Archive for the ‘Connection Tips’ 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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New Apartment Building in a New Neighborhood.

Yesterday, I decided to decorate the door to be more welcoming at the holidays as the “new girl” in my building!

Hung this wreath in the morning and when I arrived home, it made me so happy to come up the stairs and see this greeting me!

(and it jingled every time I open my door or when a neighbor slams theirs – there is a silver lining in all the door slamming!)

my holiday door

But even better is the situation with my neighbor across the hall who has a daughter under two. Since Thanksgiving they have had this Santa on their door and each and every time someone knocks on the door to visit (or when her parents arrive home to greet her) they say “ho ho ho”. She squeals with delight so loudly, I can hear her in my apartment.

santa on the door

Simple pleasures. All it takes is a few decorations on the door to make me smile.

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It’s a story of Kermit and Connection.

This is the kind of story that reminds me WHY I do what I do! Why I help people, businesses and organizations to build their community on and off-line. Because this is the kind of story that just makes me smile to tell!

Last fall, I made a new friend. Brilliant Digital Media Consultant Stephanie Fierman who not only shares my love for social media and brand, but for the Muppets and Sesame Street! My cool new friend invited me to an exciting evening at the Director’s Guild in NYC to see the directors of Sesame Street speak on a panel. We had the best time- like two kids in a candy store! So, when she saw the video below hit the advertising insider track, she of course shared it with me. The Muppets™ was opening in the UK in early February- sponsored by Cravendale Milk.

I watched this video, squealed with delight and immediately thought, “I need one of those Kermit backpacks. Who do I know in the UK?”

The answer: My childhood love, George. Now, kind of a “UK Don Draper” if you ask me! (All the dashing and creative smarts without the infidelity!)

So here’s what happens on my quest for the backpack….

  • I tag George on Facebook. He asks his wife if their adorable daughter drinks this kind of milk and maybe they can get a backpack that way. No luck.
  • Have no fear. George (aka UK Don Draper) has ideas. We move from Facebook to Twitter and he uses his relationships and understanding of the industry to track down the advertising agency responsible for the advertisement.
  • Soon a tweet goes out to an agency friend of his inquiring about the backpack for a “stateside friend” who would love to get her hands on one of those. (that’s me!)
  • A few hours later, Neil from the prestigious global ad agency Wieden + Kennedy tweets me to send him my address.
  • We exchange a few really funny emails with no promises but he will “see what he can do”.
  • A few weeks later, an international package arrives with ….You guessed it…my very own Kermit backpack. It does not matter it is made for kids and barely fits me. He is fuzzy, green, happy and all mine. Kermie!

And thanks to Stephanie, George and Neil, Kermit arrived just in time to travel with me to The Muppet Movie (1979) sing-a-long at the NYC Museum of Moving Image in honor of the last weekend of Jim Henson’s Fantastic World exhibit.  The event was complete with adults (like me!) with all types of props singing along to this beloved movie and its characters. A magical afternoon. My Kermit backpack spent most of the show being squeezed and kissed by a 2-year old girl who sat in front of me. The connection circle continued.

The Power of Kermit and Connection= Happiness

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Are you reading this blog post because you are procrastinating?

Oh procrastinating business owner, does your “to-do” list include things such as:

  • Sign more clients (umm… yeah!)
  • Identify places to speak (if they could just hear my message…)
  • Find prospects (where are they hiding?)

Do you look at your calendar and realize that you have no meetings with key influencers or collaborators or … yikes… potential clients/customers? Is that why you are procrastinating today?

There is simple connection tip that works to solve this dilemma every time.

Get out from behind your computer and go meet someone face to face.

I’m not kidding.

Not a phone call. Go outside and meet them.

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many amazing connections made every day via telephone but there is something extra special about sitting across from another person. Challenge yourself to put one- just one- face to face meeting on your calendar for this week. Show up engaged and asking for referrals, collaborators and ideas.

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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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Build Community!

Share the love!

With Valentine’s Week upon us, I am looking for ways to spread love to my community… a community made up of so many wonderful components.

  • Family and Godchildren
  • College friends
  • NYC entrepreneurial friends
  • Clients
  • Friends outside of NYC
  • Facebook pals
  • Twitter peeps
  • Neighbors
  • Former colleagues

And the list goes on and on…

So today I was in Starbucks thinking about this very thing and how much love and support I receive from these remarkable people when I looked down and saw this cup. My baristas! My beloved baristas at “my Starbucks” who call me JillBryn is always spelled wrong and I can’t stand that my cup would be spelled wrong all day (or at least for that hour before I buy another coffee) so I started using Jill.  I will need to do something nice for them this Valentine’s Week.

True community. My neighborhood in NYC always feels like a small town to me!

Share love with your community this week!

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