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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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Did you create a list of things you vowed to do differently this year but you still haven’t made a dent in the list three weeks later?

Maybe you decided to:

  • Build more clients in a particular market (could ask for referrals from existing clients)
  • Finally launch that product I have been carrying around in my head (plus I am afraid I will forget the details)
  • Look for more collaboration partners (who do I really enjoy working with?)
  • Carve out more personal time for friends (I cannot believe I did not speak to her at all in 2010-so embarrassed to get her holiday card!)
  • Create a 2011 social media strategy (because I have no idea what to really do on Facebook and twitter-forget understanding Twitter!)
  • Find speaking opportunities to share my amazing message (there are people who need to hear my message, but I have not asked them… I know… I know)
  • Call your cousins more often (didn’t we have a great time at Christmas!)

Now let’s get you started in a manageable way so you can feel like January did not pass you by….

Well, here is an exercise you that will get you started- quickly and simply!

  1. Pick three names. Seriously, no more than three names of people who you want to reconnect with, want to get to know better, want to approach for referrals, owe a return call from six months ago, etc. You get the picture.
  2. Write the three names on a piece of paper. Next to each name write everything you know about them. We will call these Connection Points.  Examples- likes wine, has three daughters who take ballet, vacations in Michigan, is a copywriter, is a morning person, used to watch a lot of television years ago, loves fast food, has lived in that house for 30 years, youngest child left for college last year, is related to you and therefore you have all kinds of information about them but nothing very recent, used to work at IBM with Sally, just expanded their business, recently updated their website, work in an industry that is struggling, etc.
  3. Now decide on ONE connection method for each of these three people. Telephone call, stop by their house, invite for coffee, Skype conversation, handwritten note, email, note through social/professional networking site, etc.
  4. For each of your three people, circle a few of the connection points (what you know about them) and commit to including these with your connection method. It serves like an icebreaker and adds some intimacy to the connection.  You are reminding them how you are connected or what old stories you have shared, while at the same time not giving the appearance in anyway that you want something and are reaching out after all this time to ask for help. It aids in making the conversation/email/note less awkward and more personalized.
  5. Consider for each person what you have that might be able to help THEM- a further connection, a resource, a conversation with an adult every once in a while for that stay-at-home mom friend, a monthly breakfast collaboration meeting, etc. Write some of those ideas next to the person’s name as well

 

  • Now what you have is a list of three names that are part of your Connection Strategy. You need a connection strategy to accomplish each one of those goals above.  You might be looking for some administrative support in your business or a person to bounce ideas off. Or it might be more round about- such as, I just like this person and wanted to reconnect. Those people you can talk about what you are planning to achieve this year to see if they have resources that can help you. Never know until you ask!

  • Beside each name you have some reminders of what you know about them and some talking/writing/mention connection points to use.
  • You have committed to HOW you will reach out to them, what connection method you will use.
  • And, you have a good starting point for how you can help them-what you can offer them.

Not so overwhelming now, is it? Get your year started out right! Enjoy! From these connections will flow so many more.

 

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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

Headed to the Do It In Person Party during NY Entrepreneurial Week earlier in the year, 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 #2

Matthew, a friend and colleague of mine here in NYC hosted a virtual telesummit of fascinating speakers earlier this year. 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.

Last month, 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!

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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