Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Networking with Social Media…

Filed under: Networking,Social Media — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Social media is a way to transmit, or share information with a broad audience. Everyone has the opportunity to create and distribute. All you really need is an internet connection and you’re off to the races. On the other hand, social networking is an act of engagement. Groups of people with common interests, or like-minds, associate together on social networking sites and build relationships through community. (Source: SocialMediaToday.com)

What is Social Networking? Social networking is the grouping of individuals into specific groups, like small rural communities or a neighborhood subdivision. There are a number of social networking websites that focus on particular interests. (See BONUS Article list below) Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn.

“Social media isn’t effective if you use it to simply “collect” people so you have large numbers. Collecting connections and followers is a numbers game and it is very easy to do so. However just collecting people doesn’t mean your creating valuable relations that are relative and relevant to your business.” ~ Jay Deragon

There are dozens of really great reasons why to use social media but we’ll keep it to the top ten. They are:

1. You will find whomever you want to do business with somewhere online.
2. You will find whatever knowledge you need about any market or any person online.
3. You can reach your market by simply engaging in the right conversations with the right people. This is more effective than advertising.
4. If your business can’t be found, isn’t engaging with the market or worse yet ignoring the market you are not likely to be creating transactional opportunities while your competition does.
5. Communications is a system to leverage your organizations ability to communicate with your market. Social media is the new communications system.
6. Social media saves time and money if you use it right for the right things.
7. If you learn “how” to use social media correctly then you’ll understand “what” your market is looking for and “where” they are looking. You’d want them to look for you.
socialMedia8. “When” your customers and prospects are engaging about you, your industry or your products and services you need to be there listening. Otherwise how will you gain the necessary market intelligence, be enabled to respond or even be aware of problems or needs. If you are not present when and where the conversations are occurring you are basically out of touch with your market.
9. Communications is about reach. Communicating is about relational dynamics between people. Social media provides the means to effectively communicate with your market. However communicating in human rather than institutional terms.
10. If you are not communicating (listening first, initiating second) then how in the world do you expect to create relationship with people and businesses that may want the value you offer? (Source: http://www.relationship-economy.com)

A profile photo or company logo is worth a thousand tweets! Use a real photo of you or company logo on your social media profiles. (not your kids, not your car, and not some bizarro unidentifiable thumbnail image). Don’t use a cartoon character or your pet’s photo. Help your connections put a face with a name. They’ll be more likely to remember you when they need to find someone with your expertise or product. I will never communicate (“like”) with a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or LinkedIn site without a photo.

Use your real name to brand professional profiles on social media sites. Take personal brand management seriously. Facebook, one of the best-known social media sites on the Internet today, has become a valuable way of networking outside your circle.

47TwitterFollowersKeep things professional. Make sure you don’t communicate anything you wouldn’t want your clients, prospects or potential employers to read.

Twitter and Facebook are no longer just for college kids who want to post their party pics. Businesses increasingly use these sites to promote brands, products and services, and as a means to building more authentic business relationships. They have learned how to be brilliant, pithy and relevant in 140 Characters. While setting up a profile on Twitter sites may cost zero dollars, its management requires constant care and feeding. And I will add, social media sites can become quite addictive. Be sure to manage your time with social media sites or they will end up managing you! 😉

A great book! Click cover for info

Get creative in selecting networking options. Many people overlook industry/professional associations and their monthly meetings. Those meeting are often open to non-members in related industries and may attract people who normally do not attend chamber events. Online social media networking can be powerful however, you cannot beat the old fashion face-to-face way!

What about Pinterest? This social network is a place to organize and share online images that you find interesting or inspiring and continues to reinforce the trending growth of an increasingly visual social web. Its users are extremely engaged. LinkedIn is another site that is mostly used by businesses. Remember to check out Google+ and YouTube.

“A business that doesn’t take the little time required to Blog or use social networking is ignoring one of the lowest-cost, highest returns on investments they can make,” says Paul Allen, CEO of MyFamily.com, and a social networking enthusiast. “In just minutes you can set up a Facebook group or event and get dozens of interested people there. It’s a low-cost way to find potential contractors, employees or business partners,” he says.

