Tag Archives: Networking

3 Tips for Effective Networking: Stop. Stop. Stop.

By: Dallas J. Short
What do you do? Here’s what I do. Oh, that’s your card? Here’s my card. Let’s immediately be successful together. Boom. Championship.

Wait, you mean, that’s not how it works? Nope, not even a little bit. However, this is the format or mind state of expectations that a lot of people have going into networking events.
John C. Maxwell said “your network is your net worth,” and it has remained one of my favorite quotes, in both personal and professional settings. The people you surround and connect yourself with are extremely integral to the representation and determinant of who you are and where you are going in life.

So, before you go, stop.

STOP thinking of networking as merely a required chore that comes along with business. “Showing up is 80% of life,” might have worked for Woody Allen in 1977, but that’s not going to fly these days. You need to place value into relationships. Be genuine. People do not do business with a business card, people do business with people. You do not need to meet everyone in the room and then struggle trying to remember who they are later. Focus on finding people you actually mesh with and people you could just as easily see yourself across from them in a game of billiards as you could across from them in a boardroom.

STOP just attending networking events that seem right for business. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” wrote James Howell. Have an outside interest. Positive energy is contagious, as is negative energy. No one likes the idea of working 8-10hrs and then going to a networking event where everyone is expected to talk about work for another 2-3hrs. Find something you are passionate about and meet people through that, the professional talk will inevitably ooze its way into the conversation, but after you have already established a more natural relationship. You are going to trust someone more in business that you can also trust outside of business. Diversified connections open up doors to opportunities that you might have never knew existed.

STOP expecting an immediate return on investment from business and networking contacts. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time,” words from the wise Steve Jobs. No one wants to feel used. This is not a jungle attack, where you are spotting, luring, attacking prey and moving on for the next meal. Make a solid and legit connection with someone, if there is no way for you to currently combine forces, don’t force or pressure it. Maybe that time will come down the road. Maybe it turns out you know someone they could work with or vice versa. Plug in your connections, expand the network, and do not resist paying it forward. Avoid being the guy constantly with your hand out or always running to the proverbial well until it’s dry. That’s not who people want around, ever. Eventually, things will fall into place and make sense for everyone.

“Nothing personal, it’s just business.” Wrong. Maybe that’s how Otto Berman his cohorts handled things then, but business now is more personal than ever and needs to be treated and respected as such.
As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

Post Networking Event Tips

By: Gina Mason

Networking events can be a great way to expand your personal Rolodex and your business. However, the key to truly getting the most out of networking events is not so much what you do at the event, but what you do after that makes a big difference. Post-event follow up is crucial to building long-lasting relationships and beneficial business connections.

Many of us are guilty of falling short on the follow up process after events and may be missing out on some great business opportunities. Even though it can be time consuming, taking a few minutes to follow up will create long-term relationships and is the key to a successful business.

Here are a few tips on how to follow up with new contacts after networking events:

Do some research
Check out your new contact’s website or do a Google search to see if they have been featured in any articles. This will give you the opportunity to get some insight on their business and see exactly what they do. Most importantly, it may give you some ideas or speaking points for when you connect with them via email.

Reach out immediately
Don’t let your new contact’s business card sit on your desk for months or only reach out to them when you need something. Send them an email within 48 hours of your networking event to remind them of who you are, what you do and recap anything you discussed. This will begin the conversation and the relationship building process.

Connect on social media
Shortly after sending the email, be sure to connect with your new contact on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter and Facebook. This will help you stay up-to-date on anything they are working on and may give you a perfect reason to reconnect later down the road (i.e. say Happy Birthday or congratulate them on an accomplishment).

Give first
It’s understood that in networking situations that you are going to ask people for assistance, but giving a helping hand first will prove that you are a valuable connection. Make an email introduction or refer some business to them before you ask them for something. Your new contact will appreciate the thought and will most likely return the favor.
Meet in person
Connecting face-to-face can be very powerful and will only help cultivate the business relationship by creating a rapport. Whether it’s for lunch, a drink or a cup of coffee, don’t underestimate the power of being in the same room. Not only will you be able to fill your new contact in on what you are working on, but you can also brainstorm some ideas on how to work together.
Reconnect frequently
Try to stay in touch with your new contact any way that you can. Send them a quick email to catch up or relevant article, set up another meeting or invite them to an event on a monthly basis. This will keep you on the forefront of his/her mind and will foster a lasting relationship.

I hope you found these tips to be helpful and that they will assist you in developing a strong business network. Best of luck with your next networking event!
As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Great Tips on How to Strategically Build Your Social Media Following

By: Gina Mason

Creating a loyal and interactive fan base is extremely important when developing a successful social media marketing strategy, but it can also be very difficult. After all, if you don’t have many followers, your messaging is not going to get far.

We often see people try to boost their following overnight by purchasing followers and while this method may look great on paper, they are wasting time and money spreading their message to fake accounts and completely missing their target audience. So how do you build a quality following organically? Well, let me start by saying that this process isn’t simple and it may take some time, but the quality vs. quantity theory applies when it comes to getting your company’s message out there.

