Sudden Impact – Beyond Hot Referrals

April 10, 2009

by Lee Abraham

money-in-the-bank2jpgEveryone loves a hot referral. On the receiving end it’s called money in the bank… Ca-CHING! For the giver, it’s more of a feeling. A warm and fuzzy tingle you get every time your networking efforts help build the business of someone you like and trust. Not to mention, a networking partner who is helping build your business in return.  

Two words: “Givers Gain®!

Coined by Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI (Business Network Int’l), the world’s largest business network, Givers Gain® is BNI’s philosophy of helping others first and then benefiting in return.

That said, hot referrals are great for both the giver and receiver. And yeah, as a result, everybody around the networking table walks away viewing you with a little more Credibility. But if you really want to rock the house and lift the energy of every single person in the room, bring a Visitor to the meeting!

Inviting Visitors 101 – Invite Visitors to VISIT, not join your group

Obviously, the primary reason you invite visitors to your networking meeting is to grow the group. Even a group that is productive at its current size needs to have a steady flow of Visitors simply to cover the natural attrition of losing people due to relocation, downsizing, changing careers or not renewing membership for some other reason.

Plus, even Visitors who do not submit an application to join your network are likely to do business with someone in the group. Studies show each Visitor does an average of $2,500 with one or more people in the group whether they join or not. 

Most important: A Visitor brings fresh energy and even if the other members aren’t consciously aware of it, everyone becomes a bit more animated. visitor1During Open Networking at the start of the meeting, every Visitor is a potential customer for each member of the group. The sense of new opportunity impacts everyone in attendance. And as the person who invited the Visitor, your VCP skyrockets! 

In short, Visitors are the lifeblood of a weekly networking meeting. Your ability to attract Visitors to the meeting plays a major role in your VCP with the other members, and in turn, the benefit you get out of the group. 

What to Say

Good news! Everyone can be successful at bringing Visitors to the meeting. Keep it simple and you’ll do fine. Here are a few basic tips to increase your results: 

1) Avoid creating obstacles that get in the way of someone who might otherwise visit your meeting. Top of the list: suggesting they consider joining. It’s counterproductive.  All the suggestion does is trigger questions of “How much does it cost to join” and “What’s the commitment?” Not good for your Visitor to Invitation ratio!

Let me repeat: Invite Visitors to Visit, not Join your group.

Why? Less pressure and greater probability of success. Trust me, run a good meeting and it will sell itself. Your job is to get the Visitor to the meeting. If joining is a good idea, singerVisitors will see it on their own. 

2) When Inviting, sing the group’s praises, tell the potential Visitor about how great the networking group is for your business and that you would love for them to see how it works. 

3) Tell the prospect about other business categories and people in the group who would likely be a good connection based on Contact Spheres and Power Teams.

For example, if the prospect is a Home Inspector, they would be interested to meet the Realtor, Mortgage and Insurance person in the group. A Photographer would love to be introduced to your Florist, Caterer and Event Planner. Capiche? Click here for a post on Contact Spheres and Power Teams.

4) Ask the Visitor to bring a stack of business cards and be ready to connect with a room full of your networking partners, people who might become a source of referrals for them. 

5) When inviting let the prospect know that there is no cost or obligation to visit, other than maybe a room or meal charge if you have one. Most structured networking groups allow Visitors to sit in on two meetings and then ask the newbie to either submit an application for membership or quit freeloading. 

More Than What You Say, It’s How You Say It

Best practice: be excited, show enthusiasm and speak from first hand experience. What do you enjoy most about the meeting? Talk about how your networking group has benefited you and your business. What business categories might be natural networking partners for the Visitor?

If you genuinely feel great about your group, the person you are talking with will feel it too. bull-by-the-hornsAnd like it or not, we make decisions based on emotion. Be smart. Tap into your positive feelings. Use your emotional energy to direct that quirky thing called “human nature” to your advantage.

I see the look of determination on your face. You are ready to take the bull by the horns and start inviting like never before. The problem? You aren’t sure who to talk to. Got it! Join us next time when we look into who you should invite to your networking meeting and why, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow me on Twitter!

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Weekly Meeting: Networking or Not Working?

