Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Friday, October 17, 2014

It’s Really Okay to “Toot” Your Own Horn…

However, it’s best to learn how to do it with finesse.

Fi·nesse, noun:
1. Extreme delicacy or subtlety in action, performance, skill, discrimination, taste, etc.
2. Skill in handling a difficult or highly sensitive situation; adroit and artful management: exceptional diplomatic finesse.

TOOThornMany of us were taught from childhood that is was not nice to brag or boast about yourself. Bragging about you personally is not what I am talking about. I’m talking about tooting your own horn to exploit your business. Hey! If you don’t toot your own horn – who will?

Well, I give a “toot!” And so do your friends and family and some close business associates, however most of them need a little nudge to do it in a way that might be useful to you in your business. There is a chapter in my book, “Ten Commitments of Networking” called, “Ask For What You Want!

When I asked Master Sales Trainer, Tom Hopkins, if he would care to write something nice about my networking book, he wrote, “This highly thought-provoking book will help anyone determine the areas in their lives needing fine-tuning and get moving on making positive changes!”

Og Mandino, author of “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” wrote, “These wise and powerful guidelines will help you lead the life you deserve.”

If I hadn’t asked? Well, I’m sure you know the answer to that.

But what about you? Do you ask for written testimonials from your customers or clients? If not, why not? Often after making a sale someone will tell us, “Wow! I’m impressed. Your customer service is excellent.” I say, “Strike while the iron is hot!” That’s a really good time to ask them if they would take a few moments to put what they just said in writing (on their own letterhead) for your future customers. Most will say yes.

It’s time to get your courage up. What is the worse thing that could happen? They might say no. If you can’t handle a little rejection now and then, perhaps you should choose another line of work.

Tell people about the good things your business does. Talk about your business strengths and how you can be mutually beneficial to your customers and the community you serve.

If you are called on to make a presentation to a group, write your own introduction. Be sure to include a few talking points that can create a little buzz for you. In other words, toot your own horn. This is often a way that you can do a little bragging and it’s not coming from you. It comes from the person who introduces you.

The truth is, most everyone likes to hear a success story. Speak your own success story in a way that has it be interesting and shows the benefits to all concerned. (People buy benefits, you know!). Be your own buzzmeister!

BONUS Articles:How to Brag About Yourself Without Turning Others Off
Networking: An Opportunity for Shameless Self-Promotion
Sell Yourself. . . NOT Your Services!
The Buzz on Being a Shameless NetShaker!

netHQ

Copyright © 2014 – 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 Networking 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 “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

commentSubscribe 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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Amplify Your Influence!

Filed under: Networking,Self-Promotion — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: ,

How do you amplify your influence?

We are all eager to have our horns tooted! We can toot our own horns through branding, social media, e-mail, special events, etc.

TootHere is a tip: Toot others’ horns first! Instead of focusing all the conversation about you and your business, celebrate the successes of others. Brag about those in your network with whom you have either used their services or you know from personal experience that they are good at what they do and you want to share this information with others.

If you want to amplify your own influence try amplifying the influence of others. If you want others to pay attention to you and your business, pay attention to them.

By being aware of the good things of others going on in your community, you can help others enter into others’ circles of influence. By celebrating others’ success, you will call attention to yourself and have the opportunity to shine your own light.

When it is your turn to toot… do so with finesse… NEVER overdo it. Be subtle. Tell them just enough to make them want to know more.

BONUS Article: We All Need to Dig a Little Deeper…
How to Be a Red Ferrari in a Sea of Silver Cars
6 Things Every Small Business Can Learn From Lady Gaga
It’s Really Okay to “Toot” Your Own Horn…
How to Brag About Yourself Without Turning Others Off
Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – 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 Networking 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 “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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/

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to Be a Red Ferrari in a Sea of Silver Cars

Do you have the “WoW” factor suitable for business networking? If you want to be noticed, you need to be different; you need to stand out in the networking crowd. Networking is less about meeting new people than having them remember you after you have told them who you are. It’s not just about making a great first impression, it’s about making a “lasting” impression.

Your assignment – if you choose to accept it – is to become a red Ferrari in a Sea of silver cars!

red-ferrariYou have to bring sizzle to the table. Be bold. Turn up the charm. Take a stand for who you are and what you represent. Don’t use buzz words or jargon. Plain English isn’t boring. It’s clear. It’s precise. Be clear.

Effective networkers are less concerned about what they might “get” in return for attending an event. They focus on helping others first! If you are more concerned about your ROI (return on investment) then you are missing the point. Getting yourself noticed expands your credibility and puts you in a better position to be a resource for assisting others. Networking is about helping others. Always ask, “How can I help you?

