I had the pleasure to interview Ian Brodie for my monthly article at The National Networker. Ian’s a UK-based marketing consultant whose known for his expertise at helping professionals develop clients and the revenues they offer.

Ian shared his thoughts about the challenge of keeping in touch with people you meet.  Here’s what he shared about WHY this is so and HOW to address it:

“There are  several reasons this is a challenge for  so many, but they seem to stem from a feeling that we have “No Time” or “No Staff” to do it.  In reality, what’s more likely is that we have NO SYSTEM for Staying-in-Touch with our prospects, clients and ‘fans’ — people who are supporters of our business or practice”

In the article, Ian shares two great (and, do-able!) ideas:

Top 10 List:
This an easy way to follow-up.  Just pick 10 people of interest to your business and list them where you’ll see them often on a daily basis. Make note of their interests, challenges, desired connections, etc.  As you review this information throughout the day, you’ll be amazed at how many opportunities you’ll notice to add value to someone you know and build goodwill between you at the same time.

Use CRM software:
this helps you automate a series of planned contacts with someone of interest to you and your business.  As your list of ‘key people’ grows, it’s impractical to manage manually.  That’s why CRM software is so helpful.  Ian pointed out two opportunities to use CRM effectively.  “Initially, be sure you follow-up with someone quickly — an email or note with something of value to the other person is ideal. Then, over time, plan a series of periodic contacts — email, phone, post that remind them of you and invite them to respond to useful information you have to offer.”

Nurturing relationships is important.  Many people don’t do it because they have NO SYSTEM to do so.  If you’re serious about staying-in-touch with people for your business, use a CRM software to make important contacts happen . . . by design, not accident.

facebook –– is a social (media) phenomenon.  2010 advertising revenues topped 1.86 Billion! While it may have taken its sweet time figuring out how to monetize itself, it’s finally done so with a vengence.  And that should continue in 2011.

Soon, you’ll be seeing a new kind of advertising on facebook –– the Sponsored Ad’:

This is a development you’ll want to be aware of; perhaps ‘BEWARE’ of it is more accurate!

How It Works: whenever you ‘like’ or ‘check-in’ with a business that is using this sponsored ad model, not only will your action be posted to your news feed but, at the same time, it will be used as a ‘paid advertisement’ by the advertiser — in this example, Starbucks.

Here’s The Problem: You can’t ‘opt-out’ of having your behavior (and, photo!) used as a commercial ‘word-of-mouth’ promotion and implied endorsement for a facebook advertiser!

The fact is that facebook intends to use your image and endorsement without your permission and without compensation.  Personally, that doesn’t feel right.  I’d like to give my permission to use my behavior and photograph in a commercial message disguised as a ‘word-of-mouth’ endorsement.  But wait . . . I’m not paying facebook a penny to use it, am I?  Well, there you go.

In business, you get what you pay for.  And if you don’t pay for something directly, you will pay for it in other ways.

Advertising revenue is a significant and powerful driver for facebook.  Just make sure you know if, how and when you’re helping to create that revenue!

According to MarketingSherpa, a recognized resource in the field of online marketing, just released a study of what value marketers expect email to play in generating business in 2011:

The ‘Top 3’ uses of email for marketing in 2011 are projected to be:
  1. improving traffic . . . to your website
  2. improving transactions . . . from your website
  3. improving client retention

These are important objectives and email, used properly and effectively, is a key means to making them a reality for your business.

Media is the ‘means’ of carrying your message to your market.  Increasingly, online media includes not only your website but the media it contains.

Take VIDEO.  It’s engaging.  It’s consistent.  It’s inviting of the response you want from visitors.  Here’s a good example from the email solution provider called Bronto:


Using video to provide testimonials — in  lieu of text — is a powerful way to get your message across.

in the 1960’s Marshall McLuhan wrote “The Medium is The Message”.  Digital media — like video on your website — brings new meaning to that statement and new opportunities for you

There’s a new wrinkle in the Facebook world.

And it portends some interesting changes you may want to know about.  Facebook is going to be creating the way you see the internet based on your interests.  LinkedIn has already been doing this.  Providing users with links to ‘outside’ sites but through the LinkedIn interface — the ‘wrapper’ is LinkedIn but the site is ‘inside’ the LinkedIn wrapper.

Facebook will now be doing this, too.  But the Facebook approach will cause information (i.e. advertising and other ‘relevant’ information) to be shown to you based upon your interests and favorites that are part of your Facebook profile.


For advertisers, this means a huge base of people with increasingly relevant targeting should equal one of the best media for promoting a business on in a long time.  Now, if only the ‘privacy police’ will get on board with this . . . wait and see.

