Does Your Social Networking Answer the WIIFM Question?

What’s In It For Me?

The reality is that people are always looking to understand how they will benefit from any activity or action undertaken. They may be totally supportive of an idea or a plan, but their own interests will eventually come into play. With that in mind do you have the WIIFM answer for your customers and prospects?

Does Your Offer Answer Your Customer’s WIIFM Question?

If you can answer that question for them and answer it repeatedly with a benefit that they perceive has value and is of interest; you will get their attention. We are all bombarded with information constantly and one of the easiest ways to weed through the information is by looking for those messages that quickly tell them what is in it for them and make if very clear what they have to gain.

They will take that information and then weigh it against their cost. If the benefit out weighs the cost, they will be interested and act. If the perceived benefit does not outweigh the cost, they will move on to the next offer.

Do You Struggle with the WIIFM Question for Yourself?

So whether you are promoting yourself, your business, your service, or your product; you must be able to provide your reader with an answer to the WIIFM question. If you can’t or you don’t it is wasted effort on your part and you then need to look at the WIIFM question for yourself.

If you don’t want to put the work into your own activities then YOU must be failing your own WIIFM question. For whatever reason you do not feel that putting the effort into your own activities is worth the benefit you will receive.


Tom Staskiewicz creates networking strategies that help you build your individual and business brands. Ask him how! Check out the UPPROACH website.

Building Your Business Using Social Media

Does the World Know About Your Expertise?

I received email this morning from my friend Charlie Cook. Charlie helps small businesses with their marketing. In his email he was talking about a bike shop, Santa Fe Mountain Sports.

Charlie needed to fix the derailleur on his wife’s bike so they could take a ride. An avid biker, Charlie thought he was up to the task, but quickly realized he needed some help. He went to YouTube and searched on “adjusting front derailleur”. He found the video he needed and saw that over 400,000 other people had found it as well. All told this bike shop has over 1.3 million views of their videos that demonstrate their expertise.

Are you demonstrating your expertise? Are you getting your word out?

As Charlie points out even if each person viewed it twice that is 200,000 exposures to potential customers and it is all done for free!

I can help you make Social Media work for you! Contact me at and let’s talk!

Social Networking – Are You Afraid Your Connections Will Steal Your Customers

Do You Need to Fear Your Connections Stealing Your Customers?

There are a lot of networking wannabees that are worried about competitors stealing their customers. They allow this fear to keep them from inviting or accepting connections and friends. Their belief is that by not inviting or not accepting they will prevent competitors from stealing their customers.

I understand what they are saying and where they are coming from; but is this really a legitimate concern or are they doing more harm to themselves than good? The reality is that being a networking wannabee with a few connections makes you more susceptible than if you had a large number of connections.

This may sound ridiculous, but let me explain. Whether you are on LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other Social Network, as far as I know, your connections do not have the ability to directly or indirectly search or sort your connections. This means that someone wanting to search your connections or friends list must go through your connections one-by-one looking for possible customers.

A Large Network Makes Searching Time Consuming and Virtually Impossible

If you have just a few connections, this would be an easy task; if you have a large number of connections this would be a very labor intensive process. To me, this says that the larger your network the more protected you are.

Currently I have over 800 connections on LinkedIn, for someone to identify one of my customers would be a lot of work and I do not know anyone that would have the time to undertake that effort. I doubt that your connections would have the necessary time or inclination to undertake that type of task either. A large network can should include Network White Noise.

Creating Network White Noise

What is Network White Noise? This is a new term that I have coined and is the process of building lots of people into your network individuals that may or may not have an immediate networking value. Some of the people that you can add to create Network White Noise include family members, friends, former classmates, former teachers and professors, and others without a current business connection.

I call these connections Network White Noise because if someone is searching through your connections or friends list; these individuals will not have the value the searcher desires. Adding these people is one of the best things you can do to rapidly add Network White Noise to your network and therefore hide your clients and customers.

One of the best ways to continue your networking efforts, while still protecting the identify of your clients and customers is to create Network White Noise. Are you inviting friends, family, former teachers and professors, and other non-business related connections? If not, then why not start now?

What Stories Is the Internet Telling About You?

