Networking Slip Ups

Networking Slip Ups

Networking Slip Ups

By Chi Chi Okezie 

Even savvy networkers can experience not so ideal networking situations. Many times in conversations, there is a tendency to forget information, be vague or not market ourselves effectively. Of course, when these situations occur, we miss opportunities to expand our networks and further our objectives.

Listed below are examples of networking instances that we can avoid to be better suited for opportunities.

Memory Slip Up

Sometime, we can forget names of colleagues, information about our industries or other things which can leave a void in any conversation. Although, we can not avoid these types of situations, we can be better prepared to handle them. If this should occur with a colleague, quickly offer to exchange info and follow up when you are able to retrieve the proper information. Of course, do your due diligence and follow up and keep your colleague updated or properly informed.

Etiquette Slip Up

It is always important to make a good first impression to build trust and credibility for building quality relationships. But sometimes, we can miss our manners and create uncomfortable situations. Before your next networking event, brush up on your etiquette skills. Learn the proper way of making an introduction, sharpen your elevator pitch, remember which side to wear your name tag and carry plenty of business cards.

Follow Up Slip Up

As savvy networkers, we can be pulled in many directions or have many business or work obligations. A critical piece of networking is properly following up and building relationships. Make it a point to reach out or connect in a timely manner. Respect your colleague by continuing to show interest after meeting them at the event or function. Also, link up on professional social media sites to further any conversations of info sharing.

Hopefully, these tips can encourage you to be mindful of typical networking mishaps. Being aware, prepared and open to building your networks are all keys to success.

Article Source:

Building and Solidifying Your Relationships With Influencers

Building and Solidifying Your Relationships With Influencers

By Michael Cohn 

You have probably heard something about influencers. You may have some idea about what defines an influencer but your knowledge may not go beyond that. One thing that is very important to remember is that influencers are critical to the success of your business.

The significance of social media influencers

The first thing that you have to do is to determine who is an influencer and then to choose the appropriate influencers for your particular business.

A good way to start your determination process is by figuring out why a particular person has influence over other people in your particular niche or industry. Of course, that influencer must have done certain things that made him or her earn that influencer status. From a marketing perspective, there are a few aspects that are the most prominent and the most important.

  • Reach: Your reach is defined as the amount of people who you have the potential to connect with (on any real level) through the influencer. No doubt, you will only be interested in those people who are valuable to your business.
  • Relevance: When you are at the point of identifying the influencers that are the most advantageous to your business, one of the driving factors is relevance. If what the influencer is doing and saying in no way connects with what you are trying to do with your business, the chances are very good that the person is not the right influencer for you. On the other hand, if the person’s approach is synergistic with what you are trying to do with your business, he or she is probably a good fit for you.
  • Resonance: At this point in the process, you have undoubtedly identified your target audience and you are building those relationships. Whichever influencer(s) you have identified as the most appropriate ones for your business, that person’s ideas must resonate not only with you but also with your target audience. If the information doesn’t resonate with everyone involved, you may have chosen your influencer incorrectly.

Determine your social media influencers
It is not always easy to determine who is the best social media influencers for your particular business. Logically speaking, you need to be certain that the influencers who you have identified for your business are actually the right choices. During your process of identifying those influencers, some of the things that you may wish to consider are the amount of people who follow that influencer and where the person ranks on the search engine pages.

As far as the number of followers is concerned, there are easy ways that you can do that, depending on the particular social media channels that you are researching. If you are researching a particular influencer, you should check him or her out on social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter. All of them will let you know how many connections that influencer has. Those social media channels will also allow you to get a strong sense of how involved that particular influencer is with other people online. That is another aspect that is important for you when you are choosing an influencer. Part of that engagement will be in the form of “likes” and part of it will be an actual discussion.

Your research will allow you to determine not only if the influencer is a subject matter expert but also if the person is someone with whom you want to associate on a human level.

Search engine optimization is another extremely important aspect of your decision. If the influencer doesn’t rank high on the search engine pages, you may need to rethink your decision. The search engine rankings are very important and anyone who feels that it is not necessary to pay attention to that is doing his or her business a tremendous disservice. You will see over time that the more top-quality content you share online, the higher your search engine rankings will be.

