Category Archives: Networking

Why Aren’t You Well Known Where You Live?

I often think about my place in the blogosphere. I’ve been online for a very long time by now, close to a decade. I’ve got articles all over the place. I have 8 websites which includes 4 blogs. I’ve commented on hundreds of blogs and, for the most part, I have some name recognition, the other Mitch Mitchell notwithstanding.

And you know what? Locally it means absolutely nothing. I think I have maybe 4 or 5 people locally that might ever read any of my blogs, even when I write about things in the Syracuse NY area.

Almost all the retweets I get on Twitter come from people that live elsewhere; that’s kind of fascinating because I’m connected on Twitter to a lot of people from this area. I’ve written about local tweetups on this blog and on my Syracuse blog, and mentioned a lot of people’s names and linked to their Twitter accounts, sometimes to their businesses as well.

I’ve always wondered about this concept of “you’re never as big at home as you are elsewhere” often over the years. Truth be told, I really didn’t believe it until I got into business for myself.

I have spoken in 8 or 9 states professionally, and in New York I’ve only been paid once, and it was very low. People get this impression that, unless you’re an ultra millionaire, you just can’t be that good if you live where they are, and it’s so strange.

Yet when I went to Nebraska, they must have been thinking “hey, we got someone from New York to come here”. And it didn’t have to be New York, per se; just someone from another state (though they probably wouldn’t have been as happy if I’d come from Oklahoma if they were football fans lol).

Almost 18 months ago I asked this question on this blog: can you actually be considered successful if you can’t get your family and friends to subscribe or even stop by to read your blog, or subscribe to your newsletters, or, for that matter, actually try to figure out what you do? Only one person could say they had friends and/or family subscribing, that being Rummuser; how wild is that? Most even said they didn’t expect it and would be surprised if anyone they knew did visit or subscribe.

Not that I’m a total unknown in my area. I have given many presentations around town, and I have been featured in the local newspapers here and there. But for the most part I’m fairly easily ignored locally.

I have to admit that I thought I’d get more people I knew locally to retweet this post for me, as others locally have had gripes with someone and gotten a fairly nice local response from people in retweeting things; I got 2 people locally who did it for me, and I’m thinking that’s kind of shame. But I got a lot of folks who don’t live here, who had never even heard of the company (which was surprising) that retweeted it, and I thank all of you for that.

I put this thought out there to ask it this way; if you can’t be influential locally, can you really be influential anywhere else? I believe you can, but my mind still finds the concept, well, strange.

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10 Things I’ve Learned About Giving A Workshop

As y’all know, I’ve been doing some workshops on social media marketing. I expect to do more, and I’m working with my friend Renée to possibly do a local workshop the first weekend of October.

To Be Taught
by Katrina Lopez

It’s actually the first time I’ve done the same exact workshop more than once, and if I’m going to be doing it more and more I need to continue to refine it to a degree. This is different than a one-and-done, which I’m usually used to doing, mainly because some of the participants might talk with other potential visitors, and thus you want to always try to be better each time you do a live presentation. However, sometimes it’s not all that easy. Here are 10 things I’ve learned from the first two presentations.

1. You can’t control the traffic. Of all things, there was a major tractor/trailer accident on the major highway to get to where I was giving the presentation. It took them 6 hours to clear things up, which of course meant that all the people who were on their way were going to be late, since it seems none of them had listened to the news to know the accident had already occurred. The seminar ended up starting 80 minutes late; oh well…

2. There’s a different between a formal group and a nonformal group. With the first group, I didn’t know any of the people who came. With the second, I knew everyone who came. The first group listened intently, asked questions when they had them respectfully, and all was good. The second group had a couple of people who wanted to try to share what they knew about some of the things I was talking about and basically just blurted out things as they saw fit. That made for a rough day, especially since they still insisted on finishing at the same time even though we started late.

3. People form their own expectations of what they think they’ll get out of your presentation, no matter what you tell them. I think the flyer was very clear on our objectives; you will learn what you need in order to create a social media marketing campaign of your own for your business. First time around, one lady said she came to learn ways to keep people from asking them a lot of questions. This time around, one guy said he was hoping to learn how to find time in his busy schedule to do this type of marketing. Both said they didn’t get what they came for; that was expected since I wasn’t teaching what they were expecting, and didn’t come close to indicating that’s what I was going to do.

4. When people think they know your topic, they actually don’t most of the time. One guy at the last workshop said he used LinkedIn a certain way. When I made a suggestion based on my material and knowledge he said he didn’t want to use it that way. I said that was fine, went on with my presentation, and he kept interrupting to counter how it wouldn’t work for him, which was disruptive, until I got to one point when he finally said he got it. Another guy said his impression of Twitter was that it was writing things on the internet via one’s cellphone. He also said he’d spent the previous day participating in a webinar on social media marketing. Either he missed that part or it wasn’t very good if his impression of Twitter was so bad. But early on he’d been someone who said he didn’t want to talk about Twitter much, and it was based on his misperception of what it was. He’s still not going to do it, but at least I now know he understands what it’s really about.