By the way, if you would like to receive a complimentary copy of an ‘10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know’ . . . click here.

LinkedIn is a wonderful social network for business.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a ‘User Handbook’ full of ideas on how to get the most value you can from being a part of it.

Here are some quick and easy ways can get more out of being on LinkedIn.

Drop Your Title!

For example, I used to use my title “CCO”. Now, my profile ‘title’ reads: “Helping small business owners attract clients and grow revenues”.

This allows you to inform people how you can help them rather than what you are — which may be lost on them, anyway.

Key Idea

Show your tagline instead of your title

Integrate with Twitter

The new Twitter integration functionality allows you to tweet a message and have it display in your status . . . automatically!.

You can edit your settings to show “ALL” your Tweets or, selective Tweets which you can set up with the hashtag (#) function on Twitter. Very cool!

Key Idea

Use the Twitter integration function on your LinkedIn profile.

Leverage Your Group Memberships

I’ve been writing a monthly article for The National Networker for about two years helping others leverage their marketing and networking to build relationships and revenues. After an article is published, my publisher, Adam Kovitz suggested I post it as a “news article” to the various groups that I belong to on LinkedIn. You can do the same thing with any blog post you write just as easily.

This one simple activity can drive tons of traffic to your blog!

In time, getting people to know of you (brand awareness), like you (brand preference) and trust you (brand value) because they’ve come to appreciate the value in your advice is . . . priceless!

Key Idea

Join the LinkedIn groups where your blog posts or articles will be relevant and post your “news articles” whenever you can.

Join The Conversations

LinkedIn has ‘Discussions’. Are you starting them? Are you commenting on them? If not, you’re missing a huge opportunity to leverage your membership and the value LinkedIn holds for you.

Contributing to LinkedIn Discussions is a great way to position yourself as an authority and showcase your expertise.

Always provide a link to a relevant page on your blog or landing page on your website. For example, if you comment on how to ‘generate referrals’, you should create a landing page where a Special Report on ‘Referrals’ can be downloaded. Remember, you’re offering relevant information in a meaningful context. So don’t just say, “Hey, I’m here!”. Offer value and . . . an easy way to get it!

Key Idea

Participate in the discussions on any LinkedIn group where your ideal clients are likely to be found and post questions to stimulate some discussions of your own.

Respond To Questions

Questions allow you to demonstrate your expertise and build up the “know / Like / Trust” factor you know is so important to your marketing success.

Both the questions you answer for others (and, ask) will be seen by visitors to your profile. Often, what you have to say may be more interesting than anything else a visitor will notice on your profile page.

Key Idea

Seek out questions posed by others on topics you can answer. Use an RSS feed coupled to your Google Reader to show you new questions as they appear and post your answers to your profile as well.

Want To Build Revenues With Social Media?

Check out our Social Media Pro Study Group!

Andy Lopata is a fellow-columnist at The National Networker where we both write a monthly column.  Andy’s from the UK.  And, while we’re geographically far apart, we’re in close agreement about . . . Elevator Pitches.

Elevator Ptches

If you aren’t familiar with the concept, it’s based upon the 10 – 15 seconds that begins with the time you step into an elevator and the time you step out of one.  Maybe a floor or two. Inside the elevator someone asks, “What do you do?”.

Having a prepared ‘pitch’ or commercial response at the ready can turn such a moment-of-truth with a truly qualified prospect for your services . . . into a highly productive one.

Andy argues that these chance encounters, while prevalent in daily business, have deteriorated into a social convention that is often more polite than productive.  He’s got a good point. Listen to him directly:

Why Elevator Pitches May Not Really Work

If you’re honest about it, do they work for you?  Or, are they merely a social convention that prevents sincere connections from taking place between two people in business?

Lopata contends that delivering a carefully crafted ‘commercial’ has become, for many businesspeople, the sole goal of a ‘new encounter’ rather than using it as the starting point for a meaningful conversation with a stranger.  I tend to agree.

What Does Work?

In a word, ‘Listening‘ –– focusing more on what the other person is sharing with you than on what you say in response to their question: “What do you do?”.


It’s only slightly more difficult to listen.  But it’s a lot more powerful.  And, given that it’s a common complaint about people, being a good listener may be better than being a good pitcher!


Making your point.

A single, focused, right-on-the money point.

Getting a response.  That’s WHY you create a message, right?

I doubt you can do it much more elegantly and effectively than this.

In fact, I ‘triple-dog’ dare you to NOT be affected by this beautiful commercial:


HOW you communicate your message is a key part of WHAT you communicate.