Professional networkers name names. When you meet someone, say your full name loud and clear, and try to use word association. I make it easy for them by saying, “Hi Joni (got her name from her name tag), I’m Larry James, the guy with two first names.” I’ve had people I’ve met track me down because they make the connection with “names” and “James.” Some get it wrong and call me Jim or James. I’m okay with that because I know they are trying to remember. When someone tells you his or her name, repeat it in the conversation as soon as possible. It demonstrates that you’re interested and it helps you to remember their name.

“First impressions are critical. When you stand out in the crowd, your status is elevated, you attract people to you, and you begin relationships in the way that ultimately increases the likelihood of people buying from you, hiring you, and refering to you.” ~ Larina Kase, PsyD.

Make a dazzling 30-second connection! Making your introduction all about you is dull and boring. Yawn. Ho-hum. Change it up. Insert humor (if it’s really funny!). An offbeat but memorable “elevator pitch” will help you stand out in the crowd. Beyond just giving a run-down of what you do in your 30-second connection, you should talk about something that makes you stand out or that might make someone interested enough to learn more about you. Your job title, e.g., “I’m a life coach” or “I’m a Realtor®,” will not set you apart from your competition or get you remembered! You must learn to captivate them with your words. Set yourself apart. Be the only person like yourself in the room!

Be well-dressed. The first thing that they will notice is your physical appearance. Clothes reflect yourself and your brand.

Engage others. We often evaluate people based on who they know. Instead of thinking about who you want to meet, think of who others want to meet and be their connector. This will assist you in becoming a powerful resource to others.

Be unique. Be sure you keep your word. No news spreads faster than the fact that you may be presenting yourself in a less than honest way. Just because you are unique does not mean that you are useful. Stand and deliver. No hype or stretching the truth. No telling half truths or misrepresenting facts in any way. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Speak only the truth. If you want respect, you must earn it!

Confidently share who you are with others. Be authentic. Push the envelope. People will be impressed with someone who is passionate about what they do. Amateurs tend to talk more than they listen. Don’t be a chatterbox! In networking, you should take the time to listen as much as you take the time to speak. Good relationships are rarely built when only one person dominates the conversation. Go back and forth. Ask good questions that do not require a yes or no answer. “Where else do you network?”

Whenever possible seek to be the speaker. When you have an opportunity to present yourself at a networking event or meeting, never let their minds wander while you are speaking. Be interesting. And for goodness sake, speak up. Pump up the volume. Face the people you are talking to. If you are holding a microphone hold it about 2 inches from your mouth and speak “clearly.” It is frustrating to try to get excited about someone who mumbles. If you want people to hear what you say you need to speak loud enough so everyone can hear you. Keep your listeners on track with short phrases like: “Let me explain why.” “And now comes the best part.” “Not only that…”

Stand tall, shoulders back, open posture, eye contact, and wear your best smile. Never fidget, sway or shift your weight repeatedly, jiggle change in your pocket, tap your foot, or scan around the room. Don’t talk all the time about your product, your service, your business. Because nobody’s that interested. Focus on which problems you can solve for them. How can your business provide a solution for what’s ailing them. Where is their pain? How can you fix it?

panel discussionNever insult your listener’s intelligence by stating the obvious. When everyone knows you are a Realtor, say it no more. It’s time to give them the latest info on the market or offer a tip about preparing their home for sale that blends with your marketing efforts. Talking only about your products bores your listeners. Talking about their problems grabs their attention. Talk about the hassle you prevent; the headaches you cure; and the glitches you can help them avoid. Don’t be clever. Be clear. No gobbledygook.

Discover ways to let others know you are there. You need every edge you can get. Always have some small bit of information to pass along that will help others. Share an article or a link to a Website you think they might like; one that may help them promote their business or introduces them to a new social media idea.

“Make a list of exciting things you can share with others throughout the event – like interesting clients or projects you’re working on or the fantastic book you just read. You don’t want to throw all of them out rapid-fire to everyone you meet, but having a few interesting points prepped will give you some talking points as your conversations flow organically.” ~ Susan Blond, The Daily Muse

Panel discussions are a great way to be in front of the people who count. Seize the moment to be on one. Know what you are going to say. Or, when listening to a panel discussion, stand tall, introduce yourself confidently, and ask a question of one of the panelists.

Never use profanity. Profanity grabs attention, but for the wrong reason. Be smart.

Don’t brag. If you’ve had many years of specialised experience or have won a prestigious industry award of excellence say so with humility. Go slow. Think before you speak. Be prepared. This “no brag” idea takes some practice. Consult with your closest friends in your network to get some ideas. Asking the advice of others also calls attention to yourself.

Be a souped-up Ferrari. Go faster, make more noise, stand out, and attract attention in a polished sort of way! Now, when someone at a networking event asks you who you are, you can proudly proclaim, “I’m a Red Ferrari!”