April 6, 2009

 

ryan-seacrestby Lee Abraham

 

I’ll admit it. It took me a while to figure out this networking thing. Especially the value of meeting with other people face to face. Here’s the story. Way back in the mid ‘90s I was invited to join BNI (Business Network Int’l), a structured networking group to help grow my business. I was intrigued. And then I was told the group got together once a week to pass referrals.

 

At the time, I owned a Real Estate Appraisal company in Las Vegas and was busier than Ryan Seacrest on American Idol’s “Elimination Night.” Let’s just say I had my hands full with a few difficult and colorful authority figures (Loan Officers instead of judges) and other peoples’ desperate situations (Borrowers rather than contestants).

 

And although I had more work than I knew what to do with, I was changing my Target Market from the oppressive management style (“hit” the value or we stop sending you work) of the Banks and Mortgages Companies to the more intellectually rewarding practice of appraising for Lawyers and serving as an Expert Witness on a variety of Real Estate related lawsuits.

 

Bottom line: I needed help reaching out to the legal community to expand my client base. And the person who invited me to join BNI was one of the top Real Estate Attorneys in town. Can you say: mixed emotions? Yes, I liked the idea of networking, and I really wanted to build a relationship with this Attorney, but it was the once a week meeting that rubbed me the wrong way.

 

Admission of guilt: I didn’t see the point of getting together so often. After all, if I had something to say to someone in the group I could just call ‘em up and take care of business… right? Wrong! Motivated but under duress, I went through the motions. Guess what? The emotions followed. And so did the referrals!

 

Basic Etiquette 105 – Attendance at weekly networking meetings are critical to benefiting from a structured networking group.

 

Let’s face it, a lot of people expect to join a networking group, show up, tell the members about their business and then sit back and watch the referrals fly in. biz-meeting-5Sorry to burst your bubble, but success in networking requires time and energy. Why? Networking is all about relationships. Plain and simple. And nothing builds a relationship better than face to face interaction.

 

VCP Process®

 

Your first goal in a structured networking group is to achieve Visibility: people know who you are and what you do. From Visibility you reach for Credibility: people know you are good at what you do. And finally, the ultimate goal is Profitability: people send you business because they like you, trust you, and know you will make them look good in the eyes of the person they referred to you.

 

Coined by Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, these three stages of relationships among networking partners is known as the VCP Process®.

 

Trust me, you will not achieve VCP with your networking partners by sitting in your office on the phone and internet all day. If you are serious about building a referral network to grow your business, you need to invest time and develop relationships getting to know, like and trust your networking partners. Oh yeah, they need to get to know, like and trust you as well!

 

Don’t have the time? Let me ask you this. If your very best client asked to meet with you once a week as a prerequisite to sending you an ongoing stream of business would you find time? I’m betting you would. Write this down: Treat your networking group as your best client and it will be!

 

Build a Bridge, Get Over It

 

OK fine, I hear you. You just can’t make every single meeting.bridge From vacations and business trips to your child’s first Piano Recital and medical emergencies, life happens. Hey, get over it! Everybody’s got life happening, not just you. Like a wise man once said, “It’s not what happens in life that makes you successful, it’s how you respond.”

 

Let’s cut to the chase. We are talking about priorities and levels of commitment. Nobody expects you to be at every single meeting. That would be unrealistic. The answer? Find out next time with our discussion of having a substitute represent you at meetings you can’t attend, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow me on Twitter!


Twitter Success Formula: RT x @ (Twitter) = VCP (BNI)?

March 18, 2009

 

power-team2by Lee Abraham

Last time out, we looked into the three stages of a networking relationship: Visibility, Credibility and Profitability. Coined by Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI (Business Network Int’l) and world’s leading networking guru, the VCP Process® wraps the multi faceted and time consuming evolution of relationships from unknown stranger to trusted networking partner into a simple, easy to use formula.

Visibility – People know who you are and what you do

Credibility – People know you are reliable and good at what you do

Profitability – People send you business because they like you, trust you and know you will make them look good in eyes of people they refer to you.

VCP Online?

Old school networkers are sometimes labeled “hunters,” notching their well worn money belt for each business card collected and cold call made. And in many cases, the stereotype is warranted. Truth is, a lot of well intended and hard working entrepreneurs view business simply as a big numbers game: the more people they pitch, the more chances of hitting a home run. 

