Category: Marketing

Networking should be scary

Last week I made my first virtual presentation. I am really used to giving presentations and I see nerves as part of the process. It’s the body’s physical reaction (fight or flight) and chemical reaction (the release of stress hormones, particularly adrenaline and cortisol) to new activities, which I accept. So, scary is good, because it keeps us alert and proves we’re still alive!

Once the thunderous applause had died down, I’d been showered with virtual flowers and virtually paraded, shoulder high, round the town, there was a Q and A session. I was asked what my top three tips for nervous networkers were. Now that’s a whole different presentation, so I gave a quick list, but realised this was something that I could share on a blog.

For the purposes of this blog I am going to assume you have prepared for your networking meeting before you walk through the door or turn on your computer. (You can download networking tips here)

Tip number 1:

Accept that networking can be nerve–racking. Remember others may be just as nervous, so accept that nerves are part of the process. Most people are nervous when they are new to any activity and for some people each networking event is as nerves-inducing as the last.

Accept this and accept that you are amongst friends, even if you don’t know them yet. No one wants you to fail.

Tip number 2

Keep it brief. One thing that will turn friends into less happy friends is if you pin them verbally against a wall and spew your entire product range at them. Practise introducing yourself before the event. I would suggest:

  • Your name (see my blog for reasons why you should wear a namebadge, or in the virtual world, put your name and company name on the screen)
  • Your company name
  • Then ask ‘What do you do? ‘

Then shut up and let them talk!

Tip number 3

Get a business card if it’s a face-to-face meeting. If you are networking virtually copy the chat feed and/or jot down their name and business name. Then, after the meeting, connect with them by email, social media or LinkedIn. Ask how you can help them. Would they like a 1-2-1? Would they like some more information? Obtain feedback on how you did. Remember, this is about building relationships and not selling.

So, three tips for people new to networking, which might also be helpful to people who are already networking and who might want to review how they are doing.

Feedback on this, or any of my blogs is always welcome.

If you want more handy tips on networking download my top 20 tips, and you may want to read some of my blog posts.

5 steps to reputation marketing success

The ebn network is full of people who know their ‘stuff’.  To add value, I’m asking a few willing victims volunteers to share some of their wisdom.  The first – er – volunteer is Lesley Morrissey of Inside News.  Asking her was a no-brainer – she’s a writer, so writing a blog was like falling off a (b)log – and she’s given me tons of useful advice about her area of expertise.  Read and enjoy!  Glenys

Over the years many of my clients have come to me for a specific job – like writing a website or managing their Twitter account – but, when asked, they can’t tell me who I’m writing for.

I get on my soapbox about knowing your ideal client – a lot – so here are my 5 steps that I think EVERY business owner should work through and revisit regularly.

  1. Who do you want as clients/customers?

This needs to be as specific as possible.  So it’s no good saying ‘accountants’, because there are big, multi-practice accountants, smaller practices with a handful of staff, specialists in taxation, one-man (or woman) bands who work from home – and that’s just a few.  Which one is your perfect client – because they’re all different, with different issues, worries, problems and needs?

  • Why you?

What have you got to offer that’s different or better than your competitors?  What makes you unique?  What issues can you resolve for your ideal client?  What do your current clients rave about?  Don’t guess – ask them.  What are the measurable benefits of what you do?

  • Where are your prospects hanging out?

A blanket approach to marketing probably isn’t going to work, so you need to think about where your target market are active.  Are they on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube?  What groups do they contribute to?  What publications do they read?  Which networking groups do they attend?

  • Develop your strategy

Get your brand and identity sorted.  That means your logo, strapline, font styles, colour references, headshot, banners, etc.  If you don’t have a brand guide – you should – and make sure everyone in your organisation uses it properly.

What activities will you engage in to establish a top flight reputation in your industry?  Blogging, social media (which ones?), List building, lead magnets, newsletters, email campaigns, direct mail, advertising, networking (where), etc.?

  • Means, manpower and measurement

Who does what, how often, where and how?  How will you check progress?  What are your measurement parameters?  How much time needs to be invested – daily, weekly, monthly?  Who is responsible for managing the project?  Who else will be involved?  How often will you review and revise the plan?

This is the basic steps of a good reputation marketing plan – and the first three steps are important not only for marketing but will make a positive impact on the whole business plan. 

Lesley Morrissey is a copywriter, consultant, and reputation marketing expert.  Raid her Treasure Chest at www.insidenews.co.uk.