My friend, Susan RoAne, The Mingling Maven®, says, “The chitchat about chat rooms has exploded since I first wrote about it in 1995. We now have several generations of people whose virtual socializing, conversing and networking has exceeded their real time of each activity. With that, we have lost a lot of our personal touch. The on-line world not only gives us a new type of room to work, we also get thousands of possible “rooms” in which to chat about anything, anywhere, anytime. It’s a room without the boundaries of walls or time, yet there are rules and boundaries of better behavior to be observed.”

I can say this: Networking with social media is not a fad. It will evolve and likely turn into something barely recognizable from the social media we know and use today. It will be here in some form or another forever. Social media can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming. However, be quick to learn new tools, new technologies – and how to appropriately apply them to your business.

socialmediapageThere are hundreds of pages on the Internet that you can read about networking with social media. Suggestion: Always check the social media site you are on for the latest changes. Here are a few sources that have been helpful to me.

BONUS Article: 7 Lessons for Better Networking with Social Media
Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites | August 2012
6 Social Media Networks to Watch in 2012 [Plus Infographics]
13 Reasons Why Using Social Media For Business is Non Negotiable!
9 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid
18 Reasons to Use Social Media
networking for Business Using Social Networks: Top 20 Dos and Don’ts
The 10 Commandments of Facebook
Gettin’ Geeky Video Archive

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Put Your Focus Where it Belongs When Networking

Filed under: Connectors,Mix & Mingle,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: , ,

Many people who don’t like to network also don’t like talking about themselves. They find networking difficult or stressful. You are not alone.

If your idea of networking is pitching your product or service to as many people as you can, you’re assuming the “hunter” role. Instead of viewing others in your network as prey, view them as someone you may want to know better.

focusFocus! Stop trying to make a sale! That should cause you to feel a little less stressful. Focus on “quality of connections!” Effective networking begins with a decision to connect. You will feel less pressure, and the experience will be much more pleasant.

The good news is there is a better way. Networking professionals don’t talk about themselves. If you do all the talking, how can you possibly qualify someone that you might like to work with? Networking should be beneficial to both of you.

In fact, spend the first part of the conversation asking thoughtful questions about the person you meet. Spend your time getting to know the other person. Be engaged and engaging. Be friendly and very curious about them and gain as much information as you can. Demonstrate a sincere interest in them. Use their name often in the conversation. Be humble.

If you think that you never know what to say, come prepared with a few questions that will take the focus off you so you can learn more about them. Find out what their issues and challenges are. Think long term. Is this someone I would like to include in my network? Networking is a long term business and contact building effort.

targetothersAsk open ended questions to keep the conversation going. An open-ended question is designed to encourage a full, meaningful answer using the subject’s own knowledge and/or feelings. It is the opposite of a closed-ended question, which encourages a short or single-word answer (yes or no). This is when it is time to be a good listener. Give them your undivided attention and look for ways to connect with them and support them. Find out how you can help them. Networking is not about only getting what you want, it’s about meeting people, building relationships, and supporting others to get what they want.

Give them more questions. This takes the target off you and pins it on the person you are talking with. People love to talk about their business. It’s up to you to give them the opportunity. This sets the law of reciprocity in motion.

“The law of reciprocity sets in motion in-kind responses of individuals based on the actions of others. I like to call this the ‘givers gain®’ approach. It takes the focus off of what you stand to gain from the networking relationship, and in doing so, creates bonds based on trust and friendship. Put it to the test. You’ll be amazed by the outcome.” ~ Ivan Misner

Never allow yourself to be monopolized by one person. Five to seven minutes is an ideal amount of time to spend with anyone.
It will help you discover if the person is a deadbeat and just trying to pitch you. If the person doesn’t turn out to be the right contact you were hoping to connect with, it is perfectly acceptable to excuse yourself politely and gracefully move on.

Don’t focus on yourself. Put your focus where it belongs; on the other person. Doing so will help you increase your chances for networking success.

BONUS Article: Exit Strategies From Networking Bores!

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Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Twitter Song

Filed under: Twitter,Video — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Have you learned how to be brilliant, pithy and relevant in 140 characters? Here is your S-M-I-L-E for today!

CAUTION: If you at the office, turn the volume down of watch this video later.

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Give!

Filed under: Network Training — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Give• Give information

• Give advice when requested

• Give your friendship

• Give creative ideas

• Give business leads cautiously – only to people you like and trust

• Give contact to others of people you have hired, landscaper, handyman, plumber, etc.,

• Give suggestions that might help others

• Give introductions to networkers to potential clients they may need to know

• Give your business card if it’s someone you have an interest in knowing better

• Give back to the community – volunteer, charitable work, etc.

