Social Media, Networking and PR – Linda ‘Goes Back to School’ Day Two a.m.

An Early Bird…

Daylight finally arrived and I felt like I’d watched every minute of its journey from dead of night as I went bleary eyed to meet my fellow early morning jog-, trot-, walkers. They were the Inner Flame lot – remember the morning-after-the-night-before as a teenager? This lot embodied it! But Graham treated all with a great balance of gentleness, encouragement (and for all I know, ribbing) that I supposed made them think it was
a) worth getting up at that ungodly time (in reality I later discovered that they didn’t have a choice) and
b) they should automatically desire to acquit themselves with their peers.

Warren was the only other adult conference person and he jogged off with the lead lot. Being a speed walker (those of you with long enough memories can probably recall the Ministry of Silly Walks – yup, that’ll be me) meant that, as I’d expected, I didn’t naturally fall into the pace of any of the three groups. And that actually suited me fine as it gave my head its usual chance to roam as it wished while my body appreciated the countryside (semi countryside, really) that we were going through.

I should have taken more notice of the sheep I saw, though. You’ll discover why later.

Showered, dressed and just about presentable, I went into the dining room at about 8.15am… and straight into

Karen Thurley’s 4Networking breakfast

It’s entirely my own fault. With hindsight the agenda (on line and which I’d only glimpsed at on the Saturday) quite clearly states:

08:00 – 09:15 4Networking Breakfast (Karen Thurley)
I don’t know about anybody else but I have nothing but painful memories from my time as a member of a breakfast networking group and would have probably avoided this like the plague if I’d clocked it beforehand. Strangely though, it wasn’t the excruciating experience I thought it would be. I hadn’t prepared an elevator pitch so when my turn came I just stood up, gave my full name and said:

“I help women explore their potential, live it and have a da*n good time doing so”

then sat down. It didn’t hurt that a couple of female business owners came over separately and in rapid succession to ask if they could be one of my 10-minute one-to-ones…

At 9.30 the Grow Your Business contingent trooped off to a ‘welcome’ speech by Warren, followed by a talk from him on

Social Media Foundations

Three things stand out especially in my memory:

  • His comparison between UK 1980s TV with only 4 channels versus 2011 TV’s scarcity of attention and abundance of channels
  • The ability of the individual to use online social media to their own advantage, for example Dave Carroll who got his own back on United Airlines breaking his guitars… and, in contrast, how a company, in this case KLM, used Youtube to promote their brand
  • Warren’s own experience that his big ticket business has come via his blog since he’s concentrated on it – and gave Sarah Arrow all credit as his mentor/ consultant/ call it what you will – on that – and his talk demonstrated how much there is to learn if we’re gonna do it for ourselves… and indeed one of Sarah’s recent posts over on Birds on the Blog Sharing the luv
    only goes to reinforce that we – or someone working on our behalf – need to be constantly on the ball watching out for new developments…

We had a tea & coffee break and then we were in for a treat with Stefan Thomas (no red braces) entertaining and educating us with his story of transition from out-on-his-ear-estate-agent to, of necessity and over time, networker extraordinaire and public speaker!
He gave us his

10 Tips on Networking

  1. Use your business networking introduction as an opportunity to get people to want to have a conversation with you – keep your entire product line for elsewhere
  2. Plan that introduction in advance: Get help with it, believe in it and do it to the very best of your ability
  3. Include a call to action – 1-2-1, phone, email…
  4. “Sell through the room”: Stefan got very good at selling properties where someone had just died… “I guarantee that I get your [Aunty Joan] more money than any other estate agent could…”
  5. Treat initial one-to-ones like a first date – get to know people and let them get to know you
  6. Never underestimate anyone in the room – every connection has value
  7. Treat an online community just the same way as you would your real live community – that isdon’t walk in and start selling!
  8. Join in with what other people online: Don’t just walk in and “talk and broadcast” – be interested in others’communications
  9. Do use social media to join it all up and keep relationships warm – connect
  10. Whether it’s real life or online we have a level playing field, so: Be there and be the world’s biggest advocate for you and your business

And BTW: None of it is just a quick fix…

Last up before lunch was Kimberley Davis, this time with

How to drive powerful PR

“You can reach anyone anywhere with seven phone calls and knowing the right thing to say” This was a quote from Kim’s journalism teacher, Tina Lane.
There followed several minutes on Kim’s credentials from her young start in the USA, through the Apprentice experience to her Marketing Purification business in the UK.

It was good, albeit fairly top line standard advice, such as:

  • Bear in mind that we we’re exposed to some 4,000 brands and messages a day and that journalists receive 300+ press releases each day, so
  • Develop your own USP
  • Know your target market
  • Put yourself in their shoes: “So what?” factor
  • Become an expert
  • Be newsworthy/ topical/ think of potential links to something that is newsworthy/ topical
  • Build relationships

And a few more but, in fairness to Kim, by now my powers of concentration were beginning to desert me…

The definition that Kimberley chose for advertising and PR was worth a mention, I thought: Advertising is what you say about yourself. PR is what others say about you.

Personally, I’d amend the PR one to be: PR is what you can get others to say about you

Aah… lunch break…

Look out for the afternoon (that’s where the sheep come in…) and evening activities, coming up next :-)

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9 Responses to “Social Media, Networking and PR – Linda ‘Goes Back to School’ Day Two a.m.”

  1. […] To catch up with earlier posts in this series: Social Media, Networking and PR – Linda ‘Goes Back to School’ Day Two a.m. Linda ‘Goes Back to School’ Day One Tweet Filed Under: Business Tagged With: […]

  2. Great tips! I’m glad I found your site. I could use all the social media education I can get. I do find it’s easy to fall into the “broadcasting” mode instead of being interested in what other’s are saying. This is because sometimes I only have time to tweet my status. But I’m working on spending a *little* bit more time just finding tweets to comment on.

  3. Anita says:

    Hi Linda, I really enjoyed reading your post, and I also learnt a lot at the same time :) It sounds like it was a great conference! I especially like ’10 tips on networking’.

    So come on, what happened with the sheep 😉

  4. Lisa says:

    ooh, such great tips here. Networking of any kind is about building relationships – to help people know, like, and trust you. Networking is not about selling.

    I can’t wait to hear about the sheep either!

  5. Wow – maybe we should include sheep more often… 😉

  6. Yolanda says:

    Love the “class notes”, great advice!

    Damn…. now I’m at the edge of me seat waiting to hear about the sheep!


  7. Sounds and looks like to was a really great experience Linda, thanks for the excellent summing up.
    Can’t wait for the next edition… definitely not Baaaa Humbug!

  8. Sarah Arrow says:

    Thanks for the mention, I loved how Stef shared with us that by specialising in one area of estate agency he became the go-to person in the area to sell a house when someone died.

    You must tell us more about the sheep :)

  9. Linda, I appreciate your sharing so many of the goodies from your “back to school” experience! I especially liked the networking tips (#6 and #7 are key, I think) and the distinction you make between advertising and PR.
    It sounds as though one of the important sub-messages of the day is that being who we really are can lead to trust, connections, and yes, sales.
    But now I’m dying to learn about the sheep!

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