Episode 102: Networking to Build Relationships Using LinkedIn with Joe Apfelbaum – Transcript

Wealth On Any Income Podcast Episode 102

Rennie Gabriel  00:09
Hi folks, welcome to Episode 102 of the Wealth On Any Income Podcast. This is where we talk about money tips, techniques, attitudes, information, and provide inspiration around your business and your money. I'm your host, Rennie Gabriel. In past episodes, we spoke about how to understand the numbers from your business, how to measure the level of pleasure based on where you spend your money, how to track your money in 5 - 10 seconds, and what determines how close you are to Complete Financial Choice®, and how to run your business without being in your business. Last week, we had Mandi Ellefson, talking about how to be a Hands Off CEO and create the time-freedom, which is one of the main reasons you became a business owner. Today we have as our guest, Joe Apfelbaum. Joe is the CEO of Ajax Union, a business to business digital marketing agency. Joe is a business strategist, marketing expert, and certified Google trainer. Joe is the author of a new book, High Energy Networking, how to build relationships and get anything you want in life. Joe is a LinkedIn expert and trains hundreds of coaches, consultants and sales professionals each month with his courses and group coaching programs. When Joe is not "mo-Joe-vating" entrepreneurs at events and on social media, enjoys being with his five kids in Brooklyn, New York. Joe, welcome to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast.

Joe Apfelbaum  01:46
Thank you for having me, Rennie. I'm excited to be here. This is going to be an incredible episode.

Rennie Gabriel  01:50
Oh, you're absolutely right. Well, let's get right to it with some questions. And, I'm going to answer the one I first asked, which is why there's an F in your name? And it's because you like to have things complicated, because life is not simple, and it's easier to pronounce if I just forget the F.

Joe Apfelbaum  02:12
Well, I think that life is simple. I just think that it's not easy. Life is simple, but it's just not easy. Being simple means having the right habits, having the right mindset, having the right perception of life. So it's simple, right? One plus one equals two, but it's definitely not easy to change your mindset.

Rennie Gabriel  02:32
Yeah, you're absolutely correct. And I appreciate and know you from the mastermind group that we're in, and the way that you support other people. The bottom line is I really respect what you do, and how you do it. Because you, like in the chatbox, you summarize what people say, you not only use technology, but you use it in a way that it supports people. And I just I want to acknowledge you for that. And I really appreciate you being on the show with me.

Joe Apfelbaum  03:05
Thank you. And I feel your appreciation. I accept it. I receive it, and it honors me.

Rennie Gabriel  03:10
Thank you. All right, well, obviously you train coaches and consultants. But let's talk about why you do it.

Joe Apfelbaum  03:17
The reason why I train coaches and consultants and sales professionals about how to use LinkedIn is because many people have no idea how to network. They don't know how to build relationships, and they have a business, but they don't have clients. And often they also don't have cash to go invest in marketing to get clients. One of the best ways to be able to get clients without spending money is by networking, by building relationships, and by having conversations. The thing is 90% of people are afraid of networking. They don't even know that they're afraid of it. They just don't want the rejection. They don't understand it. They've been burned in the past. They've been sold to in the past. And they have an icky relationship with sales. Yes, I said icky, with a capital "Ha". So what I want to do is I want to teach people the struggle that I went through myself as an entrepreneur, being afraid of networking, learning how to do it wrong, and then doing it the right way, which helps me build meaningful relationships and change lives. You see, success and fulfillment is not the same thing. I have been very successful in my business. I grew one of the fastest growing companies in the US. But that didn't necessarily fulfill me. When I teach an entrepreneur, when I teach a coach or consultant or a sales professional, how to be able to fish that makes me fulfilled deep down inside. If I can show you the path to have as many conversations as you want, and that enables you to be able to have the freedom in your life because now you're able to have financial independence, because those conversations lead to that. That empowers people and me makes me feel really accomplished, makes me feel really fulfilled deep down inside.

Rennie Gabriel  05:04
And that makes so much sense. And there's a difference between being successful, and oh, my gosh, and being. . . 

Joe Apfelbaum  05:13

Rennie Gabriel  05:14
And being fulfilled. Exactly. Oh, now I remember the other word because it starts with S. It's being successful versus being significant.

Joe Apfelbaum  05:24
Mmm, I like that. That distinction is very beautiful, being successful versus being significant.