Thanks• Give an article or book that was meaningful to you to someone in or out of your network

• Give away a list of your 10 most productive networking tips – add your business, name and phone number

• Give a free trial of your business or service to someone who truly cannot afford it – The keyword is “truly.”

• Give thanks for referrals, business leads, etc., from others. Show gratitude. Always say, “Thank you.”

“Be a go-giver and focus on providing value to others. It’s simply one manifestation of the Law of Cause and Effect.” ~ Bob Burg

When people sense that just by being associated with you, their lives will experience significant increase, they will naturally want to advance the relationship. And they will do so by doing their best to give back to you.

“Networking is using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return!” ~ Larry James

Most people can’t even begin to imagine the concept of “giving without expecting anything in return,” but it works. Giving with no expectation of return comes from a proactive, abundance mentality. You are demonstrating faith that the good you do will benefit others – and that good things will come back to you. People who are too busy “selling” themselves (taking) instead of giving often neglect the needs of others and miss the point of effective networking which is only and always about building close business relationships.

Remember, people do business with people they like and trust. When someone knows you care about them enough to refer business, information, etc., their way, they feel good about you. When you give purely out of the love of giving, you cannot help but receive. Reciprocity works. Perhaps not as soon as you would like, but what you give always comes back to you.

You can usually tell someone who gets the principle of giving when you hear them say, “How can I help you?” These are usually people who constantly ask themselves how they can contribute to the life and business of the other person, as opposed to what they can get from them. If you want to build a grateful following – be a giver.

Design a get-together with of a few of your close friends who network and understand the principle of giving and focus on discovering ways you can give to each other. It works best with like-minded people who can support each other as you all learn how to better become a more active giver. Giving circles are becoming a significant and growing segment of independent networking philanthropy.

“You are who you surround yourself with. When we surround ourselves with people who are equally committed to their own success, we are pushed to take more risks and succeed at a more rapid pace. You don’t want to be the one who is lagging behind. Surrounding yourself with high achieving people exponentially increases the likelihood that you’ll succeed, too.” ~ Jordana Jaffe

When active in business networking… ALWAYS give more than you take! “Givers gain.” Giving fuels you. Givers become connectors. They often give the opportunity of connecting with others in their network that have assisted them in their success.

Build a reputation for giving and you will become known as a powerful resource for others. Successful givers look for and attract other successful givers. Demonstrate a giving spirit and you will always prosper! We receive so abundantly when we focus on giving.

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Sunday, August 12, 2012

100 Alternatives To “So Whadda Ya Do?”

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags: , ,

Alexandra Franzen, Guest Author

Heading to a cocktail party, co-working space, tea at grandma’s Haus, (un)conference, world-shifting summit, networking event, or biz building immersion?

sowaddayadoChances are, you’re gonna be doing a fair amount of hustling, jamming & pro-active connecting. URLs will be flying. Business cards will be volleyed. You’ll wanna polish your pitch, and add a layer of high-gloss lacquer.

You’ll be curious about your new comrades, and hell’s bells — they’ll be curious about YOU.

But please. Good lord in heaven above. I beg of thee! Use “so whadda ya do?” sparingly. Just as a brain-tugging experiment: what would happen if it was your final question, instead of your first?

To kick off your next convo in supercharged style, revel in these non-sleazy networking prompts, inquisitive pressure-points, and relationship-tipping triggers.

When you lead with CURIOSITY — rather than convention — you’ll be STUNNED by the gems you unearth.

Larry’s NOTE: I’ve added this list mostly for grins! Smile and have fun with them. Don’t think I would use most of them during a networking event for fear that people might thing i’m a little strange. 😉

1. What’s the most potent compliment you ever received?

2. We’re talking ‘bout blog-crushes and Twitter-romances, over here. You got any secret Internet spouses? C’mon, spill it.

3. Do you have a lucky charm or self-love token that you keep close, at all times? I’ve got a heart-shaped rose quartz crystal, on a silver chain. Pretty literal, but it works for me. How ’bout you?

4. Who do you turn to for humble-pie, keep-it-real, tone-it-down reality-checks? Your momma? Your mentor? Your BFF?

5. What does money represent, for you? Independence? Luxury? Energy? Power? Possibility?

6. When have you been COMPLETELY wrong? How did you figure it out?

7. I never how how to behave when I come in contact with homeless folks, out on the street. Give ‘em a buck? Turn a blind eye? Donate directly to a shelter, and trust that the cash will flow to where it’s needed most? What’s your stance on street-peddling?