BONUS Articles: 6 Things Every Small Business Can Learn From Lady Gaga
It’s Really Okay to “Toot” Your Own Horn…
How to Brag About Yourself Without Turning Others Off
Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – 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 Networking 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 “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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/

Monday, March 4, 2013

Decent Exposure

Filed under: Networking,Self-Promotion,Stand Out in Your Group — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

If you want decent exposure to the people in your network of support… you must go out of your way to spread the good news about business networking.

speakingSpeak to networking groups. Not just networking groups, but any group that may allow you to speak. Don’t talk about your business. Let the person who introduces you do that. Write your own introduction. Be a guest speaker! It really is an effective way to get exposure for you and your business quickly.

If you’re not comfortable with public speaking, then try easing it into it with a small group like a networking mixer or luncheon. Try not to let the fear of speaking, networking and positioning yourself as an expert in your field, scare you.

What will you talk about? Prepare a 10 to 15 minute talk that goes info detail about the “Top 5” things that have benefited you the most when you network. If you have more time, present the “Top 10.” When you’re talking about something you know and are passionate about, public speaking and networking isn’t as bad as it sounds. It’s actually quite exhilarating!

Always hand out quality marketing materials – brochures, business cards, etc. – to those in attendance, complete with your contact information. If they want to contact you they will have everything they need. Meeting planners frown upon speakers who use their speaking time to promote their own business. Stick to your topic and give lots of tips.

Want to know a secret. This is how I started my professional speaking career. I spoke to any group that would have me. By the way, most groups are always looking for speakers. After a year or so, larger groups, Chambers of Commerce, Civic groups, Associations, etc., began to call me to be their featured speaker.

Always be friendly and prepared when speaking to someone who books you as a speaker or a journalist. Even if you don’t have much experience in media relations, simply being polite and offering the information a reporter needs can carry you through. Make friends with the media. Your connections will go a long way in helping you to obtain the media exposure your business needs.

speakingprogramWhile you may not want to be a professional speaker, speaking to business groups is always a decent way to get exposure for you and your business. It’s a great way to get your business noticed. Once you get proficient in presenting your talk, the next step is to volunteer your talk to radio talk shows. Blog about your networking tips. Use Twitter and Facebook to get the word out.

It works best if while offering your talk or your tips online to not try to sell YOUR services but freely give information that will help others. Keep sentences short, verbs vigorous and phrases fabulous. And keep it brief. Many pitches to media “gatekeepers” — meeting planners, journalists, TV producers or radio hosts — are done by e-mail. Contact the local media with a good story angle.

Not a speaker? Do it anyway. Over time you will perfect your talk and your confidence will grow. Afraid to talk before a group?

Dale Carnegie once said, “Do the thing you fear to do the most and the death of fear is certain!”

Once someone asks you to speak to their group do everything you can to help publicize it. Send e-mail, make calls, post your speaking engagement on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. Turn a little exposure into more press to help perpetuate a better reputation for you and your business.

With time, luck and the right tools, a small business owner can attract the attention of the local media and enjoy the benefits of good publicity.

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – 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 Networking 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 “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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/

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Creative Ways to Self-Promote!

Filed under: Networking,Self-Promotion — Larry James @ 7:00 am

It’s no secret: to get ahead, (Get it? A head!) you have to self-promote. Everyone seems to have a different idea of what works when you are self-promoting. You sing the praises of your products to the consumer and boast of the superiority of your services to potential clients in order to stand out from the competition. . . and to self-promote!

The first rule of self-promotion is to be the best version of yourself and your business. Self-promotion that doesn’t follow this rule comes off as false, forced, and ultimately very forgettable. The key is to inform, not brag.

Self- promotion is the art of spreading creative ideas, new concepts, visions and getting people involved without boasting. It’s important to think about self-promoting as sharing – sharing ideas and information that your audience is interested in and that may help them to remember you when they are ready to utilize your product or services. Creating buzz around your ideas is essential.

Be sure to “weigh your words.” Zip your lip and think before you speak. You can’t unring a bell. Once your words or printed promotional pieces are out there – just one slip of the tongue – and it’s too late to take them back. Insincerity and inauthenticity casts a wide shadow. Bad marketing wastes a lot of time. Focus your message towards people who most need or want to hear it.

“It’s a commonly known phenomenon – when your name/company name appears in print and is being promoted by the press, its level of visibility and credibility rises exponentially.” ~ Sandy Spadaro

self-promotionI bought a video name tag to wear at networking events. It has 2 gigs of memory and has a slide show of some of the brides and grooms I have performed wedding ceremonies for, plus two short videos of me in action at a wedding. It gets a lot of attention and gives me the opportunity to give a few brief details of what I do.

“Create an ‘As Seen In’ section on your Website. Anytime you’re quoted or your business is mentioned in a semi-reputable news outlet, plaster their logo on your site. Anytime you receive an industry award, toss the group’s name or logo in that section, too.” ~ Chris Birk

selfpromotecartoonStart a BLOG. Churn out valuable content and network until your eyes bleed. Don’t make it a commercial about YOU. Have a clear vision about what your visitors want. Post valuable content of interest to those who may choose to eventually do business with you. Next, promote the heck out of your blog. Put the URL on everything you send out of your office, e.g., business cards, letterhead, flyers, etc. Let keywords link to other article as I have done in this article. Be a “Guest Author” on other people’s blogs.