Rennie Gabriel  05:30
Exactly. So well, now one of the questions I always ask, and I try and lead by example, by donating 100% of the profits from the work I do to charity, is there a particular charity that you support, and if so, what do they do?

Joe Apfelbaum  05:47
When I was a teenager, I grew up in my mother's store. And I saw her struggle in her business. And one of the things that she didn't have was support from an organization that supports entrepreneurs. So when a rabbi called me up, and he said, 'We'd like to open up an organization that supports entrepreneurs called the Crown Heights Young Entrepreneurs'. I said, 'I'm happy to donate. And I'm also happy to volunteer both as a board member, but also as a mentor', like to be able to mentor entrepreneurs, because I figured out how to build one of the fastest growing companies in the US. And a lot of people lacked that strategy. They lack the systems and processes. They lack the ability to go and do that, based on a knowledge standpoint. They don't necessarily have the knowledge and the experience to do that. And so I love supporting, specifically charities around entrepreneurship, but specifically that charity, because it's local, and because I see the impact that they're making. So it's called the Crown Heights Young Entrepreneurs - C H Y E. And you can guys can check that out if you just Google Crown Heights Young Entrepreneurs or C H Y E.

Rennie Gabriel  06:53
Beautiful. And let's talk about what would you say was your biggest failure, whether personal or business, and what insight did you gain from that?

Joe Apfelbaum  07:05
I would say my biggest failure when it comes to networking specifically was going to a networking event completely unprepared. Not even understanding how it works. And then just handing out everybody my business card, and leaving and hoping that people would call me. They say if you build it, they will come. And they also say 95% of getting the job, or closing the sale is actually showing up. But you're relying on luck for that and luck is not a great strategy. So I had to learn how to properly build relationships, I had to learn how to network and I had to learn how to overcome those fears that stopped me from even wanting to build relationships with other people. You see, when you judge other people, really, it's because you're judging yourself. And it's so much easier to judge other people than to judge yourself. And so I've had many failures in my life, in my business, in my relationships, but specifically around networking, it breaks down when you try to sell people that you don't even have a relationship with. Why? Because people buy from other people that they know, they like and they trust. And someone's not going to trust you if you don't get to know them first. Because as Zig Ziglar said, people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care. And so getting to know people, building that trust, getting to know what they do for a living, getting to know what they do for life, really getting to know people, that's the key to success when it comes to networking. And I had to go through that failure of struggling and networking the wrong way, in order for me to learn how to do it the right way instead of hoarding connections. As Virginia says in our group, Virginia says it's the box of shame, where you take all the business cards, collect them and put them into a box. I had hundreds, hundreds of business cards that I've collected, and I did nothing with them. And then I learned the proper way to build relationships. And now it's completely changed my game. And I'm able to not just be successful at networking, but also feel good about it.

Rennie Gabriel  09:07
And that makes so much sense because when we're operating on relationships that we feel good about, yes, we end up feeling good. And the people that we can have those relationships with, they benefit and we benefit as well. So, I mean, it just makes perfect sense. I'm going to guess the common mistakes your prospects make are the same ones you were making, right?

Joe Apfelbaum  09:34
100% 100% and they take it a step further. They try it they do it the wrong way and then they quit.

Rennie Gabriel  09:42
Yes. You know, what I'd like is a case study or a story to illustrate someone who may have been struggling what you told them to do and what the result was. How did things transpire?

Joe Apfelbaum  09:54
I had a lawyer who contacted me and he said, 'Joe, I heard that LinkedIn is a very popular place to now at work and to build relationships, but I don't even know what to do there. I don't know what to do on LinkedIn'. I said, 'How many connections do you have?' He said, 'I have 1000 connections on LinkedIn'. So I looked at his profile and I noticed that he wasn't posting anything on LinkedIn. He wasn't getting out there. He just had an account, and he wasn't doing anything with it. And so I taught him a strategy on how to properly post using my three-step approach, and what to talk about in his posts. And he just started consistently posting every single day, one post a day. This attorney just started posting on LinkedIn. Within 30 days, he closed a $5,000 deal. Within 90 days, he closed $60,000. And now he's generating $200,000, a year consistently, from not just posting, but going through our nine-step process of actually building real relationships with people. You see a lot of people, they just show up and throw up. And they don't understand how to follow up, The fortunes in the follow up. And so if you do, if you have that consistency, because it takes time to build relationships.

