Top-O-Mind: When Was the Last Time You Thanked a New Connection?


Top-O-Mind: When Was the Last Time You Thanked a New Connection?

With LinkedIn and other Social Media sites it is easy to set your self apart from 99% of the other members. It’s as simple as saying “Thank You”. When you connect with a new person your thank you is the beginning of a relationship; the beginning is NOT simply sending or accepting an invitation to connect!

Simple Actions Can Reap Big Rewards

Your network can be a valuable resource and treating your members with respect and courtesy WILL work to your advantage. People love to be appreciated, especially because it doesn’t happen very often.

Thank Yous Are a Big Deal!

Very few people look for opportunities to appreciate family, friends and their network. We have become so busy and wrapped up in ourselves that the niceties in life have been forgotten. Because society has moved away from simple courtesies you have an open opportunity to show you are different!

Regardless of how busy you are or they are; people like to be acknowledged and appreciated! They like to know someone recognizes their efforts and is willing to say so. Be that person, be something different, reach out and appreciate the things others do!

When to Thank Your Connections

The opportunities to thank your connections are unlimited. As noted above, one of the first opportunities is when you are invited to connect or when an invitation you extended is accepted.

Less than 1% of LinkedIn members take the time to thank new connections.

Connection “Thank Yous” are private emails between you and your new connection. Your thank you is important because it starts to set the tone for the relationship; remember you are building your credibility.

Other times to thank your connections include when they like or comment on your post, send you congratulations on something work related, send you a birthday greeting or share something with you.

You can also thank your connections when they endorse you for a skill or write a recommendation.

How to Get the Most Mileage Out of a Thank You

Any thank you must, most of all, be sincere! Your sincerity will show and conversely a lack of sincerity will show as well; don’t mess it up!

With that caveat in mind; there are ways to get more mileage out of your thank yous. When you send an email thank you; it is between you and the recipient.

When you do the thank you as a post; all of your connections have the potential to see your thank you as well as the connections of the individual you are thanking. Again, you are working to build your credibility and being a thoughtful, caring person goes a long way in building credibility and trust.

If you are thanking people; you just can’t be all bad!

Taking time to tell someone you appreciate what they did or what they wrote is often overlooked because we don’t think it’s a big deal! However, what is you feeling when someone offers you thanks for something; regardless of the size of the effort? You may be a little embarrassed and feel it wasn’t necessary; but you still liked being acknowledged. Your connections are no different; a little acknowledgement can go a long way!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

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How To Stay Top-O-Mind with Customers, Clients, Prospects, et al?


How To Stay Top-O-Mind with Customers, Clients, Prospects, et al?

Staying Top-O-Mind is regularly putting yourself “in front” of your target audience.

Some clients ask isn’t there risk in being “in front” of my audience too much? Won’t they get tired of me?

Yes, but it doesn’t have to happen; the reality is it all depends upon your message! If you are providing relevant, informational messages your audience will not get tired; they will see value, pay even greater attention and seek out more information.

The message makes the difference!

Note: When I talk about audience I am referring to customers, clients, patients, prospects, recruiters, hiring managers, family, friends and Social Media or email contacts. Audience is an all-inclusive term.

You Message Must Be Relevant to Your Audience to Stay Top-O-Mind

You stay Top-O-Mind by being relevant to your audience’s needs and interests. What do they want to know? Notice I didn’t say what do they want to know about you; I just said what do they want to know. There is a huge and important difference here.

You can not stay Top-O-Mind with a continual barrage of information about you, your company and/or your products and services. In fact, there is no quicker way to lose or never gain the Top-O-Mind position than continually talking about these things. Your goal is to provide information your audience wants; you want to be a “go to” source where your audience knows they will receive valuable information on a particular subject.

Your Content Does Not Have to Come Solely from You to Stay Top-O-Mind

There are many ways to put messages in front of your audience; the question always comes back to the message itself as to whether it is going to help and be relevant to your audience. Some examples include:

  • Internally generated;
    • News releases;
    • Product/service announcements;
    • Business changes;
    • New employees;
    • ;Responses to audience questions;
  • Externally generated;
    • Repost or share content you see;
    • Like posts from others on Social Media;
    • Comment on posts from others on Social Media;
    • Create links on Social Media to articles you have read;
  • Subscribe to news sources which allow you to post their content as your own;
  • Sponsor blogs which create material relevant to your audience;
  • Promote cultural and charitable events relevant to your audience;

What Frequency Is Necessary to Get and Stay Top-O-Mind?