Pay attention to the engagement aspect
In order to choose the appropriate social media influencers, you will need to get to know them first. That means that you need to engage them. You will want to start valuable conversations (or, at least, one really meaningful one) with the influencer so that you really get to know what he or she stands for. If the person’s views are not a match for your own, it won’t work for your business.

When you start the conversation, make sure that you offer something of value to the other person. It would be a big mistake for you to wait for the other person to offer you value first. If you initiate this, you will have some control over the relationship, which is what you want. In general, the other person will react positively to what you are saying. That is exactly how you build the relationship (and hopefully it will be an enduring one).

If your content is valuable to the influencer, he or she will want to share your content with other people. Again, that is exactly what you want to happen. That increases your reach and your relevance. It will also potentially increase your search engine rankings.

Keep your connections with influencers going strong
At this point, you have done a lot of work to make sure that you cement the relationship with your influencer(s). In short, you have laid the groundwork (or foundation) for the relationship. However, your relationship with your influencers (just like all of your relationships) will need care.

Establishing your relationships is critical and it is a very important first step. However, after that, you will enter the maintenance phase of the relationship. In order to maintain those relationships, you need to continue to interact on a regular basis. You will need to capture the information of exactly who are your influencers in some way.

Creating lists may work very nicely for that. Although it will not cost you a penny to maintain those relationships, there will be a necessary investment on your part. You will need to invest time and effort. That should be pretty easy to do if you make the commitment. After all, it is your business and you will want to do everything possible to become as successful as possible.

Influencers are so important for your success. Just like all other important relationships, you need to establish the relationship, grow it, and maintain it properly. You will get a wonderful return on your investment. Like any other meaningful thing in life, your relationships with your influencers take work but are well worth the effort. As time evolves, you need to remember to be flexible with your market and with the people with whom you share such important, influential relationships.

Article Source:

3 Emotions Every Marketer Should Bring to A Networking Event

3 Emotions Every Marketer Should Bring to A Networking Event

By Antoinette Capri 

Have you realized how important networking has been in starting and maintaining a successful business?

Whether its social networking sites (ie. Facebook) or a networking event (ie. local Chamber of Commerce); many marketers credit a large amount of their business relationships to their networking connections.

However, if networking is so important for connecting people in business; why are people more likely to use social networking sites than attend a local networking event?

It would seem that meeting people face to face and directly building a rapport with them would give you the upper hand on gaining more referrals and recommendations.

Well, truth is, most people feel uncomfortable meeting face to face to discuss anything.

Think about it.

When you have a pain that really requires an examination, how likely are you to go to the doctor to have them check you out in person. Or, how likely are you to visit a friend at their house when you could quickly call, text or email.

Statistics show that 40% of people socialize through networking sites rather than face to face interactions. 400 million tweets is the average number of tweets being sent in a day.

What does that tell you?

It tells me, that even though you crave relationships, connections and successful businesses; you lack the social skills & confidence it takes to make your desires a reality.

So, if you really want to build long-standing relationships and make your networking events productive and profitable, these three emotions will see you through any face to face interaction or networking event:

1. Curiosity

Ask questions. Answer questions. Give them something good to think about. Questions are powerful. You need to present your business as a solution to their problem. However, you won’t know their problem until you ask what they do and how it works. Ask “What does a typical day in your business look like?” or Ask “What everyday challenges do you notice that are causing you to lose time or money?” When you ask these kinds of questions, it increases their need to share and your need to understand how your businesses can partner up.

2. Confidence

Know what you want to achieve from the networking event. Do you want more leads? Do you need more contacts? Do you need to hire someone? Do you need a specific service or type of professional? What service can you use in your business? What kind of businesses will instantly make a difference in your business? Don’t collect a business card unless you plan to contact them in the next 48 hours. The more you know about their business and the needs of your business, the more confident you’ll present yourself and your business.