Outside of the common tips such as “follow more people” and “be more engaging or interactive,” there are so many additional ways to increase your following and build buzz around your social media accounts and business. I recently read a fantastic article from Inc. written by Jayson Demers called, “39 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers” that I found to be extremely beneficial and useful. Here are 10 of my favorite tips from the article and I hope you find these to be as helpful as I did.

1. “Reach out to influencers: Find influencers in your niche using a tool such as Buzzsumo, and then share their content, tag or mention them, or comment on their blogs. As you build relationships, they are more likely to share your content with their followers.
2. Identify popular posts to get more shares: Getting new fans often comes down to how often your content gets shared. A tool like Fanpage Karma can help you identify the most popular posts in your niche.
3. Use relevant hashtags: Use a tool like Hashtagify.me to find relevant and trending hashtags. Use these in your posts to attract new followers who are searching for those hashtags.
4. Post viral content: Easier said than done, right? Post Planner can help by providing you with images and content that have been proven to go viral.
5. Add Facebook and Twitter widgets to your site: Go beyond simple social media icons, and use a Facebook Like Box or Twitter Embedded Timeline on your site or blog.
6. Build network-specific landing pages: Create landing pages on your site for visitors from each social network you’re on, and then link to these pages in your social media bios. This may increase your follows only marginally, but you should see an increase in traffic and conversions.
7. Use humor: Evoking emotions (positive or negative) through your posts is great for increased sharing; however, posting funny or happy content will net you more sharing overall.
8. Reshare other people’s content: Share posts, images, and tweets from other businesses, and they’ll be more likely to share yours.
9. Be relatable: Let your fans and followers know you’re a real person rather than a faceless business; this will make sharing your content with their friends feel like less of a risk.
10. Make your blog content tweetable with a click: Use a plugin such as Inline Tweet Sharer to encourage visitors to share your tweetable content.”

To read the full article, visit: http://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/39-ways-to-get-more-social-media-followers.html

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5 Fundamentals of LinkedIn

By: MJ Pedone

With over 332 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is easily one of the most powerful social media platforms on the planet. However, I’m often surprised to hear that many companies fail to capitalize on using the service as part of their marketing strategy. Which is really disappointing, considering the vast opportunities that exist to connect with some of the world’s most powerful decision makers. In my personal experience, it is by far one of the best ways to establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry.

As you welcome in 2015, there is no better time to reevaluate how you are utilizing LinkedIn to solidify business relationships while growing your brand. I know that getting started can be intimidating for some. Which is why I’m offering these key strategies for success.

Recognize LinkedIn for what it is
The first thing to remember is that LinkedIn is intended to be a networking tool for professionals. True, it’s possible to give status updates, share stories and post images. But that’s where the similarities between Facebook and LinkedIn end. Therefore it’s imperative that you take that into consideration when providing information. Keep all content that you contribute to the site strictly business and save the cat videos for another medium.
Make the Right Connections
As with any social media site, LinkedIn gives users the chance to meet new people who share similar interests. But having the right connections can make all the difference when it comes to seeking out new business prospects. Start with your co-workers and business associates first. Then consider searching for others who may have common interests.
It’s important to note that LinkedIn offers the chance for you to get introduced to new connections by others. However, consider these interactions like passing on your business card. You need to establish why you think connecting with this new person would be mutually beneficial for both of you.
Find LinkedIn Group(s) to Join
Active participation in LinkedIn Groups is a great way to increase your reach, grow your network and create more leads for your business. Not only does it give you immediate access to like-minded people but it provides important insight on news and trends affecting your bottom line.
Once you find a group to join, take a moment to establish a relationship with the other members. Instead of immediately starting multiple conversations centered on your individual business concerns-try joining an ongoing discussion on a topic instead. Doing so will not only give you insight on who the group’s top influencers are. It will also help to establish you as a participant who is capable of adding real substance to the forum.
Use LinkedIn to Establish Yourself as an Expert
Getting recognized as a top influencer on LinkedIn can have a dramatic effect on your brand. Simply put, people love to identify with an expert. It not only inspires trusts within your prospective client base, but it can open doors in terms of new business ventures. Therefore it definitely pays to be more than a lurker on the site.
Although participating in your LinkedIn group is a great way to build your online reputation, the site provides other ways to get involved. If you really want to create (or re-use) content with existing reach through your connections, you can join LinkedIn Pulse-the site’s online publishing system. Becoming a featured writer is an excellent means to gain recognition for your know-how while tapping into the application’s millions of users.
Publishers on the site can also be listed as a LinkedIn Influencer-a select list of individuals known for their leadership acumen. The roster, which rotates constantly throughout the year is established by invitation only.
Keep Your Profile Up to Date
Just as your career is constantly evolving, so should your LinkedIn page. Updating your page with promotions and newly gained skills will give you an edge with would-be contacts and clients who are looking for the expertise you possess. Unfortunately, many people leave their page dormant, which could affect your potential of gaining new clients.
Key Takeaways
LinkedIn can be an incredible marketing tool for companies looking to extend their influence. Take advantage of the networking feature to reach a new audience for your business.

Do you use Linkedn as one of your business marketing tools? Have you been successful in closing new business or in using these new connections as business resources? As always, I welcome any comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.