The greater your frequency of providing relevant and timely information the better your chances of getting and staying Top-O-Mind. Very few members of your audience will see every message you send. You have audience members who watch in the morning, others in the afternoon, some in the evening and others late at night.

Because of the different patterns of behavior; you can post frequently. To better understand your audience you can use Google Analytics, email statistics (if you use a service) or other methods to see patterns of behavior. The one caveat is if you are using email or sending to individuals – don’t overdo it. You can get too frequent if you are dropping into their mailbox.

Don’t Overdo Email!!

The better option is to post on a blog, dropping only periodic notes in their mailbox and refer them back to your blog for more great information. If you want to drop to their mailbox use a mail service and have your audience subscribe to the mailing list with opt-in and opt-out capabilities.

Sponsoring Other Blogs Which Include Your Message

Many relevant messages, which go to a particular business’s audience, are written by others but sponsored by the organization. These messages are broadcast to the business’s audience and the writer’s audience which gives the business exposure to a broader market where they would normally not have easy access.

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out our career site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

LinkedIn the Rolodex of the 21st Century!


LinkedIn the Rolodex of the 21st Century!

Remember the Rolodex and Business Card Files

Rolodex

Rolodex

In days of old we depended upon our Rolodex or business card files to keep our contacts organized. We would spend time alphabetizing, organizing, and re-organizing our contacts trying to find the best organization. Once done we would feel satisfied until we needed one of the contacts and quickly learned the information was out-of-date! What were we to do? Truly, it was frustrating because trying to locate the individual and get current information was tedious, if not impossible.

Along Comes LinkedIn

Today we live in the world of LinkedIn and other social media where our contacts, ideally, keep their information current. We are only responsible for our own information versus trying to keep everything current for all of our contacts.

LinkedIn Even Notifies Us When Our Contacts Update Their Profiles

Not only is LinkedIn a proactive system where our contacts maintain their own information; it’s a system that notifies us when changes are posted. What a great way to stay current.

Continue reading

Your Network – Are You A Collector or a CONNECTOR?


Networking is more than a collection of names and addresses.

Sadly most people feel that they are networking when they simply add someone to their list of contacts or connections. This is not connecting; this is collecting. If that is your intent then your time would be better spent collecting coins, stamps, sports cards, or some other true collectible. There is much more satisfaction to be gained spending your time in this manner!

Today’s Social Media tools allow you the opportunity to easily go beyond the mere process of collecting. If you are not taking advantage of these tools; the only difference between collecting business cards and shoving them into a drawer, a card file, or a Rolodex is your storage media.

True Networkers Understand that Networking Is More then Collecting

True networkers understand and value relationships. They recognize that there are different levels of relationships and that all relationships start out as a simple connection. They also realize that the depth of a relationship develops over time.

True networkers understand that networking is a give and take process and an exchange of value. Networking is not the act of accumulating names in the event that you may need something in the future. True networking means that you are intent upon offering value to your network hopefully in exchange for value being returned; value that may be received now or sometime in the future. The when is not important!

How to Move from Collector to Connector

If you are involved in any Social Media the process of providing value is simple and does not require large amounts of time. Here are examples of easy ways to provide value:

  • Share articles you find interesting;
  • Provide relevant comment on posts made by members of your network;
  • Like posts made by members of your network;
  • Thank people that invite you into their network;
  • Thank your new connections when they accept your invitation to network;
  • Add new people to your network; which indirectly expands the networks of your connections;
  • Share your expertise when members of your network have questions;
  • Congratulate members of your network when they receive promotions or accept a new job;
  • Comment on the status updates of your connections; or
  • Help your connections make new connections.

In my unscientific observations I find that the simple act of being grateful and thanking someone for connecting sets you apart from over 97% and more likely 99% of the networking population!

