These days it seems as though practically everyone I meet wants to be thought of as a “Super Connector.” And believe it or not, I never set out to become such a thing myself. However, I have been told time and time again that I am one, so I’ve decided to just go with it and own the designation.
In that spirit, and since I’m here to show you how to make your connections matter and that anything IS possible, I thought I’d share an October podcast interview I did with Tom Libelt of Smart Brand Marketing titled, “How to Become a Super Connector with Sandy Jones-Kaminski.”
Take a listen to this 20 min discussion and see if you don’t come away with a few new ideas for developing the skills needed to become a real connector, super or otherwise.
Interested in more mind-blowing learning content like this? Sign up for Making Connections Matter invites HERE.Read More
It’s true. Two great books, together at last and just in time for Class of 2014 gift giving!
When Maria Shriver’s daughter, Katherine, graduated from college she took her Mom’s advice. Sort of. Instead of trying to jump into the traditional job market, she decided to “pause” and keep herself semi-occupied by collecting “been there, done that” stories and writing a book.
With the title, I Just Graduated … Now What?: Honest Answers from Those Who Have Been There, and the fact that the word “networking” gets frequent mention after one graduates, you just know that it will be a great pairing with my own book, I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Any Networking Event. So get your gifting on and order copies of these inspiring and motivating books for your class of 2014 graduate via the link below!
About Katherine’s latest book:
Drawing on the stories and real-life experiences of more than thirty contributors including Anderson Cooper, Eva Longoria, Blake Mycoskie of TOMS shoes, Lauren Bush Lauren, and Andy Cohen, this guide for recent and soon-to-be graduates will help them find success and fulfillment in their work, relationships, and lives. In it you’ll find some surprising advice for graduates, including answers to questions like:
• How do I find my first job in a tough economy?
• How do I decide between a career that pays well and one that I’m passionate about?
• How do I balance work with friends, relationships, and family?
• Should I take a “gap year” before starting my first job?
• What should I do about my student loan debt?
More via her bio on Amazon:
Katherine Schwarzenegger, twenty-four, is an author, activist, and entrepreneur. A recent graduate of the University of Southern California, Katherine is a clear, sound voice for her generation. She hopes this new book will offer the direction needed to help young graduates navigate through the unknown with just a little less stress and a little more certainty. Throughout her process, Katherine has learned that there is no right way to figure out the next steps in your life, just your way.Read More
I don’t get over to Goodreads all that often, but I found a wonderful surprise when I followed an incoming link to my site from Goodreads this morning.
Not sure how I missed this, but back in Dec of 2012 a woman named Roxanne (I swear, I don’t know her!) wrote this insightful review of my book about networking:
I came across this book by accident when I was browsing through the library. I picked it up and read it through in one sitting. It provided a welcome re-introduction to networking that I didn’t realize I needed. As I was reading, I realized a few things: I was not taking networking seriously, I was not networking with the proper mindset, and I was not maintaining the connections I do have. Now I’m in a situation where I’m in the job market and I do not have the network I need to find my next job.
This book gave me easy to follow rules so that I can start building a network. As a very introverted person, I avoid any kind of networking event. I appreciated that the author acknowledges that introversion/shyness is a common reason why people don’t network, but gives practical, easy-to-follow advice on how to get around these barriers.
The book presents the idea that networking should be about paying it forward and looking at making contacts from the perspective of how I can help this new contact, rather than how can this contact help me. It is a novel approach to me and one that has completely changed how I view networking. Before I read this book, I honestly felt that networking was a very selfish and phoney endeavor of which I had little interest in participating. I love the pay it forward approach and the idea has changed how I view meeting new people and even making small talk. I also learned how to prepare for a networking event, something I didn’t know how to do prior to reading this book. There are pointers to improve a LinkedIn profile. I also enjoyed reading about some of the etiquette required to properly fostering and maintain connections.
I also have to give marks to this book for presenting all of the information in a very concise and easy to read format. The author refrains from using a lot of business jargon that normally turns me off reading professional development books. She also draws on her own network to add real world examples to the content. I appreciated the links to blogs about networking.
To me, the only drawback of this book is that I think it’s too short! I would have appreciated if the author had elaborated more on some topics. That said, I also think the reduced length gives the book wider appeal. If it was longer it might not appeal to novice networkers like me. The author also provides links to further reading throughout the book for those interested. I did follow the links and read further on my own and felt the suggested links were quality choices.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is new to networking or resists networking. I would also recommend this book to people who feel like they don’t need to network. When I had a job I felt like I didn’t need to network. Now I’m out looking for a new job and I don’t have the network I need. I wish I’d found this book sooner.
