Personal Branding and Actionable Networking with Matt Holmes

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personal branding Matt Holmes

Personal Branding and Actionable Networking with Matt Holmes


In this week’s episode of the Sailing to Success Podcast Show, Lyndsay Phillips interviews Matt “Handshakin” Holmes, who is an entrepreneur, speaker, and author. Matt is the Founder of, author of Handshakin Your Way to Entrepreneurial Success, and creator of the Handshakin Video Series. Matt helps entrepreneurs implement networking and personal branding strategies in their businesses.


  • What’s the story behind your world record?
  • How exactly does networking and personal branding help grow your business?
  • What live events does Matt host and attend?
  • What are the best practices for networking at live events?
  • When it comes to networking events, what kinds of questions should you be asking?
  • What is the best approach for a follow up email?
  • How can you build a relationship in a digital world?
  • Is there anything you should do before you go to an event to prepare?



  • Personal branding and face to face relationships are becoming more valuable in a world filled with distractions.
  • The flip side is, it’s never been easier to organize an event and meet new people using technology like
  • Tools like Skype and Twitter allow you to connect with people from all over the world.
  • Be yourself and be natural.
  • Network = Net worth.

Live Events

  • Live events are great places to meet new people and build connections with them.
  • Set goals for each event that push you but are still achievable.
  • Meet ups and conferences are a place where entrepreneurs can find their purpose.
  • Focus on a small number of people you think you can help in some way instead of getting to know the entire room.
  • Use the event to find people to want to get to know better and meet again afterwards, preferably the people you can help most.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do be polite and make eye contact when you meet them.
  • Do bring business cards, in a digital world a physical card still has some power.
  • Do use LinkedIn, many entrepreneurs are adding people they meet in real time.
  • Do follow up after the event with an email.
  • Do enjoy yourself and have a good time.
  • Don’t hand out your business card to everyone in the room or as soon as you meet someone.

Finding the Right People

  • Ask surface questions like “What do you do?” then listen.
  • Be able to convey what you do and how you help people in one sentence.
  • Make sure you have their attention before really diving in, you want to know they are interested otherwise you should find another person you can help more.
  • Focus on the person you are talking to but a conversation goes two ways, if they are the only one talking it’s another good sign you should probably spend some time with someone else.
  • Plan an exit before you begin a conversation just in case.

Following Up

  • Use an email that’s short and to the point, only a few sentences long.
  • Mention something specific that you talked about at the event to show that you were listening to them.
  • Straight forward, ask to get to know the person better.
  • Use the email to schedule a time to talk, don’t get into any details yet, save the real conversation for the meeting.
  • The meeting is where you get to know them and further build the relationship.


  • You can’t meet everyone face to face, technology can help you continue a relationship despite physical distance.
  • Three different ways to communicate with tech, text, audio, and video.
  • Video, especially live video is best for conveying emotion and creating a connection.
  • Online presence, blogging, podcasts, and videos are tools to enhance in person relationships and experiences.

Personal Branding

  • Building a personal brand is key. Your personal branding is affected by every interaction you have with someone.
  • Focus your brand on helping others.
  • Your message impacts those you come into contact with.
  • Craft your personal branding message to make the world better. What do you want others to think about when they think about you?
  • Be consistent with your message and unafraid to share it with the people you can help.

Event Preparation

  • Find out who the speakers are and what they are about.
  • Aim to connect with the speakers and find a common ground.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a picture, it’s a great reminder of who you are and what you are about.

Final Tips

  • Focus on finding the people you can help most and make personal branding about service.
  • Use technology to enhance your in person relationships.
  • Build a personal brand that allows you to stand out, consistent messaging is key.
  • Face to face real time relationships are the most powerful way to network.

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast on personal branding with Matt Holmes, please subscribe and leave a 5-star rating and review in iTunes!

Get Matt’s free e-Book: Six Networking Strategies for Entrepreneurs at


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