Rennie Gabriel  11:03

Joe Apfelbaum  11:04
But you need to have that consistency. And if you have that consistency, you're much more likely to be successful when it comes to networking. But you have to take a step back and first set the right strategy. There's also another person who's a management consultant for businesses. And she came to me and she said, 'Joe, how do I network? How do I build relationships?' I said, 'You have conversations'. And she's like,' I don't even know how to even begin to have conversations with people'. I said, 'Why not?' She said, 'Because I want them to buy my products and services'. I said, 'If you have conversations with an agenda, you want to have an intention instead of an agenda. If you have an agenda, it's all about you. If you have an intention, it's all about us'. So my recommendation, I told her, is to figure out, why are you doing this to begin with? Like, why are you in business to begin with? What type of impact do you want to make in people's lives? And she started thinking about that and she realized that she actually wants to improve people's lives. She wants to take it to the next level. So instead of selling, she started serving, and now she's enthusiastic to get on conversations, and she gets on at least six conversations every single week. Now, that might not sound like a lot to you, or to some people listening to this. But going from zero to six is a tremendous improvement. And now she generates over $100,000 a year directly from her networking efforts, because she has the courage to get on at least six conversations per week. That's one a day, six days a week. That's very powerful. I want you to realize that conversations change lives, conversations is the key. But understanding how to have those conversations without an agenda, but instead with an intention can be extremely powerful.

Rennie Gabriel  12:50
Absolutely right. You know, I mean, there's nothing here that you're saying that there, that anyone could disagree with. And I want to know if there's a valuable free resource that you can direct people to that will continue to support them in their growth.

Joe Apfelbaum  13:04
There are lots of valuable resources, I wrote a book called, High Energy Networking, that I always tell people to read, because it's like the Bible of networking, I did a lot of research into that. I also have a workshop that I tell people to watch. If you go to businessnetworkingworkshop.com, you can watch a free workshop that's an hour long that walks people through a nine-step process and how to be successful at networking on LinkedIn. At the end of the day, if you want to be successful, realize that you can learn all the skills that you need to learn. You don't have to be talented to be successful at networking and relationship building. It's all skill. It's not talent. Some people think it's talent, because once you build a skill, it looks like you're naturally doing it. I look at you, Rennie, you're like a natural wealth person. You create millionaires and billionaires based on your strategies. You know exactly how to do that and it looks like it's talent. But you know, that overnight success is 10 years in the making not 15 minutes on TikTok faking.

Rennie Gabriel  14:09
I love it, that versus 15 minutes on TikTok faking. I love it. It's funny, too, because someone just said, 'Rennie I love your material. I've watched your class at UCLA, you should be on TikTok.' And I went to TikTok and I said, 'What is this?' So thank you. Now, Joe, is there a question that I should have asked you, that would also give some great value to the people who are listening?

Joe Apfelbaum  14:37
Well, you could ask me like my background, like around what got me to start doing marketing to begin with. Because a lot of people they look at me as a marketer, and they're like, Oh, you're a successful marketer. You have a successful marketing agency, ajaxunion.com. That's amazing. But the truth is, I wasn't always a marketer. I actually studied to be a Rabbi, believe it or not. My father wanted me to be a Rabbi. As a matter of fact, I recently learned that his father did not want him to be a Rabbi. So, as a rebellious teenager, he decided to run away to Israel from Brazil, andto go  become a Rabbi. And he went and studied to be a Rabbi. And then he brought us all up in Orthodox Judaism. And his father was not happy about it, because his father was a Holocaust survivor, his entire family was murdered in Auschwitz and he ran away to France. And then they, he went from there to Brazil, and he got remarried and he had my father. And he's like, I want you to have a career. He told my father, I want you to have a career and I want you to feed your family and be successful. My father is like, I don't care about that, for me, success is learning Torah. That's what he cared about. And so I never really resonated with that. I feel like my grandfather, although I didn't really have a great relationship, because he passed away when I was younger. I feel like he's, his, like, entrepreneurial spirit was passed on to me. And I just wanted to do business. I mean, I did become a Rabbi. And I did get the certification. I went through just to make my father happy. But after that, I was just kind of like, you know what, I'm just going to focus on doing computers and building websites and fix you know, all this type of stuff, technology, which is what I'm passionate about, I feel alive there. I don't feel alive when I'm learning Torah. I feel alive when I'm doing. And it was taboo to say that. Like, if I said that in my community, it'd be like, My God. Like, you know, like, what's wrong with this guy? There's something wrong with him. You know, there's obviously he has no soul, or something's wrong with him. But the truth is, I help a lot of people in business, that's my thing. That's what I love doing. That's what makes me feel alive. That's what makes me feel closer to God. And so my thing is business and through business - I used to build websites for people, and you know, the famous saying, If you build it, they will come, Rennie? 

