Posts Tagged ‘Warren Cass’

From LinkedIn… to Christine Hamilton… to It Had To Be You?

We’ve reached late afternoon on Day Two of Linda ‘Goes Back to School’ Day and next up for our group was

How to Achieve ROI with LinkedIn (Mark Perl)

In my opinion this was a really valuable and informative session and pitched at just the right level for the audience of the day.

To be honest, I think you can always learn something from sessions like this and especially from somebody who’s made it his job to be current with any and all innovations on the LinkedIn platform. I noticed even Dave Clarke (Director of NRG Networks) joined our group for this, though I hadn’t noticed him being a fellow honorary sheepdog earlier… 😉

And, talking with Stef Thomas subsequently, we agreed that, even if you know roughly what you should be doing and how to, it’s still worth getting a proverbial kick up the rear every now and again to remind you to actually do it!

Mark shared far too much to begin to chronicle it all here so I’d suggest two things:

  1. Go to his LinkedIn Profile to get a flavour and pay real attention to his Specialties section for a huge tip that most members miss
  2. Take a look at a video Mark recorded earlier this year especially for the Birds on the Blog community

Seguing nicely into the evening…

Our free time on Monday was followed by a Drinks Reception that included a “working the room session” compèred by Mark Perl, aided and abetted by Kevin Arrow as his primed straight man/ stooge.

Remember musical chairs when you were a kid, where you had to stay immediately still wherever you were when the music stopped playing? Well, it was a bit like that, with Mark pointing out the different groupings and how to “work them”.

I could see the point of what Mark was saying but it really didn’t look like much fun. To be honest, by then my brain had decided it had done enough work and I was into relax time by now, sitting on one of the sofas, just having a gentle natter before dinner…

Dinner Presentation: An evening with Christine Hamilton

Dinner itself was pleasant – fish, so I was happy – and, I have to say, whatever the colour of your politics, whether you like her as an individual or not, Christine Hamilton is a trooper who gives absolutely great value for money.

She arrived with husband Neil in time for the drinks reception and both mingled with attendees there and sat at a table with a group for dinner, after which Christine presented an extremely lively and active speech.

She then happily answered some questions Warren asked of her and went round the room chatting with people who wanted some individual time with her, including the Inner Flame teenagers. She signed copies of her book and donated proceedings from sales to the Inner Flame charity.

It had to be you…

I’ll leave you for now with the high or low point of the evening…
depending on whether you were tone deaf probably had to be Warren’s rendition of “It had to be you”

What can I say, other than hopefully this is a a gen-u-w-inely one-off, never-to-be- repeated experience… you have been warned!

In Warren’s defense, let’s remember that this was also for charity… :-)


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 :-)


Linda ‘Goes Back to School’ Day One

Background

I blame Sarah Arrow mainly. Then Warren Cass…
Through them I ended up attending Grow Your Business – a 2-and-a-half day retreat to learn, network and focus on my business, in particular my sales and marketing!

The event came about because of a generous donation made by INTEL to a Swindon based charity Inner Flame who work with young people to inspire, motivate and grow confidence.

Please use the link to visit the site and, if you get fired up by what you see there, please make contact with them.

I don’t know the ins and outs but INTEL had booked rooms, meals and conference facilities of a 4* Luxury hotel for 3 days yet at only 9 days notice had to pull out. Cue about-to-be beneficiary Inner Flame’s David Wreathall, who realised his group couldn’t use all of the space, so contacted Warren to see what he could do.

The really great thing about Business Scene, that I hadn’t realised, is that its policy is to collaborate with all pukka business networking groups rather than compete with them. So as Regional Director of Business Scene, UK, Warren would have access to business people who are used to making quick decisions and happy to throw their (not inconsiderable) weight behind a project at short notice.

The result? Several good speakers, especially round the subjects of marketing, presenting, social media and networking, including Master class break out trainers, and about 50 delegates. All managed from scratch within 9 days!

Arriving late is not ideal

The vagaries of the British Rail timetable on a Sunday meant that I arrived later than planned and the afternoon workshop was already underway by the time I got to the hotel. I have to admit to having been very tempted to skip off for the afternoon and avail myself of the hotel’s spa facilities but no, I was here to work…

Business Simulation – Business Value Challenge

The room was already assembled into several teams of people working on the first part of the challenge. I quietly joined one where I was introduced to Kim and Andrew and recognised Julian who, by chance, I’d met before. I asked a few questions to get clearer on what it was all about and added some suggestions to the pot.

The second part of the challenge in our group was practically hijacked by one member despite each of the rest of us having valuable contributions to make. Hey, it was day one, it was a simulated exercise (that was in my opinion more suited to a corporate team, each of whom would have a role in implementing the actions decided on rather four disparate business people) and it wasn’t worth falling out over. Though I did have a rather nasty smugness when I totted up the score I’d have achieved left to my own devices – perhaps the other two did the same.

A bit of socialising

We had a couple of hours to do our own thing – freshen up, meet up with friends at the bar – and then it was dinner. Mine was a last minute decision to attend and I’d not informed the hotel of any dietary needs although I don’t eat meat or chicken. They’d prepared a vegetarian alternative dish of which I ate some. I don’t know whether it was that or the rose wine that my stomach objected to in the early hours… but I was knackered the following morning at 6.45am to join the Inner Flame lot at 6.55 and whatever conference attendee nutters who were going for a run/ trot/ walk…

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to the dinner and the speaker who accompanied the latter part of it. Had I actually looked at the agenda on the website I’d have seen that it was billed as:

Dinner Presentation – Inside Business Reality TV with Ex Apprentice Contestant Kimberly Davis

That wouldn’t have meant anything to me as I don’t watch The Apprentice but blow me down – Kimberley was none other than Kim from my group earlier – small world. And she filled us in on some of the, let’s say less salubrious goings on behind the scenes on that programme!

A gentle wind down for yours truly and off to bed by midnight in preparation for Monday’s full day…


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