11 Networking Tips to be Connected by Mari-Lyn Harris

ml_fresh2 copyTo meet new people is sometimes very scary, especially when you don’t like doing it or you are new to town or shy.

Let’s say, you have just moved to a new city what do you do?  This is a great question,  Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank..asks this of people when there are offers on the table. “What are you going to do?”

When I moved to San Francisco CA,  I just knew I wanted to launch an idea/project here. Of course the weather and it’s beauty does help too!

What you need to do, is figure out who you want to meet..when I arrived I knew no one, even though people may say, “hey look me up and…” I think they just said this out courtesy don’t depend on them..some may actually  mean it, some really don’t. I was fortunate that my sister lived here for a long time and hooked me up with a few people..that I could meet or get to know. One of the gals was Liz –  Bette just said “Meet MariLyn for coffee and pretend it’s her (Bette).”  We did, we hit it off, and I always keep in touch or find ways that we can socialize.

I’ve been here for almost 2 years..boy it’s hard to imagine.. I have some great connections in the Food business and still finding ways to meet more people.

My 11 Networking Tips:
1. Pick a focus or vertical of people that you want to meet, this will shorten your time.

2. Go to each city’s Chamber mixers – just to get a feel for the people and the area your are in. Living in Fremont, my roommate would tell me about it, introduce people to me, it will give you time to discover who you would like to get to know better. Each chamber has it’s own focus.

3. Volunteer – I actually volunteered for an organization that I liked what they were doing – Community Gardens.. I was offered a contract for a Project Manager as they received a grant. I said, yes! I was just so happy to have something while finding my way.

4.  Go to Church – Normally it’s not something someone says..find a church that believes in the values as you do.  That will fill your spirit. Why? Because, you’ll depend upon your Spirit or your God within to help you on your new adventure or journey.

5. Check out Meet-Up.com, they have many meetings listed, pick a couple that could help you in your job search, for socializing or just interests. There are lots of business networking groups.

6. Take a class. Learn something new and meet people at the same time.

7. If you are looking for a Tech job, check out this website (www.techjobscafe.com) for jobs. One thing that is funny here, people post jobs on Craigslist.com. Also be active on LinkedIn. Search Indeed.com, you can connect using your LinkedIn account.

8. Be proactive in meeting new people, ask them where they go.  If they are active, they will invite you as a guest. When you find a group you like, reciprocate.

9. Be consistent in networking. I met this gal who was a financial planner I asked her how she keeps up with all the networking she does. Her answer was, she goes to a women group every month and volunteers for committees. The rest of the time, she has five groups that she attends once a month on a consistent basis.

10. Start your own group, whether it’s online or meeting in person.  You never know who you are going to meet. Or join a group like Rotary that would be of interest to you.

11.  Be a hostess/host of the event. Even if it’s not yours. It’s a great way to get comfortable, you are helping other people who are shy and you meet more people. Years ago, I was coaching a gentleman who wanted to meet new people, he was rather shy, I just suggested that he become a host of the event. He reported back to me, saying it worked really well.

Try these 11 tips out see how they work for you. I love to hear which tips that have worked for you.

You can also be a guest blogger by writing a blog about you or your business for this website:  http://www.scrappywomen.biz/blog

MariLyn Harris advises Food Startups – how to energize their Marketing. She blogs, writes about Marketing, Social Justice issues and a few things in-between.  Food 4 Social Change is a Producer Cooperative, provides many services to support food startups. A complete food-eco system. Check out http://food4socialchange.org

Branding U by Mari-Lyn Harris

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One of the things I still come back to is Blogging..you know it’s a client magnet. A few years ago my partner and I were getting ready to launch a series of workshops and then do a Blog Challenge. The idea was to empower more people to use blogging as a way to brand yourself, and your business that you want to be known for.

My partner at the time after a year began to attract attention to himself, he wrote about something very specific, something he loved to write about, soon news magazines asked him if he would write for them. His audience got up to 22,000 visitors per month. This was his tipping point for success for him. (everyone is different) over time it increased to 200,000 visitors.

I’ve been blogging since 2004, my first blog was about Love and Kindness..with 5,000 monthly visitors a month and growing steadily. This helped me to develop Heart@Work as a company, producing conferences about Kindness, workplace wellness and getting media attention. A local paper picked up, what I was doing and wrote a whole page in their paper about Heart@Work. I got this for free, I would’t of been able to pay for this..this paper went out to thousands of businesses. Other people started to contact me for projects. All from a passion I had about “Kindness.” and blogging about it.