Rennie Gabriel  16:49
Yeah, I've heard about baseball. Yeah. 

Joe Apfelbaum  16:51
Yeah, if you build it, they will come. Well, I built a nobody came, I build hundreds of websites and nobody came to my client's websites. I was building those websites when nobody would come. So my clients would be like, How do I get people to my website? How do I get clients. And so I researched it and it turns out, there's a concept called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. And I had to learn SEO. And I loved SEO, because I got to reverse engineer the algorithm on Google, I got to like, figure it all out and like get traffic to a website. It's almost like a pirate. And so just figuring that out was amazing. And it turns out that is very lucrative. If you know how to get traffic to people's websites, qualified traffic, it's very lucrative. And that's how I built one of the fastest growing companies in the US by having the right offer to the right target. That's the pain that people had in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011. And in 2012, we were featured number 178 on the Inc 500, Inc 500, not Inc 5000. At that time, was only Inc 500. It was very powerful to be on that list, and also to look back, I questioned myself. I had impostor syndrome the whole time, because I was like, Who the hell am I? And who the hell, who the heck am I to like to run a company and even talk about it? I thought it wasn't a big deal. But a Navy SEAL came over to me, he' like, Joe, you got to start writing your story. Your story is amazing. So many people, 96% of business owners are doing less than a million dollars in annual sales. And 80% of people are living paycheck to paycheck. They don't even have $1,000 in savings. And you figured out how to be able to do all the things that you need to do to be financially independent and successful and all this other stuff. You got to teach people how to do that. But I didn't believe in myself. I didn't think that I was worthy of teaching anybody anything. I'm like, I'm an idiot. But after doing a lot of personal development, I realized that the voice. I'm an idiot is actually from when I was nine years old, when a teacher told me I'm an idiot. And I made that voice, I had to make that voice really, really quiet. Because it still exists. But I had to create a louder voice that's, I'm a genius. And although it sounds a little narcissistic or arrogant, but the truth is, we have to tell ourselves a better story. Because the stories that got us to where we are served us to get us to where we are, but what got you here is not going to get you there. So everybody has to find the genius inside themselves, and believe and see how you're a genius, because you dimming your light so that other people don't feel uncomfortable is not doing the world of service. As a matter of fact it's doing the world a disservice. Because people were meant to shine. People were meant to shine brightly.

Rennie Gabriel  19:28
You're absolutely right. And often I talk about a very similar story that because I was a latchkey kid, came home to an empty house at age five, I just made up the idea that parents don't really care about their kids. I'm going to be responsible for myself. There's no reason to ask for help from anybody else, because no one else is even there. And that five-year-old attitude is not the appropriate one to run a forty-year-old body. 

Joe Apfelbaum  19:55
100%. 100%.

Rennie Gabriel  19:57
So I had to break up that conversation, be willing to ask for help, and it just flowed like a river. 

Joe Apfelbaum  20:04
Flowed like a river. I like it.

Rennie Gabriel  20:07
Yes a river runs through it.

Joe Apfelbaum  20:09
Yes. I love it.

Rennie Gabriel  20:10
Joe. Thank you. You're right. This is one of my best interviews. So thank you for being on the show.

Joe Apfelbaum  20:17
My pleasure. It's an honor to be here. It's only good because the host is good.

Rennie Gabriel  20:21
Thank you. And to my listeners, thank you for tuning in. Next week, we'll have Bob Wheeler, who will talk about how to conquer the money shame over poor financial decisions and make better choices. You can listen to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast on your favorite platform, and please rate, review and subscribe. If you'd like to know how books, movies and Society programs you to be poor, and what the cure is, then log on to wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx, you'll hear my TEDx talk and can request a free 27-Page Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice®, and receive a weekly email with tips, techniques, or inspiration around your business or your money. And if you'd like to see how you can increase your wealth and donate to the causes that touch your heart, please check out our affordable program, Wealth with Purpose, on the wealthonanyincome.com website. Until next week, be prosperous. Bye bye for now.

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