One of the most effective ways to get the word out about you, your products, and your websites is through article marketing. It’s a simple concept. You write an interesting, useful article and get it published with a brief 2 or 3 line bio and a link back to your Website. Article marketing is a type of advertising in which businesses write short articles related to their respective industry. These articles are made available for distribution and publication and to Websites as great content. I’ve written more than 700 articles on topics that are relevant to what I do. They have been quoted in Cosmopolitan, Red Book, Modern Bride, Arizona Weddings and numerous other magazines and Websites. I don’t charge for a reprint of one of my articles. The publicity I receive is my payment.

raleighpinskey

Click the book cover for more info about my friend, Raleigh Pinskey’s, terrific book!

With the advent of Twitter and Facebook, self-promotion and “personal branding” has reached near obnoxious proportions. Since I’ve written 3 books about relationships, I Tweet only one relationship tip everyday like clockwork. These Tweets automatically are published to my more than 3,500 Facebook followers who then post them for their friends. I have 4 Blogs (see links below). All Blog articles are automatically posted on Facebook. Because of this my wedding Blog now receives over 200 hits “per day” – that’s about 6,000 new visitors each month.

NEVER send mass e-mail from a list you purchased from someone else. Start your own list. It must be permission based. If other words, they must sign up to receive your eZINE or online newsletter. People who subscribe to my “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE know that they will only receive one e-mail each month. My list now serves more than 8,700 people who are interested in relationships. You have every right to toot your own horn in your e-ZINE, as long as you don’t drown out the useful content your readers are looking for. Next, promote your eZINE.

CLoveLOGOI had several quality t-shirts printed (on the front and back) that promote my relationship Website. I wear them to jazz concerts and other events around Scottsdale. It says, “I (heart) CelebrateLove.com!” and features the CelebrateLove.com logo.

Self-promotion works and you have to work it – consistently!

netHQBONUS Articles: The Buzz on Being a Shameless NetShaker!
Networking: An Opportunity for Shameless Self-Promotion
It’s Really Okay to “Toot” Your Own Horn. . .
A Great Marketing Strategy – Article Submission
How to Promote Yourself Without Talking About Yourself

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry 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.

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/

Friday, April 8, 2011

6 Things Every Small Business Can Learn From Lady Gaga

Filed under: Networking,Self-Promotion — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Carolyn Higgins, Guest Author

I was never a fan of Lady Gaga. I grew up in the age of Madonna rolling and gyrating all over the stage in her fetish-style costumes and Ozzy Osbourne biting the heads off bats. Lady Gaga and her outrageous outfits and risqué lyrics didn’t faze me. She was just another wannabe exorbitant artist that the general public was eating up and I didn’t pay much attention. That is until I saw her on 60 Minutes last night; then I realized what a marketing genius she is and gained a new respect.

She built a brand (Lady Gaga) from scratch and is now, according to Anderson Cooper, “the most talked about entertainer in the world.” Lady Gaga didn’t get famous by accident. No, she diligently studied “the art of being famous.” This is a woman on a mission – a woman with passion and drive and I gained a whole new respect, if not for the music, but for the business woman and brilliant marketer she is.

Here are 6 things all small business owners can learn from Lady Gaga:

1. Master the “Art of Fame” – Lady Gaga didn’t become famous by accident. She knows what it takes to be famous because she invested the time and energy; she studied it. Nothing she does is by accident. She plans every outfit, every song, every interview, every moment of her life. Are you a master of what it takes to become famous in your industry? Do you understand what others in your industry have done to make it big? Can you honestly say you KNOW what it takes to make your business as successful as you want it to be and that you plan each and every action with achievement of that goal in mind?

ladygaga2. Know your audience and connect – Lady Gaga knows her audience, she has a huge fan base of young and old who feel disconnected and disenfranchised in the world and she speaks to and connects with them in her music, her image and her interviews. She moves them because she understands them so well. Who are your “fans”/customers? What moves them and what do you do to move them? What do you do on every level to connect with them?

3. Be inspirational – People are drawn to positive people, businesses, and outcomes. If you aren’t excited about your business, no one will be. Lady Gaga embraces and uplifts the insecure, outcast, “freak” in us all. Hers is a message of self empowerment and self acceptance- and that has helped her succeed. What is your message to the world?

4. Make it personal – Lady Gaga uses her own experience to connect. She grew up feeling like an outcast; she was different. But instead of using it to isolate herself she turned it into a way to connect to others. How can you tell your story to connect with your customers and prospects? What need, problem, or niche do you fill that is lacking in peoples’ lives? People connect with people – make it personal!

