10 Superstar Networking Tips to Grow Your Business

One of the best investments you can make as a solopreneur or business person is in your personal development. As a business owner you can only grow as far as your skills and knowledge can take you.

That's why attaining seminaries, conferences and workshops is such a valuable experience.

I recently attended the WOW (Woman of Worth) Conference in Vernon BC and it was a fantastic experience. The founder, Christine Awram, has been holding these conferences for several years. Each event promises excellent motivational and inspirational speakers plus great opportunities to meet and mingle with like-minded women.

This year was exceptionally great due to one of our clients, Dana Smithers, being invited to be one of the keynote speakers.

She talked about the Law of Attraction and started a chain reaction of events that lead me to being up on stage taking a bow to a standing ovation! (The exercise was to put my intention out to the world that I am open to receiving speaking opportunities so hey, if you know of any …)

In addition to gaining next-level strategies, events like these offer an incredible opportunity to meet prospects, JV partners, and vendors.

So how can you make the most of your next event? Here's some pro tips to network like a superstar.

1) Rock Your Appearance. Let your outfit be a conversation starter. Wear something that makes you feel like a million bucks and helps you radiate confidence.

Bring a killer accessory like a unique pin, scarf, or pair of shoes that gets you noticed. Make a great first impression that makes people think "I have to meet that person."

2) Prepare Yourself Mentally. Know your purpose for being there. Be passionate about what you do and let it shine.

What do you want to learn? Look at the list of speakers and make a point to say hello to them. Ask yourself what 3 types of people you'd like to meet. Get specific. Visualize these people in the morning before the workshop or conference begins.

This will help you attract exactly the right type of connections you will benefit most from.

3) Show Up Early . Arrive with extra time so you can grab a coffee, visit the vendor tables, and get to know a few people before everything starts to get busy. Be on the lookout for people with what you feel can connect with and strike up a conversation with them.

Attending early also gives you an opportunity to get a seat close enough to better see and hear the on-stage happenings.

4) Be a Giver. Have you ever met someone who you feel wants to get something from you? It gives off a bad negative energy, does not it? Avoid this from happening to you by shifting your energy to one of abundance and ask yourself how you can best serve others.

When you meet someone be curious. Get to know them. Ask questions. Find out how you can help this person.

There is always a resource, compliment, connection, book, tip, or tool that you can offer to help someone.

Can you interview them on your podcast? Can you review their book on your blog? Can you co-host a webinar with them? While I was at the WOW event, I recorded 3 video eTips and did a couple of Facebook LIVE videos. How can you capitalize on your time in a similar manner?

5) Ask for Their Business Card. It is always better to ask for the other person's card. Asking for their card feels better than shoving yours in their hand.

Plus that leaves you in control so that you can send a follow-up when you return from the event.

Write a note about what you learned or spoke about with them on the card so you can reference it when you write them afterwards.

6) Share the Event Socially. Social Media is a great tool for building and maintaining relationships. Take plenty of pics at the event to share on social media.

Do Facebook LIVE on location. Your followers want to see where you are. Take pictures with the speakers and other people you meet.

This is me with Christine after the event was over. As you can see, wine is a big part of her brand. That and chocolate!

Plus you can send these pictures to the friends you meet in your follow up.

Try tagging them on social media and give them a shout out saying how nice it was to meet them. You can attach a picture with them in a follow-up email. This is a heartfelt way to share warmth with a new connection.

7) Switch it Up . Try sitting with different people at lunch. Join groups for after workshop dinner and conversation. Sometimes the chit-chat that occurs before and after the event can lead to the best connections.

8) Step Up to the Mike . If there is a Q & A opportunity, step up to the microphone and let your question be heard. You'll get a chance to introduce yourself to the whole room and get expert answers to your question.

Often times people will come up to you afterwards and say how they related to what you shared.

9) Give a testimonial. If you loved the event, be vocal about it. Tell the event coordinator and offer a testimonial. You can also record a Facebook video testimonial and tag the event coordinator on social media.

Email a written testimonial to the event host. They may post it on their website and give you massive exposure.

10) Love 'em Up. There is a Chinese proverb that says "A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers." When you get back home after the event, the most important part is following up with and nurturing relationships you made.

Here it's a strategy of quality, not quantity. Sort through the cards you received. Narrow them down to the few people you had a real connection with and send a warm, genuine email.

Is there any other suggestion or resource you can send them as a follow-up to your conversation? You want them to experience their life is better now having met you.

And do not forget to post to your social media accounts and send an email to your list about your experience too!