The truth is that most people feel that simply accepting or making a connection validates their networking but that’s not true. That is just a start to the relationship; if you want to be a successful networker you must be reaching out and adding value to the relationship.

Conclusion

If you want to be an effective networker; don’t get caught up in this idea that by having a large number of connections will somehow make you a great networker. It doesn’t! A great networker is someone that regularly adds value to their network and cares about their connections.

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Do you approach things with an UPPROACH? With the idea that when you make a change; it shouldn’t just be a change – rather it should be a change for the better. This was the premise that caused UPPROACH to be born. The idea of don’t just do it; do it better!

Tom Staskiewicz speaks, coaches, and consults on Professional and Business Networking and how Social Media is a tool in that process. He helps businesses, organizations, and individuals understand the power of networking and recognize that networking is a tool for giving.

Tom believes that when you give value to your network; your network will give value back to you. Using today’s Social Media tools makes Professional and Business Networking more efficient, improves decisions, and enables you to respond more effectively to your audiences.

Do you want to be more effective with your Professional and Business Networking? Would you like to be making more “warm” contacts instead of “cold” calls? Contact Tom to learn more about how he can help you and/or your organization reach your networking goals.

Are You a Person of Interest?


Are You a Person of Interest?

There is a new television show airing this fall: “Person of Interest” If you are trying to build a referral network; this is a great question for you to ask yourself.

Wanted Persons of Interest

I have looked at the content of the television show; however, the title definitely got me thinking.

In today’s world being a person of interest – for the right reasons of course – is a good thing! Whether we are in business, searching for career opportunities or even just a job, trying to be an influencer, or whatever; being a person of interest is desirable.

A Person of Interest Can Attract Opportunities

I know some of you are saying here it comes again someone talking about The Law of Attraction; but is that really all that bad. My experience is that most of the nay-sayers are people that have not tried to use the law or have only done it haphazardly.

The truth is that a person of interest has a far better chance of attracting opportunities than someone that is uninteresting. If you are uninteresting people cannot wait to get away from you. They definitely are not looking for greater exposure to you.

How to Become a Person of Interest

You may be reading and thinking that you do not fit this category, because you are uninteresting. That isn’t true! Everyone has an interesting story, but to truly be interesting; it starts with being interested in others.

Most people like some level of attention and when you take the time to ask them about themselves you are starting to become interesting yourself. The reason is that you are displaying an interest in them and not just in yourself.

When you are genuine in this interest it is easily recognized and your value immediately increases. Being genuine means that you actively listen by responding, asking questions, and restating some of the information to ensure you understand.

This is actually fairly simple process because most people do not do it!

When someone finds you sincere and genuine in your efforts a bond can rapidly form and a friendship develop.

Another way to become a person of interest is to share information with a perceived value with your network. Your network likes to receive valuable information and they will appreciate you more.

If you are sharing an article written by someone else; add your perspective on what it means to you and others. Don’t just send out the link; give a little of yourself and a reason for others to read the information. If you are really good people will start reading simply because it comes from you and you are a person they trust and respect.

When trust and respect are earned people that read your postings will forward them to their friends and contacts. Initially the information you create will stay among your distribution list. Obviously your goal is for the information to be repeated to others. This can happen and should be the objective for the person of interest.

It Is Who Knows You That Matters

If you are a person of interest that means that those looking for you already know something about you. This is key! When people know something about you it piques their interest in you and can make them want to know more.

When the bond or friendship forms you will both start looking for opportunities to help each other. You will each want to see the other succeed and will work to that end.

When people know you, know about you, and there is a bond or friendship; they have the information necessary to connect the dots and connecting the dots is what it is all about. When this person hears of an opportunity that might fit your skill set, your interests, or your product offering; they will be able to connect the dots to bring you and the opportunity together.

Do You Make Opportunities for People to Know You

Unfortunately most people do not take the opportunity to allow others to get to know them. They are reluctant to talk about themselves or crawl out of their shell to create opportunities to talk.

There is nothing you can do that is more counter productive to your goals! You need to reach out, you need to connect, and you need to give people the opportunity to learn about you.

To Be Successful; You Must Reciprocate

You need to remember that it is not all about you; you need to be ready and willing to reciprocate. If you are a person that just talks and talks and does not give the other person a chance; you will not be successful. You must learn about the other person so that you can add value to them as well. This is a trade-off process where you give value to get value.