And that’s why the internet is so attractive. Networking online has huge upside for massive, international exposure at little or no cost. Blend in the potential for “Viral Growth” of your message, people telling other people, and you’ve got Word-of-mouth networking on steroids. At least on the surface.

From You Tube and Facebook, to Linkedin and Twitter, the internet has leveled the marketing playing field. Visibility to a huge audience is more possible than ever before. But here’s the rub, while the internet is very effective for Visibility, online-13how the heck can you reach Credibility, and ultimately Profitability, with people you’ve never met, and in some cases, have never even spoken to? 

Be Present

A well rounded online presence usually includes at least two, and often several more, of the most popular Social Networking websites. For starters, a profile on Linkedin or Ecademy is the cyber foundation needed to build a business network online. 

Viewed as professionalism and core competence, if you don’t have a profile online, (OK, let’s include the more social and less professional Facebook as well), you are facing a credibility challenge with your online Target Market. Call it the age of “information entitlement.” People expect to see your face, know a little about your background and experience, as well as how to contact you, so they can check you out further if they choose.

Next, a website or blog to showcase you and your work is also a must. Coupled with a Profile, a webpage rounds out the information on your company, products and services, as well as offering a glimpse into your personality and business philosophy.  

Are You Smelling What I’m Stepping In? 

Profile and webpage in place, you are now ready for marketing and promotion. Like a restaurant and customers, your internet presence only serves a purpose if the people in your Target Market visit to sample the goods. And we all know getting people to do anything is a challenge. 

Enter Twitter. A Visibility machine, smell1Twitter is a mass text messaging service where you send updates to ‘Followers” who “Opt In.” Let me reiterate: Followers choose to follow your footsteps, and in the bargain, smell what you step in. At least online. 

And because they’ve chosen to receive your updates, Followers are more receptive to directives, particularly if they are easy and non threatening. Like clicking a link to your latest blog post, for example. 

In other words, Twitter is a broadcasting mechanism for your Personal Brand, enabling you to communicate efficiently and effectively with the network you’ve built. Got something to say? Step up toward Visibility and start Tweeting!

Join the Conversation

Standing on your Twitter soapbox is an easy way to “join the conversation.” To play on the game board. To star in your own movie. Whatever the metaphor, the act of participating, engaging, and ultimately communicating with other people moves you and your Personal Brand from Visibility to Credibility.

Some of the most common types of Tweets include:

What you are doing

What you think

News

Cool links

Don’t take this personally, megaphone21but people only care about what you are doing if they admire you, want something from you, are responsible for you, or love you. Otherwise, you need to be doing something extremely interesting for people to care. 

Advice: save the updates on the bagel and lox you had for breakfast and that funny story of getting grossed out by the dirty nose of a person sitting next to you on a plane, for your memoirs. OK, once in a while go ahead and show a little flair with an American Idol pick or the overtime score of your favorite hoop squad, fine, but generally speaking, keep the personal byplay down to a minimum until you’ve got a ‘Following’ that cares.

What Were You Thinking?

What you think is another story. Please tell us what you think. Of course what you are thinking about, and how well you articulate the vision, will dictate if we care. Generally speaking, if you have a thought you think is interesting, share it. Chances are good some folks will agree that you’ve got something valuable to say.

For the less creative among us, Tweeting links to useful or fun websites, as well as news articles, inspirational quotes, jokes or photos you find interesting, are great ways to provide value to the people following you. 

Even better, be a Twitter Journalist, reporting first hand on events and news you are involved in or find yourself in the middle of. Now that’s interesting! People living vicariously through your experiences which they would otherwise never be exposed to (bagels and boogers NOT included) is the stuff that explodes viral growth of your Personal Brand.

Visibility in Action

Subtle point: everyone Following you sees your @replies. So even if you are replying to someone they’ve never heard of, your peeps see you working, and you gain big “V” in the process!

Interacting on Twitter starts with a reply (@reply) to something someone Tweets. action-2Sharing a similar experience, congratulating an achievement, agreeing or disagreeing on an opinion, or whatever, as long as you are interacting, you are working toward Visibility when you reply to another Tweeter. 

Let’s crank it up a notch. Did you find someone’s Tweet informative or valuable? Share it with your Followers by “Re-Tweeting” (RT) the message.