8. If life was like a musical, and you could have a specific theme song or anthem blasting every time you step into a room, what would it be? (Mine would be “Can’t Keep It In” by Cat Stevens.)

9. If you had to create a new job title — and the words that you currently use to describe yourself didn’t exist — what would you call yourself?

10. Do you have a worst-case scenario, screw-it-all, burn-every-bridge Plan Z? FYI: I ever go missing, you’ll find me pouring Guinness for fishermen in an pub on the Aran Isles.

11. Do you ever get performance anxiety, when you’re getting ready to pitch yourself, or jam with a super-elite client? What’s your bells-on, game-time, pre-show mantra?

12. When you need to give feedback or criticism to a colleague, what’s your approach? The ol’ compliment-critique-compliment “feedback sandwich”? Or just straight-shootin’ facts — all killer, no filler?

13. I’ve started using a Committed Impulse technique, where I say “I’M BACK!” — out loud — whenever I’m floating away from the present moment. How do you re-center yourself, when your mind is flickering in ten thousand directions?

14. If you were sending out invites for a fanciful afternoon tea party, who would you invite? Could be anyone — alive, dead, fictional, or cartoon-sketched.

15. I recently did the StrengthsFinder assessment, and I gotta say — I’m a little torn about the whole “personality profiling” thing. What’s your stance on talent assessments? Brilliant, bullshit, or somewhere in between?

16. If you could choose one super-power — mind-reading, time-traveling or limitless energy — what would you pick?

17. Have you ever fallen in love, at first sight? With a person? With an idea? With a vision? With a website?

18. Damn, this coffee is fantastic. The blend actually reminds me of a fabulous little mom ‘n pop cafe, back home. It’s my secret hideout, when I need to escape and buckle down with my laptop and a cranberry scone. Do you have a Fortress of Solitude, back on your home turf?

19. So, I’ve got this question percolating in my mind, and I’m asking everyone I meet. What’s your absolutely perfect day, from dawn till dusk?

20. I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed by the deluge of info that’s being firehosed at us, today. Is there one nugget of brilliance that’s really resonating with you?

21. Damn! The minute this event is over, I’m totally gonna revamp my bio, strip down my service packages, and do a pricing mega-boost. What’s the first thing you’re going to do, when you get back to your workspace?

22. I’m one of those people who reads my horoscope every single day — pretending that it’s nonsense, but secretly DEVOTED to it. Are you a surreptitious star-charter, too?

23. I don’t know about you, but I literally can’t focus unless I have my indie-electro-rock mix blasting at full volume. Do you have a go-to playlist, for slamming deadlines?

24. You partnered up with a sweetheart, at the moment? How did you feel the very first time you laid eyes on him, or her?

25. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you strike me as a woman who knows her way around a lingerie shop. I’m dying for a new bra. Any recommendations, or favorite boutiques?

26. If you could take a pill and instantly know how to play any instrument, what would it be? (Autoharp, for me!)

27. Not to be too morbid, but I’m curious: what d’you want etched onto your hypothetical tombstone?

28. Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up, when you were five? Fifteen? Twenty? What’s the connective strand, in terms of where you are now?

29. Be honest: what’s your opinion on emoticons? 😉

30. I’ve got a really ferocious suspicion that rollerskates and hotpants are gonna be IN like FLYNN, this autumn. What’s your fall fashion prediction?

31. When you catch yourself in the middle of a white lie, how do you pivot your message? Back-track and clarify? Just roll with it, to protect the listener?

32. So I’ve recently started a dream journal. Do you have any super-vivid dreams, that keep recurring?

33. How do you measure your own success? Do you set goals? Keep a set of metrics? Just gauge by how you feel?

34. True fact: I recently realized that I’m slightly ambidextrous. D’you have any hidden talents?

35. You look like a (wo)man of action. What’s your first-thing-in-the-morning routine?

36. Have you ever been so terrified, you could taste metal in your mouth?

37. Man, I’m really feeling the need to de-frag my mind for a few minutes. What’s your favorite mental vacation? I’ve got a lurid fascination with ’90s teen dramas, like My So-Called Life…how ’bout you?

