Succeeding in influencer relations requires a skill most often associated with sales and HR: schmoozing. Don’t think for a minute that business networking is best left to the natural-born schmoozers. Most of us spend a good part of our day working with information or brainstorming on strategy or listening in on conference calls. Telecommuting is further rooting us in our time- and place-shifted comfort zones. When you think about it, there’s little wonder that one-to-one networking can feel awkward.
One of my favorite series of tips comes from Guy Kawasaki, in a post he wrote back in 2006:
1. Understand the goal: discover what you can do for the person you’re meeting.
2. Get out: schmoozing requires practice, and networking requires situations where you can meet new people.
3. Ask good questions, then shut up: the point is to spend more time listening to earnest conversation, less time talking.
4. Unveil your passions: avoid coming across as a one-dimensional poster child for your job or company.
5. Read voraciously: being well informed is a good way to contribute to any conversation.
6. Follow up: email within 24 hours.
7. Make it easy to get in touch: no point meeting people if you don’t give them your contact details.
8. Give favors: pay it forward.
9. Ask for the return of favors: let people reciprocate the favors you grant.
I was reminded of every one of these points the last time I met with Ray Wang. He wove all of these into the course of our conversation and ended with a simple (and stunning) question: “So Barbara, tell me, what can I do for you?”
You can read Guy’s entire piece here: The Art of Schmoozing.
Sway has just been added to Alltop’s Marketing collection. Marketing.alltop aggregates the headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover marketing. It’s an excellent resource on a range of marketing topics.
I’m proud that Sway is included.
I often use Alltop collections in my online work, and recommend them in my offline life. That’s where I discovered many of the blogs featured in my blogroll. In fact, speaker.allop has been on Sway’s blogroll since day 1.
For information about Alltop, see the YouTube tutorial.
Labor Day is a good time to reflect on why you insist on thwarting the best marketers in the nation. You do it every time you tune out those repetitive, interrupt-driven mass marketing ads. And, you’re not alone.
You’re a walking case study of why mass marketing doesn’t work as well as it used to.
Seth Godin explained it really well at TED a few years ago: “In a world where we have too many choices, and too little time, the obvious thing to do is just ignore stuff.” This is why interrupt-driven mass marketing doesn’t work, while influencer marketing does.
In this talk, Seth characterizes our time as “a century of idea diffusion.” He asserts that people who can spread ideas — regardless of what those ideas are — win.
Even then, to get influencer marketing to work, you need to be remarkable. Hence, Seth’s famous parable about invisible cows and purple cows. “Remarkable is a really cool word. We think it just means ‘neat.’ But it also means worth making a remark about. And that is the essence of where idea diffusion is going.”
I count this TED talk, “Seth Godin: Sliced bread and other marketing delights,” among the influencer marketing classics. See if you agree.