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Have You Heard The Buzz? I Certainly Have!

At the moment there is a lot of talk of how Business Buzz is shaking up the networking world.

We offer accessible networking for all in business, we are innovative in our thinking & the people who walk through our doors or join us online really matter. Business Buzz provides one of the best networking experiences around & online.

I am proud to be part of the Business Buzz Family & so, I am going to share my story to success.

When I started my business in January 2017, I made a very conscious decision that my primary marketing tool was to get out from behind my desk & to go networking. Early into my journey I discovered Business Buzz. Although, I have tried many other networking formats I returned time & time again to Buzz. It has been an anchor in my business & my path to success.

You may ask why? Well, that’s easy to answer! There is no membership pressure. The format is relaxed, pay-as-you-go, & our events run on the same day, same time each month. There is no time wasted on elevator pitches, seminars or speeches that most people never listen too or enjoy. Conversation is king, to which most of the time at Buzz is dedicated. Each Buzz event is run by an independent small business owner who actually cares about your visit to their event. Buzz events are always welcoming & friendly. The People running the events know all of their visitors, they are on hand to make introductions & there are no egos. Finally, Buzz is not in competition with anyone else. We are complimentary to nearly all other business-to-business networking formats. Business Buzz is the best at what we do. Really, what is not to like?

I started my Business Buzz journey as an attendee, where I made some amazing connections & saw my business grow. As I mentioned before, I liked the social conversation-based format, which is the Business Buzz trademark. I like Buzz so much that I wanted to get more involved. So, when Buzz opened a monthly event in my local town, it seemed a no-brainer to grasp the opportunity. I came onboard as the Ambassador, supporting the Host to run their event. Being in this role allowed me to meet everyone that walked through the door, to become a well-known face & to allow the Host to manage the room, without the worry about the meet & greet process. It also gave me an insight into how to maximize my time networking. It showed me the potential & positive impact becoming a Buzz Host could have on my business. After a few months I reached out to one of the Buzz Co-Founders: Katrina Sargent & we discussed the option of me becoming a Buzz Host!

Who would have known that I was going to be so great at this? In October 2018 I made an investment in my business & in Buzz as I launched Business Buzz’s 16th monthly event in Thame, South Oxfordshire.

For me, shifting up a gear to become a Buzz Host saw a dramatic change in the awareness of my business & personal profiles. I went from simply being an attendee in the melee of the networking room to becoming a well-connected person for the local business community. I became the person other business owners wanted to connect with & to spend time with. I saw a significant uplift in quotes, conversions & the prosperity of my own business. Being part of a trusted networking brand certainly made the difference. The support I received from the team across Buzz gave me the confidence to make my Buzz event a success.

Being a Buzz host has allowed me to hone some on my natural skill-set. I have an intuitive 360-degree approach. This enables me to build a loyal group of like-minded key business people to whom I can make genuine & valued referrals. This in turn enhances the visitor experienced of coming to Buzz. My social media skills have come to the fore in marketing my Buzz events & my own business. I am now a confident user of Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook. Social media & marketing are places I would never have considered as a space I felt comfortable in before. Just look at what I can do now!

Ultimately, I make my Business Buzz events welcoming. They are a vibrant place where people want to come to meet other like-minded business people & to connect. Without a question of a doubt, part of my success is finding time to have 1-2-1 conversations with my visitors, outside of the Buzz event itself. An hour spent finding out about another business owners’ products, services, or their journey means they are invested in me, my brand & Business Buzz. Having a genuine & honest 1-2-1 conversation should always be a mutually beneficial exercise & this is where the real power of networking lies.

From a standing start I built an event that was one of the best attended in the Business Buzz monthly calendar. A not to be missed networking meet-up. In running this event I set my own goals high & through hard work I exceeded my own expectations.

However, my Business Buzz journey did not stop there. The next phase is kind of straightforward & a logical step. To become a Business Buzz Regional Lead!

Now, I support other business owners to become successful Buzz Hosts in their own right, to become part of the Business Buzz family & to support them in their personal & professional growth. I currently manage two Business Buzz regions that includes Northamptonshire.

I am not saying that I did not have concerns in taking this next step. New pressures & seeing Buzz from a different angle took me out of my comfort zone (but that is healthy & innovation is the key to success).

I re-branded & re-focused my business to become a full-time professional super-connector, networker & event manager. My new brand contains vestiges of the old, but with the encouragement of my network, Buddha Connect was born.

The really powerful thing is that at a regional level Business Buzz offers a model that can deliver a healthy income year on year. It is exciting to be part of a brand that is growing, is forward thinking & where I can be a crucial part of that growth moving forward.

Since making this decision to become a Regional Lead, I have overseen the arrival of four new events to the Buzz portfolio for Warwick, Rugby, Coventry & Birmingham. Because of my success in building the Warwickshire region from scratch the team at Buzz HQ encouraged me to bring Northampton Buzz & the Northamptonshire region under my wing.

Building a brilliant team has been hugely rewarding & so, I am excited to be supporting Marie Jay, as we work together to develop her Northampton Buzz event into a pivotal networking experience for Northamptonshire.

My team of Hosts, Ambassadors, Venue Partners & Event Sponsors are an amazing group of people & local businesses. The arrival of Coronavirus has presented challenges for everyone. Business Buzz took a measured & thoughtful approach on how to continue. Because we didn’t rush to bring Buzz to the virtual world, this meant we found the right solution that replicates our face-to-face events really closely. The Remo platform has been a game changer for Buzz & has made us one of the market leaders in the virtual networking world.

I’m going to be honest & say that my journey of self-employment hasn’t been the straightest or the easiest of routes. I suffer from poor mental health! This has not limited my growth. In fact, Business Buzz has supported me to flourish, & to discover new skills that I did not know I had in a supportive environment. Their inclusive approach helps mitigate much of my own fears, worries & anxiety. Thanks to Business Buzz I am more confident in my own abilities & know I am on the road to long term success & prosperity.

I am tasked with growing the Buzz presence across Northamptonshire. If you might be interested in becoming part of the Business Buzz Family, there are opportunities to become a Buzz licensee Host for locations across the county including Corby, Daventry, Kettering, Towcester & Wellingborough. To find-out more simply email the team at Buzz HQ on admin@business-buzz.org to start the conversation & your journey to success. You have so much to gain!

Author: James Brodie - Regional Lead for Business Buzz Northamptonshire

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