38. When you hit your income target for the year, how are you gonna celebrate? Take your entire family to a B&B? Hit the spa with your long-distance pen-pal? Treat yourself to a Tarot card reading?

39. I have to tell you, I just love the way your voice sounds. Did you ever do any theater or radio?

40. Wanna play some word assocation? I’ll start.

41. Last week, I decided to remove all electronics from my bedroom, and I’m suddenly sleeping like a Queen. Have you made any micro-lifestyle-tweaks, that really shifted your world?

42. Dude, these kinds of events really bring out the hermit in me. Oh, you too? Wanna grab some coconut water, sequester ourselves in a dark corner, and talk about our favorite Lady Gaga tracks for five minutes? Excellent.

43. Have you ever read something so fucking brilliant, it made you sad, because you’d never get to read it again…for the first time?

44. I recently learned how to make a heart in my coffee foam. It’s all in the wrist, man. What’s your favorite super-mundane-but-totally-lovely little ritual?

45. What’s your opinion on facial hair? Be honest.

46. Jeez, you are seriously well put together. Who’s your ultimate style icon? And what goes through your mind, as you curate your outfits?

47. After today, I’m seriously thinking about doubling my hourly rate. I gotta admit — it terrifies me. How do you feel about your current price-point? You thinking about going double-or-nothing, too?

48. What’s the biggest epiphany you’ve had over the last year, in terms of attracting your ideal clients?

49. When you’re feeling scattered, how do you re-center and root into what needs to GET DONE, pronto?

50. Do you have any smutty, private treats? Once a month or so, when I’m tanking up my car, I always grab one of those horrendous, sticky, machine-brewed gas station coffee drinks. Y’know, flavored with pumpkin-spice-amaretto-midnight-delight creamer. And then I drink it, alone, in my car. What’s your we-must-never-speak-of-this-again pleasure?

51. Have you ever been so grateful for something, you felt like 40,000 thank you notes just wouldn’t cut it?

52. What makes you supremely jealous? And how d’you deal with comparison-envy?

53. It might be those cool specs you got on, but you strike me as a big reader. What’s the last book you read that really moved you?

54. Sometimes, when I’m feeling dislodged and disjointed, I have a little mental pow-wow with my fantasy mentor, Oscar Wilde. Do you have any fantasy advisers?

55. Have you ever been to a concert that shifted your entire slant on life?

56. Tell me something about yourself that I’ll NEVER see in your official bio, or on your resume.

57. Do you think of your clients as comrades, creative partners, customers, advocates, fans…or something else? How much high-contact, 1-on-1 time do you give ‘em?

58. How do you cope with unhappy clients? Are you a never-go-to-bed-angry type o’ gal, or a let-’em-fume-and-we’ll-unpack-it-all-tomorrow type of person?

59. Opt-in squeeze pages: yay or nay?

60. Where do you get your best ideas? I’m all about bubble bath epiphanies. Though hot-tubbing and long road trips work, too.

61. I’ve been thinking a lot about pro-actively clearing space for magic, in my life & my biz. What’s one thing you’re ready to delegate (or just destroy), like, NOW?

62. There are so many products & programs out there, and sometimes I have trouble filtering which ones I oughta dig into. What’s ONE investment you made, in your entrepreneurial empire, that truly paid off — in spades?

63. When you’ve connected with someone online, and you really wanna pull the relationship offline, what’s your non-scuzzy pick-up line?

64. What does “elegance” mean to you? How ’bout “efficiency”? “Enthusiasm”?

65. Have you ever asked someone you barely knew for a BIG favor? How did it land?

66. If you could have a mystical companion animal, like the witches in Ye Olden Days, what would yours be? (I’d totally go for a teacup-sized panda, or miniature fox.)

67. Have you ever experimented with raw food, ditching wheat flour & sugar, or veganism? What feels right, for your body? When do you feel magnetically vibrant?

68. How do you really feel about blogging — for serious? Love it? Loathe it? Does it feel like a creative outlet, or a marketing chore?

69. Do you tend to trust people immediately — until proven otherwise — or do they have to earn your faith?

70. I’m planning a mini media fast this summer. Have you ever dropped off-grid, for a week, or more? How did it feel?

71. If you could be an Olympic athlete, a champion ballroom dancer, or a Broadway singer with lungs of solid gold, what would you choose?

72. Are you an Inbox Zero kinda person, or do you let messages build up, and then crash through and delete / archive / file / forward / reply, in one fell swoop?

