Lara Heacock is a Leadership Coach on a mission to end burnout by helping leaders and business owners bring more kindness into their work (and life!). Lara holds an MBA, is an ICF certified coach (PCC), author of Practical Kindness, and co-host of the podcast Doing (good) Business. She is Editor in Chief of popular personal development blog where she writes a weekly Monday Motivator.

Lara and I met a few years ago high atop the city of Philadelphia early one morning in one of my favorite places in which to view the sunrise, the Pyramid Club. We were there for a gathering of Ellevate Network, FemCity, and The Walnut Club members. Lara recalls that during the meeting we were organized into small groups to discuss a topic and share our commercials. She says that upon hearing her commercial, I said, “That’s it, that’s what you should lead with!” and a friendship of the two Laura’s was born.

In this candid interview Lara shares her transition from the course creation model of coaching to a network-based business model that aligned more with her personality. She shares how she “dated” several networking groups in her area to get a feel for the organizations and members before deciding to invest her time and money. This is something I advise clients to do often and I love hearing that this is how Lara started connecting and growing her business.

3-years ago Lara joined Ellevate Network and began building relationships with the leaders and other members. She shares that she quickly developed relationships with the leadership team and felt an urge to become part of that team. Nine short months after joining, she stepped into the role of Membership Chair for the Philadelphia chapter. She shares that it felt like a good fit especially since she was already committed to attending the monthly meetings.

Leadership opportunities are a great way to grow your connections and deepen relationships with all the members.

Relationships are super important to Lara. She shares that she is pretty clear on who she wants to meet and connect with when she networks, moving those connections to conversations that then lead to relationships is her goal. She shares that relationships are all about maintenance, maintaining relationships is critical and feels the most authentic to her. Networking really is about relationships…meetings are just the introduction. It’s what you do when you leave that makes the difference.

Lara is very purposeful in connecting with people through social media and staying connecting. She is intentional about the content she shares, the articles she posts, and the comments she makes. Her goal is to always deliver value for her audience and her connections. She shares a great example of someone who took part of an article she had written on LinkedIn, implemented it into a team meeting, and then shared the results from that meeting on social media with credit to Lara for the initial article.

A great little tip Lara shares is the value of sharing other people’s content, this really helps to build relationships just by adding value to others. Your network appreciates when you take the time to add your expertise to their content and it’s a great opportunity to support your network.

Lara also touched on writing for LinkedIn and how much more engagement she has with articles as opposed to just sharing a post from her blog. She suggests writing an article for LinkedIn and then posting it to your blog rather than the other way around like most of us do. (I’m going to give that a try. I’ll keep you posted.)

During our conversation we talked about how speaking helps to build your credibility and your relationships. As speakers we’ve had to shift to delivering presentations virtually, so meeting people one-on-one at events doesn’t happen, or at least it isn’t quite the same. Lara, shares a wonderful example of someone who reached out to her because she saw that Lara would be presenting to her company later in the month and she reached out to connect with her beforehand to get to know her.

Love that! How often do we wait to connect with speakers until after we’ve heard them, or at all?

Getting curious with your connections and following up on the conversations you’ve had matters. Lara offers some amazing insight on how she likes to connect with her audience and stay connected after events and presentations. We both agree that people need to feel heard and seen and Lara certainly makes me want to step up my connections with my audience.

This interview is filled with wisdom and proven strategies to find your network, connect with people who resonate with you, and build relationships that will help you grow your business in the long run. My favorite take-aways from this conversation…

  • Date your network
  • Be purposeful in who you want to meet
  • Connect after the meeting
  • Connect with presenters before the presentation

As a speaker, I am going to implement the following immediately…

  • Connect with attendees and follow up to find out if they’ve implemented what they learned and ask how it’s going


What is your favorite take-away from this interview? What are you going to implement? Add a comment and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you!

For more tips on growing your network and deepening your connections, get my book 30 Second Success: Ditch the pitch and start connecting. A lot of what Lara and I discussed in this interview is highlighted in this easy to ready book filled with tips to help you grow your network and your business.

Connect with Lara Heacock

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