't follow up cause just like nah, not really a huge deal to me. Some people I will reply back as often as I need to in order to get a response. I had somebody that I just finally got an email and now he's booked on the show that I sent three messages to with no response. And then the fourth one, they finally said, Oh man, I'm so sorry, this just got to the bottom of my inbox. Yeah, let's do it, I'm happy to.

A big one for me was Molly Bloom who I got on the show awhile back, and it took six months and probably seven to ten different emails for her to actually say she's coming on. So it's sort of depends on how bad I really want them, how high up on my list.

Chrys: Let's talk about what you see people struggle with when it comes to building their network. What would you say are the most common things that people struggle with when it comes to networking?

Travis: Yeah, you have to have a well balanced network, which means you have to network up, you've got to network down. So most people spend all of their time networking out. They spend time with everybody else that is on their same level. And I think that that's useful, but I also think that you're missing really important areas, reaching up to people who are way higher than you so you can learn what they did and implement their strategies.

And then pulling people up that were where you were when you first started and helping mentor some people. They say that you never really fully learn something until you'd have to teach it. And so I think that if you always have people that you're kind of helping out in coaching and mentoring, whether in an official or unofficial context, I think it's going to really help you efine your skill set and help you be a better whatever it is you are.

You've got to connect with the people above you too, because those are the people that have all the secrets that propel them to where they are. If you don't connect with those people, then you're just always going to be connecting with people on a mediocre level and you're always going to be mediocre. That's just how it is. You got to get around the people who are doing things on a level that's just so much higher than you even know exists.

Chrys: Now before we end off this episode, I would like you to share what is the biggest lesson that you've learned as an entrepreneur?

Travis: I got to go back to this quote from Steve Martin, that's "Be so good that they can't ignore you." I use that a lot, but I just love it so much and I just think that it's so true. I had this conversation with Tom Bilyeu who built a billion dollar protein bar company in four years or something stupid like that. What a saturated space to into - protein bars, like really? That's was your guys's angle?

The way he says it is there's always room for the best and Steve Martin would say be so good they can't ignore you. Like if you get good enough, if you sharpen your skillset enough, you will cut through the noise. Keep perfecting the craft and getting better and testing and experimenting. That'll always, always be a longterm thing.

Chrys: All right guys, this is a perfect way to close out this episode. Go check out travischappell.com after today's show. That's two Ps two Ls. You can also find his podcast Build Your Network on iTunes. So thank you guys so much for spending time with me and Travis. Head on over to hackyouronlinebusiness.com, you can find these show notes, links, and everything that we just talked about today. I want to thank you so much, Travis, for coming on the show.

Travis: Chrys, really appreciate you having me on.

Thanks For Listening, My Friend!

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