73. Have you ever met an idol or celebrity, and felt stupendously starstruck? Did you manage to eke out a meek “hello”?

74. I’m totally turned on by old-school snail mail thank you notes. What’s the classiest gift you’ve ever received, in the mail?

75. Are you a group mind-meld mastermind, or do collaborative projects make your skin crawl?

76. Do you believe that guilt is a wasted emotion? Or a lesson, trying to teach itself to you?

77. What’s the prickliest piece of feedback you’ve ever had to swallow?

78. Been thinking a lot about self-care, of late. If someone handed you $500 and said, “go nurture yourself,” what would you spend it on?

79. Do you believe that every relationship is an energetic transaction? Do you think it’s possible to transcend beyond transactions?

80. What’s a “brilliant” idea that you’ve had, for a project or business? One that you’ll never-ever actually do, but tickles your fancy, nonetheless?

81. How do you reel in your ramble, when you’re babbling outta control?

82. Is there a song, or poem, that ALWAYS makes you weep, without fail? (My tear-jerker is “Hallelujah,” by Leonard Cohen. ‘Specially when k.d. lang belts it out.)

83. If you were gonna send a time capsule to your future self, what would it say? What would it contain?

84. Do long, old-school sales pages make your eyes cross in disgust? Or are you a firm believer in heavy, info-loading conversion language?

85. What’s the absolute WORST business advice you’ve ever received? Did you sense the ridiculousness immediately, or did you have to learn by trial ‘n error?

86. A part of me wants to e-x-p-a-n-d my lil’ empire, with more minions and serfs and apprentices. And a (bigger) part of me wants to keep it clean & lean. A solo operation. What’s your take, on intelligent expansion? You got a master plan, for your universe?

87. Earlier this year, I was mashing into maximum bandwidth, and having a spacious day to play was tricky to come by. How do you make space for downtime, when you’re teetering on the edge of burnout?

88. I’ve been delegating my way to sanity, this year. What’s one thing you outsourced, that made a mega-impact in your quality of life? Laundry? Font formatting? PayPal invoicing?

89. I’m parched for fresh visual stimulation. What are your gotta-see design magazines, blogs and books?

90. I feel like I get hammered with pro bono requests all the live long day. How do you evaluate which freebie gigs to dive into, & which to pass on?

91. That last presentation on communication really got my brain cranking. Have you ever had an experience where your meaning was COMPLETELY misinterpreted?

92. If money, training, time, talent and the laws of physics were no object, what would you be doing, for a career?

93. Girls with guns & firing ranges: sexy, or terrifying?

94. What was your absolute WORST joe-job, ever? (Me? Cigarette salesgirl at a casino. Yep.)

95. What’s one thing you DON’T know, for sure?

96. If there was one band you could magically re-form & re-group for one last epic world tour, what would it be?

97. Your hair is absolutely incredible. Give me your styling regime, in ten seconds or less. GO.

98. Do you believe in “life balance,” or is striving for equilibrium a total buzzkill, for you?

99. What did your most agonizing break-up — romantic, platonic or vocational — teach you?

. . . and my personal, all-time favorite:

100. Who are you becoming?

AlexCopyright © 2012 – Alexandra Franzen. A promotional writer with a keen eye for words that woo, Alexandra pens webcopy for branding and marketing agencies like Red Slice and d.trio, wrangles communications for pro-bloggers and cranks out bios and pitch letters for quirky entrepreneurs. She’s been lauded as “Spock, but with a sense of humor. And better hair,” and was once pronounced “a unicorn, in human disguise.” You can find her blogging about style and savvy self-promotion at: Alex’s Blog. Also visit her Website!

netHQLarry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Close Business Relationships Are the Key to the Door of Opportunity!

Expert networkers are always looking for creative ways to support each other. They are team players. Look for them. They stand out in the crowd.

keyindoorMediocre networkers are always looking for ways that people can help them. That doesn’t work so well.

Networking is about building close business relationships. The smart networkers know this. They are on the fast-track. The people in a network of close business relationships not only look for business leads for each other, they also know others outside of their network of support – who they like and trust – who can be counted on to keep their ears open for business leads as well as other ways to connect and assist each other. Opportunity is everywhere when you have your main focus on helping others.

