We had the good fortune of connecting with Debra Mathias and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Debra, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind my business and personal success is being a connector and the “Pay it Forward” mentality. I truly believe that to get you must give. I learned early in my professional career to make it about my client. Give them what they need, help them solve their “pain” point and most important make sure they refer me because I have given more value than they expected.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
In 2008 when the stock market crashed I was working as Sales and Logistics Manager for a courier company. My primary responsibility was business development. I couldn’t get anyone to see me. People were afraid and holding on to their money. So, in January 2009 I got on LinkedIn and set up a profile. I started reaching out to my prospects and top 50 clients to connect on LinkedIn and started an online discussion and relationship. I soon found out that clients and prospects who previously wouldn’t set an appointment, see me in person, or even have a phone conversation would chat with me on LinkedIn. It was months into this process before I thought to ask a prospective client why he set the appointment with me now when prior to connecting with on LinkedIn he wouldn’t. The answer stunned me. “Credibility” was his answer. He said by learning more about me on LinkedIn he could see my qualifications, experience and common interests.

If there’s anything I wish people to know about my brand and my story is that relationships and trust are earned and built. They don’t happen overnight, but the rewards that you get from taking the time to get to know someone, even through virtual means can be the difference in your business.

I’m also host of LinkedIn Local Raleigh/Triangle a 4 times a year networking group, endorsed by LinkedIn that brings connections face to face. It has always been my desire to connect people to do business, become referral partners or become friends. On January 15, 2020 we had 270 professionals who came together to network, enjoy great food and have FUN! During the pandemic we had 6 virtual events that brought the world to the Triangle. In 2022 we will resume the LIVE networking and continue with my mission to bring professionals together to great things!

I’m also on the #LinkedInROCKSTAR list of the top 70 LinkedIn trainers in the world, coming in at #34 in January 2021. Source:  Meller Marketing.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are several places in the Raleigh/Durham/Triangle that stand out to me. A hidden gem is The Juniper Level Botanical Gardens. This privately owned garden is open 4 weekends a year and contains rare plants and flowers found nowhere else in the world. Simply stunning! The area is a foodies paradise, the variety of cuisine is extraordinary, not to mention it’s the BBQ capital of the world. Sam Jones BBQ is ranked among the best NC style BBQ. Sullivan’s Steak House is my personal favorite for not only a great steak but for their Knockout cocktail. The NC Museum of Art has exceptional walking trails filled with public artwork. For nightlife the Glenwood South area is very popular.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Dennis Mathias, my husband. He is my partner and backend of my business. He does all the graphics for my social media, website and written materials. He is my editor, graphic designer and the one that makes me look good. He successfully published all of my training materials and keeps me on track to achieve the goals I set for myself no matter how grand they may be.

Website: www.connect-to-clients.com

Instagram: @racer88chick

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/debramathias

Twitter: @racerdeb

Facebook: www.facebook.com/debramathias

Youtube: Debra Mathias

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