Posts Tagged 'social networking'

Collect followers for vanity – Collect relationships for value

Collect followers for vanity – collect relationships for value – share something of value and build your relationships!

To me social media is a set of great networking tools, that you can use to enhance your networking and NOT a replacement for networking.  I use this WordPress blog, Twitter and Linked-in not to collect followers, friends, and connections but to enhance the relationships I have with people within my network.

I accept it is hard not to get caught up in the social media game of “who has the most followers” on Twitter, “the most contacts” on Linked-in or “friends” on Facebook, especially when you see a competitor has a few thousand more than you.  However for professionals it is not the number of contacts you have but the value of your relationships with your contacts that is your key performance indicator (KPI).

How I use my three main Social Media Channels.

  1. Linked-inwww.linkedin.com/in/GordonMacIntyreKemp Like most people, I asked my best contacts to connect on Linked-in and the key word is “connect”!  So many people build a list of 200+ connections on Linked-in and think that is their network built, its not, it is your social networking database populated with targets.
  • By regularly changing my updates I make sure that my contacts know what I am doing and I read their updates and send congratulations and comments as appropriate.
  • Most importantly though I regularly make time to network and see my contacts face to face.  Every month I select a group of about 25 of my contacts whom I think would like to meet one another and I invite them to meet me for a speakeasy.  On average 16-20 attend and people say they are the best networking events they get invited to.  No speakers, no presentations just me in a bar mixing up my contacts and engaging them on a deeper level.
  • Because I am social people reciprocate and when I get invited to someone’s networking event I ask “is there room for me to bring along one of my clients?” This way my contact gets a new high value contact at their event and my client gets a free seminar and well everyone is happy.  Its not clever its just networking!
  1. Blog – I like to share my insights on selling, networking and social media every week and every blog is promoted via my Linked-in updates, on the Linked-in profile itself and via Twitter.  Every client I have read my blog before becoming a client and this is working so well for me that next month I am investing in a major new (best practice) blogging platform that will host not only this blogs but those of my best practice partners and guest bloggers as well.
  • As a result of the cross referencing a lot of people who view my Linked-in profile also read my blog and this willingness to share my expertise has changed the dynamic of all of my recent sales presentations from being “asked to pitch” to being “asked to help”.
  • If you are selling expertise (legal, financial, consulting or other professional services) then blogs are a vital tool in terms of building trust in your ability to deliver.  Sales techniques don’t close deals nowadays, trust closes deals and the higher the trust the higher the price you can charge for your expertise.
  • A willingness to share shows how genuine you are and social media is changing the nature of knowledge in sales- if you are not the first to share your knowledge you may as well have never known it.
  1. Twitter – http://twitter.com/theintelligiser My first two Twitter accounts were personal (I don’t use them anymore) and admittedly at first I didn’t see a business use but now where as Linked-in is where I manage my valuable relationships Twitter is where I grow and invest in my weaker relationships.
  • There really is no better tool for finding and engaging interesting people you don’t yet know.  With my business account I set out deliberately to follow as many interesting people and business people that I could identify as being from Scotland (where I do most of my business).  Most of them followed me back and I shared my thoughts, observations and links to my blogs and I got some great feedback.
  • The best thing for me about following people on Twitter is that you get a real insight into people’s personalities and the things that motivate them from their tweets.  This means I now have a list of really interesting people I want to meet so I invite them to my speakeasy events, introduce them to my most valuable contacts and assuming all goes well we connect on Linked-in. Several have become high value networking contacts (friends in reality) and two have become clients.
  • You can’t advertise on Twitter but you can sell, anyone who says you can’t just does not know how!  Selling isn’t selling anymore it is Engagement Marketing; people want to do business with people they trust and people they know.  I find the best way to sell is to be the sort of person people want to do business with.

To sum up.

The new golden rules of networking; Use social media but don’t forget to be social, collect followers for vanity – Collect relationships for value – share something of value and build your relationships. Oh and one final point – if your goal is to sell it wont work your goal has to be to genuinely help the people you are networking with or they just wont engage you!

Next Steps – Why not share?

