The saying your network is your net worth isn’t just a cute little Instagram caption.

The more intentional you are at with growing your network (especially with the right people), you’ll see over time the positive impact that it’ll have on your professional and personal career. Growing your network and meeting new people can be difficult, so for that reason and many more is why Keisha Mabry created her platform.

Keisha Mabry has met over hundreds of people with her intro line heyFRIEND. heyFRIEND is a platform she created to help people connect. Keisha held her inaugural MastHer Class this year and recently launched heyFriend flashcards.

From working with top brands like Ikea, Mastercard, Teach for America, and Square just to name a few, Keisha is an expert at teaching people how to build genuine, authentic relationships using her proprietary technique called Friendworking.

Recently, we caught up with Keisha and discussed the strategies she’s used to grow her brand, plus her proven LinkedIn marketing strategy.

Who is Keisha Mabry?

I’m the friend who wants to see you win. The one who’s always brainstorming new ideas and thinking about new ways we can take over the world like Pinky and the Brain. Life’s too short to eat alone, and I never want to eat alone. If I have a resource that can help you grow personally or professionally—it’s yours. I may be a day late responding to your text, DM or email or a dollar short buying your book or attending your event but know I’m on the sideline screaming and cheering for your success.

What is heyFRIEND?

heyFRIEND is still evolving, but at its core, it’s a reminder to connect. A reminder to connect with the people next to you on planes, on trains, in line and while you dine. A reminder to people from all walks of life, ethnicities, and creeds that we have more in common than we think and more similarities than we are often led to believe. And finally, it’s a reminder to put down the technology and acknowledge humanity. Which is a must these days in a world plagued by no new friends, counting friends on one hand and where talking via text is preferred over in-person chats.

Right now, this reminder is communicated via my book “heyFRIEND: 100 Ways to Connect with 100 People in 100 Days,” my speaking engagements and DIY Speaker series and mastHERclass (my annual conference). My goal is to expand into more products and more services like my heyFRIEND Connection Starter Flashcards that are currently in development and my pop-up mastHERmind and Create Late events for creatives. People can visit to stay in the loop about what I’m up to.

What experiences led you to create heyFRIEND?

Transitions forced me to create heyFRIEND the business but “hey friend” the saying is nothing new. I have been saying “hey Friend” since high school. I was involved in a lot of scholar programs, so I attended a TON of networking events. And being the creative networker that I am, instead of committing everyone’s name to memory, which was difficult for me, I would say hey friend instead. Well fast forward to 2010, I moved to St Louis to do Teach For America, and I didn’t know a soul, but I did have a goal. I forced myself to meet 100 people in 100 days, and the rest is history. People started knowing me as a connector, which led to coaching, consulting, and speaking engagements. At first, I was doing all of it for free, and then two years ago, my mother encouraged me to form an LLC. My first paid product was my book, which led to speaking engagements which led to an annual conference, more speaking engagements and now a series to teach others how to not only connect but get into speaking.

What strategies have you used to build your brand?

As stated earlier, heyFRIEND is truly an extension of me, so calling it a brand feels so weird to me. I’ve been the friend that wants to see everyone win since childhood, and I have been saying “hey friend” for umpteen years. The only thing that has changed is my social media visibility. I was a late adopter of social media. I avoided it and ran from it for the longest because I value in-person connections. But, three years ago when I decided to turn heyFRIEND into a biz, I got on Facebook, then Instagram, LinkedIn and I started traveling to every event, conference and meet-up I could volunteer to get in, do media to get in or sneak in.

And yes, I snuck in a few of them. Being visible online and offline at the same time is THE thing that “I believe” allowed me to build a brand quickly. The number two thing would be creating authentic content and showcasing the good, bad, and ugly of my journey. The number three thing would be saying, yelling and screaming hey friend to any and everybody. Every time I post on social media, I start the post with hey friend, at conferences when I ask a question, I start the ask with hey friend. Hey Friend, hey friend, hey friend so that even if people don’t know my name, they know hey friend and knowing that builds the brand for me.

As an attendee of the “Enhancing Your LinkedIn Session” at the  2019 Build Your Own Brand Summit, you gave insightful tips to the audience. Please share your LINK strategy.

Absolutely…see below.

  • Long-form text and videos: posts videos and captions longer than four lines to get the most visibility.
  • IG quality photos: colorful, creative images b/c they are a competitive advantage on LinkedIn.
  • Nailing my profile: complete with a headline, bio, and summary with keywords
  • Keeping visible: thought leadership = publish articles, post consistently, share content, comment, link, interact, hashtag, slide in DMs, and ask questions.
  • Bonus: LinkedIn is now streaming; sales navigator is the truth and voice memos.
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Some Fun Facts about Keisha Mabry

I am an oxymoron. I seek adventure, but I’m also scared of it. Every month I try one new thing, and it scares the heck out of me, including speaking and networking, lol. I’ve done racecar experiences, skydiving, flight lessons, improv session, and many more things in between. And every time I am scared out of my mind, but I feel the fear and do it anyway.

 Where can people find you on social media?

People can find me @keishamabry on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. In that order. And if there’s a millennial that hasn’t caught the LinkedIn wave…catch it today! LinkedIn is a hidden gem, and there are so many genuine, authentic connections one can make.