5. Be outrageous – No one ever got famous or popular by being timid. Lady Gaga made a truckload of money and became a worldwide phenomenon by taking risks and by standing out from the crowd – by being outrageous. What can you do in your own industry to stand out and be outrageous? Don’t be afraid to take risks- don’t follow the crowd.

6. Change it up sometimes – Never be boring! Every time you see Lady Gaga she’s sporting a different look. She’s always outrageous, always edgy and always true to her brand – but she’s always fresh and new and exciting! How can your company and brand keep it fresh and new and exciting so that every time a customer or potential customer comes into contact with you they get a new/fresh look or perspective? Maybe it’s a new product or service offering. Maybe it’s a new process… find a way to keep it interesting and keep your customers engaged!

CarolynHiggins

Copyright © 2011 – Carolyn Higgins. Reprinted with permission. With more than 17 years of advertising and marketing experience, Fortune Marketing Company’s President and founder, Carolyn Higgins’ personal mission is to help businesses grow by implementing affordable and effective marketing systems that will consistently bring you more customers and increase profits. She has worked with companies like Nestle, Intuit, TiVo, Delta Dental, and Kaiser Permanente. Visit Carolyn’s Website and BLOG!

netHQLarry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry 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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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Networking. . . It’s ALSO About Visibility!

Filed under: Networking Tip,Self-Promotion — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Jeff Glaze, Guest Author

“When you are forgotten, you cease to exist!” ~ The Lady of the Lake in the TV special “Merlin”

standoutfromthecrowdWhen you go to a networking event do you stick out like a sore thumb? I remember my mom used to say that a lot. I guess it means that if your thumb hurts, you seem to hit it on anything at all as you go through the daily routine. I would say that this phrase probably had a negative meaning.

I think that for most people, the natural tendency is to fit in, to not be noticed or to stand out in a crowd. Most people do not want to be in the spotlight and will go out of their way to avoid drawing the attention of everyone in the room.

In the networking environment, this practice of hiding in plain sight is detrimental to your goal of finding new prospects or clients.

I am not encouraging you to make a scene, you wouldn’t want to start yelling at the top of your lungs, but it is vital to your success if you are different than others in the room. Some people are naturally charismatic. You see them from across the room laughing and carrying on. Now keep watching them. Do people seem to gravitate towards them during the course of the meeting?

In the past few years I have learned that our attitude helps us to become a magnetic personality. If we are positive most of the time, not only do people want to be around us, but we can actually inspire others to be positive. This feeling of positivism is infectious. It makes people want to help you. It makes people feel good about themselves and you.

It just plain enables them to consider doing business with you.

visibilitySo you are saying to yourself, “Hey wait a minute, I have a great sense of humor and I am a great person!” I will not reject that fact. You probably do and you probably are. The thing is that most people feel this way and as we walk around bumping into each other, it is the people who stand out that are remembered. Everyone else is just another person with something to sell and nothing to say.

To raise your visibility, do something that is different or unexpected. Maybe some time go to a meeting and make a point to shake everyone’s hand in the room even if there are two hundred people. As you shake their hand say something like, “you look like a person of great character and I just wanted to shake your hand.” Well of course you might want to have a few extra lines to say , but I guarantee that if you did this, you will be noticed.

Let’s borrow a lesson from advertising. If you are watching a commercial where all they do is tell you about the product. Chances are you will not remember it. Now, if you take the same material and have a talking 1200 pound walrus tell you about it, chances are you would notice the message if not just the walrus itself.

What I am trying to say is you have to get the attention of people. Everyone is fighting for your prospect’s attention. Everywhere you go, everything you see, something or someone is saying, “Hey, look at me, listen to this.” It is time to put on your cowboy hat and jump into the spotlight.

Get out there and get yourself noticed!

netHQCopyright © 2011 – Jeff Glaze – Reprinted with permission. Register for his FREE newsletters, the monthly NewsWire and the weekly NewsFlash. Subscribe now and get the NEW E-Book “A Fire Within: Passionately Transfer Your Message to Others for Greater Success”for FREE. www.AtlantaEvent.com where you can order it securely online.

Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking 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!” Larry James provides “Networking Coaching” one-on-one and to networking groups!

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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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sell Yourself. . . NOT Your Services!

Filed under: Networking Tip,Self-Promotion — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Networking and selling do not mix. . . especially at the same networking event!

Someone once said, “Networking and selling are like oil and water. They both belong in your financial engine, but you must put them in separate containers.” Don’t know who said that, but they were very wise! You come across as self-serving and that’s not the way to network.

Tooting your own horn is the worst thing you can do in a social situation. Nobody but nobody likes to have services crammed down their throats.

The end game: While it’s true that most would agree that the end result of networking is to develop a relationship with someone you met and eventually someone makes a sale or gives you a lead or recommend you to their friends. The sale, leads and referrals almost always comes after the follow up and much after your first meeting.

“Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t.” ~ Seth Godin

archlustbergThe only selling you should do at a networking event is to sell yourself. If you haven’t learn the skill of selling yourself well, then you are probably wasting your time at networking events. The idea of “selling yourself” essentially means “to convince others of your value and worth.” Knowing this should take some of the pressure off of those who act desperate and go on a rampage handing out business cards and collecting cards at networking events.

“There are 3 things that we all need to sell ourselves: 1. Competence, 2. Likability and 3. Luck. The first two almost always deliver the third. Having competence and likability isn’t enough. It’s your customers and clients perception that you’re competent and likeable that counts.” ~ Arch Lustberg, author of “How to Sell Yourself

Some define competence as: “the ability of people to perform work to a set standard.” To me competence means that if you judge yourself to be competent, you are probably already sold on yourself. You must be the number one person in your life. If you are not competent and lack confidence in yourself you better start there. Confidence is that one quality, that when embedded deep within, shines through for everyone to see.

Being sold on yourself is perhaps the first, and probably most important qualilty to successfully selling yourself to others. You better first believe in you before you can sell the idea to others.

There are endless opportunities in life where the key to success is the ability to sell yourself to others. Networking events should be at the tippy top of the list if you are a serious networker.

Another quality of selling yourself is authenticty. Networkers who shove business cards at strangers before they know whether they are even interested in them are not being authentic networkers. To the other person it comes across as being pushy. Pushy people often come across as dishonest or hustlers. STOP! What do you think about when I say hustlers?

lovemyselfTo be authentic or genuine is conforming to fact and therefore worthy of trust. You must first build the relationship before trust is possible.

Be creative and think of new ways to present your key qualities to others. Always be honest. Bragging about yourself will not help you sell yourself. In fact, it will hurt you. Overdoing it, and you’re a grandstander. That’s another “no-no” in networking. Instead, analyze your strengths and offer helpful information about your accomplishments by weaving anecdotes – that include others besides yourself – into the conversation. Be conversational. Resist the urge to sell. Put your best foot forward but make sure it’s connected to the “real” you!

You must have confidence in your abilities as a networker. Maintaining a high level of integrity and a high quality of networking skills will help keep you self-assured. Don’t know where to begin? Either pray for guidance or do yourself a favor and hire a networking coach!

“There is a big difference between promoting and networking. Going to an event to hand out business cards and talk about your business is called promoting. Going to an event to meet interesting individuals that you can form an alliance with, is called networking. The easiest way to know that you found someone you can work with is to ask yourself if you like this person. You are only going to do business with someone you know, like and trust… so if you are not clicking with someone… it’s OK. Just move on. There are plenty of people out there that you’ll be able to click with and build a successful relationship.” ~ Gelie Akhenblit, Founder of Networking Phoenix

Upon meeting someone new, and after finding out what they do, I will ask them, “How can I help you?” That often throws them for a loop because it is so unexpected and unlike the others they have just met. It’s an important question. If asked with sincerity, it can fast forward nearly any relationship.

We are all selling something. Some sell their partner on being in a relationship with them. Parents sell the idea of behavior and consequences to their children. Your teen will sell you on the idea of using the family car for their first date. Others sell themselves on whether to buy this or that. When interviewing for a job, you better be real good at selling yourself if you want the position. It’s important to focus on selling yourself by demonstrating your self worth. It’s the best way to build trust and respect which will help you build a great reputation.

netHQ

Copyright © 2010 – 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
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Brag About Yourself Without Turning Others Off

Filed under: Networking Article,Self-Promotion — Larry James @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

Great shameless self-promoters know how to do this. They know that if they don’t toot their own horn, who will? I’m willing to bet that you were taught that it is rude to blow your own horn, right? Wrong! If you do it right!

Baseball great, Dizzy Dean, once said, “It ain’t bragging if you done it.”

toothornIn her book, “Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It,” Peggy Klaus wrote, “Good self-promoters know this: They’re always planting seeds for the future. Karen, forty-two, a division head for a major global food corporation, is a good example. At an informal gathering, when asked how long she had been in the business and what she did, instead of the typical “I’ve worked with my company for fifteen years and run its dairy division,” she responded:

Who ever thought I’d be in the food industry, especially after my mom forced me all those years to eat Cheez Whiz? [Everyone at the table erupted with laughter.] It must have been fate, but after I graduated with my MBA from Columbia, I got a call from a friend who told me about a few interesting openings. I began working for my company in 1985 in brand management, working my way up to marketing director.

Brag!Two years ago, one of the company’s other divisions was really in the hole and they gave me the assignment of turning it around. I didn’t really know where to start, so I began talking to people on the floor. A lot of them had great ideas. From there, I got everyone involved and formed teams to pull in the various disciplines and put together a strategic vision. Today, I am the proud head of a dairy division that is number two in profitability worldwide.”