A good RT has two benefits. Not only will you enjoy increased Visibility with your Followers who appreciate the value you bring to the conversation with an interesting RT, but you jump start Visibility and instantly move toward Credibility with the person whose message you RT. After all, you are helping the original Tweeter leverage their efforts, and as a part of their promotional network you become valuable to them. 

RT x @replies = C

A good sign that you are gaining Visibility on Twitter is other people replying to your updates. Other Tweeters are obviously taking note of what you are saying and have something to add. Nice!

And you know you are navigating the tightrope toward Credibility when other people “Re-Tweet” (RT) your updates. high-wire-actIn other words, they like what you have to say and pass along your message and contact info to all the people following them. And if some of those people do the same, now you’ve got the Viral word-of-mouth campaign that lures millions of business people online every day.

Two words: Give Value. The more “@replies” and RT’s you Tweet, the more people you are interacting with and the greater the chance of those people caring about what you have to say and Re-Tweeting it. And the more RTs you get, the greater your Visibility and Credibility. At least on Twitter. 

Next time, we stretch the VCP limit to reach Profitability online with people you’ve never met, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow me on Twitter!  


MLM and Golden Goose Referrals

March 2, 2009

 

golden-goose-31by Lee Abraham

 

Regardless of business category, successful networking is all about training your Power Team to recognize prospects and seize opportunity to create money making referrals for your business. 

 

And that includes MLM. But here’s the catch. Although everyone knows MLM’ers make more money by promoting the business opportunity than the actual products, the MLM’er must first build Credibility with the group based on the products in the Power Team framework

 

Listen, I know MLM’ers want to jump straight into the business opportunity. Trust me, I get it. As the relationship blossoms, training your networking partners to bring prospects for your business opportunity is the logical next step. But it takes time and energy to get there. And we’re not there yet.

 

Like it or not, we’ve got another level of product based networking to discuss before we even think about serving up the business opportunity to our Power Team.

 

Golden Goose Two Step

 

Last time out we looked at Power Team networking from the vantage point of an MLM’er in the Nutritional Products business. Using Key Match Networking© we connected benefits of the nutritional products to the Consumer/End User in each of the Six Key Target Markets the Power Team is already trained to recognize and convert into business.

 

In other words, we’ve already trained the Power Team to be a “Bragging Buddy” for the Nutritional Product business healthy-couplewhenever they come in contact with someone who is Getting Married, Having a Baby, Getting Healthy, etc.

 

Now let’s raise the connection to another level, matching a “Golden Goose” Referral Source to each of the Six Key Target Markets. Think about it. If you want the Power Team to bring prospects who are Getting Healthy, you would love your networking partners to create referral relationships for you with other businesses that also thrive on the Get Healthy Target Market. For example, a Personal Trainer working with people who are trying to get in shape.

 

Target Your Target Market

 

Both the Nutritional Products person and the Personal Trainer will benefit from networking strategically together because they are both dealing with people in the Get Healthy Target Market. It’s an obvious connection.

 

Both can work for the same client, and compliment the other’s product or service, without competing against each other. And for those of you taking notes, both are in the Health and Wellness Contact Sphere. Confused? Read this post on Contact Spheres.

 

Face it: businesses from the same Contact Sphere are the low hanging fruit of networking. Not bad, just easy. And easy is good. So good, we always start building our Power Team with other business categories from our own Contact Sphere.

 

But the ultimate goal of Power Team networking is to recognize less obvious, and potentially more powerful relationships between businesses that appear to have nothing on common.

 

Quick examples:

 

Caterers (Events Contact Sphere) and Life Insurance Sales (Finance Contact Sphere) can both provide a valuable product or service to the “Getting Married” Target Market.

 

Printers (Business Services Contact Sphere) and Pet Sitters (Personal Services Contact Sphere) can both provide a valuable product or service to the “Business Builder” Target Market.

 

Your job: Power Team Investigator. money-trailDig beneath the surface and beyond the obvious. Challenge yourself to carefully examine each business in your network to work your way through features and benefits until you form a clear picture of the Target Market the other businesses serve. You will be amazed at the connections you find to your business!

 

Need more information? Click here for a post on Key Match Networking© between Contact Spheres.

