Promoting Others More Than Yourself

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How often do you promote yourself?  How often do you promote others?

Lately, especially on Twitter, but on Facebook as well; self-promotion has not only reached a fever pitch, but I think it’s reached a point that  people are being turned off.

I see “social media consultants” doing it; and as I shake my head, I also wonder why.  Does this person and others not have a strong enough network to promote  their posts, their tweets and important activities?  Or do they think “this is how social media” is done?  Maybe they don’t believe their network is strong enough. My next question is, wouldn’t their time be better spent building a network and then activating it to promote on their behalf?

In their book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust, Julien Smith and Chris Brogan presented what I believe is a powerful idea: promote others 12 times more than you promote yourself. What a concept…promoting others!

We all know that promoting others ultimately contributes to our own material getting promoted; but personally that is not why I do it!  Promoting others builds trust in what you have to say, but only if you build your network; and you do this by genuinely working to help others!

So, if you are seriously interested in helping others, here are some ideas on how to do it properly.  And remember the most important rule: You promote without expecting anything in return.

1. Spotlight Someone You Believe In: Shine the spotlight on a colleague or business partner through a Facebook post, a genuine Tweet,  your blog or newsletter. If you have many followers or subscribers, it’s as good for the person or brand you’re featuring as landing a cover story. Even if you do not have many followers, it provides them with exposure to your network! The value is that someone in your network could be beneficial to that person!

2. Face-to-face Conversations: Make a connection or like what someone is doing?  Sit down and talk with them.  Interview them for your blog, or just talk with them about how you can help their business or how they became successful!

3. Ask the Expert: If you want to tackle a topic you’re not familiar with or have been asked a question you don’t know how to answer, bring in a friend who can answer that question for you on your blog or e-mail newsletter and invite them to promote their services.

4. Lend a Local (Foursquare) Hand: Become the biggest cheerleader in your community by checking in and writing positive reviews of local restaurants, shops and other businesses you frequent.  Use services such as Foursquare to check in and promote these businesses!

5. Advance and Retweet: If you can’t think of anything nice to say, spread what someone else is saying by retweeting . Do it the old-fashioned “RT” way so that you can add a few words of praise. Just don’t get carried away, retweeting everything you see. That’s annoying.

6. Like It: As with retweeting, the “Like” button on Facebook allows you to approve of others’ messages without a second thought.  Spread the love around!

7. Show Up: Simply stated, there is NO substitute for actually attending someone’s event. Be there for the people you care about. And once you’re there, start tweeting and Facebooking to encourage others to come out. Oh, and bring a friend or two!

How do you promote others? Share it with us all in the comments.

Why Not Leave A Comment?

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Our social media group, Meetup 2.0 had a discussion recently on blog posts; more specifically  how it seems to be getting harder to obtain comments on posts. This discussion was started by Patsy Stewart with The Social BUZZ Lab. Patsy pointed out that even popular blogs posts will enjoy several Re-tweets and even posts on various social communities, the amount of comments left on these posts are minimal compared to their popularity.Why is that?  Why do we, as consumers of this information, as practitioners, promoters and users of social media not comment as much or as often as we should? Is it because we are too busy?  Do we think that sharing a blog post on Facebook or LinkedIn or Re-tweeting it on Twitter takes the place of commenting on the actual blog post?Trust me, it’s not!Comments on blog posts serve several purposes:

  • It lets the blog or post author know how the post is received. In other words, it let’s the author know whether they are doing a good job or not.
  • If the post is on a controversial topic, which is a good way to encourage comments, you can take the pulse of your readers.
  • Feedback on a topic that may be misunderstood or that may need further clarification.
  • Encouragement for the author to keep blogging or to expand on a topic.

So, why do we not comment as often as we should?  You tell me!If you want to increase the amount of comments on your own blog, here are some useful tips:

  • Comment on other blogs; it get’s your name and your blogs name out there.
  • Write a controversial post.
  • Write well thought out blog posts.
  • Have a colleague or a professional review your blog posts to ensure they are grammatically correct.
  • Strive to continue to write until you are well known or until you have a network to support you by adding comments.  The more comments that are on your blog, the more comments that will be left on your blog.
  • Build a small network of colleagues or professionals that will help you by commenting on your posts. Do the same for their blogs by supporting each other with comments, re-posts and re-tweets.

