Here’s a tip on how I get great result in networking.
Each day I plop into my tattered pleather chair and look at my computer screen – who and what will I focus my marketing on today? Many times I am just looking for a new connection, a new ear to bend, somebody who has a connection or position that can land me that next sale.
Marketing to new clients is costly, time consuming, and leaves me feeling unfulfilled as hours go by gazing at websites and data mining directories for new contact names.
Today is not one of those days – I’m going to use one of the oldest forms of network marketing that has been around for centuries. It has helped people get a job, buy a house, get kids into schools and helped others reach a status that they could not achieve alone. I’m talking about the college alumni connection.
I just completed a post on LinkedIn geared at marketing for award banquet entertainment, when I clicked Connection on the LinkedIn menu; a selection appeared … Find Alumni.
Click. Seconds later I am scrolling down a list of Governors State University alumni. “Light bubble,” I hear Gru’s voice from Despicable Me echo in my head.
Then I realized that I have a personal connection with these people – 120 of them to be exact. We may not have graduated in the same year, but we attended the same University. I can now network from one alumnus to another. So, my goal in the next 90 minutes is to network with these people and build a working relationship. I found my new marketing candidates at my fingertips today.
How are you spending your next 90 minutes marketing? I found a way to do it … can you?
Studies have shown that positive recommendation generates more likes and shares. People are willing to share positive articles more than a negative story. Motivational text, images, and videos are the most popular posts on the Internet which generates interaction.
Developing the Call to Action Recommendation
My friend, Bob, wrote a very interesting article about marketing which had some good takeaway points that I hadn’t considered using. Here’s the article… URL
Analyzing the post above
The post starts with showing relationship, “My friend, Bob.”
Adding a personal association establishes credibility in a post. Words like friend, colleague, co-worker, brother, sister, father, wife, son, daughter create a personal connection to the article/product/service that you are recommending. As we know, a recommendation from a friend has more credibility and trust than one from a stranger.
Next comes an adjective – interesting. I look for an adjective that gives life to the topic. I could have easily said humorous, short, fact-filled, disturbing, educational or bewildering. The adjective should bring emotion into the call to action. That is the why I’m sharing this post with my readers.
Some good takeaway points… this segment of the sentence expresses my opinion about the subject and gives the reader an insight as to why I’m recommending this article.
The Here’s the article… is the soft call to action. If my first line was setup correctly, the reader should feel comfortable and secure, and will click the link, as I recommended.
Let’s build another post using this same technique.
My son Carter created a fact-filled website on Fishing. I found the design and layout easy to navigate. What do you think? URL
The marketing madness behind a posting of this type is to generate awareness and gain feedback, while generating a discussion possibly on fishing or web design.
Personal connection: Son
Reason you’re sharing: Design and Layout easy to navigate
Call to action: What do you think?
A crafted call to action will generate more likes, shares, and retweets then a hurried post. Using personal connection, descriptive adjective, subject, and reason on why you’re recommending something increases the likes and shares in your network.
Developing the technique to craft a call to action generates a response and gives a marketer great power and influence in networking. Failing to use these skills to construct your recommendation makes it mute.
I have a confession to make…
I’m AWESOME at finding network groups … and terrible at actually finding useful connections.
Networking to me means dragging myself to an event where I may, or may not, meet people who are willing to exchange information, or develop a mutual interest, all for the purpose of furthering my personal goals.
I know this goes against the popular teaching of “we should be looking to help others before ourselves”. But let’s be honest. We are coming in with an agenda and let’s not ignore the elephant in the room.
I have read books, created elevator speeches, and given presentations at these types of events and all I come away with is a handful of business cards and no real connections that can advance my goals.
Why I Network
I attend networking events to learn and meet people in an industry that I want to sell a product or service.
I am seeking to better understand prospects
- business niche
Once I understand these things, I can now build a marketing campaign that addresses the prospects’ issues that they grapple with each and every day.
In 90 Minutes, I Reverse Engineer the Problem
Let us tap into all our networks; LinkedIn, Facebook, personal and business relationships. Let’s extract their knowledge and have them help us get answers to our marketing questions.
I email, message, and set up luncheons and ask questions. I use their experience and knowledge to help draft my marketing campaign. In a 90 minute lunch I can learn more about an HR department on how it hires trainers, entertainers and how they seek out information for different departments then I could if I went to 100 networking events.
Networking to Introduce
I hear you saying … “my friends are not the people who I need to connect; I need to talk to other people in another department.”
I have not met anyone who has rejected joining a colleague for lunch to help out a friend who needs to talk to an expert.
It’s working for me; it might just be able to work for you, too.