 

Target the Golden Goose

 

OK, enough table setting. Let’s get to it, shall we? Take out your notebook and write down these three easy to follow action steps:

 

1) Learn your Key Target Markets

2) Train your Power Team to recognize End Users/Consumers for your Target Markets

3) Go beyond End Users and train the Power Team to recognize Golden Goose Referral sources for your Target Markets

 

I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s an entry level chart showing six of the most common Golden Geese for each of the Six Key Target Markets.

golden-geese-22

Can You Feel It?

As much sense as this Target Market stuff makes intellectually, the Power Team system only works at this advanced level when networking partners have an emotional investment in each other. Call it “chemistry.” Or the “X Factor.” money-boat2More than friendship and trust, when two people “click” and really care about each others’ best interests, the opportunities to create money making referrals magically begin to appear everywhere they go, and wherever they look. 

 MLM’ers, hoist your “Biz Op” flag and your buckle up your money belts! Next time, we look back fondly on the smooth sailing of product promotion and fearlessly travel into rough waters, training the Power Team to bring referrals for your business opportunity, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter!


MLM – Healthy Habits for Nutritional Supplements

February 27, 2009

 

idea-light-bulbby Lee Abraham

 

Dave the Nutrition guy took an indirect route into MLM. For him, the journey began with the products. A health nut who witnessed his Mom turn around a serious medical condition with the help of nutritional supplements, skepticism was not an issue. Dave didn’t need to be convinced. Or read the literature. He knew the products worked because he saw the positive results with his own eyes. That’s called “belief.”

 

Dave’s belief was so strong, he started telling people the story of his Mom’s recovery and found himself recommending the same products to anyone who would listen. And a few did. Those people came back with great reports of their own health benefits and a light went on in his Dave’s head. “I wonder if I could make some money doing this?”

 

Learn To Earn

 

A couple of years later on a particualrly nice day, Dave the Nutrition guy sat out on the rear observation deck of his luxury home, looked out over his panoramic Ocean view, and reflected on the joys of leveraged, residual income.ocean-view1 Yes, it took longer than he expected, and more personal development than he planned for, but the results justified the process.

 

Dave realized the vast majority of his business came directly from prospects referred by his Power Team, people already pre-sold on the benefits of the nutritional supplements he represented.

 

With a team of “Bragging Buddies” speaking enthusiastically on Dave’s behalf to people they already knew, business was so much easier than finding each customer on his own. No mystery. Prospects already liked and trusted Dave before they even met him based on heartfelt, enthusiastic recommendations, and were open to his products after hearing the compelling story of his Mom’s dramatic health turn around from someone they already knew and trusted.

 

Recognize Opportunity to Help You

 

While closing deals was a no brainer, training his Power Team to recognize prospects for him was more of challenge. At least at first. And then Dave went through the Power Team training. Suddenly his networking partners began recognizing prospects for Dave’s nutrition business and creating money making referrals they had previously been overlooking.

 

The secret: training his networking partners to connect the benefit of his nutrition products to the Six Key Target Markets the group was already looking for. Confused? Check out this prior post explaining this Power Team “Opportunity Recognition” technique.

 

Six Healthy Situations

 

Getting the most out of the Power Team starts by training your networking partners to recognize prospects for your business biz-trainingand the opportunity to create referrals for you.

 

Gather round. Here’s the story of how Dave the Nutrition guy tapped into the Power Team “Six Key Situation” system to build his business. Each week at his networking meeting, or when he met individually with someone from the Power Team, Dave explained the best way to find referrals for him by describing a prospect in one of the Six Key Situations.

 

Remember, the Power Team has already been trained to recognize the Six Key Situations and then use the “Two Big Trigger” questions to uncover needs which can be converted into a money making referral for someone on the Power Team. Confused? Click here to read a post on this topic 

 

That being said, Dave the Nutrition guy always starts the same way: “If you see an opportunity when you come across someone who is…”

 

Getting Married, tell the happy couple how they can lose weight and look great for the wedding and honeymoon with proper nutrition and our healthy meal replacement system!”

 

Having a Baby, tell the new Mom about our awesome Pre-Natal Vitamins for her and our proper nutrition products specifically designed for babies!”

 

Building a Business, tell the business person they will have more energy and metal clarity with proper nutrition, as well our healthy, quick and easy meal replacements for people on the run!

