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Posts Tagged ‘social interaction’

Learning Across the Globe From Your Comfy Chair

If there’s a subject you’re interested in,  you more than likely do a quick search online to find out details, right? You can apply the same principle to your ongoing business education. With so many social media platforms launching on a regular basis, you can easily stay abreast of hot topics in your industry from your comfy chair. Here’s 4 quick methods you can use to stay current with your industry’s trending topics:

  • Virtual trade shows – This concept is gaining in popularity, and it’s a great way to hear industry-related speakers and topics in one place without the travel expense.
  • Online events, such as webinars, tweetchats, and facebook chats.  I attend at least a couple of these weekly to keep current on trending topics and stay in touch with colleagues and competitors. Did you know many webinar hosts will provide a recording of their webinar if you pre-register?
  • LinkedIn Groups – there is a wealth of industry specific information being shared right now on LinkedIn. Become a member of relevant LinkedIn groups, subscribe to receive updates, and participate in the discussions.
  • Read websites/blogs that relate to your field and subscribe to their RSS Feed. It’s like building an online textbook one article at a time.

Making It Work:  Add these events and activities to your calendar the same as you would if they were in person. 

Did you notice there are no physical boundaries with any of the above mentioned methods? One hour I might be chatting with someone in Australia, the next hour I’m watching a presentation in Canada. Don’t limit yourself or your business!  Just because you’re already established or done with school doesn’t mean the learning is over. Join global conversations, stay current, and ensure your piece of the profit. You can literally get an international education from the comfort of your home.
Ciao,
Miss Kemya

Connect On Facebook and LinkedIn With A Personal Message

Let’s face it, in order to build your professional network you will want to forge relationships with people who you don’t know personally. You can use social media as a starting point. However, don’t go spamming people with blank invitations to connect!

Quick Tip: When you send a Facebook Friend Request or a LinkedIn Invitation to a person that you don’t know personally, you should always submit a message explaining why you want to connect.

The note doesn’t have to be too fancy or deep, but you need to give a reason for the connection.  I have heard too many hi-profile professionals say the same thing: they will not connect with a stranger who sends a canned invitation with no explanation. Think about it: why would I add a complete stranger as a friend or connection? I don’t know you so why give you access to my colleagues and network to sales pitch, or worse, tarnish my image? A professional that understands the power of social media will not let that happen. So take 3 minutes to write a message to let someone know why you want to connect. If your request is ignored, don’t take it personally, maybe you can think of another way to “connect” with that person.

Note: This does not include “Open Networkers” – as the name implies they are open to connecting with everyone.

Ciao,
Miss Kemya 

Are Networking Mixers A Waste Of Time?

Before you get all defensive, I know plenty of people swear by the networking mixer as a great way to cast a wide net and meet a bunch of potential clients. As a general rule I don’t attend these types of events unless I have a purpose. Mingling by itself is not a purpose; I mean a defined (often quantifiable) objective.

What prompted this post? I recently attended the worst networking mixer ever! I mean poor sound quality, multiple presenters just pitched and offered nothing of value, no traffic flow or structure within a huge lounge space, and… the attendees didn’t actually network. I went to meet a friend (and future client), and we both wanted to learn more about the hosting organization. My friend and I actually had a great time together. Unfortunately I noticed something awkward about the rest of the people there. I thought I’d have a little fun and show him why I’m so “particular” about attending networking events and adamant about having clear objectives if I choose to attend.

We both sat back and observed everyone’s behavior, as a social experiment of sorts. Then, I would go up to people and intentionally not offer my name or biz, but start a conversation with a “What’s your name?” or a “What do you do?” – and would you believe not a single person reciprocated? Yes, it was that bad! To make matters worse, my friend knew several people there and they all failed my test as well. Needless to say, he was stunned! But now he understands why I’m so strategic in spending my time and resources as I build my business. Running around to go to a bunch of events for the sake of going is simply not an option for most small business owners, a lesson he clearly understood after this experiment. I never did find any movers and shakers there to talk business. 

On the flip side, I attended an unrelated mixer a couple of weeks later because I wanted to meet and get to know a particular person that I chatted with a couple of months ago online. I had a fantastic and productive time at this mixer! Not only did I meet this person, but the attendees were engaging, lively, and prepared to socialize and talk business. Of course there were a couple of duds, but I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the interactions all around me.

Today’s Lesson: Do not attend a networking mixer without a clear objective. The challenge with networking mixers is that so many people go to say they’re pulling long hours, working so hard to meet prospects and trying to make sales. In reality, they’re going to have hors d’oeuvres and cocktails!

What are your thoughts on this often-used activity? How have you benefited from attending networking mixers? Are you intimidated by networking events? Post a question/comment and share your experiences!

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

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