Oct 152010

Are you ready to stop chasing the next dollar and start really building a business through social networking? Than these are 4 invaluable tips you must adopt today.

Before you can solidify your decision to take your business’s social networking to the next level you need to accept that this whole technology wave isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it has barely even started! There is probably some 13 year old kid in Wyoming messing around with an idea that is going to blow away everything we already think we know.

Everyone out there who is not only serious about their business’s online presence, but is also making money from it, understands this whole concept goes deeper than just setting up a website and a bunch of social media profiles. These people have taken these 4 steps that work wonderfully offline and implemented them online.

#1. Become an Attractive Member of the Community

Your presence is what makes you approachable. Your approachability is the determining factor to whether or not most people will choose to engage you further.

Build your name and your reputation into something that is appreciated and recognized, even if it is by only a few at first. Everything must start somewhere. The second you adopt the philosophy “I can’t achieve what they did,” you lost. McDonalds, Coca Cola, Oreo, and every other house hold name brand did not start out like that.

It is the little things compounded over time that establishes your reputation and creates massive success.

#2. Engage with others regularly

I have worked at home and I have had an office; do you know where my business grew the most? Panera Bread! Why? Because I was surrounded by people I didn’t know.

Every time I had a meeting over lunch or coffee I was engaging with the person I was meeting with, but more importantly I was engaging with everyone around me who could overhear my conversation. Meeting after meeting someone would approach me afterwards or sometimes even during the meeting, and ask for a card or pass me theirs for me to contact them.

Sharing, commenting, blogging, tweeting, re-tweeting, and all the other forms of communication we partake in online do not go unnoticed. Answering questions on LinkedIn, unconditionally (fancy way of saying don’t pitch to the people you respond to) has led to countless deals for so many people, because someone else with the same questions went back and read the thread and contacted the perceived expert.

#3. Know Where to Spend Time

If you have a lawn maintenance company it wouldn’t be the best use of your time to go to a health and wellness expo trolling for clients, right?

Learn how to categorize your contacts after doing your research.

Ninety plus percent of us are guilty of logging into Facebook and four hours later we are watching Youtube videos when we look up say “Whoa! Where did the day go?”

One of the coolest features in pretty much all the social networks you use for your business is lists. Once you have these lists created you don’t have to subject yourself to the noise of all the people, who are still valuable, but who you just have not yet researched. This will reduce your time messing around online exponentially.

(Click on Tutorials to learn more about list)

#4. Be Yourself

I love what Gary Vaynechuck says in this video, “When our grandparents did dumb $#!* it got lost in history, yea its gone. Everything you do wrong it’s gonna be known for ever.”

Let your personality shine through, sharing and posting things that you like, that are funny, or you just think is cool draws the attentions of those who dig the same stuff as you do.

There is absolutely, positively no cookie cutter business social media plan, or any internet marketing plan for that matter. You can talk to 10 facebook “experts” and get 10 different ideas/ strategies. Does that make 9 out of 10 wrong, NO!

Business social networking is a profitable way of marketing, the only downside for most businesses is that you need to stay on top of new trends. Please share any golden nuggets of your own below!

Aug 162010

What makes the difference between a good networking event and a crappy one? If there were 100 people there does that make it awesome?

Over the last 5 years I have been taking part in and running networking events all over the Tampa Bay area. There have been Big Events, small events, crappy events, and Amazing Events, but what makes an event awesome?

Here is what I have seen, in many groups there is too much focus on the organization and not enough focus on attendee engagement. It seems as if facilitators of events have given their group an ego of its own. It doesn’t matter what organization it is Le Tip, BNI, NPI, RGA, FNI, REN, Ali Lassen, TWBA, PBN, BLA, or any other networking organization with an acronym out there the ones that are growing consistently are providing 4 things.

  1. Friendly Environment
  2. Valuable Education and/or Insights to other members
  3. Attendee Participation 2-5 times
  4. Feeling of Appreciation

Members of you group are there to grow their business and build valuable relationships, if they experience this they will tell others about it. If you have to pay for advertising of your group that is a sign that your group needs improvement. You should never have to spend a dime on promoting a routine networking event, if you provide the 4 things listed above the group will grow itself, period.

Since I mentioned what works let me tell what bores most guests, and stuns growth.

What myself and many other people DO NOT CARE about at your networking event includes:

1) Who your board members are (What benefit does this give any individual members business? This is wasted time that your members could be speaking and learning more about anything related to business rather then who your Treasurer, and President, a whoever the hell you decided to give a worthless title to’ s purpose is.)

2) How much money members have made each other (Again, who cares?!? This hurts you group in so many ways because what I have seen is in a group of 30-40 there are only 4-10 maybe 15 tops who are making any of that recognized money. This stifles other group members who are not seeing the results and frankly you didn’t make your guest another dime by bragging about your fancy shmancy group income.)

3) Talking about the format for more than a minute (The people came to the meeting, give them the experience don’t outline it for them. People are curios and always want o know what’s keep them in anticipation.

Frankly when I go to a group with those 3 things I personally have no desire to go back, nor pay to attend it regularly. I have been fortunate to understand the principals and dynamic of a group and have built a 2-5 people a week group to over 50 attendees each week. I prefer 25-35 and we are now getting back to that. Numbers are great, but quality over quantity is the name of the game in business networking events.

My personal “Magic” format to a successful networking event:

  • Thank you intro (Turn off phones and so forth)
  • Question of the day to think about and answer with commercial (This is question of any kind that gets attendees to learn more about each other)
  • Approx 45 second commercial with answer to question of the dayAttendee Engagement 1
  • Gratitude Period– Give everyone a chance to thank one another or express thankfulness for anything in business or personal life- Attendee Engagement 2
  • Q & A– Allow members to ask one another a few questions in a organized format so others can learn more about the respective businesses (As a facilitator you must be able to create conversation and excite people to answer questions about their business) Attendee Engagement 3
  • Goal Setting and Review– Have members set a goal each week, and review their goals from last week (This creates more consistence and accountability within your group) Attendee Engagement 4
  • Other networking event announcementsAttendee Engagement 5

This format has know engaged members a minimum of 2 times and maximum of 5, everyone knows a little more about one another and looks forward to coming back and sharing their success in reaching their goals next week.

Sorry so long I just needed to get this off my chest!

This is Joe Malinowski telling all of you wonderful people to have a wonderful week!