You may want to take a moment and analyze how Karen cleverly got everyone’s attention, bragged about herself in a great story about her work and did it without turning anyone off. She made it sound like she was sharing information. Knowing when and how to brag is a learned art.

Klaus says, “Humility does not get you noticed. Very few of us ever learn how to reconcile the virtue of humility with the need to promote ourselves. When education and training do focus on selling ourselves, we’re taught to pay the greatest care and attention to our wardrobe, our hair, our hygiene, our table manners, and our résumé. Get those things right, it’s a slam dunk! There’s very little instruction on selling ourselves with ease and sincerity. Somehow we think if we personalize our message or get too excited, we are not being professional, when in fact this is exactly what makes us effective self-promoters.”

Smart self-promoters show up prepared. They value face time with others and are always ready with stories about themselves that break through the verbal clutter.

If you do great work and no one knows about it… what then? Most networkers are lousy at talking about themselves and their accomplishments. They remain quiet thinking that others will toot their horn for them. Life doesn’t work that way.

Dare to promote yourself. Stop apologizing for your successes! Promoting yourself is important if you want to move up in the world. You are most likely to get a few “atta girl” and “atta boys” from your networking buddies. Celebrate your successes. Do it gracefully and tastefully. And if you learn to brag with finesse, you may find others begin to also come out of their shell. It’s a freeing experience.

It’s time for you to get over the self-promotion myths that hold you back. Learn the art of the brag. As Klaus explains, bragging is an art, an individual form of self-expression and communication that, once mastered, is the key to opening doors.

When someone says something good about you, what do you do? Many people, especially women, have the tendency to deflect compliments that come their way. Instead, smile, look the person in the eye and say, “Thanks. Coming from you that really means a lot.” You’ll be taking the person’s compliment graciously while flattering him or her at the same time.

Most people think they have two choices when it comes to self-promotion: remaining obscure or sounding obnoxious. Neither works.

Move forward. I hereby give you permission to say what you should be saying!

Brag on!

netHQ

Copyright © 2010 – 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! Visit ” 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
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Networking: An Opportunity for Shameless Self-Promotion

Self-promotion begins with promoting and helping others first. Recommend others you trust and would do business with. Networking is about building long-lasting business relationships, trust and credibility and if you’re authentic, the promotion is a natural evolution; good things will come to you.

There is a fine line between relationship building and blatant self-promoting. If you remember to always be helpful in your promotional efforts, you should be able to avoid ever being too shameless. If you reach out to someone and they choose not to reach back, thank them for their time and move on.

To increase credibility, you must invest in the relationship, demonstrate ability and authenticity and persevere over time proving that you seriously interested in the other person, not just looking for quick personal gain. The main rule of self-promotion is to be the best version of yourself.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others – Mahatma Gandhi

Be shameless but professional in your approach. Be considerate of your fellow networkers. They are there for the same reason you are. Give them the opportunity to shamelessly self-promote themselves. Equal opportunity works.

Since childhood we have been taught that it’s not polite to brag about ourselves and our accomplishments. Hogwash! Doing this not only makes other people aware of our accomplishments and expertise, but shapes their perceptions of us. Talk about your accomplishments in a confident way.

There is a chapter in my book, “Ten Commitments of Networking” that is titled, “Be Yourself!” So many people who network don’t do that. They try to be someone that they think someone else thinks they should be.

Some think they need to be forceful, aggressive, and pushy to get what they want. What they need to learn is that doesn’t work. Be yourself. If, by your own nature, you are forceful, aggressive, and pushy you better back off a little and soften your approach otherwise you will make more enemies than friends.

Shameless self-promotion is a concept every online business owner needs to understand. Self-promotion is pretty easy to understand. It’s the act of spreading the word about yourself and your services. You just have to learn to be a little shameless with your self-promotion. It isn’t about being annoying, disruptive, arrogant, loud or brash. It’s about being assertive, persistent and confident.

If you think it’s beneath you to promote your business, then you’re in for one long and lonely ride. Get over yourself! Come out of your shell. Each time you muster the courage to promote yourself it becomes easier the next time. If you are struggling with the fear that you have nothing valuable to offer that is something that you must work on. Consider hiring a networking coach.

You must be a shameless self-promoter, but do it with finesse. Self-promotion is not a dirty word. It is not a bad thing. Bring out the trumpets. If you don’t toot your own horn, who will toot it? Be your own cheerleader! If you won’t talk about your achievements, don’t expect anyone else to do so, but remember that your goal is to be savvy in your approach and leave the brainless techniques to someone else. Don’t be forgettable! Let your passion for what you do drive your efforts rather than your ego.

Effective self-promotion is a learned skill that takes practice. Some feel self-promotion is selfish. It is not. Only and always talking about yourself and your accomplishments is being selfish. Self-promotion shines a light on the things we want to share with the world. It’s about seizing every opportunity to present yourself and your services in a way that people can handle, without overdoing it. Learn to know the difference between being a pest and being persistence. You are the best person to tell others about what you offer and you should take advantage of situations that allow you to do so.