Those are some of my thoughts; what are your thoughts on this topic?

Build Your Alliance: Online & Offline

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I believe most of us have confidence and faith in our own abilities.  We believe we can accomplish quite a bit on our own, and traditionally, we don’t like to ask for help.  In life, as well as in the business world; we need to get past this outdated way of thinking and build an alliance. This alliance can and should consist of both online connections and offline, or real life connections.

More simply stated, we cannot do it alone.  It takes the help and support of others to reach our goals in business, in life, in everything we strive to accomplish.  I admit that I need help in certain areas and thankfully I am part incredible alliances that I have built over the years.My network is strong and it is growing each day; but make no mistake, it takes time, energy and effort to build and maintain these alliances.  How do you build an alliance?  Here are some simple steps:

Online

  • Consistently Connect – the proliferation of social media profiles and platforms have made this easier than ever.  Whether your preference is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or others, you must consistently connect and provide valuable content for your alliance members.
  • Promote Others – spend considerable time online promoting others in your alliance or network.  Open up your network to the people that you trust, respect and recommend.  We all have different alliances & networks and promoting others to your alliance is beneficial to all.
  • Respect Your Alliance –  if your alliance doesn’t want to promote someone you believe in, respect their wishes.  If they do not want to take part in a project you are involved with, it’s okay. It just  may not be for them or their network; so respect your alliance and do not take advantage of them!

Offline

  • Meet Regularly –  this can be accomplished by meeting for coffee, lunch or a business meeting at their place of business.  This will enable you to see their environment and what is important to them. For valuable members of your alliance, scheduled regular meetings;  do not leave this to chance!
  • Make Connections – much like promoting others, you can work to make connections for your alliance members.  Who do they need to meet? What itch of theirs can you scratch by making introductions?
  • Never Assume – just as your time is valuable, so is the time for your alliance members.  Never assume that they have time to just chat by stopping by their office.  Respect their time and what they do and never assume!

Notice how the tips are similar for both online and offline?  That’s because they apply to any type of relationship, alliance or professional partnership.  In building an alliance of people that will help you, you must FIRST help them. If you approach building an alliance by seeing who you can help; you will have one of the strongest alliances possible.Those are my thoughts; what say you?  

LinkedIn at a Trade-Show or Expo?

Most small to medium businesses, along with entrepreneurs attend trade shows.  Consider the following statistics:Trade Show Statistics – Benefits of Attending Shows Very often trade shows are billed as the ultimate “Business to Business” sales mechanism, without any supporting data. If you are wondering exactly how valuable investing in a trade show is, here are a few recent statistics and facts:Trade Shows cost 38% less than Sales Calls.85% of an exhibitor’s success lies in the performance of the “staff”.91% of attendees say they get the most useful buying info from trade shows and events.81% testify that trade shows help attendees become aware of new products and services.53% of exhibit managers say it’s “difficult, or very difficult”, to keep effective booth staffers.79% of the attendees say that attending trade shows helps them decide what products to buy.Trade Show visitors will tell 6+ people about their experience.91% of attendees say trade shows impact their buying decisions because the competition is in one place, allowing for comparison shopping in real time.83% of attendees have some kind of buying power.My question to you is this:  with the benefits of trade shows  as outlined above, do you make the most of this tremendous opportunity to connect via LinkedIn?LinkedIn at a Trade-Show?  Of course!!!

How would this work?  Ask those you meet if they use LinkedInWhen you meet someone that you would like to maintain a professional connection with,  such as attendees at a trade show or expo, ask them if they are using LinkedIn; if they are, ask if they would welcome a connection request. This is generally a good question after trading business cards!  If they do not use LinkedIn, ask them if you can send them a request; you may open their eyes to what LinkedIn offers to today’s professional.  Be sure to ask for their email address so that you can send them the invitation; then be sure to  follow up after the event and send the invitation.

It’s that simple.  You never know, the connection could lead to business or a professional relationship for career development or growth!

How do YOU use LinkedIn?

Statics Source: Merchant Circle

Do We Overshare?