Attending industry conferences or seminars keep you up-to-date with the latest changes that are occurring within the industry. But equally valuable is the chance to meet other like-minded individuals and build connections that can not a lifetime.

Facebook Search Engine Optimization Techniques

Facebook’s popularity made it the world’s biggest virtual home, which attracts many business men to use this social media site to promote their business. But before one starts marketing, they should ensure that its pages have the ability to get targeted traffic. Facebook helps these social marketing experts by developing lots of search engine optimization opportunities to increase traffic. Here are some basic important search engine optimization strategies which are related to Facebook in order to increase traffic.

• Page Title: Choose the page title wisely because it is a crucial factor of getting the targeted traffic you want. Try to use unique keywords for the title, which characterize one’s business or organization. One should not use a spam looking titles and such titles which need to change frequently because it is not cost efficient for search engine optimization techniques.

• About Section: In most of the pages of facebook, it gives an option to write something in “About” box within 250 characters. It is very important to place in Cascading Style Sheet structure of HTML pages. One should always try to mention related key phrases with proper quantity to increase traffic.

• URL: One should select best URL to log in its Facebook page, because after selection of a URL/username, it cannot be replaced by another one. So, it is recommended that one should always use a URL which is related to its business, brand name or product.

• Info Tab: Facebook provides an “Info” tab to add extra content, high precedence backlinks and more keywords to support search engine optimization technique. On the “Info” tab, one may use hyperlink which plays an essential role to increase search engine query rating.

• Static FBML: Facebook gives users a chance to develop their own “Static FBML” tabs and boxes to include other related static backlinks and lengthy text. One can place any kind of text, hyperlinks and also imager in these supplemental boxes which help pages to get targeted traffic.

• Status Updates: Status updating is another procedure to advertise one’s business website. One can relate its page with its official business web page by using “attach link” options or by posting its website URL in its “Update Status” box. Social marketing experts suggest frequently updating to provide direct backlinks.

• Pictures and Images: Pictures and images are a more effective way of advertisement rather than boring texture. A company can easily catch the customers’ attention by posting pictures with catchy captions. It is an effective way to increase traffic and to advertise a company’s offers and discounts.

• Inbound Link: One can use its Facebook page’s URL as an inbound link by posting the URL in its official website and other places where its product or brand name is used. This increases page rating as well as easy to reach targeted traffic.

• Group, Fan and Like: One can get a intra-facebook link by creating groups where it can add its lots of friends and follower. When they mention their name in any post a back link is automatically posted in its profile. After clicking on this back link page rating is increased. Another procedure to increase fans is to include a “like” tab on the business page. More fans means more chances to reach targeted traffic.

Facebook is not the only option for search engine optimization, there are many more ways to accomplish search engine optimization that we will cover in future articles.

Former Facebook exec: Social media is ‘ripping apart’ society

Yet another former Facebook executive has come forward to confess that he helped create a monster.  Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and later became its vice president for user growth, said that he and the company’s founders “have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”

The engineer-turned-investor added that he feels “tremendous guilt” for the impact Facebook has had on the world, and said that his kids don’t have profiles on the social network.  “They’re not allowed to use this s–t,” he said.

Palihapitiya is the latest Facebook alum to admit regrets about their role building the company.  Last month, Facebook’s first president, Sean Parker, admitted he was “something of a conscientious objector” to the social networking giant.

Parker said Facebook is designed to exploit “a vulnerability in human psychology” to get its users addicted. Facebook “literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,” Parker told Axios in early November.  “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

The bashing from Palihapitiya came at a talk given at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  Palihapitiya admitted to the audience that he has been off Facebook and other social networks “for years.”  He said that the way people interact on social networks — through likes and retweets and shares — have become a plague on the way people communicate with each other.

Palihapitiya added that he resents that Facebook programs its users behaviors, and makes them “give up … intellectual independence.”  He said it has become a platform “where bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people to do anything [they] want.”  From fake news stories flooding feeds in the US, to dictatorial regimes in the Philippines, Turkey and Kenya using Facebook to target dissent, Facebook is lately catching heat for its role in politics worldwide.

“We are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion.  It is eroding the core foundation of how people behave by and between each other,” he said.  “And I don’t have a good solution.  My solution is I just don’t use these tools anymore.” Palihaitiya said that when Facebook was still in its early stages, there were discussions about the sort of impact the platform could have.

