Networking

60 Seconds to make an Impression!

Yes, we all do it, some dread it, others relish it, but its a necessary part of promoting our business, the 60 second “Elevator” pitch!

This is probably a topic that there have been millions of articles written about, so you may have heard some of this before, but in terms of communication if something is worth sharing, its certainly worth repeating.

Is a LinkedIn endorsement as valuable as a recommendation?

LinkedIn has recently introduced the endorsement feature making it very easy for your connections to endorse you for the skills you have in your profile, which raises the issue of having a great profile and making sure your skills are complete and prioritised but we’ll talk about that in another post.

Now I use LinkedIn to source leads for my businesses, but it is also one of my major sources of good suppliers for me. And I use it to find out more about he businesses I work with before a project starts.  So I’m a little sceptical about the benefit of these endorsements on your profile.

I am a huge fan of good recommendations. Not the ones that say “I met Philippa at a meeting and she was lovely” – which are great for the ego, but they don’t really help me when I want to find a new service provider, or to learn about the people I work with. 

Networking; the good, the bad and the ugly.

In 2008 I rebranded and re-launched my company, Light Films. I devised a strategy that would enable our business to grow over an initial 5-year period.

One of the early physical marketing activities was networking. I made my way around most of the clubs in the local area. I audited the busineses, formats and the people that were involved in the events. I chose the clubs and events that I felt would benefit me most, and have always completed regular ‘return on investment’ audits to ensure the clubs continue to be lucrative for my business.

What does your email address say about you and you business?

I was contacted this week by a (self proclaimed) eminent authority on social media. He contacted me by email inviting me to attend one of his “world renowned” training courses. Nothing wrong so far, except it was sent with an email address along the lines of joebloggs@anispyouwouldhaveused10yearsago.com

The information about the course was all on an eventbrite page. Again nothing wrong with that, but I would expect a link to the home page of the training provider, which was conspicuously absent.

A friend in need could be a friend indeed.

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A friend of mine has written a book ‘How to do Everything and Be Happy’ and like every self respecting author he just had to have a book launch.

I wrote the date in my diary and offered to help any way I could. I thought I would be  on drink duty but Peter suddenly asked ‘Would you make some balloon hats on the day?’

Not what I expected.

Want to really make your linkedIn profile more interesting?

 

One of the biggest complaints on Linkedin has been the difficulty in adding media rich items to your profile. Before you had to embed a video into a slide share or google presentation but now there is a little icon you need to make your friend.

linkedin media add in icon

 

this little square with a plus beside it allows you to add a portfolio, presentation, photo or video as long as it has an http:// address attached to it.

Real Magic of Hollywood

Last month I had the pleasure to be at The Coaches and Entrepreneurs Extravaganza for 4 days at The Magic Castle in Hollywood.

It was a great event with many speakers, experts and authors in the room and involved. 90 amazing people in one place – and I believe the relationships formed there will be a big foundation for my business and my life in the coming years.

So, you might be asking, why am I telling you this and how will this help you?

The Magic Castle - great networking inside!

Have you ever spent time with people who are negative and lacking drive and motivation? Spending time with those kind of people will tend to sap your energy and drain you.

However, spending time with people who are driven and motivated will help you to play a bigger game and give you more energy and motivation. I am sure you have noticed that too.

So as we look to build relationships that will help us in our business and our lives in general, it is important that we become conscious and strategic in the people we spend our time and energy with. Being at this extravaganza has helped me to realise what can happen when motivated, driven and positive people come together.

Here are just 3 of the things that I took from my time in Hollywood – and none of them involve movie stars – and I hope they help you too.

When It Comes to Networking – You Are an Animal

NetworkingNow we all have our own styles or at least we see other people’s when networking, have you ever wondered which category of networker you fit into? Well here goes. Which one fits you the best? (Please don’t take offence – these are done with tongue in cheek – but may strike a few nerves!).

Swan

Everybody’s talking about it …

When it comes to our business isn’t that what we all want? Everyone talking about how good we are, what a great product we’ve got, how fantastic our services are?

Who wouldn’t want to be the subject of daily conversations the way an iPhone or TV programme (like The Apprentice) are? How many people have heard of YouTube videos ‘going viral’ and wish their business video was as popular?

Networking – Are You Preparing to Fail by Failing to Prepare?

NetworkingSo you’ve made your choice about which networking groups you want to be part of and you’re attending on a regular basis – so now what?

Well, how about some key pointers about what you should be doing to get the most out of the event?

Go Prepared

It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people turn up without business cards! If you have marketing material or sales brochures take them along – sometimes there will be a specific place at the meeting where you can display such things.

Are you looking for quality or quantity?

In the current economic climate, many businesses have seen a decline in the number of customers in the last couple of years yet a focus on quality rather than quantity may be a blessing for businesses.

 I hear so many people at networking events tell us they can do everything for everyone. Yet business owners will benefit from identifying their ideal customer then focusing on attracting that ideal to their business.

How memorable is your networking presentation?

If you’re a keen networker you are probably very familiar with the 60 second pitch (or in some cases 40 seconds or two minutes). If you’ve been to a lot of networking meetings it’s often hard to remember everyone, lots of people stand up and ‘wing it’ and, occasionally, someone stands out from the crowd, but mostly they all sound pretty much the same.

The challenge we have is finding something really memorable. However, there are a number of ways of embedding your message:

Are You Paying the Price for Networking?

NetworkingHaving been a networker for a number of years now, it is very clear to me that networking costs!

It soon adds up doesn’t it? The joining fee, the one time admin charge for a new member, plus a weekly/fortnightly/monthly cost for the breakfast/lunch/etc.

You Must Be Mad Joining A Networking Group!

NetworkingBefore joining any networking group there are some key considerations that you should make. Here we take a look at 10 things for you to ask yourself before you commit to any networking organisation or even if you are already a member of one!
1. Cost

Weigh up the overall financial implication to your business and the likely return you are going to get on your investment. 4Networking for example could cost you over £700 in the first year (if you attended each fortnightly meeting).

Stepping out of the comfort zone…

Stepping out of the comfort zone…

Now I know this isn’t exactly  an “IT” style post however it got lots of comments and people talking when I posted it on our website a few weeks ago. Some of you may well know Nick Hill and some of you may have even been at the realm of Mr Hill’s amazing tactics!

A few weeks ago I spent a day learning the art of the “60 Second elevator pitch”

For those networkers amongst you,  you’ll know exactly what it is. For those who have not yet had the pleasure of networking it is in short “how you’d describe your business if you were in an elevator with someone for 60 seconds”.

Sounds really simple when you put it like that however trust me when I say it is far from simple. The idea is you’ve got between 40 and 60 seconds to pitch your business. Try doing it without waffling, going off on a tangent or without having palpitations, spitting your breakfast everywhere or blushing like a plump English strawberry.