5. When people think they know you, sometimes they just don’t understand how to respect you. I’ve thought about this one a lot over the past few days. One of the people there does presentations around town, and I’ve seen him in action a couple of times. I know his topic, as I’ve read many of the same books he’s read. I’ve written about his topic on both this blog and my business blog, and in other articles in other places. Yet, whenever I’ve seen him present, I’ve never interrupted him or called him out on something I’ve read, and rarely offered anything else. In my mind, he’s the presenter, the professional at that moment, and it’s not about me but about what he has to share, and if I can get a nugget then it’s all good. However, it seems many people aren’t like that, and thus you have to work on building up a thick enough skin to deal with it at the time, and figure out what to do with it later on. I’m still working on that second part.

6. It’s always nice when you see someone have an “aha” moment. At the first workshop, I happened to mention Meebo and how I use it for business. This one guy thought it was a great idea, and on the spur of the moment he figured out many ways he could use it in his business and the customer service benefits of it. And the thing that felt good is that he was a marketing consultant who came to learn about social media marketing and actually got something really beneficial out of it.

7. Doing a workshop is like trying to teach someone how to play a musical instrument. I play piano, and while I was in college, people would ask me to teach them how to play. So I’d start by telling them where middle C was, and they’d invariably say “I don’t want to learn all that, I just want to learn how to play a song. In music, you can’t learn how to play anything until you know a couple of foundation pieces to help you know where you need to put your fingers. With social media marketing, if you have no idea what it is or why it can be beneficial then it does me no good to tell you how to use it. A couple of times I got interrupted by someone asking me how they could use something when I was still building the foundation as to why it was important. Since they already had my presentation in their hands, they knew what was coming. I would always have to say “I’m going to get to that”, which is irritating, but you do what you have to do.

8. Building the foundation is important. Why? Because at the end of each workshop there was at least one person who came to me and said they didn’t know any of the stuff I taught them, and how much they appreciated that I took the time explaining it all and then giving them ideas on how to use it. That’s what it’s all about, and the thing anyone who gives a presentation of any kind has to remember. Because…

9. You can’t please everyone. Well, if they’re open to what you have to say maybe you can, but in general you’re going to hit some home runs, and you’re going to have to bunt to get on base a couple of times. I go to very few things where, in the long run, I didn’t think I made a good decision. That’s called evaluation, and if you have everything you need, you should be able to evaluate whether something will help you or not. I know that the two workshops reached the majority of the people who came, and I’ve always been a numbers guy, so in my mind they were both fairly successful.

10. Rehearsing is paramount. I can’t believe people will put together a presentation and not rehearse it, then wonder why things didn’t go well. The first presentation went six hours including a 45-minute lunch break. The second one went 4 hours and 45 minutes with a 30 minute lunch break. I presented over 4 hours both time, yet ended up not quite giving the same presentation each time. Without rehearsing, timing different concepts to see how long they would take for me to talk about, building in what I considered was legitimate question time, I wouldn’t have known how to change things up to achieve my objective. And I really needed that skill the second time around.

I could add more but this post is already long enough. Suffice it to say I’m definitely doing more of these, and hopefully each time I do it, I’ll learn something else I can use the next time.

Dalite Whiteboard Accessory Package

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Social Media Day Tweetup In Syracuse

I’m glad I get to write about this event this time around because I’m going to embellish it somewhat. Oh, I’m going to tell the truth, but I get to add those little things about people that I’m not sure anyone else would add, in my own way. Just so y’all know, any links to names are people who were at the event; if you don’t get a prominent part in the tale, your names with your Twitter links will come at the end of this post.

Kelly Lux & Dan Klamm

Wednesday was Social Media Day, at least in the United States; I have no idea if any other countries played along. It was named thus by Mashable, and as I read about different events in some newspapers across the country, a lot of people claimed it as a PR farce, while others tried to take the mantle of best attended. I’ll say this; ours was the best attended tweetup to date, and I bet we had as much fun, if not more fun, than those really large ones. I thought I had a hand in helping to plan the date, as I had been talking to a few people about trying to have one on a Wednesday so that people who hadn’t been able to make Tuesday or Thursday could come, but it seems that Kelly Lux and Dan Klamm put it together because they knew about the Mashable date; oh well… 🙂

This time the tweetup was held at a place called the Bull & Bear Pub in Hanover Square on East Water St. My little story about this is that, back in the 70’s, this area was where the pimps and prostitutes used to hang out. As a teenager, I’d come downtown either by myself or with a few friends and we’d park the car someplace safe and walk over to the area to watch. They even had pimps with feathers in their hats and those big Lincoln Continentals. These days the area is definitely a bit more family friendly with the fountain running, and lots of bars and a restaurant or two, with a new one coming; I’ll get back to that.