Conclusion

Look for opportunities to get to know people and for them to get to know you. These are not just surface experiences; this is the real deal. Learn about people, find out what they are looking for and how you might help and of course give them the opportunity to learn about and help you as well.

Realize that you will not click on the same level with everyone, but your chances for developing mutually beneficial relationships will increase significantly and opportunities and benefits will flow both ways.
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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Professional and Business Networking and how Social Media is a tool in that process. He helps businesses, organizations, and individuals understand the power of networking and recognize that networking is a tool for giving.

Tom believes that when you give value to your network; your network will give value back to you. Using today’s Social Media tools makes Professional and Business Networking more efficient, improves decisions, and enables you to respond more effectively to your audiences.

Do you want to be more effective with your Professional and Business Networking? Would you like to be making more “warm” contacts instead of “cold” calls? Contact Tom to learn more about how he can help you and/or your organization reach your networking goals.

Most People Are Bankrupt When it Comes to Their Professional Network


YOUR NETWORK EQUALS YOUR NET WORTH!.
… Unknown

We all have goals. We all want to go or get somewhere? A very few can do it on their own; but the majority cannot… help is needed!

That help starts with your professional network. The members of your professional network can open doors for you and, likewise, you can open doors for them. However, this only works if you know something about the members of your network and they know something about you.

Clinging to the Past

People cling to the practices and excuses of the past when it comes to networking. Yesterday’s Rolodex of connections has been replaced by lists of connections in one or more Social Media applications.

When we meet someone new we continue to collect and file business cards, but we may also look to connect using one or more of the following:

  • Social Media applications;
  • Contact managers;
  • or Email address books.

The problem is that using today’s tools in the same manner that we used the tools of the past; we miss out on the functionality and benefits of the new technology. Networks, whether a Rolodex or card file, were typically organized alphabetically. Today’s tools default to an alphabetical organization, but there is much more. You can search by organization, by title, by location, and much more. You simply need to know how the tool works.

99% of Professional Networks Are Bankrupt

These people are bankrupt when it comes to their Professional Network because they have not taken time to understand the power available or taken the time to implement the advanced features.

When they need the help of their Professional Network they are not prepared.

  1. They do not have the necessary knowledge of their connections to know who can help.
  2. They do not have the organization to find their connections with certain skills or necessary knowledge.
  3. They haven’t taken the time to get to know even the most basic of information about their connections; and
  4. Have not taken the time to educate their connections on their own skills and abilities.

As a result their Professional Network is bankrupt because it cannot serve the needed purpose.

Know Your Network; Increase the Value

In the past having not only knowledge, but current knowledge, of your network was a difficult process. You had to be in constant contact just to know their current physical location and a method of contact.

Today, with Social Networking, the process has become much easier. In fact, we now have the ability to connect with people from many years ago because of the Social Media search capabilities. We also have our connections maintaining their own information.

With the advent of Social Networks the old excuses of:

  1. It’s too time-consuming;
  2. It’s too hard;
  3. There is no effective way to keep it current;
  4. I don’t know where my contacts are anymore;
  5. My network is large enough.

are just not valid.

Knowing the people in your network allows you to connect the dots. If you need a contact into an organization; chances are someone in your network will have or will be able to lead you to a connection.

The Importance of Knowing the People in Your Network

For example I recently found someone on LinkedIn that I wanted as a connection on LinkedIn. My goal was a meeting to discuss how I might help the organization. The individual was my second level connection meaning that one or more individuals in my network is directly connected to my target. I contacted Ed, the mutual connection, to learn whether he knew my target. It turns out that Ed knows my target connection well and is happy to help.

As I talked about my interest I also asked Ed about his new business.

Connecting the Dots…

During the conversation I realize that Ed is working with a similar customer set as my friend Jake. As I connected the dots it makes sense for Ed to meet Jake to better understand markets, but also to see what synergy exists.

From Jake’s perspective his company is always looking for acquisitions that compliment and grow their business; maybe there is an opportunity there for the two businesses: maybe it’s a merger or a joint venture. I don’t know, but I am starting the process to see what might be able to develop for their businesses.

Does this introduction add anything to me; not necessarily, but Ed and Jake may look more favorably upon me as a result and in the future that may be of value.

Successful networking and the ability to help each other starts with knowledge of what each person brings to the table. Although this may appear to be a daunting task, especially if you have 1000s of connections, there are ways to make it easier.

Three Tips to Aid in Knowing Your Network

Here are three tips to aid in classifying your network.

  1. Be selective in who you INVITE into your network;
  2. Use Malcolm Gladwell’s categories from “The Tipping Point”;
    1. Connectors;
    2. Mavens; and
    3. Salesmen
  3. Create a short 3 – 5 question survey for those you invite to learn more about them and add it to your notes about the individual.

Conclusion

If you network is simply an accumulation of names; it’s not too late to turn it around. Start a classification system to identify your connections. Look for and then classify based upon similarities of position, industry, business, location, or other common factors that are relevant to you. Spend 15 minutes a day in this process and you WILL be able to increase the value of your network.

When you add new connections classify them immediately or, if necessary, send your list of questions to help with the classification process. The important thing is don’t let your network to continue growing without implementing a structure and some controls.
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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Professional and Business Networking and how Social Media is a tool in that process. He helps businesses, organizations, and individuals understand the power of networking and recognize that networking is a tool for giving.

Tom believes that when you give value to your network; your network will give value back to you. Using today’s Social Media tools makes Professional and Business Networking more efficient, improves decisions, and enables you to respond more effectively to your audiences.

Do you want to be more effective with your Professional and Business Networking? Would you like to be making more “warm” contacts instead of “cold” calls? Contact Tom to learn more about how he can help you and/or your organization reach your networking goals.

What Can You Do with an Email Service


What Email Service Is Right for You

Have you thought about using an email service to stay in touch with your customers and prospects? I’m sure you have, if for no other reason than the intensive marketing being done by Constant Contact.

Before You Select a Service; Know What You Want to Do

The truth is that all email services are not created equal. Some have features that others do not. Some charge based upon the number of emails sent and others charge based upon the number of subscribers you have.

How Many Subscribers Do You Expect?

Knowing how many subscribers you will have and how often you plan on contacting those subscribers can make a huge difference in the cost.

How Many Email Lists Will You Have?

Another factor is how many email lists will you have? Will you have both a list of active customers and prospects? Will it be a single list? Will you have a list for customers of each type or category of product or service you offer?

Are You Going to Do Email Campaigns?

Maybe you are asking what is an email campaign, so I will give you a brief overview. A campaign is typically a series of emails sent to subscribers.

The campaign starts with a letter of invitation to join the list (usually an opt-in or double opt-in) process to make sure you have the correct person.

Following the opt-in there is an immediate follow-up with the additional promised information. A few (7-10) days later there is another follow-up to ensure that they received the information and provide a second promotion. 12-14 days later there is another follow-up typically with some type of incentive to sign up. That may be it or 60 days later there could be one last follow up. It’s really up to you.

Some email services support email campaigns, some do not, and others only limited email campaigns or a limited number of campaigns.

To Opt-In or Not; or Will You Spam

Opt-In basically says do you want to participate and lets the reader know that they can opt-out at any time.

Do you want an opt-in or double opt-in process where the people signing up must go to a sight or respond to an email and confirm that they want to be on your list. If you don’t have an opt-in some, maybe many will report you as spam and can get you blacklisted; opt-ins are preferable to blacklists. Unless you are closely monitoring the service you won’t know that your emails have been blocked.

If the service isn’t offering an opt-in option that can be a problem. Maybe you don’t irritate the users but that doesn’t mean that someone else using the service won’t irritate their recipients and the backlash can hit you!

Opt-ins protect you as much or even more than they protect your recipients.

Will You Have Mini-Memberships?

A Mini-Membership has people sign-up typically paying a fee for a limited-term-membership (compare it to a four – 12 week class and sometimes up to one-year). Each week or month they will have the next part of their course delivered to their email box.

Some email services support this and some do not. Some will support several limited-term-memberships and others will support only one.

Before you select a service know what you services you are expecting them to provide.

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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.