For session #2 of Social Media Pro — our online coaching course for using social media in your business, we’re focusing on optimizing your brand assets.

One of the many ways to do that is to create quality content and post it on the internet.

Video content is increasingly popular. And, various video hosting services have sprung up to support you in making your video content readily available.

The best known site is Google’s YouTube service. But there are others. One, which I’ve personally experienced (and, none too pleasant an experience it was, I assure you!) is Vimeo.


In my ‘listening post’, I get an alert when certain terms are being cited on blogs. “Vimeo” is one of them. (I have my reasons!)

Why am I telling you all this? Simple. To share three (3) lessons that will ‘teach’ you how this social media stuff really works better than anything less ‘real world’ ever would.

Lesson #1: You Can’t Hide On The Internet

This is true if you’re good. But, it’s especially true if you’re bad. As in ‘bad customer experience’. Why? People talk. And the mechanisms available — online — to do their ‘talking’ is tremendous.

Check it out for yourself: http://boagworld.com/reviews/vimeo and you’ll see an example of the kind of ‘chatter’ that is waiting for any firm — even yours and mine — if we give people a good reason to want to vent.


Lesson #2: Do NOT P ____ People Off!

In the upper left panel of the above blog, note the number of ‘RE-Tweets’ about this page. This post just went up and in less than a day there are already over 400 re-tweets!!

Now consider this . . . the average social media savvy person has a network online of their contacts. People who are facile with social media are probably pretty well connected. Some people have ‘followers’ that number into the 1,000’s of people.

In just ONE day, this rather toxic post has already been broadcast (retweeted) to a very, very significant number of people.  Probably a couple hundred thousand when you consider these socially connected types each have a network themselves! And, if the source is credible, they tend to retweet the content they receive over and over and over again. Scary, isn’t it?

Lesson #3: If You Listen, You’ll Find Stuff You Can Use

In my listening post, I spotted another related item . . . http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2357254,00.asp. Seems Vimeo has a little explaining to do about how it’s doing it’s own business –– in a courtroom!

Oh, it’s a little thing, really — copyright infringements being alleged by EMI — the music industry watchdog for this kind of questionable behavior!

Copyright infringement. Interesting. Because people are claiming Vimeo’s telling them what they can or can’t publish . . . and EMI claims Vimeo is just as culpable in the way Vimeo’s handling their own affairs. Think that’s going to engender ‘goodwill’ from the Vimeo user community?  I’d say the jury is still out on that one!


Let’s suppose . . . you are the chief counsel for EMI. Would knowing about the kind of comments being made online about the firm you’re trying to build a case against be helpful to you? Would it be hurtful to Vimeo? How would you use this kind of information in court? I don’t have the answers. But they’re certainly worth noting, aren’t they?

Look, Vimeo is not a villanous firm. Ok, maybe some appear to argue they’re eccentric and artsy and all. And, yes . . . they appear to be capricious and arbitrary in how they choose to recognize and respond to violations of their ‘terms and conditions’ clause.

But here’s the lesson I want YOU to get . . . social media has made the masses connected . . . in a way we’ve never seen before!

The media that connects all those minds is a superhighway of thoughts that can either build your brand up or . . . tear it down. I say, ‘either’ because, frankly, there’s really nothing in-between. It’s all or nothing.

Now, do you see why it is so important to be listening? And, once you are . . . to respond in a timely and effective manner!

Personally, I’d be giving “thanks” to Vimeo for providing you with a ‘real world’ example of the power of social media on a business. It’s not always a ‘good’ example that teaches us so well. But, what social media is doing to Vimeo is certainly a ‘powerful’ example, isn’t it?

And please remember this — to make social media work FOR you, you must know what people are saying ABOUT you (as well as putting out your own story).

Which is an excellent segue into what we’re going to be learning about in Session #3 . . . on BLOGGING!

Next session . . . session #3 . . . “Blogging” . . . is an excellent way to make sure _YOU_ control the story about you and what you deem to be important to the people — friends and foes alike — in 2010.

I predict

2010 will be the year of the search . . . the LOCAL search.

If your business isn’t leveraging the opportunities your prospects have access to on the internet, it’s a a safe bet they’re not likely to find you when they do. Tsk, Tsk.

Want to do something about that?

Try Google

Google’s “Local Business Center” to be specific.

It’s a free and easy way to help you claim some internet real estate so you can become noticed by people who are looking for what you do.

Learn more . . .


If you’re not putting yourself (and, your business!) ‘out there’ . . . you’re only helping your competition . . . at your expense.

So check out Google’s Local Business Center and get yourself an UNfair share of the market for your wonderful services!