It is wise to have close business relationships in your own sphere of influence to interact with on a regular basis but also colleagues, associates, past customers and clients and friends. Participation in association meetings, and with people who are working in your same genre can be helpful too. This attitude often scares mediocre networkers because their fear of revealing too much about what they do and how they do it keeps them from sharing ideas that might be mutually beneficial.

bizGroupI say have lots of connections with lots of people and don’t be afraid… be fearless. Fearlessness demonstrates self-confidence. Demonstrate a high degree of selflessness. Learn to love people and love to be around others who are consistently working to build and enhance their credibility. I don’t know about you but I prefer to be associated with and to do business with confident people. Fearful people are usually needy and they have yet to learn that that is what keeps them stuck.

The more you hang around networkers who are successful and observe how they got to where they are, the more you increase the chances that the door of opportunity will swing wide for you as you learn from others and develop your networking skills. I have yet to meet a successful business person who is an effective networker who is unwilling to share many of the secrets to their success with people who genuinely have a thirst for learning. They influence commitment because they are examples of commitment. They are high quality people. It’s up to you to capitalize on their expertise that is relevant to you and where you want to go. They know that they can only grow stronger with each new acquaintance with whom they share their knowledge.

So… the message is clear. It takes a lot of research to understand what the environment of business networking is really like. Being successful as a businessperson requires supreme communication skills and a carefully crafted networking strategy. The more close business relationships you have in your network, the more keys you have to opportunity and the brighter your future will become. It has you enjoy the benefits of a dedicated team and grooms you in positioning yourself for greater networking and business success ahead. Can you imagine how compelling the extra effort you have devoted to learning the important keys is to others who may choose to get serious about and emulate the strategies that is defining your net-worth?

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Schedule 30 Minutes a Day for In-Office Networking Activity

Filed under: Network Training,Time Management — Larry James @ 8:00 am
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Networking doesn’t stop when the meeting is over. Ideally you need to be spending at least 50% of your networking time maintaining the relationships within your network. It’s a wise choice to allocate at least 30 minutes each day for networking tasks and to strategize your next moves. Here are a few suggestions that have worked for me.

manatdesk• Follow up with people you met at a previous networking event.
• Call people you haven’t spoken to in a while.
• Tweet a networking tip to your network. If there already is a hashtag in place for the event you will be attending, use it! It’s a great way to connect with people. Don't know what a hashtag is? Google it.
• Answer questions on networking forums.
• Revise your 30-second connection to be compelling and to fit several different networking occasions. Communicate your uniqueness – Rehearse it.
• Schedule your next networking event/meeting in your day-timer. Plan to get there early.
• Comment on networking blogs.
• Send articles of interest to the people in your network.
• Add new members to your contact database.
• Visit the Websites of networking events you plan to visit to help plan your strategy.
• Come up with some new ideas to start conversations with others at networking events.
• Plan to have a breakfast or lunch meeting with someone new in your network.
• Buy a new book about business networking. Never stop learning. – Remember to share it with your network.
• Post a networking tip on your Facebook page (or send someone a link to this Networking blog). 😉
• Target someone in your network to give a business lead – The more you give, the more you get.
• Prepare your marketing material and be ready to go to your next meeting. Business cards & a pen? Check. Information packed handout? Check. Name tag? Check. Wear you name tag on you right shoulder so they will see it when you shake hands.
• Review the networking events you have been attending – phase out the ones that are not working.
• If you haven't made a presentation about your business, call the group leader and request a spot on the agenda.
• Review the business cards you collected at your last event and plan a special way to follow-up.
NetWomen• Write down your strengths, attributes and special skills. Keep these strengths in your head in order to boost your confidence and remind yourself of why people should be talking with you and listening to what you have to say.
• Put your camera by the front door. Take it to your next meeting. Take lots of photos. When you return to your office it will help you identify some of the people you want to follow-up with.
• Make connections by calling a few people before the event. Arrange to meet them. It’s a huge confidence booster to see some familiar faces when you first arrive.
• Meet often with other expert networkers to discuss ways to improve your networking skills.

When you actually schedule simple tasks like these, you will always be better prepared for your next out-of-office networking meeting or event. Being better prepared boosts your self-confidence. Never stop developing your networking skills.

Networking is not just about showing up and collecting business cards. Focus on the search for people that will fit nicely into your network of support. Developing long-term business relationships is the key.

Suggestion: Print this list and keep it close to your desk as a reminder.

Larry’s Note: A special “Thank you” to Heather Townsend, The Efficiency Coach for her contribution to this article.

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

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