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Get more leads: how to use networking events like the ultra connected

Want to know how the ultra connected nail networking events? There are some simple steps anyone can take to improve their ROI when professional networking.

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professional networking

professional networking

Getting ROI from networking efforts

In my experience as a business owner, I most commonly hear from people statements such as, “I should really make a point to network more” to “I enjoy networking, but I find it hard to work it into my day and calculate my ROI from those efforts.”

Depending on your industry, networking can be more of an art than it is a science. Remember some of these simple tips below to help you increase the ROI for your networking efforts.

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1. Don’t leave without an appointment

It can always be challenging to go to a room full of strangers, meet them, and figure out how they are helpful to you obtaining your goals. It can also be tempting to leave early when you don’t see immediate value in the space where you are attending. Just remember to make sure you do not leave without making at least one appointment with someone there to see them at a later time after the event is over.

Scheduling a meeting for someone you encounter at a networking event (with their meeting your list of minimum qualifications) can often turn into generating great connections or sales.

2. Notice and keep what’s working

In networking environments and events, there can be a lot going on. There are people of all different backgrounds moving and talking with each other in a variety of areas. As you network keep a record in your mind over thing you are doing that is working for you that is generating more results of what you want to see happen. For your future events, recreate situations that led to positive results in previous events.

Notice what kinds of conversations you get into that work, and get focused on seeking out more of those kinds of conversations. You can even apply this method to noticing where you are more likely to get into conversations – for instance, high traffic areas at the bar usually get me into more frequent conversations because people are in line waiting for a drink. If you notice yourself getting into more conversations near the bar area than standing somewhere else, keep what works and throw away what doesn’t.

3. Commit a small portion of your week to social networking

Make sure that you don’t just go to events to network, make sure to include your social networks into your physical networking ecosystem as well. Usually, I go out and get a few business cards from qualified leads, do some searches online, and later invite them to join me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and other social networks. The good news is that not only do you seem friendly, you can retarget those connections for a variety of strategic networking purposes later since they will be keeping in touch with you.

Adding people at your networking events to your social networks is one way to have the victories from your last event carry forth into your next ventures and endeavors. Keeping your old network informed about what you’re currently doing and looking for is keep to keeping people engaged and keeping them volunteering resources as you mention to your social network that you need them.

4. The most common missing ingredient

Now that you have people from your networking events into your social network, spend time giving them value. This doesn’t mean advertising what you do and what you’re looking for constantly. It just means spend some time making posts you think your social network would find helpful, useful, and interesting. The more you do this, the more your network values you. And you are slowly building up your emotional bank account with your social network.

Every so often, you can make a request to your social network and depending on how much of a deposit you’ve been putting in, is somewhat how much you can safely pull out from your network at a later time, except when you pull value in the form of a request from your social network, the value you get back is often in the form of leads, connections to other professionals, or answers to questions you have that you were unable to solve yourself.

The takeaway

Ultra connected people don’t just walk into a room and expect the world to cater to them, they’ve invested years in building a network, person by person, just as one builds a house brick by brick. Holding all of your network together adds longevity and keeps your pipeline full, so long as you’re always adding value and offering your own network as a resource to others. Get more leads by doing the hard work, because most people don’t make much effort when it comes to this age-old practice.

Matthew Winters is the owner of Austin Visuals 3D Animation Studio , a Full-Service 2D & 3D animation studio, advertising agency, and video production studio. As one of Austin's movers and shakers, he also founded Speed Friending Events which produces networking mixers and social events in over 14 cities nationally. Matthew is dedicated to providing solutions to social and technology related issues in the industry.

Business News

You should apply to be on a board – why and how

(BUSINESS NEWS) What do you need to think about and explore if you want to apply for a Board of Directors? Here’s a quick rundown of what, why, and when.

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board of directors

What?
What does a Board of Directors do? Investopedia explains “A board of directors (B of D) is an elected group of individuals that represent shareholders. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Every public company must have a board of directors. Some private and nonprofit organizations also have a board of directors.”

Why?
It is time to have a diverse representation of thoughts, values and insights from intelligently minded people that can give you the intel you need to move forward – as they don’t have quite the same vested interests as you.

We have become the nation that works like a machine. Day in and day out we are consumed by our work (and have easy access to it with our smartphones). We do volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities, but it’s possible that many of us have never understood or considered joining a Board of Directors. There’s a new wave of Gen Xers and Millennials that have plenty of years of life and work experience + insights that this might be the time to resurrect (or invigorate) interest.

Harvard Business Review shared a great article about identifying the FIVE key areas you would want to consider growing your knowledge if you want to join a board:

1. Financial – You need to be able to speak in numbers.
2. Strategic – You want to be able to speak to how to be strategic even if you know the numbers.
3. Relational – This is where communication is key – understanding what you want to share with others and what they are sharing with you. This is very different than being on the Operational side of things.
4. Role – You must be able to be clear and add value in your time allotted – and know where you especially add value from your skills, experiences and strengths.
5. Cultural – You must contribute the feeling that Executives can come forward to seek advice even if things aren’t going well and create that culture of collaboration.

As Charlotte Valeur, a Danish-born former investment banker who has chaired three international companies and now leads the UK’s Institute of Directors, says, “We need to help new participants from under-represented groups to develop the confidence of working on boards and to come to know that” – while boardroom capital does take effort to build – “this is not rocket science.

