Community

Stop Sending DM’s In LinkedIn:

I think a lot of people could benefit from following the advice from the title of this post: Stop sending DM’s in LinkedIn.  Most of the time people send really crappy messages just going straight for the kill and asking for the close, or as a put it in another post, the marriage proposal.

Please for the love of all things good and holy, stop furthering this issue and make sure that you don’t just send a blast of DM’s via LinkedIn or any other social media platform asking for business.  Sure, you may get a random person positively responding, but then I would also ask why were they so willing to work with a random stranger.  What we need to do is forget the ask all together and see how we can best interact with that individual.  If they are posting lots of content on LinkedIn, start interacting with them there. If they are not posting anything on that platform, see if they are engaged elsewhere and find out where they are most active.  It is the craziest thing for you to keep trying to contact someone in the same way even after the fact they haven’t responded to your first fifteen tries. 

No matter how you eventually connect with someone, don’t let the first interaction be a big ask, because your relational bank is empty is instantly overdrawn, and no one likes the feeling of being overdrawn.  Take your time, relationships don’t happen overnight, but over a lifetime. 

Community

Tips From A Newbie Conference Goer: How To Make The Most Of The Conference Part 3

Over the past two days we have gone over some ideas on how to make the most of the actual conference or event you are looking to attend.  If you missed either of those posts, you can check out the prep-work that goes into making sure you are ready to crush it by clicking here.  If you are wanting some tips and tricks to keep the momentum going and have better conversations and meet more folks, click here.

Now that the prep-work and attending the event are behind us, lets focus on what to do post-event.  (You can watch the video breakdown here)

  This is the time when we can reminisce about the awesome connections we have made and think about the new relationships that will be budding.  To use another gardening analogy, we now need to water the relationship seeds that you have planted through conversations, coffees, lunches and other types of meetings, and see which ones will flourish into great relationships.  To do this, you need to gather all of the business cards and contact information from the people you met and send them follow up emails.  This isn’t to say that you want to be besties with everyone, it’s just that you don’t know where these relationships can lead, and you don’t want to leave a sour taste in anyones mouth.  You especially need to follow up if you said you would.  This is also the time when you can take any of the interesting of fun facts you learned about them and put it in this nicely crafted follow up email.

The second step to the post-event is to make sure and follow up on what you said you were going to follow up on.  If you said you would send them a resume of someone you think would be a great fit for their organization, send the resume.  If you said that you would grab a coffee, set it up.  Whatever task or action you said you would do, do it.  You need to realize that your word and reputation are all you have.  If you sully it by being forgetful, it will almost be impossible to get it back in good standing.

The next thing we need to do is follow up with the 3-5 folks that we initially reached out to.  Even if you were not able to meet them, it is a good idea to get in front of them one last time, especially since you can reference something as relevant as the conference or event you all just attended together.  Just as with the initial email you sent to start a connection, you are not trying to sell them anything.  This isn’t about you, this is about them.  If you make these follow-up emails about you, they feel a little cheated and instead of watering these seeds of relationship, you are plucking them out of the good fertile soil and throwing them in the trash.

Two final ideas.  If you have the ability financially to go above and beyond, these last two creative ways could help take those relationships to the next level.  The first idea only works if you were able to find out something personal about the other person, like a book they are wanting to purchase and read in the next few months, or their favorite restaurant or snack.  Take that information and follow up with them by sending that favorite item, gift card, or experience in the mail.  How can you serve the junk out of those relationships is the question you need to be asking yourself.  This idea may be a little too far to fast, but that will be up for you to judge.  The second idea is if you connected with a handful of people that are close enough to where you live, invite all of them out for a drink, dessert or dinner, your treat, and build those relationships further outside of work.  I know these last ideas are taking it way beyond the initial contact, but they go a long way.  I didn’t end up doing these with the event I recently went to, but I did send a small book to a coworker of one of the carriers we use because it was one that I had and that I believed they would get a lot out of.  

The world is literally your oyster as it relates to this post-event time.  I also know that all of these tips have been about building community.  There are definitely other practical ones, but we can get into those another time.  For now, here is the last thought I want to leave you with, above all, these conferences and events are about planting seeds of relationships.  This is not necessarily the time to ask for the sale or even go deep.  Plant the seed, water it, and see how it grows.

Helpful Hints

Tips From A Newbie Conference Goer: How To Make The Most Of The Conference Overview

You know what problem I have realized? A lot of us suck at making the most of the conferences and events that we attend.  I recently went to my first conference this March and I realized after the event that the little prep-work I did wasn’t enough.  I had done some research and listened to a great podcast from Jayson Gaignard called “Community Made.” Episode 3 of Season 2: An Event Networking Guide had great content and info but I didn’t do a good enough of a job applying it.

Since I didn’t make the most of the conference, and I am sure many of us have found ourselves wondering if the money and time we spent going was worth it, I figured I would help us all.  Over the next few posts, I will put down some of the ideas and concepts that I have learned and experienced firsthand.  In the meantime, here is a general overview of what will be coming down the pipeline, and here is a video that lays it all out.

Prep-Work:

  • Find an attendees list, or hashtag to research, and pick 5-10 people you would like to meet.
    • Do research on the attendees and narrow the list to 3-5
    • Reach out to these individuals pre-conference and introduce yourself and create a no pressure invite to connect.
  • Plan out the morning of your conference
  • Do a mini work out
  • Leave with plenty of time to get there

Event:

  • Don’t follow your game plan so rigidly you walk around the conference looking like an idiot
  • Be prepared with questions to ask your list of folks or any of the other attendees.
  • Remember, everyone is a little nervous and no one is used to mingling in crowds this size
  • Be ready and willing to break the ice with folks
  • Have a handful of conversation enders in your back pocket.

Post Event:

  • Send brief email to everyone you grabbed a card from
  • Follow up on what you said you would follow up on
  • Follow up with those you ended up not meeting at the conference

Above all, this is about planting seeds of relationships.  This is not necessarily the time to ask for the sale or even go deep.  Plant the seed, water it, and see how it grows.