Dec 072011
 

There is without a doubt a surplus of professional business networking events to attend as well as an increasing number of trainings to help business owners with social networking going on across the country. But, take a moment to think about your actions… Have you become a professional meeting attender??

(Yes, I am aware attender is not a real word, but attending meetings for a living isn’t a real business.)

After hosting networking events and trainings for the last 5 years it is both exciting and frustrating to see the waves of people come in and out. Everyone is “trying” to grow their business, they go out and attend everything imaginable, which is the exciting part. However, it seems like a crazy high percentage of people never implement anything at all!

Whether you are at a professional networking event or are starting to take part in social networking for business purposes the philosophy behind your objective is universal; connect with and help as many people as possible and then you will make more money. This is not rocket science.

Surely those of you who have been to a live professional networking event have encountered those obnoxious people who walk in with a stack of business cards and their only objective is to get rid of all of them, because “that’s marketing.” Is this really so different than logging onto Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or any of the other hundred social networks you are trying to use for your business and seeing the guy who thinks posting, “Hey, this is what I do! Check me out and let me know if I can help you.” Is it like using pay per click management to get an idea about your market?

How self centered are we to think that anyone cares about who we are or what we do?

Whether live or online the interaction that will turn into a potential business relationship looks like this:

  • Introduction (Meeting and learning about one another, no pitching or looking at people like they have dollar signs shooting out of their head.)
  • Identifying ways to help your new friend accomplish something in order to get them closer to a goal that they have. (Helping other people may very well help us advance our business as well… WOW, who’d a thunk it?!?)
  • Then it is really all about staying on each others radar. Having a meeting every now and then, communicating online, checking in to see how everything is going. (You know, developing a friendship)

(Yes, I am also aware I am being very condescending. My objective is to show you how simple the process can be if you allow it, and also to save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars “trying” to figure it out.)

These 3 basic principals work, and they work at live professional networking events or online when messing with your businesses social networking.

How much time should you spend networking online and in person? Well that really depends on just how friendly and resourceful you really are.

Meetings, trainings, and events are great, but when do you get to the point where you stop “trying” and start “DOING!”

I wish for you the greatest amount of success with both your professional networking efforts and in your business social networking.

Have an awesome day!

May 152011
 

[google1]Much like how life is always changing and evolving so is consumerism. What was the last sizable purchase you made? How did you start the process?

One of the most interesting things to me is analyzing how buying patterns shift. The psychology behind how people make purchases has changed dramatically over the last few decades. A friend of mine, Rusty Fox, was doing a training and told us the story of how the purchase of a microwave has evolved over the last 30 or so years.

Now, I wasn’t around 30 years ago, but this still makes perfect sense.

When someone wanted to go buy a microwave or a comparable item where would they probably end up? Some place like Sears, or another local appliance store. The person with all the info was the well dressed sales person, typically a man, who was there to tell you all the great benefits and all the amazing features your new “toy” would have. There wasn’t much validation to his sales pitch other than his word, but he sure did get you excited about having your steak reheated in only a minute!

So how has this changed? Sears is still around, now we even have Lowes and Home Depot. Ask yourself this, “When I go into a store do I really need a sales person’s assistance in helping me make my decision or do I just need them to show the right isle?”

We have taken the product knowledge responsibility away from the sales person and tossed it online so we can figure things out for ourselves.

“I don’t want something I need, I want something I want.” – Quote from the movie, “Love Actually

We want to come to conclusions on our own; the skilled sales person is no longer the one who provides valuable information, it is the one who can best lead someone to coming to a decision based on information they already had. This is why marketing online is so revolutionary and effective, the conclusions have already been made and consumers are searching for the product to purchase.

How do you engage with potential customers and become an information resource they can use to investigate products and services? Are you bold enough to review your competition and highlight their benefits? (You should be because as an affiliate you can get paid on it!)

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!