3. Hope

Attend these events with the hope that these short interactions will create new challenges, new opportunities, and new ideas for business growth and innovation. Face to face networking events give you an advantage, in business, over other people because it allows business owners to attach an experience, a face and a name. People have longer memories of a person with a specific experience; unlike a text or email.

In summary, curiosity helps you share your business, confidence helps you present your business and hope helps you build your business. Your emotions play a key role in creating and maintaining successful business relationships at any and every networking event.

Article Source:

The Art of Handshaking: It Takes Two to ‘Perfect’ It!

The Art of Handshaking: It Takes Two to ‘Perfect’ It!


By Vivek Madhav Bindra

Not only in the corporate world, at places (in societies) where ‘privacy’ prevails supreme, has a handshake represented a silent understanding between the two individuals. Truly, it sets a base for a formal exchange of communication in immediate of near future. From the view of a highly respected professional skills trainer, the quality of the ‘handy’ physical touch often corroborates with the ‘quality relationship’ that may dwell and continue.

The following are the most commonly used/practiced types of ‘Handshakes’ in the corporate/business world today. Let us take a short look at each.

This one has to fall under the “BAD Handshake” category. The person extending the hand either intentionally or unintentionally crushes the other person’s hand to the extent of painful feeling. This is ‘Bone Cruncher’ or “Knuckle Cruncher“. The person may be nervous but would definitely be considered insensitive by all means. Such an individual may be avoided for the time being.

A boring and dull personality will always offer an inert, wilted, motionless hand for the purpose of a handshake, thereby, clearly indicating the negativity oozing out of that individual. This is the “Dead Fish” handshake for you! There is hardly any chance of striking a next conversation very soon.

A “touch-me-not” kind of an expression is widely expressed through a “Sanitary” handshake, carried mostly by apprehensive and/or awkward types of individuals. A quick touch-and-go of two or three fingers of such a person will be offered to a full-fledged hand!

A “Condolence” handshaking gesture is considered most unsuitable at places other than that of the funeral. The individual almost fills in the palm with palm and deeply presses the hand with another hand. It shows much of the affectionate and caring nature of the concerned individual.

An excessively eager, anxious and almost ‘insecure’ individual offers a handshake, which never seems to end! The individual does not know when to stop and ceaselessly shakes the other person’s arm like pumping equipment, making the other person feel thoughtless and unwise. Avoid being a “Pumper” please!

A PROPER Handshake indicates the union of the two hands’ ‘webbing’ unto each other – firmly and warmly for a little time and then let go. A warm SMILE on the face and a full ‘eye-contact’ will make the short meeting last longer in the memories. A politely toned self-introduction surely goes a long way here!

Men should always rise for women to shake hands and this holds good for women too.

I am sure that the above procedures of a first formal meeting will be kept in mind by the readers, especially those who are new to the corporate world. Practice the proper handshake to reap its best benefits!

Article Source:

The Networking Abyss

The Networking Abyss


By Chi Chi Okezie

As business entrepreneurs, working professionals or students, we understand the importance of networking. There are times when networking can get overwhelming, seem complicated and even a vast creature to handle. Do not give up so quickly. Take time to refocus, tr-energize and map out a successful networking game plan.

Listed below are strategic ways in which savvy networkers can find direction in a networking state of confusion or vast uncertainty.


Face to Face

In our business lives, we tend to hide behind the screens. Whether it is on our phone, our tablet or computer, we tend to miss out on face to face contact or human interactions. In order gain more clarity in your networking, sometimes it is better to meet face to face. Networking 1-on-1 is an excellent way of reconnecting, building strong relationships and growing trust. Not only does it add value to the relationship but it can also set a platform for accountability.



Another great way to get the most out of your networking is to reach out to your colleagues at certain touchpoints. Perhaps you ran across an interesting article, use that as a touchpoint to connect. You could have met someone new and can use that as an opportunity to make a introduction or referral to an existing contact in your network. Look for meaningful ways to re-engage and keep the communication flowing and relevant.

Hopefully these quick tips can help you navigate through networking dilemmas with success. Find the value in executing a networking plan which promotes trust and building relationships.

Article Source: