Last week I finished Amber Mac’s (that’s Amber MacArthur, or @ambermac; also on Wikipedia) book, Power Friending: Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business [Kindle Edition]. I admit to being hesitant because of the title, which I didn’t really like, but I do appreciate Amber’s take on all things social media, so I overcame my apprehension. And the title can’t be hurting sales — at least not more than is made up for by Amber’s smiling face on the cover. And the book just hit one of the Globe & Mail’s Top Ten book lists, probably because Amber knows her stuff and presents it well.
Malcolm Gladwell’s been wrong before, when he disagreed with Chris Anderson’s thesis in his book Free: The Future of a Radical Price. But this time, it’s a little stranger… this time I have to wonder what he’s thinking in his latest piece, “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted,” where he discounts social networks, saying they cannot product the kind of passion necessary to drive social change because they really only affect weak ties issues.
Ten years ago I was educating people about what they might expect from their websites. For many medium and small businesses, it was their first website, and they wanted to know how it was going to make them money. Nowadays, a web presence has become a part of almost every business’ “price of admission”. Ten years ago, you weren’t credible without a business card and a Yellow Pages listing, and people were already seeing that before long a website would become a part of the minimum credibility standard.
Hugh MacLeod really captures it sometimes, even if you sometimes have to pause a minute to decide whether you agree or disagree, and in what way. That’s how it is when he explains the main point of the Internet.
Perhaps the Internet has helped redefine “socializing” as well. But it’s just that — the Internet is all about connecting. Whatever your ulterior motive, it’s about connecting first. And even if the Internet really only represents a potential cash cow in your mind’s eye, if you don’t connect, really connect, it won’t ever become that for you. So consider what it is you’d like the Internet to be for you, then ask yourself: “What kind of connections do I need to make in order for that to take place?”
Being in business and networking for any length of time inevitably leads to referrals, and these are the best form of business leads to convert into clients. It surprises me at times how nonchalant some people can be about giving or receiving these recommendations, so here are three solid tips for exchanging leads:
- Get the Ball into Your Court. When someone is telling you about one of their contacts who needs your services, don’t just pass along some business cards and wait for the phone to ring. Pass on the business card, but get the name and contact information so you can initiate contact and ensure the initial conversation actually takes place.
Over at LinkedIn, I just joined the Consultants Network group, and am watching a recent discussion which posed the question, “twitter or facebook? time for only one.” I was surprised to see as many people as I did saying they just didn’t “get” Twitter. Personally, I find Facebook less appealing, but this isn’t the real question. The real question to answer is twofold: (1) where your target market is, if that’s the reason you’re engaging in social media; and (2) which social media you can use most effectively. Remember, Don’t Get it to Have It, Get it to Use It.
They’ve been put under the impression that these strange tools are the key to online success with their business, but they’re still scratching their heads wondering why anyone interested in their business cares about what they ate for breakfast that morning. Nevertheless, there’s an impulse to rush out and sign up to everything they can. But something’s askew.