What I know for sure is that Blogging really works. It’s an inexpensive way for you to Brand U. Now, it will be easier to develop readers or an audience, than what it was for me from 2004 – 2008. Back then, there weren’t that many people online. There were enough people to say, YES! I want more kindness in my workplace. YES! How can it be made better?

There are many things you can do to Brand U, get yourself known, from social networking, face to face meetings, workshops etc are all very important things to do. One really, really great thing you can do right now, is to get started and Blog. Building your social capital and network is about building up people, reciprocating, collaborating, exchanging ideas with each other. Check in once in while with people in how you can help them. What you do, what you stand for and what you say will create your Brand.

If you have read Christine Comaford-Lynch’s book “Rules for Renegades” she talks about how sometimes you just need to find another way around to get things done. One of her chapters is “Build Power Rather than Borrowing it.” It’s time to build your own Power..this is what Scrappy Women do, we help each other, break the rules. We become a Renegade. I really enjoyed reading her book.


Mari-Lyn Harris is a Business Coach, She’s been coaching new startups since 1996. She’s been called “The Catalyst.” Loves to work with Women Entrepreneur Bloggers. Let’s expand your social networks, learn how to Brand U through a Blog Boutique. Heart@Work http://heartatworkonline.org mari-lyn@heartatworkonline.org T: 510-564-7880

I Lovingly Move Myself Forward or Paying It Forward by Mari-Lyn Harris


What am I going to write about? The usual Marketing, Social Media stuff? No, I wanted to write something deeper… something more on a personal note.

When we allow ourselves to embrace our Divine Feminine, the nurturer, the caring person, we honor ourselves, the part of us that is magnificence. This part of us is Love, Oneness, Divine, where we celebrate ourselves, our dreams and our passions. Even when we are scrappy and sassy!

My story starts after spending some time in a Spiritual Retreat for a few months, I felt honored and of course there aren’t words enough to show my appreciation to have spent the time with Mercedes. She really directed me back to spirit to a very personal place, as I was healing my broken heart and in doing so I also got my stomach and legs back. (this is a longer story). I also got to learn how to embrace my own magnificence. I could barely say the word let alone feel it. My mantra became: “I lovingly move myself forward to greater success and love.” rather than the story that everyone wanted to hear about.

While I was there, I started to create the next chapter of my life which is about making a difference, helping others, sharing Kindness has always been my passion. Empowering Entrepreneurs who make a difference not just for a profit, for a mission or cause, these people who are visionaries. They want to change the world.

I Founded, Food 4 Social Change, the Mission is: “To create a community of Social Change Leaders who are changing the world one business at a time.” My vision is to create an Incubator/Cooperative combination.

I started to create a personal marketing plan and found the “HOW” is not up to me – it’s up to God/Universe whatever you want to use, to show me the way. Being new to San Francisco, CA. I didn’t know anyone. I asked God “What’s next? “ Please put the people in front of me so this may come together.

I began to network and meet people, just be curious what their passions are and support them in some way. Even if it’s just words of encouragement.

In 2009, I started a Pie business, my intention was to use it as a vehicle of social change. Make delicious naughty pies to feed the hungry. Thus “Feeding the hungry one pie at a time.” came to be. 1% of the profits in 2009-2010 went to Food Banks. Now, I have chosen to donate to community garden projects as I believe it’s better to teach someone to grow, eat and be healthy, they will in turn will help others to do the same. The ripple is now in play. Paying it Forward.

Sedona Pies will be re-launching here in San Francisco, CA. The pies are Sinfully Delicious, made from honest ingredients and Love. I like to call them naughty pies. because they are made from Wine, Beer and Spirits. Sweet pies – fruit to nuts. Oh, did I say they are topless too! Gluten free is available.

Sedona Pies is a part of Food 4 Social Change along with other Food Entrepreneurs who make a difference. As I go along, I will attract the perfect people who will want to join me.

If you haven’t found your passion yet, I encourage you to get in touch with your Divine Magnificence, you will then discover your purpose and know what’s next.


Mari-Lyn Harris, CEO & Founder of Heart@Work, Sedona Pies and Food 4 Social Change. Author, Visionary, Believes in World Kindness and making a difference. You can find her at http://food4socialchange.com and http://sedonapies.com. If you have any questions, just give her a call: 510-564-7880.