Your Internet Presence

Virtually everyone today has an Internet presence. If for some reason you do not; you will attract as much attention as you would with a poor Internet presence. What story does your Internet presence tell people?

Have you ever taken the time to Google your name, enter it on Yahoo, or Bing? You must do this; you must know what is on the Internet pertaining to you! Go to and type in your name, press the enter key, and see what comes up. Are you happy with the result? Are you seeing, and therefore a recruiter or hiring manager seeing, what you would like them to see?

What Is Unacceptable Information

Things that are unacceptable include:

  • Pictures that show you in compromising situations.
  • Inappropriate language or posting from you or your friends.
  • Pictures or stories that include you in illegal activities, even as basic as under age drinking.
  • Discussions and stories that are derogatory to you or others.
  • Negative comments you have made about employers, businesses, other people
  • Negative comments about teachers, managers, supervisors, and other authority figures.
  • Insulting or disparaging comments about friends and associates.

Any of these items can be the negative that causes the recruiter or hiring manager to reject you as an employee. This is not discrimination, this is just business. Businesses cannot afford to hire employees that may bring discredit on the business, negative attention, or other adverse effects.

What employees and prospective employees bring to the business can be critical to the business success. You, as an employee, must bring positives; not negatives.

How Do You Clean Up Your On-Line Presence?

Cleaning up your on-line presence starts with your Social Networking. You need to remove any photos or information that is negative. If you started the discussion, you can delete the entire discussion. If you commented on a discussion, you can remove your comments. If you have friends or connections that are offensive you can unfriend or remove them.

Take the offensive information out of your on-line presence and do it now!

What If Your Removal Offends Your Friend or Friends

If the postings of friends and connections is negative, you can ask them to change their behavior because it jeopardizes your opportunities. If they are unwilling to help you, then they truly are not very good friends and you are probably better off without them.

If you are serious about having a good on-line reputation, then you must think of yourself first and make the necessary choices. Obviously your goal is not to hurt others or their feelings, but it is to ensure that you are presented in a positive light.

After the Clean Up

Once you have cleaned up those things that you can; what is left? If you still have negative or derogatory information, what can you do to eliminate or at least mitigate the impact.

One way is to create positive Internet articles related to you. Participate in events or organizations that generate positive information and get involved. Join organization boards, involve yourself in civic activities, write your own blog articles, comment on popular blogs and leave your name, join LinkedIn, Facebook, and other Social Networking sites that receive high search engine rankings. Build your connections and friends lists which will raise your rankings. Create a Google Profile, put positive postings and videos on YouTube.

If you have many negatives associated with a Social Networking profile, delete the profile and start over.

What If the Negatives Are from Someone with the Same Name?

If you are being haunted by someone with the same name that has negative information; do not despair, you can address that as well.

Some of the steps you can take include:

  1. Post a consistent professional picture with all of your profiles.
  2. Use your middle initial, middle name, maiden name, nickname, or something else that will differentiate you.
  3. Create an Internet Gravatar (picture) that can be used for postings on sites where you cannot add your picture.
  4. Change your reference on your sites to a consistent name. Use the username function on Facebook, the change profile name on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., to capture your identity. Choose a name combination that no one else is using.

    Cut, purge, erase, delete, replace, create, post, comment, participate, and do any other positive things you can to recreate your on-line profile in a positive manner.

Social Networking – You Cannot Spread a Message Without an Audience

Keys to Social Networking Success

More people will be successful with Social Networking this year in finding jobs, building their business, or selling their products and services than ever before.

The question you must answer is: “Will you be one of them?”

The information below has the keys that will drive their success and even more importantly drive YOUR SUCCESS.

  1. You cannot be successful without a willing audience.
  2. You must have a strong, clear, and concise message.
  3. Your message must resonate with your audience.
  4. You must participate and follow up with your audience.

You Cannot Be Successful Without a Willing Audience.

Your audience is key to your success, but you must have a willing audience. You must have an audience that is interested in and supportive of what you have to say. Your message must resonate with your audience and encourage them to not only take action but want to spread YOUR WORD even further.

Some say that the solution is to have a the largest audience possible, although a large audience does increase your potential success; it is not necessarily the answer. The interests of your audience is far more important. A large audience simply says that your message will fall on more ears, but not necessarily the right ears.

