Archive for July, 2011
What’s more powerful than re-tweeting someone’s tweet or answering 1000 questions on LinkedIn? What will build relationships faster than the speed of light?
Connecting people to each other.
If you listen carefully to what people in your online and offline networks are trying to achieve, you’ll think of people in your network who would be a good fit for them. Make the introductions proactively.
You’ll be surprised at the results, not the least of which will be deeper relationships with the people you connect.
I had a few examples of that today, which reminded me to share the thought with you.
How have you benefited from connecting people in your network with each other?
Image from Jeff Sandquist Under Creative Commons License.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
I’ve been thinking about the learning and teaching cycle.
When I first started this blog, I was an inbound marketing neophyte, just starting to transition my communications practice from traditional PR to an array of online services. At the time I was acutely aware of being a student and sought teachers and mentors.
Ironically, I was moving from a place where I was highly competent and knowledgeable and where I was teacher and mentor to interns who sought me out and went on to make it in the business. Stepping into their shoes turned out to be an exciting and energizing experience.
Today, I’m still a student because there’s always something new to learn. And I love being engaged in learning. It’s stimulating. But almost three years into this transition, with a body of good work to point to in my new service areas, I’ve begun to feel credible as a teacher again – even moreso with my new knowledge and skills integrated into my earlier experience.
It’s a good thing, too, because businesses still need a great deal of education in order to begin taking advantage of the powerful marketing tools available to them. Teaching is so gratifying because it reveals to us just how much we’ve learned and can apply to helping our clients. It also clearly points the direction to our next student stint.
The cycle of knowing and needing to learn keeps us moving productively into the future. What are you learning and teaching?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Today was a marathon networking day with both online and offline communities that are important to me – and to my business.
Early this morning I read blogs I subscribe to including Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, my ethnomusicologist Sociosound and my rock ‘n roll management guru Peter Cook who posted a brilliant satire on blues lyrics that started my day with a smile.
Then I went to my Twitter profile to connect with some new folks who followed me yesterday and made initial contact. Next, I sent a few invitations to people I want to connect with on LinkedIn – and accepted some invitations that came in overnite. And I received notices that people who I put into Google+ Circles yesterday on my first interaction with that new social network had put me into circles of theirs.
At noon, I arrived at the Riverside Yacht Club inGreenwich,Connfor the summer luncheon of Thursday III, a professional group of senior PR executives and consultants. The group is fascinating and stimulating. The members are authors and PR icons who guided communications for Fortune 100 companies, major agencies and presidential administrations. I fall only marginally into any of those categories and am honored to sit at lunch with these brilliant and creative people every other month. The stories and the knowledge sharing that happens in that group is the stuff that NY Times bestselling books are made of.
A delightful aspect of the luncheon was that I sat between Ed Bloch who was a PR executive for Perkin Elmer and Ian Kerr who led important PR agencies in Fairfield County and represented luxury global brands including Jaguar and Rolls Royce. Both Ed and Ian are beloved figures in the local and broader PR community. Both have wry senses of humor that make them really enjoyable lunch partners.
Ed Bloch subscribes to this blog and noticed my increased frequency of posting. He good-naturedly teased me that my posts were piling up but that he intended to read them. I gave him some suggestions of how he could work them into his day – including bathroom reading, I’m afraid to admit. I’m including him in this post partly so that I can tempt him to read what I said about him when I post it.
After a bit of catch-up in my office, I met with Connecticut Networking Group www.ctconnected.org. This is a spectacular high-level group of mostly young and accomplished business people – entrepreneurs in fact and at heart. We’re more an advisory board to one another’s businesses than a so-called leads group. Again I’m something of an outlier as I’m a bit senior to most of the members. We get to know one another so that we can refer each other with confidence. We share a consultative and relationship-building approach to business development.
Going from my seasoned PR colleagues to my young, energetic and exceptional networking group was a particularly rich experience; so much valuable input across generations.
After the CNG meeting, I went to a meet-up event on a big paddle wheeler on the Norwalk CT harbor – across from my house. This was a big open group where there were a few people from my established network and many whom I didn’t know. Unfortunately this event was not well organized – in particular, no name tags that would have facilitated and focused networking. I jumped ship right before the group took off for an unannounced harbor cruise – in favor of coming back to the office and posting to my blog and attending to other to-do’s.
All in all, this was a very positive day of connection. We never know what may come of a day like this. But who cares. It re-charges the engines to engage with our communities, reconnects us with people who add to our lives and gives us the opportunity to widen out our circles. Time well spent in my book.
Please share your on- and offline networking experiences.
Image via cambodia4kidsorg under Creative Commons license.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
I belong to a networking group that I experience as exceptional. We’re all in service businesses. Some of us are business owners. Some of us work for companies. But we’re all entrepreneurial at heart.
We’re all competent at our businesses. We share high ethical standards and values. We found each other in the wider world through introductions, networking events introductions from other trusted connections. We identified each other as people that we want to ‘follow’ – to borrow the online concept.
Our group is not about trading leads. It’s a longer term play. It’s about getting to know one another. It’s about building confidence and trust. It’s about learning enough about each other that we can recognize good opportunities for other group members when confronted with them.
We span demographics of age and gender. We maintain decorum but are comfortable enough with one another that we can let down our guard and be human. We exist to help one another, understanding that the sharing will help our individual businesses.
When I build online communities for myself and for my clients, I think about the principles behind my offline network and try to approach online community building with the same sense of shared interest and generosity.
You can learn more about our group model at www.ctconnected.org. Feel free to borrow. It works.
Do you have an offline networking group? Tell us about it and how it helps you to build your business.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
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