The BizDev Boost Podcast Series was developed to help those of you making business connections for your own business or someone else’s to secure a commission. As a reminder, I’ve been conducting business development introductions through my own business for about 15-16 years now. My focus is impact spaces — like health, technology, education, entrepreneurship, diplomacy, and econ dev. And, there’s more, but, the primary point is that I’ve been able to work my network into some amazing opportunities.
So, let’s continue into this series talking a bit in-depth about the “Viz Vehicle.”
My entre’ into the work I’m doing now in business development for impact started with an online media platform. Roughly 8 years ago, I started putting together what would end up being the first business networking digital magazine for social impact. Then called “The Introducer Magazine,” we spotlighted global leaders in several spaces that mostly connected to the United Nations SDGs. The magazine evolved into what is now Frontrunners Innovate, an online media platform with goals to achieve two things: 1) Provide some visibility for great projects, efforts, and solutions going on in the world; and 2) Uncover gaps in the work of these fabulous human resources and help them to connect with others who can help them create and expand impact. (Number #2 is where the business part of what I do happens.)
A 20-minute video interview can reveal far more about a person than a static profile page. Benefits for creating a “Viz Vehicle” that allows you to give a spotlight to others are tremendous:
- It’s a gift that keeps on giving (online interviews hang around and are searchable online). Your interviewee will be grateful if you do a good job.
- The link to the interview becomes a great marketing tool for you as you seek to make business connections (Within the last 4 months, I shared the link to an interviewee about 6 times to help promote the interviewee for a business conversation. We are currently progressing with 2 very promising conversations. The 2 I sent the interview to are also interviewees. See how that works!)
- As you continue to work interviews with extraordinary people, you will attract more of the same. If you are using Linkedin to do your searching, you can count on more of the same coming your way as Linkedin will promote you to them and vice versa. Also, the people you interview will refer others to you. I’ve had referrals from US diplomats to other US diplomats. I also have a fellow business developer who is also an angel investor who has stacked me up with great interviewees and several of them have become clients.
- As the interview host, you are also receiving visibility. And, you can share the hosting spotlight with someone in your network who may be able to help keep the conversation rich.
One added benefit for me relates to my belief that meaningful conversations with people around the world create a connection that builds relationships, and in turn, helps to build peace. Diversity is such a tricky thing all over the world for a lot of reasons, but, building relationships is critical. And, for my part, the more people I can get to know in different spots of the world, the more I feel like I’m contributing to that result. So, I keep track – about 65 countries so far.
So, let’s move on. I mentioned the tips in the podcast, so you might access it to hear more explanation, but, here they are listed:
Tips for creating an interview “Viz Vehicle:”
- Identify particular types consistent with where you want to be (the spaces you want to work in and the types with whom you wish to work)
- Create an “agenda” flow for the interview/conversation (shared my own on the podcast-see link at the top)
- Find several places to put the recording (podcast, website, video platform, etc.)
- Create simple policies/instructions for interviewees (disclaimers and tasks)
- Due Diligence (Don’t think it was mentioned on the podcast, but, doing a quick Internet search will at least give you some information on the credibility of your interviewee. But, keep in mind to disclaim your business from the responsibility of misstated information on your site where you post your interview. Your recording is not a detective interview; you are giving a person an opportunity to share using their own words.)
- Create a policy on how to handle disgruntled persons. Relating to the bullet above, you should know in advance how you’d react before someone shows up disgruntled with an interviewee. Anytime someone is in the spotlight, there will almost always be someone around who will challenge why they are there. Occasionally, those people will come to you to vent.
If you use your “Viz Vehicle” for good, you will generally draw those who are good. From a business development standpoint, you really can’t ask for a better tool to move your business forward.
A final collection of stories about my own “Viz Vehicle:” I met all 3 of my business partners through my platform. I had interviewed each one. My platform attracted the fathers of two young girls whom they wished for me to mentor. I spent a year mentoring both (one from Tanzania and one from India) and we (they and their families) have become great friends. The first father to contact me ended up being the rescuer for another of my interviewees in his country. She was without medical attention and food during a low point and the only other person in her country I knew, was the father of my mentee. He went to see her in person within an hour after I called him and helped her get back on track. One of the innovators I’ve interviewed co-founded a stem cell R & D organization with partnering clinics around the world. My husband and I traveled to Mexico to gain access to stem cell treatment from one of the clinics early in 2021 to help with an illness he had – a timely “godsend” of a resource that I’d not have known otherwise.
The benefits grow consistently. Contact us if you are interested in further assistance. Until next time, Happy Frontrunning.