For me, this last week has been a wild roller coaster ride: Machines going up and down requiring virus scans and cleanup, new lead generation activities, new schedules to put up, new marketing programs to implement, new blog posts and on top of all of that two networking activities in two major cities.
So I can imagine what last week was like for Lewis Howes, the co-author of LinkedWorking. Last week was LinkedWorking Success Week. In a 7 city run over 4 days, Lewis used his past experience and knowledge on event promotion and his prowess on Linkedin to put on events in cities from St. Louis to Cleveland, culminating in his hometown of Columbus.
I didn’t get a chance to visit events in all 7 cities, but I did attend the event in Cleveland and in Columbus Ohio.
They were Big. REALLY BIG!
LinkedWorking Event in Cleveland
Linkedworking event in Columbus
And there were a wide variety of people there. Yes, there were people there who had been downsize out of their corporate life, but there were also people there seeking to expand their network, connecting with like minded people, sharing business opportunities and ideas, and some of the top recruiters in the area looking for talent.
Debbie Holy and Ellie Chalko of Cynergies Solutions, one of the top IT recruiting firms in Northeast Ohio.
I even came away with an idea from attending the event in Columbus.
I had a conversation with one of the attendees, Ed McCabe, a systems engineer form Cypress Solutions. We started talking on the subject of data integrity and security. In our conversation about data lose and data theft, we touched on the fact that there are plenty of organizations in the smaller outlying areas of Ohio that are probably looking for ways to bring their systems up to date and integrate them all together. Many of the organizations probably have a homegrown solution using some of the low cost, but powerful tools available. The challenge, however, is that while these tools are easy to implement, the individuals implementing them may not truly understand how to securely lock them down and prevent a hacker from getting in. The result is that in their zeal to get their data access up to the 21st century, they are probably leaving themselves open to a security breach.
If you are an IT person that has suddenly been “right sized”, then something you might want to consider is sharpening your communication and sales skills, and selling your services to some of these organizations in the rural areas that need IT security assistance. You would be surprised at how many there really are.
Both events that I attended were packed; well over 400 in attendance. As I told one of my colleagues who did not attend, you had to seriously sharpen your elbows if you wanted to get in and move about.
And Lewis is truly a Linkedin Rock Star
Having experienced super success in building his network, connecting with people and “selling” his skills as a promoter, he wondered why most other people typically used the phrase, “Linkedin doesn’t work.” when he asked them about their experience.
Frank Agin of the AmSpirit Business Connections and co-author of the book LinkedWorking
In an effort to help other people learn to use Linkedin and achieve the same level of success that he attained, Lewis teamed up with Frank Agin of AMSpirit Business Connections, to discover why Linkedin worked for him while failing to perform for so many others. After finding what worked and compiling their findings, they wrote the book LinkedWorking
LinkedWorking is truly a “how to” book on using Linkedin to build a business referral network and promote yourself. At the beginning of the book, Frank Agin said it that there are many books out there that will give you the mechanics of setting up your Linkedin account. They will tell you how to set it up, how to interface with your other contact databases, or how to set up groups. This, however, is the first book that tells you how to use Linkedin to contact people effectively, how to use your expertise to get noticed, and how to promote yourself.
One useful tip I found within the first 10 pages of the book. It raised the point of the generic connection message. You know the one you typically get when someone is in a hurry and just fires off the connection request to you. It says something like; “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”
You know you’ve sent them off. I know that I’ve been guilty of it as well. Lewis suggests that you personalize that request. Give the other person an explanation on why you want to add them to your network or add some type of value in your message.
You know, this makes too much sense!
In fact, it’s one of those things that you look at and say, “Duh… Of course.”
Yet, we still send off the generic message.
Lewis goes even further to suggest that if you do get one of these “generic” messages, then before you hit the connect button, simply send them a reply thanking them for the request and asking them how they found you.
Now that is just good marketing. We do it in sales (at least you should), we do it in our job search (at least you should), but it never occurred to me to do it in building up my Linkedin network.
There are a host of tips in the book, and Lewis covered some of them in the LinkedWorking events. All of them are pure gold, all are common sense, and I’m willing to bet that the majority of them you and I haven’t been using.
If you are serious about using Linkedin for business development, sales or personal branding, run on over to amazon.com and order up your copy of LinkedWorking. And be sure to stay connected to LinkedWorking.com to find out when and where the next event will be held.
Or come back here. You can rest assured that I’ll be at the next one.
Ed Eppley from Dale Carnegie Training of Ohio and Shane Boroff of Xcelerate Media
Nathan Kievman of Thought Leadership Marketing working with two clients at once. Joe also attended the Cleveland event.