Business Expert Spotlight: Karen Dempsey ‘The Real Biz Networking’

This blog, meets one of our experts, Karen Dempsey from “The Real Biz Networking” – to not only understand their area of expertise but to understand what it is about their mindset that makes them ‘x-ponential’.

During our Business For Life 12 month program, it’s all about connecting, learning and growing – which is why I’m so passionate about aligning the right experts and delivering world-class education to help support our community. 

Throughout the year, participants connect with like-minded people in an x-ceptional learning and networking environment, enabling a community of support and collaboration. Our experts cover every element of business: HR, IT, Finance, Sales, Marketing, Communications, Mindset, Leadership and Productivity.


Networking: Karen Dempsey, The Real Biz Networking.

Karen & Grant Dempsey

Karen & Grant Dempsey

If you’re a small business owner uncomfortable with the idea of networking, The Real Biz Networking Group offers a great way of learning and improving on your networking skills in a supportive, friendly environment. With meetings across Sydney and Canberra, director Karen Dempsey believes it is the relaxed, friendly culture that makes The Real Biz Networking the success that it is.

“Each member is encouraged to relax, connect and build quality, trusted business and social relationships without feeling pressured,” says Karen. Bx caught up with her to ask her a few Exponential questions:

What 4 things does a small business owner need to do to be x-ponential?

  1. Think of your business like an organisation and build a network of people whose skills you can draw on e.g. marketing, accounts, finance etc.
  2. Go with your gut – seek advice but make the decisions you believe are best for your product or service, It’s your time, money and energy you are investing, so listen to your intuition and back yourself.
  3. Don’t be afraid to fail, many great ideas have risen out of the ashes of failures. Fail fast so you waste the least time and money!
  4. Be accountable to someone e.g. a coach/board/mentor. Unless you are one of the 2% of the population who are highly driven, self-starting, burn the candle both ends people, then you need someone to check in on your progress to ensure you stay on target and achieve the goals you need to achieve.  Business is all about execution – having someone you are accountable to means you are more likely to be the person who makes it happen rather than the one who talks about making it happen.


What piece of advice you would offer to yourself in your first year of business, knowing what you do now?

It’s all about the money. Many people enter business thinking it will be easier than employment, that they can take time off whenever they want, they dream of the 4 Hour Work Week etc. but year one is really all about working your butt off to get cashflow happening. You need to hustle and hustle to get cash coming in otherwise you’ll be back on SEEK looking for work. Focus on the numbers and keep hustling until they work.


Who would you like to be sat on a 24 hr flight next to, and why?

Dame Judi Dench – at 80+ years of age, having had an extensive career as an actor I reckon she has probably seen and heard it all so she must have some fascinating stories and life lessons to tell. She has also risen to the top of an incredibly competitive, male-dominated industry, so she must know a thing or two about resilience and focus. If I could get her talking, I think the 24 hours would fly by.


Where would you like to be in your own business in 5 years time?

I have a real desire to work and travel domestically and internationally where I can include my kids, so I am working on some options to make that happen.

Karen can be reached via and, of course, you can benefit from her expertise if you choose to become a member of our 12 month Business for Life program. Learn more here.

Ways to Get More Sales with Social Media

The quickest way to make more sales is to work out what your customers want and give it to them. It’s like the scenario of how to sell the most hamburgers. What one thing do you need? 100% pure ground beef? Sesame seed buns? Free fries with every order? No. You need a starving crowd.

So how do you find out what your customers want? You ask and listen – and this is where social media is great as it enables you to ‘listen’ to many and find out their authentic needs. From usinSalesg Twitter to find opportunities and LinkedIn to find the names of the decision makers inside organisations, to listening to what your prospects are saying about your competitors on social media – it can all amount to a great picture of your ideal customer, what frustrates them and how you can possibly solve their problems.

An integral part of the sales process is getting to know your prospects and establishing relationships and  social media can help you accomplish this quickly and easily.

Get to know your prospects and target customers

There’s no point being on Facebook if your target customer is more likely to be found on LinkedIn. Do some homework before you choose a social media platform. Facebook is great for business to consumer sales, while LinkedIn is more business to business. Don’t discount commenting on websites and blogs either. You can really find prospects any place online where a relevant conversation is happening – it’s a case of spending the time researching where your target customer is going online to seek information and having conversations.

Demonstrate trustworthiness and credibility in relation to sales

As you engage with prospects via social media platforms, remember this. It’s about them not you. For people to like, know and trust your online persona, you need to write and comment in such a way that supports that. If you see someone online with a problem, posting a link to your online workshop for $449 that would solve their problem isn’t the best opener. Instead offer advice. Prove yourself worthy of conversation. Link to useful blog article you have written that helps solve their problem. Some of the best word of mouth consumer to business successes I have seen on social media start by someone asking for advice and other people commenting and/or tagging contacts who can help. Don’t do the hard sell when word of mouth will build your trustworthiness more effectively.

Remember, we all have a large digital footprint. People will google, stalk your social media profiles, check out what you have written, posted or commented. Be honest and authentic in it all.

Connect with and get to know people

Conduct a search on each social networking website or use a resource like to find people who are talking about your industry or using related keywords. Then comment on their posts, retweet them, answer a question or share something they say. By contributing to their conversation you add value to their network. It becomes natural for you to follow them and for them to follow you back.

Have a conversation

If you really listen to what your prospects are saying on social media, it shows you are willing to have a conversation rather than cold sell. Many closed doors have been opened by this simple approach. It may take longer – but it results in easier sales and longer-term loyalty. One colleague – a content writer – gains leads via her personal Facebook simply by people enjoying her posts and recognising she has a great writing style. Another shares education and advice, while another – a great networker – introduces other people into the conversations who may be able to solve problems. It may sound old-fashioned, but it’s simply showing how you can be of service and other-focused – just through a new-fashioned medium.