According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, the word of the year for 2010 is Overshare.  Here is their definition:Overshare (verb): to divulge excessive personal information, as in a blog or broadcast interview, prompting reactions ranging from alarmed discomfort to approval.In preparation for an article in the Roanoke Times on Facebook etiquette, one of the areas that I was compelled to address is how much information we share. This specific article is more for high school and college age students that will enter the job market; but I believe we can all learn to NOT overshare our information. Citing multiple survey’s for the article, the lessons learned included being cautious in what you share because executives and hiring managers are making decisions based upon what they find out about you online.The rise and popularity of social media has lead to the smallest, most mundane details of our lives being published for the world!  Do we do this because we believe people want to know what we are doing, every moment of the day?  Do we overshare so that we can gain approval from our friends or soon to be friends; or, are we changing how we communicate and feel like we have to share these details?  How many times have you read an update from a friend or follower and thought, “why are they sharing that” with me and the world?I believe there is a saturation point; a point where we can share too much information.  However, I like knowing what my friends are doing, and I have actually met friends for lunch or coffee unexpectedly due to both of us checking in on Foursquare.  Sharing can be good and can lead to opportunities you may not have realized. Oversharing can cause problems or potentially lead to situations that could have been avoided just by using discretion.Social media and everything it includes should be approached with two simple words: common sense.  Those are my thoughts; what say you?

Respect in Business: How Do You Create It?

You must earn or create respect, it will not automatically be given to you. Don’t agree with that statement? Why not?For us to have a productive and profitable working relationship, you must earn my respect. But how do you create respect in business? Is it any different when you start building relationships via social media than when you build relationships via face-to-face interaction?Several years ago, I was new to a job and new to working for the owner of the company. What started out as a disagreement on a potential client progressed to a point where the owner stated, “you have to respect me and my decision or even my opinion because I own this company!” My response? My employment with that company was short lived. I could not work for that person; telling me I have to respect him just because he owned the business. Respect has to be earned or created, not given just due to a title.So how do YOU define or create respect in your business dealings? Doing what you say you will do, or following through on and keeping your word; does that create respect? With most people, it does. Each time you make a commitment and then keep it, that helps to build or create respect. If you schedule an appointment with someone, you keep that appointment! If you must reschedule, it should be on their schedule, not yours.Other ways you can create respect:

  • Being on time or early for appointments.
  • Following up on a meeting with a note, thank you card, phone call or email.
  • Create a culture of respect and mutual trust in your organization as well as how you deal with clients, potential clients and even former clients.
  • Over deliver on your promises.
  • Take responsibility for your actions.

“Respect commands itself and it can neither be given nor withheld when it is due.”Eldridge Cleaver”Leaders who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.”Mark A. ClementWhat say you?Come back for more posts on this topic including personal respect, how to deal with disrespect and creating respect in social media.

Twitter Etiquette – NO Automatic DM’s

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This is an ongoing series of blog posts on Twitter Etiquette. My first post, Ten Things Not To Do On Twitter can be a a good starting point for new users and a good reminder for us veteran Twitter users.Twitter and other forms of Social Media is about relationships. Learn it, live it, and love it; or suffer damage to your reputation when you attempt to shorten the time it takes to develop these relationships! One of the quickest ways to torpedo a new social media relationship, before it even has a chance to begin forming? The Automatic DM (Direct Message). Twitter DM’s can be a tool to communicate privately with one of your followers; but it is NOT a method to automatically send your followers information they have not requested!When you receive a new follower, send them a personal tweet, engage them in conversations and ask to learn more about them or their business. Remember, it is about relationships, not initially trying to sell something!Here are some personal favorites; actual DM’s received by me or some of my followers: I just created a new group for you to join, please check out my blog!It is great meeting you, keep smiling and spreading your good cheer! Hey, help spread the word about this link, video, site You know how to use Twitter, check out my site and give me your valued feedbackNo one knows about this, but I have stock tip that you will want to act on nowFor me, any of these types of DM’s will simply cause me to unfollow you!If you want a good tool for reducing the number of Auto DM’s, check out SocialToo; it is a great service and worth checking out.Let me know some of your “favorite” Auto DM’s and don’t be THAT person that abuses a new relationship. [Read more…]