When contacts network on your behalf…



There’s a lot of white noise in marketing, and engagement can be summed up as keeping in touch – with permission.

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How do you keep in touch?

I have a newsletter and I find it’s an invaluable and consistent way to keep the stakeholders in my network informed. I’m not saying it’s perfect, yet it is helping us stay relevant, and serves as a means of regularly getting content out there.

During our recent Q&A at Social Media Week, the best phrase amongst the noise in the perennially non-conforming week was retweeted by my invaluable assistant. It was about “curating content”. I think having a regular newsletter helps me do that.

Why do it that way?

I receive a lot if great information, yet I still unsubscribe to one email per day. Usually its the new “soupon”. It keeps me sane. Reducing the volume of emails into my inbox gives me a little extra time, and helps me focus on the most relevant incoming content.

I look at the information I want to share in my newsfeeds. The items I like most I share with some selected contacts. I then review the reaction monthly. This gives me a bigger picture before I curate the content for news I share.

How do you know it’s working?

There are two main ways to establish if your methods are working. I often receive emails mentioning something I had commented on. The emails are accompanied by the details of their friend who needs help with “something similar”.

The best way of figuring out if your strategy is working tends to happen in social networking events. Recently a contact of mine, Dave, caught up with me the day after  he was at an event. “I tried really hard to connect you to a friend last night but he wouldn’t hear of it”, he told me.

I asked the question that parents 0f toddlers dread. “Why?”

“He already knew the absolute expert in this niche. It turned out it was you.”

Wrap up: It turns out that both Dave, and his friend, receive my newsletter. It makes my world a little bigger.

Top tip: Curate some of your favourite stories and share them monthly.

Who to share this with: People you want to engage with. Especially if they used to introduce you.

Links: Check out our Partners Briefing and Directors Briefing.

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LinkedIn member seeks personal connection



Being nice when networking is not enough. However, being engaging often is. I recently read this article in the Huffington Post and it reminded me about the invitations I receive to “connect” on LinkedIn. When do you say “No Thanks.”

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Meaningful Connections

It makes sense to connect with the right people. And it makes even more sense now that LinkedIn are changing the way “recommendations” are viewed. Perhaps they found the facility was been abused. I’m not saying I saw it coming, but I did blog about the dangers of “trading” recommendations some time ago. Click here for blog on LI recommendations.

Will LinkedIn adverts lead to new trends?

Love HeartSo I receive a message out of the blue, inviting me to connect. I enquire why this LinkedIn user wants to connect with me, and the reply I get is, to say the least, unusual. I am greeted with the reply “you look nice”. So this person only bothered looking at my photo. Which, really, is a compliment to my parents, rather than myself. Needless to say, I’m flattered yet I haven’t connected with them. Perhaps this personal trend has emerged because of the advertisements that now appear on LinkedIn? I’ll keep you updated.

Nice guys finish first

It is always nice to be nice – as my old Mum says. It’s compelling to start an engagement with something of substance and continue to engage. Do I want to be known as nice or something with more punch? My favourite similar comment came from someone I’ve known for the 25 years I’ve been in business. It was about being a gentleman, which is more about individual conduct and means a lot more than being just nice.

Wrap up: It’s great to receive recommendations and compliments but if they are your windows to the wider world you want them to have some context in order to a compelling.

Top tip: If you’re worried about where you should store your favourite recommendations take a look at our alternatives.

Who to share this with: Online Groups where people are expressing concern at the personalised ads appearing on profiles. Just say No Thanks!

Links: Check out our Partners Briefing and Directors Briefing Read an earlier blog of ours – What are you doing to your brand on LinkedIn.

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Networking Critics Miss the Point



Networking has been getting a lot of bad press recently, with plenty of people slagging it off. Perhaps this is due to desperation, as there are many businesses out there who think that they’re after the same pounds and pennies as networking groups. Read on to find out why they say networking doesn’t work, why it’s important to maintain existing relationships AND grow new ones.