Thank you, Roxanne! You definitely made my day.Read More
Many people write books hoping to build their consulting business around them or further promote their brand. I, however, wrote my book after my business was already established (and doing well). I simply wanted to help socially awkward people gain more confidence around networking and wasn’t thinking about showcasing myself as a thought leader, although that’s exactly what writing and promoting ,“I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???” did. This turned out to be a very good thing for my business, so I happily went with it and now paid public speaking engagements have become a big part of Bella Domain Media.
One of the things I learned regarding “the way of the speaker” is that sometimes it’s well worth it to speak for “promotional purposes” (for free) because, perhaps the audience is your exact target market for other services you offer, or the organization behind the event is a non-profit that supports a cause you believe in, or it’s a business that has phenomenal reach and your brand will likely be showcased nationally or internationally.
So, to all the meeting planners or conference organizers both big and small, here are my tips on how to get a professional speaker to present to your audience for free.
Getting a speaker to work for you/your entity for free:
Here are 5 tips culled not only from my own experience as a speaker, but also from a few other active public speakers I know that were willing to share as well.
1) Allow the speaker to bring a helper or assistant for free, and especially if they’re an author (to sell books) and you have lined up sponsors and/or are charging for your event. Speakers often like to collect video of their speaking gigs, especially when they’re not being paid to speak, so they will often bring someone along to shoot video footage or take photos for their speaker reel or portfolios. Whatever you do, don’t respond to a request to bring an assistant along with:
“If you are planning to bring an assistant or guests, they will have to register and pay the guest rate. Unfortunately, our budget doesn’t allow for complimentary guests.”
Notice, they weren’t even offering the Member Rate to the assistant/helper.
2) Make it super easy for the speaker to provide you with the information YOU will need to market and promote the event. Don’t send them multiple emails with forgotten items coming days or weeks after the initial request. Use a structured form (preferably online – Google forms are free) to collect what you need so they can just cut and paste from info they likely have saved somewhere. It’s 2013 after all, so don’t send them PDF forms that they can’t edit online, but instead have to fill out manually, then scan and email back to you. Here’s a great example of a form that can easily be created using Google docs.
3) Treat the speaker as if they’re a New York Times best-selling author that you’ve paid $25,000 to speak to your audience. Most speakers at this level don’t need to sell to your group, so stop worrying about how much any speaker might try to sell during their presentation especially when you are not paying them AND are charging admission to your event. The majority of professional speakers know that being too salesy throughout a presentation will likely backfire by damaging their own credibility, alienating the audience or in some cases generating seriously bad session reviews. Do your homework and check out their speaker testimonials, LinkedIn recommendations or references if this is truly your concern.
Maria Ross, a branding expert and author who also speaks at events, advises giving speakers the VIP treatment no matter how big your event may be. “The best events at which I’ve spoken are those where a host greets me, gives me the lay of the land and introduces me around.” This means that if you are too busy working the event, assign someone else to be a dedicated “speaker handler” so your guest speaker knows where to go, how to set up and that he or she has everything they need, including a glass of water.
4) Be sure they are able to sell their books or promote an offering at the end of the event, but do not expect to make money off their sales. You haven’t paid them to do their work, so why would you expect them to provide you a kickback? And usually when audiences have paid to attend your event, spending any additional money at the event is often not likely to happen anyway. Plus, most at-event sales barely cover the gas or other expenses a speaker may have spent to get to your venue. (This happened to me recently when I only sold a few books at an event of over 50 people and it costs $57 to fill up my gas tank to just get to the venue.)
5) Market and promote the heck out of your webinar, event or conference. Do not withhold your marketing and promotion plan for the event. Be ready to share the size of your list(s) and how many impressions you expect to give the speaker’s brand leading up to the event when you first contact them about speaking. Then, copy your speaker on all communications that go out where they’re mentioned and send along any links where the event is posted. If they can see where the event is featured, they just might help you promote your event.
And Maria advises making it ridiculously easy for a speaker to promote your event to his or her audience. “If you want the speaker to tap into their network and social media communities, make it easy for them, don’t give them extra work to do on your behalf.” She suggests preparing 4-5 Tweets and 1-2 posts for them to cut and paste – complete with the shortened link to the Event page. Another nice touch? Send a brief “blurb” the speaker can send in their next email newsletter. You can’t expect a speaker to do all your marketing for you, so make it painless for them to help boost your audience.
If you have some additional tips, please feel free to share them in Comments, and if you have any questions about the above, or would like to learn more about working with paid public speakers, please email me and I’ll add you to my sign-up list for an upcoming web chat on this subject.
Hope these tips help!
P.S. If you’d like to hire me as a speaker at your next conference or event, you can find my professional public speaker profile on SpeakerMatch.