I showed up right at 5:30, which means I got to park right across the street; love that! The first person I ran into was my buddy Josh Shear, who’s just started his own web design business called That Josh on websites, SEO and social media; yup, another competitor in the field. lol I also saw another friend of mine, Sean Branagan, who owns a company called Communigration, a national marketing company, who was buying the first round of drinks. That took care of my first diet soda. He introduced me to someone else, and I hate to say this but I can’t remember who; sorry about that. 🙁

Tim Dodge, Me, Kelly Lux

I next met Joanne Capella, who’s doing something up at Syracuse University that I can’t remember, but I do remember that she and her husband are big into arts and crafts, as she told me there’s a big community in Syracuse that does that. Will wonders never cease. While we were talking my friend Tim Dodge showed up. He and I have known each other almost 7 years now, as we met as part of this writer’s group I’m a part of, and he’s a great writer as far as I’m concerned. Check out his site to see some of his writings, and I believe it will link to some of his recorded books as well.

From this point people started coming in droves, so much so that I can’t think of who came in and in what order. But there are a few people I’d like to highlight, if I may. One was Scott Severance, who owns his own real estate company, and used to ask me to sit in for him at BNI meetings whenever he couldn’t show up. Two others are my friends Kelvin Ringold, who’s a master photographer and getting serious about motivational presentations, and Jill Hurst-Wahl, who travels around the country talking about library sciences, research, digitization and social media stuff.

Twittering during Tweetup

There was also my friend Steve Borek, who’s into life and personal coaching, and a new friend, Danita Becker, who does web design and promises she’s got a blog coming at some point. And of course, one of my best friends in history, Scott Thomas, who I’ve talked about a lot around here because he’s a man of many talents, including his photography blog, and someone who comments here regularly (and picks on me as well), brought his camera, and is responsible for all the pictures you see here.

Some of what I know about other people who showed up and deserve special mentions include:

Nicole and Kevin Samolis, who put together the wildly successful Syracuse Biz Buzz conference, which I helped work on the night before and is where I met Anthony Rotolo, a professor at Syracuse University who gave a brief presentation that night, and Jenn Pedde, who was one of the people helping new folks set up accounts, which is how I participated.

Anne Messenger is one of the most prominent local entrepreneurs in the area, and I have a feeling she has no real idea who I am, even though I was in two presentations she gave and of course gave my opinion when I felt I wanted to participate (I’m known for that). She does career management & HR consulting.

Todd Engel, one of the few attorneys I know (which includes the attorney who put the will together for my wife and I, who regularly seems to have my number when I go to the casino to play poker).

Kim Brown, who many other folks knew and is a stone cold fox (see, us married men get away with stuff like that when our wives are cool) who works for WSYR Channel 9.

Rebecca Kohler, the only physician who showed up, and strangely enough, is a sleep doctor (seems a lot of people remembered I was having a sleep study done, but didn’t realize it was last week and not this week), and we talked for awhile about sleep and such.

Those are the folks I got to talk to or knew already fairly well who showed up. Everyone else I got to meet but didn’t get to talk to, and by the time I remembered I’d brought pad and pen with me to get names were still around do I could get the info. Here’s everyone else who I hope continue coming to our “little” tweetups:

Mark Britz;

Lisa Baker;

Michele Wood;

Margaret McCormick;

Evan Watson;

Greg Ketcham

Sally Swartley;

Erica Strong;

Ines Mergel;

Cathy Stevens;

Martha Ketcham (who I’m really proud of because she didn’t have a Twitter account at the event but said she was going home and setting up one with this link, and she did);

Ross Stoltz;

Sean Griffin

At this point you probably think this post is over, but it’s not. Remember I mentioned a new restaurant coming. Dan Klamm’s father is opening a new restaurant on that same block at the corner of East Water and Salina called Prime Steakhouse (no real website here yet, but it’s coming, and we got to take a tour of it. I have no idea what it used to be, but you could tell that it was something fancy at some point in history, and some of the woodwork and the design is classic. There were even a couple of rooms where Scott and I talked about hiding bodies; I’m not kidding. lol It looks like it’s going to be fantastic, and, well, y’all know how I like my meat (well, love meat, but don’t like it fighting back when I’m ready to eat). I can hardly wait.

And now it’s over; whew! By the way, the young lady working the bar at Bull & Bear was extremely attractive and friendly as well; even finally showed me a menu, though Scott had already mentioned Friendly’s by then, so if you ever want a great burger and fries, it seems to be a great place to go for one.

inside Prime

Anyway, that’s all I can remember. This is what a tweetup is supposed to be; lots of fun, meeting new friends and catching up with old friends, and hopefully being a positive experience for everyone. I even got to talk a little bit about the social media marketing event I’m putting on come June 22nd. I had a blast; can’t wait until the next one. And for those of you living in other parts of the world, I heartily recommend going to one of these, even if you have to set it up yourself.

At-A-Glance QuickNotes QuickNumbers Phone and Address Book

At-A-Glance QuickNotes QuickNumbers Phone and Address Book

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