  1. Leave a comment
  2. Email the link to this blog to your valuable contacts
  3. Retweet it – share something of value & build your relationships.

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp

Intelligise, Be Brilliant

How to engage your Linked-in contacts

Linked-in is the silent superstar of social media, it owns the online business connections market and it is without doubt the best online tool for relationship and reputation management.  Most people however just use it like an online rolodex and fail spectacularly to use Linked-in to engage their contacts on a deeper level.

Social media is changing the way companies communicate with customers and contacts and this has led to a plethora of social media consultancies (usually referring to themselves as gurus or experts) advising business people to set up Linked-in profiles and get as many contacts as possible.  One such agency even charges by the contact they deliver for you.  This sort of low level thinking has contributed to a lot of people getting to a 100 contacts and thinking right job done. You can almost hear the sighs of relief now that they have reached the point where they don’t need to work live a slave to look credible.

The problem is that it’s not job done its job started, to get the biggest return on investment from social media you actually have to be social!  A strange concept I know but in business contacts are nothing, relationships are everything.

In the near future people begin to look at numbers of connections, friends, followers etc in the same way as we now look at “hits” as a way of measuring a web business. Yet then as now an internet based technology has had a huge impact on business but with the wrong Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).  The amount of connections you have isn’t a KPI but the relationship value of those connections is.  The problem is that using all the social media tools in the world won’t help your business, you have to engage your clients on a deeper level than your competition or you won’t be able to compete.

Six keys to improving the relationship value of your Linked-in contacts

1. Quality not quality – First and foremost don’t ask people to link-in unless you know them and want to manage your relationships with them more effectively. Just keep telling yourself it’s a relationship game not a numbers game. At a networking event recently overheard someone say we should link-in to a man he had just met only to have the other person respond “I think we linked-in after the last chamber event”. In my view you should only Link-in to people you have worked with, done business with or know really well.

2. Update regularly – The is a twitteresk feature on Linked in called update and it asks you to post in 140 characters what you are working on – use it and use it every working day. People who visit your profile page will see that you are putting in some effort to your Linked-in page and they will respect that. Your contacts will also usually get an update email of what you are doing every week and this keeps you in touch with your most important contacts for the investment of five minutes per day.

3. Share – Using Linked-in along isn’t a social networking strategy its just one of the tools you will need. If your client’s perception of your credibility and knowledge is key to your success lawyers, accountants architects, IT sales etc then you should blog some useful tips and ideas and share it with your contacts via the update function and by via email.

4. Linked-in messages –When one of your contacts posts an update don’t just read it and think “that was interesting” drop them an email via the system and offer advice or tips, encouragement or a well done as appropriate again a few minutes a day can pay dividends.

5. Network – The most powerful thing you can do with your contacts is bring them together. Ok so some will be in different countries but 80% will be in your local area so BE SOCIAL. In the last two weeks I have held two speakeasy networking events where I have pointed at a bar and invited a dozen of my Linked-in contacts to meet me for a beer and a catch up.  As they all arrived at the same time I introduced them and there are two join ventures in the offer and five very warm sales pitches taking place next week – not only that I received several emails from people saying they were the best networking events they had ever attended.

6. Ask – this is what its all about, Linking-in to people you don’t really know, who don’t really trust you and then failing to engage them means that you have a dead list and a dead list can’t connect you to anyone.  I will bet if most people did a people search for their number one target client in their city they would find several of their connections know them but they wouldn’t have the depth of relationships that would allow them to ask for an introduction.  I am one step away from my top 20 target clients and in 80% of the cases it is one of my Linked-in recommenders that knows them.  It took me a year and I have turned down more offers to connect than I have accepted but my list of contacts is alive and kicking and every time I have asked for an introduction I get it.  Obviously no-ones profile or contact list can ever be perfect but by following the tips above you can improve the value of your Linked-in contacts significantly.

This blog is part two of my series on getting the most from Linked-in you can find part one here http://bit.ly/7JtgEV I hope it helps.

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp

Intelligise – Be Brilliant

http://www.intelligise.co.uk