“I think in the back, deep, deep recesses [of our minds], we kind of knew something bad could happen,” Palihapitiya said.  “But I think the way we defined it was not like this.”  “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he continued.  “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth.  And it’s not an American problem—this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”      (*Source: The New York Post dated December 11, 2017)

(*https://nypost.com/2017/12/11/former-facebook-exec-social-media-is-ripping-apart-society/)

Using Facebook for Political Campaigning

One of the most notable examples of the leveraging of social media for a campaign is the 2008 Presidential election, where President Obama used the tools to his best advantage, tweeting, posting on Facebook and creating YouTube videos that spread his message much faster than any traditional marketing medium. Many argue that this strategy is partly what won the election.

Obama might have been wise to the fact that no longer is it just who you know, but who knows you that wins elections. Facebook can develop a network of people that know you, as well as drive traffic to a website, encourage conversation around issues and increase support like no other medium. An effective social media strategy is an excellent complement to a strong in-person campaign. Notice I didn’t say replacement. Remember that the goal of your pages to attract attention to in person speaking engagements and to generate dialogue around important issues. That attention and dialogue should generate the goodwill that then translates to votes.

A word of caution – doing it wrong can hurt rather than help your campaign. So before you rush to create a Facebook page keep the following tips in mind.

Create a fan page

Politicians often receive thousands of friend requests to their personal Facebook account. Since Facebook places a limit on the number of friends (5,000) a political fan page for your candidate is a better option. A fan page allows an unlimited number of fans, and the opportunity to build a community of supports around the issues and positions critical to the candidate. Facebook has provided a politician fan page setting, which allows candidates to include details on the info tab such as the office the candidate is seeking, the current office, and a biography in addition to all the standard page info sections.

When setting up the page make sure to choose public figure, then politician as the page type. Also, once a page reaches 25 fans make sure to set up a custom URL, so you can direct supports to your page at facebook.com/nameofcandidate rather than a random string of letters and numbers. Create a welcome tab to explain your candidate’s position on issues and explain the dialogue fans will expect to see on the page. Generate emotion around the causes and encourage them to like the page for more details.

Generate fans

Use the customized widget Facebook offers to integrate the fan page directly on the campaign website. This widget encourages website visitors to fan your page directly from the site, and shows the status updates, the number of fans and even profile pics of fans within the widget. Facebook provides drop in code for website developers, making this a relatively easy task for web page designers.

Use Profile images to your advantage. Once there is a fan base, ask fans of the page and your friends to change their profile picture to the campaign logo in the weeks leading up to the election. Ask them to share campaign slogans, news updates and photos with their friends across the network.

Send an email blast with one call to action – to fan the page. Use the email to explain the purpose of the page and the issues that will be discussed there. Remember this isn’t the time to ask for votes, rather to ask for a connection that you strengthen with posts and conversations.

Engage

Facebook is a perfect platform for engagement, as people can easily see other comments and add to the conversation. If you are the candidate, post about positions, your votes on issues and your plans for the future. Use this platform to have a personal dialogue with citizens. Encourage dialogue by asking questions and encouraging people to share their own thoughts. Attempt to engage a few of the opponent’s supporters on your page as well, remembering that as fans comment on your page, their comments are shared to their own network of friends, spreading the message further. A spirited back and forth dialogue that results in a high number of comments on a thread increases your Edge Rank (Facebook page ranking algorithm), which makes your posts more likely to show up in fans’ newsfeeds.

Maintain transparency and authenticity. Make sure the posts are in the candidate’s voice. Do not relegate posting to an office intern or anyone else not able to engage in a back and forth dialogue quickly. Ideally the candidate should be doing the posting, but if that’s not possible at least make sure the responses have the candidate’s approval and the poster has a clear understanding of the strategy and what is appropriate to post.

Post regularly, daily if possible and post ideas that generate interest among fans. What changes should be made in your district? What concerns to people have? Highlight interesting facts, events and positive attributes of your area. If your candidate has a speaking engagement coming up, use the Facebook page to generate questions to be answered during the rally. During the in-person event, use the Facebook fan by name when answering the question. Let people in on the process and they’ll return the favor with votes.

Don’t underestimate the power of your supporters. Ask them to post to the page, submit a YouTube video or to share your page in their newsfeeds. Ask them for ideas and thoughts. Crowdsource topics for conversation. Have supporters upload photos of themselves placing campaign signs in their yards or wearing the campaign buttons. Make a YouTube video of those photos with music and share it with fans. Be fun and engaging! The key here is to keep your supporters and some of your opponents, interested and talking on the page.

This is just the beginning. The next step is to continue to find ways to engage supporters and to build awareness of your stance on the issues. As the election draws near, create a Facebook event for the election, invite all the fans and then send a reminder the day before and the day of the event.

Ask for votes now, and pull out all the stops. What have you got to lose, except the election?