EJM Designs Limited Blog

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Networking Cincinnati: Do It In Person - Positively!

Those of you who have been reading along have noticed that one of my running themes has been the "in person" aspect of networking (a couple months back I got a great response from an overview of Cincinnati's social networking events).

As I mentioned in a few past posts, a smile and a handshake is worth a thousand Tweets. And then some.

Whenever I encounter someone who bemoans that their Twitter account is not making them money, my first question is: What value do you add to your followers?

Because it's not about what services or products you offer - not right away, and never for some followers - it's about what value you add. Who is going to pay attention to you if all you're doing is tweeting a product and linking to your site 3 or 10 times a day? Who's going to even keep following you?

And it goes further than that. Even beyond the value you add to your readers is: how well do they really know you? After you've done what you can to add value and gain genuine followers and connect to the online community, what are you doing to connect to the local community in person? What are you doing to be the face of your brand, the smile, the handshake in the living flesh?

You need to get out there. In the post above I mentioned several of the in-person types of groups or ways to find groups.

You need to stick it out there, both online and in person, risk flowing into reward. Especially for small businesses, social media almost requires that your face is now a recognizable part of your brand. Brand is not just a logo or the crafted copy of your website; it's the personality you inject into your blog and Tweets, it's your avatar, and it's the attitude you show when you meet someone else. Again: risk and reward.

Plan accordingly. We'll cover some other issues in online etiquette in another post, but if you're a grump in the morning, don't attend morning networking events. If you go to bed at eight or have a personal grudge against anyone who raises a beer, don't attend after-hours events. Play to your strengths, show up your best, and that's what people will remember.

Just remember to smile. And keep that handshake firm.

No comments:

Post a Comment