All Laura Templeton wanted was a “side hustle.” As a new stay-at-home mom following a decade in corporate America doing project management work, the Ivyland resident craved a simple role to help pass the time, make some extra money and, above all, have human contact with other adults.
Templeton never imagined she’d someday serve as a mentor to entrepreneurs, helping them connect and network with the right people in order to grow their business. But currently, that’s exactly what she’s doing.
Last Wednesday, Templeton celebrated the launch of her first book, 30 Second Success, which aims to support entrepreneurs who have struggled at networking events when it’s their turn to share their “elevator pitch,” help them gain confidence in speaking to fellow business owners in the room, and share tips on how to stop feeling “salesy” when it comes to sharing their message.
“Networking is about building relationships,” Templeton said. “It’s about developing the know, like and trust factor with the people you connect with. Have you ever heard the saying, ‘People do business with people they know, like and trust?’ The best approach to networking is to determine that you will build a foundation of trust among the people in your network by forging relationships with them.”
Some tips include bringing a positive attitude and smile (people are attracted to those who appear more friendly); preparing a few conversation starters to increase confidence and comfort level when walking into an event; and practicing what you’ll say.
For Templeton, 30 Second Success has been a number of years in the making. After the birth of her son, she worked as an independent representative/contractor for Direct Sales Company, which required her to rely solely on networking to spread the word about products. Fifteen years later, with countless professional relationships made, Templeton became a national director for the Professional Women’s Business Network.
Upon joining the latter, Templeton asked members what they needed help with. The biggest concern? They wanted someone to assist them with their 30-second message, something that’s almost always required of entrepreneurs in a networking environment. It’s a simple pitch about what their business is all about, but crafting it is easier said than done.
“My heart hurts every time I watch someone struggle to find the words to express who they truly are and how they help their clients. I know that there is a simple formula to overcome this, and I am on a journey to share it with the world,” Templeton said. “In fact, in the 2018 university study of America’s Top Fears conducted by Chapman University, more than 25 percent of Americans reported public speaking as their No. 1 fear. That means that out of every four Americans, one has a fear of public speaking. No one should ever stumble when it’s their turn to share their brilliance in their 30-second message.”
Once she determined this need among members, she began aiding them with the creation of their messages.
“Because they were having such great success with it, word got out that I was helping,” she said.
As the number of groups and organizations requesting her services began to grow, Templeton started to look at this unprecedented opportunity as a business model. What did she want her business to look like? How could she help as many people as possible? The answer was to write a book.
“I finally sat down and put it on paper and it’s been amazing,” she said. “It’s been a wonderful experience just getting all those ideas out into one place.”
30 Second Success is divided into two parts.
“The beginning of it is really understanding who your ideal client is and how you serve them, and then going through the four-part formula of how to create your 30-second message. So it takes you through the whole process,” Templeton said, adding that readers are encouraged to stop and work on their message at various points. “It’s kind of a tool that you can use and go back to later on. It helps you to understand the key steps in getting that message written. It talks about getting to that emotional piece of who you want to work with and how you serve them, and then how to get that message across.”
The second part shares insight on how to build and nurture a network once it’s established. According to Templeton, many people have a misconception about networking. They simply attend an event, obtain a bunch of business cards, and do nothing with them once home.
“It’s about being intentional about connecting with people in your network,” she said, comparing the concept of networking to having friends you see only every few months. “You pick up right where you left off. That’s how your network should be, too.”
Through her book, Templeton hopes to instill confidence in entrepreneurs as well as employees of larger businesses, who can utilize her advice in regard to a project they are working on. If they happen to step into the elevator with the company’s CEO, they’re fully prepared to have a conversation.
“There’s somebody out there to help them feel more comfortable with networking. That’s what it’s about. It’s really about connecting with people, and it just helps them to grow their business,” she said. “It’s just creating that curiosity so that people will be compelled to have a conversation with you.” ••
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org