 

Getting Healthy, tell the person getting in shape that we have losing-weightAward Winning Nutritional Supplements to speed recovery while promoting optimal health with wide variety of products for losing weight and other specific health challenges!”

 

Building a Home, tell the home builder that they will have more energy and mental clarity to do a good job and make fewer mistakes with proper nutrition from our award winning supplements!”

 

New In Town, tell everyone you meet about our Award Winning Nutritional Supplements specially designed for adults and children, as well as a variety of products for specific health challenges!”

 

Four Out of Six Ain’t Bad

 

Granted, the last two examples, “Building a Home” and “New in Town” are a bit of a stretch as Target Markets for Nutrition Sales, but hey, you never know. If opportunity presents itself, at least the Power Team will know how to tie good nutritional supplements into a conversation with relocation transplants and home builders.

 

But let’s look at the glass half full. Or in this case, two thirds full. Focused primarily on the four Target Markets that work best for the nutrition business, Dave always continued training his networking partners with a short, simple real life success story and example of how his products helped someone in those Key Situations. And here’s the extra training step that made all the difference in the world: he specifically asked his Bragging Buddies to remember the story and tell it to prospects.

 

Plus, Dave went the extra mile to create money making referrals for everyone else, motivating his Power Team to keep his best interests in mind. Above all else, Dave learned that creating business for his Power Team was the first step in building a rewarding relationship with his networking partners.

 

Profitability Ahead

 

Up to this point, we’ve talked about training your Power Team to be a Sales Force for your Nutritional Products. And that’s where you should start. Remember, you are building Credibility with the group, time-traveland until you reach that level of trust with the products, people will not promote your business opportunity. 

 

Next time however, hang on tight, we’re stepping into the FAST180 time machine, flashing forward beyond Credibility into a not-too-distant future of Profitability and “Biz Opp” referrals, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter!


Follow me on Twitter!

January 17, 2009

 

January 17th, 4:26 am

 

We are picking up momentum! The turnout for last week’s webcast with Beth Anderson was terrific. Lots of folks joined us for the first time and the feedback we are getting in response to our focus on LinkedIn and other online networking websites has been overwhelmingly favorable.

 

Speaking of networking online, there’s a lot going on here at the Anytime/Anywhere Studios. For starters, I’ve been exploring the wild and wacky world of Twitter. From my vantage point, Twitter is like a mass text messaging service. In other words, you type up a brief message (140 characters or less), push ‘send’ and the message goes out to all the peopled who ‘opt in’ to receive your updates.

 

That’s right, people actually choose to “follow” your Twitter messages! Why? Because they are interested in what you have to say. In that sense, Twitter’s underlying function is really no different than people taking the time to join us for the FAST180 webcast, or visiting the website or blog to check up on our news. It’s all about sharing information.

 

But there are two key differences. Rather than simply posting information on a blog and passively hoping people visit, Twitter functions as a press release, giving you the power to notify your peeps that you’ve been at it again, cranking out some high octane material, with a link to your website, where they will find new and exciting stuff to explore.   

 

And in itself, the ‘announcement’ function is huge. Getting the word out is critical. But Twitter’s bigger benefit is the potential for explosive audience growth.

 

Here’s the deal: In addition to the ongoing power struggle of who has the biggest following, Twitter culture includes an informal competition of who can be the first to tell the group about an awesome new (insert any product, service, opinion or news item), which in turn, leads to more people checking out your messages. And those new followers tell their people, and so on. Call it “Viral” growth.

 

The potential result: a growing number of “followers” that can snowball into serious, exponential momentum. Example: it is not unusual for very active Twitter peeps to have a following of tens of thousands of people. Can you say: Marketer’s Playground?

 

For me right now, building a loyal Twitter following is a primary focus as we move step-by-step, building the FAST180 platform to launch the upcoming Power Team book to bestseller status when released later this year.

 

Progress so far: I started with Twitter on Christmas day (a free present to myself!) and as this journal is posted, I currently follow 81 people and 80 people following me. 

 

Maybe half of the people following me are folks I decided to follow based on recommendations from others, and in turn, some of those people responded by following me. Other followers just sorta pop up and join the parade, and I have no idea what path lead them to my door.

