February 28, 2009
Today a quick blog post to let you know that a FREE light version of my new book How to REALLY use LinkedIn is now available.
For Dutch speaking people: gratis light versie van boek Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken is beschikbaar.
Also sign up for the free webinars on March 9 (Dutch) and March 10 (English) via the same website.
The book itself will be released on March 17. On that day we do a special launch action (English) / speciale lanceringsactie (Dutch).
Have a great networking week !
Jan Vermeiren, founder of Networking Coach
February 21, 2009
Which events to attend and how to know when they take place?
The answer might sound quite simple to you, but I’m still surprised how many people don’t know that there are events that are very interesting to them.
It starts with knowing your goals. If you know them, it is easy to find out what’s being organised and where to meet people.
If you have to start from scratch (meaning you are not a member of any organisation yet), these are my recommendations:
1) Share your goals with your network and ask which organisations could be interesting
2) Use search engines like Google on the Internet with keywords that are linked to your goal to find organisations you might consider joining.
3) Find out which are the major players (people or organisations) in your industry or field of interest. Ask them which organisations they are member of and which they recommend. Also ask why. The best situation is of course that you can contact someone from your current network. If you don’t know anybody, don’t worry. First ask your network if they know anyone. And if you still haven’t got a name, just pick up the phone and make a call.
This telephone call is also a great substitute for a cold sales call. You are not selling anything, just asking for help. And in the meanwhile you are building a relationship. Don’t sell during this same conversation, especially if it’s a contact you received via your network. Don’t sell unless the other party insists. But beware that you don’t ruin the relationship before it even starts!
Now you should have some names of organisations. The next steps are:
– Visit the website of the organisations you found
– Check who is already member and contact them. Tell them you are interested in becoming a member. Ask them what they like about the organisation and the events and what they don’t like. Also ask for other organisations they are member of and which they recommend. The same comment applies to the major players in the tip about starting from scratch.
– Contact the president or chairman of the organisation and ask why you should join. Ask what the benefits of a potential membership are for you. Ask if you can get an invitation to try the organisation out before becoming a member. And before paying large membership fees.
– Subscribe to the newsletters of the selected organisations. This way you never miss an event. You can always check out the calendar in the specialised magazines.
– Keep asking your network and the people you meet at events which other events they recommend. Also ask why. This way you will learn a lot. Not only about the organisations and events, but also about what’s going on in your field of interest and about the people you meet. You will have more interesting conversations. As a consequence your relationships will be strengthened and your network grows, both in quantity as in quality.
Have a great networking day !
PS: this is an excerpt from my book Let’s Connect. Check out the website to get your free light version !
February 13, 2009
I hear many people say: I’m happy with my current situation, I don’t need a network.
Now, more than ever, things can change quickly in any direction: a job loss or a fantastic new opportunity.
But also if you are still working for the same organisation for many more years, a network can be of great value.
Let’s look at the different reasons why you should start building your network in “real life” and on websites like LinkedIn NOW.
For starters almost everybody needs some expert advice once in a while or new connections inside or outside a company. LinkedIn helps you to find these experts and the people who can introduce you to them. So that is one reason.
The second and maybe even more important reason is that I see too many people only start building their network when it is too late. People who got unexpectedly fired and needed to find a new job suddenly realized they needed a network to help them. Then they get on LinkedIn and start building their network, which takes time. Many times time they don’t have.
The same applies to entrepreneurs. I meet so many people who have a great idea, leave their job, start a company, invest a lot of money and after a few months they realize they also need customers. And a lot. And fast. Why? Because the monthly costs and investments are high. Then they realize they need to start building their network while they should have done that months ago.
In these two last examples they start building the network when they NEED it URGENTLY. This creates an energy of despair, which turns people off instead of making them interested to help you.
So start building your network before you actually need it. You can then interact in a normal way with the networking attitude of sharing without expecting anything immediately in return.
To your success !
Jan Vermeiren, founder of Networking Coach and author of the upcoming book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn“
February 7, 2009
When networking online and offline the way you are perceived is very important.
Of course this is not always easy to know “in real life”.
But on the Internet there are some tools that can help you.
One of them is http://www.whostalkin.com/
This website searches blogs, news, videos and social and business networks for the words you choose. This can be yourself if you want to find out what people write about you or the organisation you work for.
You can also use it to look up other things like media events, interesting people or other topics.
Why use “Who’s Talkin” when you already have Google and other search engines?
Because “Who’s Talkin” searches other sources: websites where people interact with each other. “Normal” websites can be very static, this is about dynamic conversations.
So what are you waiting for? Go to http://www.whostalkin.com/ and find out what people are saying about you!
Jan Vermeiren, founder of Networking Coach and Networking Speaker