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Have you heard the latest – networking doesn’t work!

Networking critics miss the pointNetworking critics said networkers were “hanging ’round with the wrong people”. The critics should be concentrating on what they have to offer – as long as it tells us what we’ll get that is actually of benefit. They are partially right. Spending time and energy with the wrong people will get you the wrong results. Yet how are you supposed to meet the right people if you don’t network?

Networking is about motivating people to help you, because they want to. That’s not going to happen if you get involved in a group made up of people you don’t get on with, because someone else selected all the members according to their own criteria.

Meeting the right people

It’s also true that some people have no idea how to organise their network. However, well organised networking no doubt leads to measurable results. The critics think that the only way to be successful is the way they got successful – so follow them if they provide a similar product or service as you. Others just say networking doesn’t work, simply because they don’t like it. It takes some getting used to at the beginning yet successful people are waiting to meet you.

They want to meet the next LinkedIn founder or receive an excellent product or service. But only if it’s going to help them gain more success.

Be the next big thing

Meeting new people is vital but they have to be the right people. A few weeks ago a lot of people wanted to meet the Facebook founder – they may have they changed their mind? The world is continually changing and those that adapt survive. Yet adapting without measuring what’s already happened is often a waste of time.

People who pick on those that network do so for a variety of reasons, most of the time to tip them over the edge and make them join their merry band. This would be a shame if networkers had spent time meeting people and building relationships they then left fallow. What’s even worse is if networking groups tell networkers that it’s their own fault it didn’t work for them. Rather than telling them how to make it work.

That’s just not on. But it happens. Perhaps that’s what the critics meant?

Wrap up: You probably already have a network and those people are more likely to help you than strangers. Yet it’s not wise to just stop talking to people who take an interest in you, and could potentially help you grow your business. That’s what some “experts” recommend. And they’re always right. Aren’t they, George Osborne?

Top Tip; Click Here (on the left of this page) to complete your networking audit and be instantly signposted to resources to help improve your networking results and take advantage of opportunities.

Who to share this with: Networking critics, anyone who is not getting the results they deserve from their networking efforts.

Links: Check out our “Highly Recommend” Directors Briefing or our Partners Briefing events.

Posted in Business Networking, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Groups, Business Networking Groups, Business networking london, Business Networking Results, Business Networking Strategy, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Workshops, Ladies network, Ladies networking, Lead Generation for accountants, Lead generation for solicitors, Marketing, Marketing for accountants, Marketing for solicitors, Networking group leaders, Professional Networking, Uncategorized, Women's networking, Women's networking events |
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Networkers Resent Schoolmarm Tactics



The leader of a branded networking membership group proudly announces that his is the biggest networking group in London. This post is about why the size of a networking group is not always an accurate indication of it’s success or quality, why bureaucracy is a turn off and how networkers can rise above it.

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A willing informer…

I’m sitting in a networking meeting – the brand of which, and time of day are unimportant. A visitor to the group takes the seat next to mine. He whispers; “I used to be in the biggest group in London” and tells me he’s looking for a new group.  I was educated that turnover is vanity and profit is sanity. So I’m always interested in a groups results rather than it’s size. 

History repeating itself?

Networkers resent schoolmarm tactics

Curious to know why he left such a large group, I decide to ask him. He didn’t hesitate to tell me that his previous networking group “got really bureaucratic and people felt they were being treated like kids”.

Coincidently, at that very moment there’s an announcement by the leadership team that they aren’t happy with absenteeism in the group, and plan to penalise those that didn’t have a reasonable reason for not showing up in future. The guy next to me groans. As do I.

In or out? Or put yourself about?

So what do we do? Leave or not join the group? Probably not wise if you have built relationships with great people. That is where the hidden profits are.