It’s important to let others know about your achievements, but don’t do this at the expense of bad manners. Find the balance. Know when it’s appropriate to talk about your accomplishments and when you should keep your mouth shut. A good self-promoter knows the value of listening to others.

When your life is out of balance, nothing works. Too much pressure at work, too much pressure at home and not enough time to take care of either. Balancing your life is not about time it’s about your values. Some people believe if they could add a few more hours to each day, they could balance their life. Your life will never be balanced until you determine what you truly value and live in harmony with them. – Mack Newton

Learn the difference between selling and telling. The best salespeople never appear to be selling anything. They connect with you on a personal level, ask about your life and dreams and then offer to assist you in any way they can.

Never apologize for promoting yourself. If you’re going to promote yourself, at least do it without excuses and disclaimers. You will most likely have to endure criticism from others. It has been my experience that those who criticize do so out of jealousy and insecurity. Be respectful of others and accept criticism with class.

As long as you are serving others and have the courage to speak up for what you believe in don’t let criticism bother you. Telling your personal story with finesse and creative flair will only lead to more opportunities. Look for fresh ideas that work for others. Become involved in conversations and be ready and willing to present your information and your services when the opportunity presents itself.

When you are creative with your self-promotion it will become more attractive and will be more palatable to everyone. You must not run from person to person just long enough to talk about your business. This is the quickest way to alienate yourself from others.

Write an article or report that will educate others about your services (of something about how you can help others) without having the focus be all about you and give it away. Add a line about something you’re proud of to your e-mail signature. Put it at the bottom of every e-mail you send.

There is a sign in my office that says, “Do something everyday to promote my business!” Sometimes – in the busyness and daily grind of activities and routines – I need a reminder. I will often brainstorm with others in my related field about effective ways to work together to self-promote each other.

If people aren’t seeking you out from watching your interactions with others, you need to rethink your self-promotion plan and change your strategy. First impressions count big time. How you approach a potential contact is the key to developing a path that will produce meaningful dialogue and become mutually beneficial.

shameless2My friend and Shameless Self-Promotion Diva, Debbie Allen says, “Natural self-promoters are those people who don’t hesitate to show the world what they can do and have done, and for which they receive recognition in the form of money, fame or service to others – their rewards for many sales. We can emulate what works for them, regardless of our goals.”

Never put down your competition. This only distracts from your integrity. Focus on your triumphs and resist the temptation of making other people or companies look bad. Success without integrity, joy, and connection simply doesn’t make sense. People like to do business with people they trust; people who are authentic; people who are confident but not overbearing. Learn the difference between conceit and confidence.

Integrity is also doing everything you say you’re going to do. Keep your word!

“What is integrity? Integrity means words and behaviors match. There are people we know we trust and people we know that we don’t. The people we trust have words and actions that match and the people we don’t have words and actions that don’t match. It’s that simple. A lapse of integrity means a betrayal of your own values and is a direct assault on your self-respect. You won’t like yourself and won’t know why.” – Mack Newton

A healthy balance of work, pleasure, business, social, family, etc., promotes and gives off a feeling of well-being, which is very helpful for networking. Trying to define life balance is not easy, however we usually know it when we see it in others, and – if we are smart – we respond to it.

You can bring a level of enthusiasm to the party without being pushy. Be like the Energizer Bunny. We all need to work on being energetic but not aggressive; tolerant without compromising yourself. Being more understanding and having consideration for others are other qualities to work on.

“The key to self-promotion is persistence. You can’t start and stop. Building relationships with people is a constant seed-planting and watering process. So if you consider yourself introverted or shy, get over it – at least during the time you spend promoting yourself. The message you must convey is this: I have something of value to offer to you. Sit right down so I can tell you all about it.” – Ilise Benun

Self-promotion with authenticity is one of the most generous things you can do. To understand why this is, let’s look at what’s behind much of our discomfort with self promotion. We avoid self-promotion to the extent that we fear what we (and everyone else) will see in the harsh light of reality. No one is perfect. You most likely will not do it right or please everyone all the time. Just do your personal best.

When we accept the challenge of putting ourselves out there as a call to deeper engagement rather than shallow manipulation, we are putting ourselves on the line for the sake of something bigger than we can imagine. Self-promotion must be part of your overall marketing mix. The opportunity to talk about your business should be the root behind every marketing effort you undertake.

NOTE: Read, “Self-Promote or Disappear!: A Discourse on the Propriety of Puttin’ on the Blitz! ” by Larry James from Debbie Allen’s book, “Confessions of Shameless Self-Promoters.”

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – 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! Can’t find my book in your bookstore, order a signed copy from Larry James. Visit Larry’s “Networking HQ” Website; articles, tips, networking books and more!

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

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG 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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