For instance, if my interests are in fishing and my audience is interested in Broadway Plays; I do not have a connection. I can have the best message possible but under no circumstances is that message going to resonate with my this particular audience.

This is not a willing audience; you need one where you can connect on their level with information that is important to them. You must have an audience that is receptive to your message and prepared to take action if your message resonates with them.

You Must Have a Strong, Clear, and Concise Message.

Your message must be strong, clear, and concise. In today’s world you have just a sliver of time to connect and make your point. You cannot waste that time.

Your message must grab the audiences’s attention. You need headlines that say you must read this and read it NOW! If you are not grabbing audience attention, your audience will move on to something that does grab their attention.

Your audience responds to “What is in it for them!” They want a message that is about them and about meeting their needs. They aren’t interested in and do not have time for anything else.

Your Message Must Resonate With Your Audience.

Does your message resonate or register with your audience? Do they understand what you are trying to convey? Do they recognize how they will benefit from your message?

If “NO” is the answer to these questions; then your message is not coming across effectively. You can obviously see the results of your message in the actions that the members of your audience take.

If their response is non-existent or even luke-warm; your message is not resonating. If you are not seeing new clients, customers, patients, etc. coming into your network, your message is not resonating.

If you are not seeing new people purchasing your products you are missing the opportunity.

The great thing about Social Networking is that you can assess and quickly change your program or strategy. Social Networking has very little in “sunk” costs. As such you can respond and quickly correct your course or direction.

You Must Participate and Follow Up With Your Audience.

Social Networking is a place for conversations. No longer is the Internet a monologue or even a dialog. To effectively communicate with your audience you must participate in existing conversations. You must be willing to ask and answer questions. You must be committed to following up with your audience as well. When they pose a question; you cannot leave them hanging.

Your audience is yours to keep or lose. Your audience is yours to build or disappear. What will your choice be?

Your Networking Communities

Your Social Network is made up of communities; do you know yours?

Social Networking Communities are those entities that surround you and bring you in contact with potential customers, clients, patients, employers, and of course friends. Examples of communities include:

  1. Your city, town, neighborhood, etc.
  2. Your church members.
  3. Your family and friends.
  4. People where you work.
  5. People you worked with in the past.
  6. Vendors and customers – both past and present.
  7. The clerk at your local grocery store or gas station.
  8. Your bank teller.
  9. The waiter or waitress at your favorite restaurant.
  10. People you meet through your children and their activities.
  11. People you meet through membership in organizations.
  12. People you meet through membership in associations.
  13. People you are connected with on LinkedIn.
  14. People you are friends with on Facebook.
  15. People whom you share a common interest.

By no means is this list comprehensive. The point is that we are members of many, many communities and each has a value to us. Additionally many of the communities above apply to those you know and those you know will have their own communities.

Why are your communities important?

Your Social Networking Communities are important because that is where your relationships, trust associations, and sphere of influence originate. These are the people that, as they get to know you, will become your advocates to get the word out about you, your business, who you are, what you do, and what you can do.

As your own communities grow and develop a trust in you; they will promote or advocate for you to their communities which works even further to extend your sphere of influence. The reality is that most growth through new employment, new customers or patients, new business opportunities and partnerships happens through the connections belonging to others; also known as your weak connections. Thus the importance of your communities.

Your communities are also important because they add value to the members of your community. Within your community there may be someone that one of your community members would like to meet, but they do not have the necessary connections. You can facilitate that connection, if you understand the two-way benefit, and increase your value to both parties.

Building Community Trust

Building trust is started through the process of giving or sharing. Trust is not developed through taking! Your willingness to share your expertise by answering questions, creating knowledge articles, and caring about the individuals in your community are three important ways of establishing community trust. By building community trust; members of your community have confidence and security in knowing that it is safe to give you referrals, recommendations, and endorsements.

It is important to understand that when people extend themselves through referrals, recommendations, and endorsements they are giving a part of themselves at the same time. Most of us are careful about how we expose ourselves because we do not want to jeopardize our own reputation by endorsing someone where we don not have the necessary knowledge.