Network Smart With Your Smart Phone
Find a place to meet. If you need to suggest a place to meet, open up your favorite app to get local recommendations for a place for coffee, lunch, drinks, etc. Stay away from the bar scene for cocktails. You need a quiet place where you can hear and be heard.
Apps to try: Find Places (Android), AroundMe (Apple), Yelp!, Where To? (Apple)
Find directions for where you’re going You’ve figured out where you’re meeting. Now you need to find directions for getting there. Make sure you pick the most reliable route if you’re in a hurry. For instance, it may be best to take the subway rather than getting caught in traffic in a large city.
Apps to try: Google Maps, HopSpot, Google Places
Research the person you’re meeting. Google is great, but when you’re on the go it can be difficult to scroll through all those search results. However, there are a few apps that will help you do the essential research quickly. LinkedIn, in particular, is a first source for business information about the person, and you should be able to see a picture of the person you’re meeting.
Apps to try: LinkedIn, 123people
Have your business card ready to share via email You can just rely on sharing your physical, stock business card. Or you can be prepared with some digital options. For example, QR code on your business card can send people to your contact page. You can also have an email-ready version of your business card, and be prepared to scan the other person’s card right into your contact database.
Take notes on what you talked about: Use your smart phone to take quick notes during your meeting on key points your discussed, names of potential referrals, contact information or other reminders. Some apps, like Evernote, will sync this information to all your other digital versions of the app on your computer or other devices.
Apps to try: Evernote, email (send one to yourself), Contacts Journal CRM (Apple), Insightly CRM (Google)
The last one mentioned, Contacts Journal CRM, is actually a full contact and customer relationship management app.
What’s your favorite app you use when on the go and networking please let us know by posting a comment below?
Networking Etiquette 101
Just one faux pas during your networking can leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth that loses you dozens of potential contacts. Keep note of these golden rules of networking etiquette to stay on the right path.
- Respect your contacts. Never give someone the name of one of your contacts without asking that person first. Instead, you can say something like, “I know someone who might be able to help you. Let me ask her if it’s ok to give you her name and get back to you.”
2. Dress for success. Don’t walk into a networking event looking like a slob, unless that’s the image you want to portray. If you’re not sure of the appropriate attire, dress a little bit nicer rather than more casually.
3. Do what you say you’ll do. If you said you’ll introduce someone to one of your contacts, make sure you follow-up with the name and number after checking with that person. If you promised to send someone information about another event, make a note to send it.
4. Don’t phone someone out of the blue. Speaking to someone on the phone is less time-consuming than an email, but it still requires an appointment. Send an email or message via social media first to request a call, and be open to them saying no. If you do get to talk, make sure you’re aware of the time zone they are in.
5. Don’t forget about them. Even if you haven’t made specific commitments to your new contacts, you need to make an effort to stay visible and develop those relationships. Connect on social media, comment on their blogs, send holiday cards (virtual or physical).
6. Thank everyone. As part of your follow-up, make sure you thank everyone who provided the slightest tip, name, advice, or other helpful piece of information. Tailor your thank-you based on the person and the help offered. You might send a private message on LinkedIn, a formal thank-you card, or even just a tweet.
Use your common sense in all your networking. Relationships take work and nurturing, whether they’re personal or business. Make the time to take care of the little things and you’ll earn a reputation for professionalism and courtesy that people respect.
To learn more be sure to join us Thursday April 3rd, 2014 for our Power Networking Seminar. Click Here to RSVP
Getting OFFLINE to Gain ONLINE Traffic and Exposure
Business Owners tend to ignore the traditional press as a source for traffic and brand recognition. They’ll get exposure on social networking and social bookmarking sites, and they’ll try to get their content written up on other people’s blogs. But by and large, they don’t contact the offline public relations world.
Yet getting exposure in the offline world isn’t any more difficult than the online world. The difference is when you get exposure offline; the traffic is often both higher in volume and higher in quality than the traffic you get from online sources.
How do you get attention from the traditional offline PR world? Here are some tips that successful business owners use:
Identify Potential Publications
Don’t do mass press release submissions. Don’t fax in press releases and don’t do online bulk press releases. While these may be good for backlinks, editors and writers at successful publications typically find their stories from other sources.
Instead, it’s much more effective to take a direct approach. Start by figuring out which publication(s) might be interested in the things you’re doing. If they’ve written about things in the past which are similar to what you’re doing, chances are they’ll be interested in the topic.
Try to identify both mainstream publications and smaller distribution publications. A great resource is the Standard Rates and Data Services publication (SRDS), which lists every newspaper and magazine in the country. You can find the SRDS at your local library.
Get copies of newspapers or magazines you might want to get in contact with. Find the specific names of the editors and/or writers who would be interested in your topic by seeing who wrote about the topic in the past.
Come Up With a Newsworthy Story
Before you approach a magazine, make sure you have a newsworthy story that they will catch their attention.
A newsworthy story is essentially an angle on what you’re doing that’ll make someone stop and actually want to read the whole article.
Brainstorm different angles on your business or product to make it as interesting to potential editors as possible.
Once you have an idea for a newsworthy story, just email the editor/writer who you think might be interested publishing it. Mention that you read their article about topic X in the past and thought they might be interested in your product/business.
Make it clear you actually know who they are and what they’re about, and that you’re not just spamming them. Keep it short and spicy. Convey your newsworthy angle, add one or two lines, then attach your contact information.
Not every publication you contact will get back to you. But, the percentage of editors and writers who’ll actually call you back might surprise you.
Remember, newspapers and magazines need to find good stories just as much as you want to get published. If you find publications who’ll be interested in the kind of things you’re offering, it’s also in their best interest to build the relationship.