Archive for the ‘Business Strategy’ Category

Twitter- You either love it or hate it!

  • There are those who feel it is self-indulgent and useless when it comes to promoting your business or career.
  • There are those who find it fun, powerful, engaging, entertaining or just plan addicting.

Regardless of which category you fall into, I want to share a couple of quick stories themed “How Twitter can help you face-to-face network”. I want to share some of the powerful connections I have experienced using those pesky 140 characters.

Great Connection Moment #1

On a date at my favorite NYC restaurant in December,  I tweeted about the delicious meal I was having and the spectacular quality of the ingredients. That tweet aroused the interest of the owner who does his own tweeting (love that!). Over the following weeks, we talked back and forth on Twitter about my love of the restaurant (been going there for almost 20 years but never met him) and some funny exchanges: quality of the food vs. quality of the date (smile). Fun. Authentic. Hysterical at times. Told him I was headed in there for brunch on yet another date with a different person a few weeks later. I was greeted with a reserved table sans the hour-long wait, special attention and a fully comped meal. Business owners and food lovers alike take heed. Brand loyalty is rewarded! All starting with 140 characters!

Great Connection Moment #2

Headed to the Do It In Person Party during NY Entrepreneurial Week a few years ago after just starting my business, I was certain I knew absolutely no one at the party.  I was on my own, but I enjoy meeting people so I thought, “this will be fun!”

After getting a drink, I wandered over to a guy, Nick, who looked nice and was not speaking to anyone at the time. We struck up a conversation about technology since that is his passion. Soon another person joined us- a lovely female copywriter named Sara. The conversation soon took a turn to social media (big surprise since it is one of my favorite conversation topics) and lo and behold we discovered that both Nick and Sara learned about the party on Twitter. How Fun!

We vowed to keep in touch and sure enough, the three of us continued to tweet.  A few months later had a meeting of the minds at a funky downtown hotel one afternoon.  Sara has since moved to Denver but we all send a tweet out to each other every once and a while keeping each other in mind for referrals.

Great Connection Moment #3

Matthew, a friend and colleague of mine who used to live here in NYC hosted a virtual telesummit of fascinating speakers a while back. I spent much of my time during the interviews tweeting nuggets of wisdom and observations to pass on. I was not alone in this. Another person named Jared was doing the same. With each interview it became more and more fun for me to share the space with him. And from that point on, we followed each other on Twitter and shared a few thoughts from time to time.

Not long after the telesummit, Matthew and I were in Seattle at a weekend event at which I was speaking and he told me he was getting together with a new friend who had recently moved to Seattle. Cool. But even more interesting was that the two of them had struck up a friendship first on Twitter and then over the phone. This was the first time they were meeting. When he told me it was Jared I squealed with delight! Oh I wanted to meet him too! And I did- he is as smart, quirky and generous in person as he is on Twitter.

And there are so many more of these stories! Stories from sporting events, coffee shops, concerts, lines at stores, Amtrak train rides and the list goes on!

Twitter is just a tool. A tool that can absolutely be used to help you to build your networking circle and provides for fun and often off-beat face-to-face networking opportunities with people you may not have interacted with in any other way!  Don’t be afraid! Try it! All you have to lose is a few 140-character thoughts!


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networkingA secret dream come true.

I never told anyone how much I really wanted to be featured in my alma mater’s quarterly magazine… I think I have dreamed of this since graduating from Wellesley 23 years ago. And this fall it happened! All surrounding one of my very favorite topics: NETWORKING


Take a look at three quick Networking No-Nos I warn you about. (check out pg 31)

Hint: Think Throwing Up, Baby Showers, Small Talk and Restroom lines…

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Wonderful opportunity to join a dynamic discussion with Ted Rubin, Kathryn Rose, Miriam Cohen and moderator Susan Newman on a topic near and dear to all of our hearts. This is a 25 minute sampling of the 45 minute panel presentation on Main Stage.

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Pick a number. Write it down.

It is just that simple.

I use a post-it note.

You can use your planner, your Google calendar or a good old-fashioned to-do list.

Each week, pick a number of connections you intend to make.

Who should you choose?

  • Did you like a blog post you read?
  • Is there a former co-worker that you can’t get out of your mind?
  • Was there a comment on a discussion thread that interested you?
  • Did someone on Facebook peak your interest?
  • Do you have a stack of business cards in your desk drawer? (okay- I know you do!)
  • Does someone have a business similar to yours and you are thinking she might make a great collaborator?

Identify your 2 or 5 or 10 people and reach out.

You can connect with them on social media. Send them a personal message via email. Or here’s a crazy idea- actually pick up the phone and call them! So many options.

Start connecting! Isn’t this what business is all about?

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We have all heard of the earthquake or hurricane preparedness kit. In fact, many of us already have some version in our homes: the instant milk, granola bars, candles and extra batteries for the flashlights tucked away for just that moment we least expect to need it.

Do you also have a networking preparedness kit?

Are you “Connection Ready” for when you least expect the most perfect contact to fall right in your lap?

One of the top concerns I hear over and over again from my clients, friends and acquaintances discussing the art of networking with me (everyone always seems to want to strike up a conversation on the topic which is just great with me!) is lack of prior thought. Lack of planning. Lack of thinking it all through.

Taking the time to be “Connection Ready” will quell the fears and anxiety about networking to a very large extent. You will be amazed!

And, really it is not complicated at all…. Almost as simple as grabbing those protein bars, bottled water and canned beans and heading for the root cellar.