 

So, I’m learning about all sorts of strategies to build a huge Twitter following in a short amount of time, but that is not my goal. Yes, I want huge numbers. Maybe 10,000 or so when the book comes out. But I want the quality of the content to attract the following, rather than signing up to follow tons of people in hopes that they will follow me in return.

 

Like anything, the more you dig into something, the more you learn. Believe me, I’m learning alot each and every day. For me, using Twitter as a way to announce new blog entries, upcoming FAST180 webcasts as well as sharing cool websites and valuable information is a very stimulating activity. But it’s the material itself that remains the priority. Wanna know more? Follow me on Twitter! 


Jack of all Twitter, Part 1 – Say What?

January 11, 2009

Blogging doesn’t happen. There’s work involved. And if you are like me, when there’s a job to do, my first tendency is to try to do the job myself. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes not so good.

 

Consider the wide range of activities that need to happen for an idea, spinning around abstractly in your imagination as a concept, to finding its way out of your head, onto the internet, bouncing around with a life of its own.

 

Adequacy isn’t good enough. Material has to be sharp and provide value. The internet is a huge audience, and reaching that audience is a monumental challenge. These days, most people (except maybe your Mom, heirs to your Will, and the family dog) are too busy to care about all the details of your life, your problems and most of all, your opinions.

 

Don’t believe me? Look around. Is it just me, or is everyone dazed and confused from information overload and macro economic meltdown? Quick reality check: did you receive more or less Christmas cards than last year? I’m betting the under. Why? Too much info day in and day out has numbed the collective consciousness, tapping the energy needed to communicate, to the point of societal distraction and inactivity.

 

In today’s world, it’s a crap shoot whether or not a friend will read and respond to an email about your personal news, or return a phone call. Don’t take it personal. People are on overload! Imagine the degree of magnetic attraction needed to interest cyberspace peeps, or at least a statistically significant percentage of them, into caring enough about your opinion on your topic of choice to make the effort to visit your blog check it out.

 

And that ladies and gentlemen, is where I’m at today. I’m trying to crack the code of mass online impact. I want to find out how some folks reach millions of people and then help other authors, artists and do-gooders of all stripes do the same.

 

All this set up leads me to a formula I started putting together for publishing blog posts. The idea is to break down the steps into a system of developing an idea from grain to biscuits into a blog post we can all be proud of.

 

The goal is to measure self sufficiency in all steps required to create and manage intellectual property promoted online with WordPress, Twitter, and others. For me personally, I’m trying to identify where I need to bring in an expert with real internet skills to take my material to the next level. But in the mean time, as someone still doing all the work myself, I’m trying to learn as much as I can.

 

So anyway, I started putting together the formula. While my intentions were good, it turns out to be more than a sit down and get ‘er done kind of deal, so I’m breaking this piece into two parts.

 

Today, I’m just going to identify the variables the formula includes. Seems to me that the more of these steps completed, and how well they are executed, will result in how many people on the net give a rat’s patootty about what I, or anybody else, has got to say.

 

Here’s the criteria:
 -Am I creating unique content with my own voice and message?

-Am I utilizing all aspects of online media (audio, video, graphics, etc.) to project my message? 

-Am I contributing on a regular, frequent basis?

-Am I my own webmaster, creating my own website or blog with DreamWeaver, WordPress or something similar?

-Do I update my blog/website myself?

-Does my blog/website have all the slick bells and whistles, RSS feeds, links, widgets, subscribers, store…

-Am I promoting my material online with LinkedIn, Twitter, email tags, WordPress, MySpace and Facebook announcements, and other outlets?

-Am I promoting my material with word-of-mouth networking by meeting face-to-face with people?

-Do I have a business angle? Am I creating content online for personal satisfaction or to make money (either directly or indirectly)? What is my Product or Service?

 

OK, so that’s the criteria. At least most of it. I’m sure there’s more. Please send me any thoughts or comments about what goes into creating and managing the intellectual property you post online and promote. I’d love to know what you are up to and what’s working!

 

So in the spirit of quality control and production output, I’m going to get this info off my word processor and out on WordPress. I will now tweak before I twitter the rest (as in tweak the formula before tweating its completion). So please check back with me next time for “Jack of all Twitter Part 2 – Your Score!” next time when our adventure in networking continues… Follow me on Twitter