When?
NOW! The time is now for all of us to get involved in helping to create a brighter future for organizations and businesses that we care about (including if they are our own business – you may want to create a Board of Directors).

The Harvard Business Review gave great explanations of the need to diversify those that have been on the Boards to continue to strive to better represent our population as a whole. Are you ready to take on this challenge? We need you.

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Business News

Everyone should have an interview escape plan

(BUSINESS NEWS) A job interview should be a place to ask about qualifications but sometimes things can go south – here’s how to escape when they do.

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interview from hell

“So, why did you move from Utah to Austin?” the interviewer asked over the phone.

The question felt a little out of place in the job interview, but I gave my standard answer about wanting a fresh scene. I’d just graduated college and was looking to break into the Austin market. But the interviewer wasn’t done.

“But why Austin?” he insisted, “There can’t be that many Mormons here.”

My stomach curled. This was a job interview – I’d expected to discuss my qualifications for the position and express my interest in the company. Instead, I began to answer more and more invasive questions about my personal life and religion. The whole ordeal left me very uncomfortable, but because I was young and desperate, I put up with it. In fact, I even went back for a second interview!

At the time, I thought I had to put up with that sort of treatment. Only recently have I realized that the interview was extremely unprofessional and it wasn’t something I should have felt obligated to endure.

And I’m not the only one with a bad interview story. Slate ran an article sharing others’ terrible experiences, which ranged from having their purse inspected to being trapped in a 45 minute presentation! No doubt, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mistreatment by potential employers.

So, why do we put up with it?

Well, sometimes people just don’t know better. Maybe, like I was, they’re young or inexperienced. In these cases, these sorts of situations seem like they could just be the norm. There’s also the obvious power dynamic: you might need a job, but the potential employers probably don’t need you.

While there might be times you have to grit your teeth and bear it, it’s also worth remembering that a bad interview scenario often means bad working conditions later on down the line. After all, if your employers don’t respect you during the interview stage, it’s likely the disrespect will continue when you’re hired.

Once you’ve identified an interview is bad news, though, how do you walk out? Politely. As tempting as it is to make a scene, you probably don’t want to go burning bridges. Instead, excuse yourself by thanking your interviewers, wishing them well and asserting that you have realized the business wouldn’t be a good fit.

Your time, as well as your comfort, are important! If your gut is telling you something is wrong, it probably is. It isn’t easy, but if a job interview is crossing the line, you’re well within your rights to leave. Better to cut your losses early.

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Business News

Australia vs Facebook: A conflict of news distribution

(BUSINESS NEWS) Following a contentious battle for news aggregation, Australia works to find agreement with Facebook.

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News open on laptop, which Australia argues Facebook is taking away from.

Australia has been locked in a legal war against technology giants Google and Facebook with regard to how news content can be consumed by either entity’s platforms.

At its core, the law states that news content being posted on social media is – in effect – stealing away the ability for news outlets to monetize their delivery and aggregate systems. A news organization may see their content shared on Facebook, which means users no longer have to visit their site to access that information. This harms the ability for news production companies – especially smaller ones – from being able to maintain revenue and profit, while also giving power to corporations such as Facebook by allowing them to capitalize on their substantial infrastructure.

This is a complex subject that can be viewed from a number of angles, but it essentially asks the question of who should be in control of information on a potentially global scale, and how the ability to share such data should be handled when it passes through a variety of mediums and avenues. Put shortly: Australia thinks royalties should be paid to those who supply the news.

Australia has maintained that under the proposed laws, corporations must reach content distribution deals in order to allow news to be spread through – as one example – posts on Facebook. In retaliation, Facebook completely removed the ability for users to post news articles and stories. This in turn led to a proliferation of false and misleading information to fill the void, magnifying the considerable confusion that Australian citizens were confronted with once the change had been made.

“In just a few days, we saw the damage that taking news out can cause,” said Sree Sreenivasan, a professor at the Stony Brook School of Communication and Journalism. “Misinformation and disinformation, already a problem on the platform, rushed to fill the vacuum.”

Facebook’s stance is that it provides value to the publishers because shared news content will drive users to their sites, thereby allowing them to provide advertising and thus leading to revenue.

Australia has been working on this bill since last year, and has said that it is meant to equalize the potential imbalance of content and who can display and benefit from it. This is meant to try and create conditions between publishers and the large technology platforms so that there is a clearer understanding of how payment should be done in exchange for news and information.

Google was initially defiant (threatening to go as far as to shut off their service entirely), but began to make deals recently in order to restore its own access. Facebook has been the strongest holdout, and has shown that it can leverage its considerable audience and reach to force a more amenable deal. Australia has since provided some amendments to give Facebook time to seek similar deals obtained by Google.

One large portion of the law is that Australia is reserving the right to allow final arbitration, which it says would allow a mediator to set prices if no deal could be reached. This might be considered the strongest piece of the law, as it means that Facebook cannot freely exercise its considerable weight with impunity. Facebook’s position is that this allows government interference between private companies.

In the last week – with the new agreements on the table – it’s difficult to say who blinked first. There is also the question of how this might have a ripple effect through the tech industry and between governments who might try to follow suit.

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