I decided to act as if the bureaucratic announcement hadn’t happened (much like the recession) and continue to contribute to all the members success. That way, I can protect all the relationships I have built. It’s good for me, and it’s good for the group. And if our group continues to attract attention becuase of it’s results the cream will rise to the top.

Wrap up: If a group leaders asks me why visitors are not joining I’ll be happy to explain the main reason why their time and effort spent trying to recruit new members is going to waste. The same applies in online groups.

Top tip: Try not to focus on the negative elements of networking groups, try to contribute to the success of the group. Protect and nurture all the relationships you have built, which is not only good for you, but it makes the group more enjoyable to be a part of. Check out our free downloads section for 5 top tips when considering networking groups.

Who to share this with: Networking Group participants, Networking Group Owners, and  groups looking for new members.

Links: Check out our “Highly Recommend” Directors Briefing or our Partners Briefing events.

Coming soon: from Beyond Networking: The Networking Economist – Special Report

 

Posted in Business Networking, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Groups, Business Networking Groups, Business networking london, Business Networking Results, Business Networking Strategy, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Workshops, Ladies network, Ladies networking, Lead generation for solicitors, Marketing for accountants, Networking group leaders, Professional Networking, Women's networking, Women's networking events |
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Business Networking – The Only Way is Ethics



What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But what happens on Twitter stays on Google forever. I was recently reminded by a fellow blogger “We’re all publishers now”. This post is about considering the ethical perspective of those who are actually reading your output, is it OK to break a few eggs and why are ethics so important?

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Your online output

Sometimes it might feel like our missives enter a vacuum. But many people are reading your content and what you write, without actually interacting. I know I read a lot more online than I actually comment on. Do you?

The sort of things that turned me off are discussions that turned into arguments, invites to “networking events” that turned into sales pitches and people who were OK in the flesh and turned nasty in other forums.

Breaking eggs

If people don’t like anything you put out there, they’re not always going to tell you, but they will reference it when someone they know asks what they think of you. Very few people can satisfy all of the people all of the time. Yet even Murdoch won over some of his detractors with his personality during recent hearings.

The same applies when employers are asked to give references. They are only compelled to confirm that an individual worked for them between certain dates which leaves a big hole for our imagination to fill. If you really have to “break a few eggs” (avoid if at all possible) whilst trying to get a job done you still want people to talk about the smashing omelette that left them satisfied.

The crowbar faux pas

One faux pas I observed recently was in a networking group. A new member tried to crowbar their friend into a request for assistance. I’m sure they don’t realise they damaged their reputation when their friend made direct contact with an unsuspecting and busy MD. This could have been avoided if they had made a positive impact in other areas. They didn’t. It was a smash and grab.

The unsaid is the gap that networking offline and online can fill. Murdoch has taken advantage of his right to reply yet he didn’t have many advocates which left me wondering, why is that if he’s as personable as he made out? If someone simply didn’t get on with you it’s extremely beneficial to have clients and colleagues paint a more complete picture of your ethical perspective.

Wrap up: The only way IS ethics. We might not like or buy into the current crop of “reality” TV shows but they do highlight faux pas that happen in real life (ignore the Geography). People from Essex I know are great and extremely Ethical!

Top tip: Always ask someone in a group about the etiquette before you dive in. When people are talking about you ensure there is no doubt about just how ethical you are in business. It is a differentiator that opens doors.

Who to share this with: Groups looking for new members or online forums where arguments often break out.

Links: Check out our “Highly Recommend” Directors Briefing or our Partners Briefing events.

Further Reading: What are you doing to your brand on LinkedIn

Posted in Business Networking, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Events, Business Networking Groups, Business Networking Groups, Business networking london, Business Networking Results, Business Networking Strategy, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Tips, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Training, Business Networking Workshops, Ladies network, Ladies networking, Lead Generation for accountants, Lead generation for solicitors, Marketing, Marketing for accountants, Marketing for solicitors, Networking group leaders, Professional Networking, Uncategorized, Women's networking, Women's networking events |
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