Use this checklist to get started:

  • Think one month out. What is one goal you hope to achieve in your business, career or personal growth? Make a contact in a particular company? Meet new people in your neighborhood? Find a collaborator who also works from home and can brainstorm with you? Identify a new JV partner?
  • Now, with that one goal in mind, identify the number one piece of information or experience you will want to gain from that encounter. For example: Lunch date scheduled. Name of a local resource who can do your taxes. Friend of a friend who might know someone at Acme Company.  Ideas for collaboration.
  • Set aside one hour a week in your calendar. This will be your “Connection Ready” time. For some of you, you will use the time to research contacts. Some of you will make phone calls. Some of you will read industry publications or blogs to find names or resources or generate ideas. Some of you will brainstorm with someone you trust. Some of you will practice your “elevator pitch” to explain who you are and what you have to offer. Some of you will look for local networking events. You get the point. YOU CANNOT DO THIS WRONG.
  • Do you have up-to-date business cards or personal calling cards? Have them tucked in your wallet, your handbag or briefcase- basically do not leave home without them. Even pumping gas or standing in line at the supermarket can become a remarkable opportunity for a surprise connection. You need to be “Connection Ready”.
  • Gather your follow up materials. This is a critical part of the “Connection Ready” kit. Where will you collect networking details: business cards, phone numbers, ideas, leads, etc. Consider getting a notebook you devote entirely to networking. For those of you more tech savvy, create a file within your contacts just for your networking names, number and notes.  Also, be certain you have professional note cards and stamps to use in your follow up “thank yous” after meeting with someone. REALLY. “Old school” handwritten notes can make all the difference. Don’t get me started- that topic will be an entire book by me one day! (not kidding)

Don’t get caught unprepared. And maybe even more importantly, give yourself the gift of being “Connection Ready” and watch your nerves settle, your enthusiasm soar and your conversations click!

Questions? You can always reach out at info@brynjohnson.com. I would love to hear from you.


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When we are talking business success strategies, there are certainly many lessons from my former Corporate Life that can be integrated into my Entrepreneurial Life.

One such lesson is the power of Performance Management.

I know. Those of you who worked a job for even one year are probably moaning right now. UGH- BRYN- I HATED EVALUATION TIME. Bell curves, corporate edicts, cost of living raises, uncomfortable conversations and anxiety. That is the experience generally for people around performance management.

For me, it was always different. Okay, admittedly I am a bit of an HR, corporate culture and organizational development geek; therefore, the performance management system plays right into my hands. But I also always used this time not only spending hours upon hours creating meaningful written evaluations for my team members, but for myself. You know the process. You have to prod your manager along by filling in forms about your accomplishments throughout the year so they can evaluate you accurately.


That process of reviewing your year. Writing down everything you accomplished- no matter how infinitesimal- to ensure you got credit… remember that? Sitting down quietly and reviewing the accomplishments of the year- and of course, also those areas where you needed additional support or fell short. And you documented. Boy did you ever document.


  • What if I kept a running list of my accomplishments no matter how small?
  • What if I took time every quarter or every year to jot down the progress I made?
  • What if I took stock and evaluated- just for me?

I see this over and over again in my clients’ businesses, my friends’ businesses and even my own. Running to the next thing so quickly that no one stops to celebrate the accomplishment of today, this week or this month.

Sure, I have been so many radio shows over the last year that it now fun, easy and really enjoyable. But the first time I was interviewed on radio show I was dancing in the living room when it was over and had been successful. Then quickly that incredible accomplishment became a blip on the screen. I had moved on to new challenges. There are so many “firsts” in our business. So many moments when we challenge ourselves to think differently, try on a new behavior for size or step out of our comfort zone. In my opinion, it should all be celebrated.

Just keep a running list (maybe even a post-it note for each day?)

When you: quote your new prices, send your newsletter out on time, get a great referral, place a difficult phone call, hire someone to support you, make a financial investment, offer something new to a client in your session, incorporate a new skill into your practice or actually balance your books this month. Write them all down!

Celebrate what you have done! Every little baby step that creates the remarkable business owner you are today.

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Have you ever found yourself in this situation?

You want to reach out to your community of followers, clients and interested prospective clients. You want it to be fresh and unique-not the same old thing you did last time. You want to be top of mind in their business life. You KNOW this is something you need to do soon because a particular opportunity is going to pass you by.


Drawing a blank.

This is such a common occurrence with clients and colleagues.

Honestly, let me tell you.  Shhhh … Lean closer… there is such an easy solution to get unstuck that it seems too good to be true.

  • Get a piece of paper and a favorite pen
  • Grab a timer
  • Set the timer for 10 minutes
  • Here’s your assignment
  • In 10 minutes make a list of all the ways you can communicate with your clients
  • Logical and illogical.  Simple and complicated. Standard and outside the box.
  • Write them all. You cannot do this wrong!


Okay. Your 10 minutes is up.

Take a breathe. Look down at the list.

Which of this combination of great, professional and silly ideas jumps off the page at you?

That is the one you do. Today. Put it in motion.

Leave all the others to implement on another day. Keep it simple. Focus. Finish this one beginning to end. Breathe. You have to start somewhere and this one thing will lead to others plus some new ideas.

And rather than just talking about it and thinking about it- you are COMMUNICATING!

Please email me at info@brynjohnson.com and tell me what you chose to do from your communication brain dump.  ENJOY!


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