Online Networking

man-with-laptop-150x150This month, I thought I would give an overview of some of the projects that I feel BNI members could benefit from, whether needing more skills in their own business, or wanting to be part of the digital skills shortage solution!

Networking is a key part of my life, I join up dots and see opportunities whilst joining up the gaps. Over the past 3 years I have assisted with ‘funded skills programs’, placing young people into work and providing ‘free’ training to small businesses, specialising in digital skills.

The past 16 years have been a test of my tenacity and passion (sound familiar?) and I sense now that the need for digital skills is reaching a point whereby those that don’t have the skills are very worried, and those that have them and want to share this knowledge are being well paid and reaching a saturation point in their own capacity. Is this a demand outstrips supply scenario? It soon will be I believe. [click to continue…]

Side view of a young boy using laptop isolated on white backgrouI guess we all have something to celebrate on the back of me being awarded an OBE for ‘Services to Entrepreneurship in Social and Digital Development’ in the New Year Honours 2014!

Why you?  Well, I assume you are an entrepreneur.  These are the great people that BNI attract, and I assume you ‘get’ digital as you are logging on and reading a blog.  The part missing from the Queen’s Citation to me was ‘networking’.  Everything I have done and continue to do is about helping business people understand how to network online.  I know 100% that as a BNI member you are aware of business networking.  So, here you are – please celebrate with me that our world has been recognised at quite a high level. [click to continue…]

images[8]Having a well-stocked blog of relevant articles is a great networking tool. However, so many networkers spend hours and hours writing their blog for little or no reward. In this blog post, Heather Townsend, author of ‘The Go-To Expert’, and ‘The FT Guide To Business Networking’ shows how you can replicate one of her client’s success at doubling his business, by tactically adding a blog into his networking tool kit.


How successful was this blog?

The client was struggling in Q1 of this year. His pipeline was pretty light and he had only just refreshed his website and got his blog up and running. Within 3 months it was a completely different story, as he started to get phone call after phone call, from potential clients and introducers wanting to work with them. The only thing that had changed for my client was how he tactically used his blog to keep in touch with his network of introducers and potential clients. In case you are thinking that you don’t have enough time to blog, this client only publishes a blog post monthly.

As a result of his consistent lead generation, he and I were able to ‘codify’ 6 rules of how he should use his blog with his network in order to keep the leads coming. For the rest of this article I will share with you the six rules. [click to continue…]

LinkedIn for Entrepreneurs and Why You Should Use It

by Linda Parkinson-Hardman on June 10, 2014 · 0 comments

images[1]There are many online social networks around that can help you to become more visible to a potential audience, no matter who they are. Customers, potential customers, suppliers, stakeholders, collaborators and supporters can all be added to the social media mix.

However, it would be fair to say that not all social networks are created equal, and that some are better than others at supporting specific tasks.  In my opinion, LinkedIn has to be one of the best at supporting entrepreneurs and there are a number of reasons why I think it’s such a great tool to use. There are many delights to being an entrepreneur, not least that of being your own boss. You get to call the shots, decide what you are going to do and when you are going to do it.  If you wish, you can change your business at the drop of a hat; it’s all YOUR choice.  And that of course, leads us to the biggest issue with being an entrepreneur … you are the buck, it stops with you. You have to take responsibility for the decisions you make and if they go wrong you are the one picking up the pieces. As a result it can be quite a lonely existence, being the person at the top of the tree. [click to continue…]

An i for an Eye

April 29, 2014

I was at a conference recently which had a great keynote speaker called Paul McGee, if you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, jump at the chance! He was captivating, and talked to the audience about some of the concepts from his book “S.U.M.O. (Shut Up, Move On): The Straight-Talking Guide to Succeeding in Life” which is a fabulous read…however something really stuck with me that he said: “In a world of iPhones and iPads, never forget the impact of eyeballs.” As an expert in word-of-mouth marketing and networking, I was delighted to hear this phrase. However, it [...]

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Social Credibility

April 16, 2014

I always take great delight in writing a blog for BNI as I know it lands on people that understand and live by a philosophy of ‘Givers Gain’. In this month’s blog I thought I would examine this belief system against the backdrop of how we all use the online world. I remember when blogging was first introduced on our community site Ecademy, an online and offline Business Network that Thomas and I founded in 1998. We introduced blogging in 2002. Teaching people the technology of uploading a blog was one thing; the next step was to ensure they weren’t loading [...]

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How to prevent social media burnout

February 4, 2014

With its ‘always on’, 24/7 culture it is very easy to become so wrapped up in the world of social media that burnout is a very real risk that everyone participating runs. However, with a few simple changes to the way that we manage our online lives, we can avoid this pitfall and continue to enjoy the benefits for many years to come.

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Building Better Business with BNI

January 9, 2014

So the stats are in. Tim Cook, my BNI co-National Director (and definitely the statto one of the two of us), has confirmed the turnover generated by BNI members across the UK and Ireland in the calendar year 2013.  The figures are astounding:

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