Laurel Cavaluzzo has spent decades in the field of marketing and communications, starting as a Marketing Director at Exxon Mobil Corporation and for the last 15 years as a Communications Consultant for small and medium sized businesses. Using high-level marketing strategies, she guides companies to ensure that pertinent tactical elements are on track to help them meet their business objectives.

Laurel and I have known each other for several years. Connecting and crossing paths through numerous networking events in our local community, neither of us can remember where we originally met. We do however realize that networking has given us plenty of opportunity to stay connected and support one another through collaboration and referrals.

Networking has helped Laurel grow her business after moving from the east coast to the mid-west and back again. While living in Madison, WI she launched her marketing business during a time when LinkedIn and Twitter were just starting to catch on. Social media had some advantages over time, but when first starting out Laurel purposed to connect with people through in-person networking groups to meet people and grow her business.

Sharing her unique perspective on overlaying social media with in-person networking, Laurel advises that you need social media to stay in contact with people and to keep conversations going, but you’ve got to have face-to-face time. She considers video conferencing as face-to-face time and knows that it is just as important as in-person meetings and social media when it comes to connecting.

Having moved around while growing her business, Laurel shares that social media has played a key role in her ability to stay connected with clients and contacts through the years. It’s a very powerful tool to stay in contact with folks and to increase your awareness of what people are doing and any significant changes happening that then gives you the opportunity to reach out with a word of encouragement. This is a simple way to stay connected.

Social media and technology now give us the ability to connect with clients around the country. Laure has purposed to stay in touch with former co-workers. A number of them have moved on to other companies, leading to new business opportunities in many cases. They know her, they know her work, they know her work ethic and she’s made it easy for them to remember her and find her.

Past life connections are important. When you share projects and updates on social media former colleagues see what you are up to. When an opportunity to bring you in to their company comes up they’ll think of you and most likely reach out. Social media has truly removed barriers when we use it on a regular basis.

In regard to using social media on a regular basis Laurel says, “It’s not build it and they will come. It’s build it, and use it, and nurture it, and cultivate it, etc. Too many people think, I’ve got my LinkedIn profile, I’m done, and that’s it.” There are a lot of great features of LinkedIn that can help you be effective. She shares some great tips for making the most of your efforts on social media:

  • Join groups
  • Test, see what works
  • Go where the people are that you want to work with
  • Find what works and keep doing that

Social media helps us stay top of mind, especially when we are launching new programs, products, etc. Know what your goals are:

  • Active business development
  • Positioning yourself as an industry leader

A lot of this can be done through sharing. This is where a lot of people get overwhelmed Laurel admits. Sharing doesn’t mean everything has to be original content all the time. Mix it up.

  • Share original written content
  • Share videos
  • Re-purpose old content
  • Share other people’s content

When sharing other people’s content don’t just hit the like button! Add a comment, change the conversation. Be creative in a very thoughtful way. Reach out to the thought leaders you follow and tell them that you like their work. Share and like their adding a comment as to why you like it or ask a thought-provoking question to create more engagement for them. This is a great way to connect with thought leaders and to build a rapport with the people you follow and the people who follow you.

Laurel is a huge advocate of creating referral partners. She likens it to her corporate days, being surrounded by teams of incredibly smart people all working together to come up with a great outcome. This is something she has always tried to employ ever since going out on her own. Collaborating with people who bring different levels of expertise is important to her for supporting her clients.

We discussed the value of marketing in its essence and getting to the core of what clients need. Laurel is witnessing more authenticity coming to the forefront of messaging for businesses these days, that is exciting news. Marketing is about getting to the heart of your message and we both see more clients who are willing to lead with an open-hearted message to connect more deeply with their potential customers.

Super excited to share strategies and tips about networking in-person, face-to-face, and online to connect more deeply, Laurel truly understands the power of connecting, collaboration, and leading with your heart.

Connect with Laurel Cavaluzzo


LinkedIn and Twitter: @laurelinmadison

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