Side view of a young boy using laptop isolated on white backgrouAssuming you’ve already defined your target market (the kind of customers/clients you want to do business with), then your first step on LinkedIn is to get yourself noticed by that target market. That means making your profile sticky and engaging.

Your next step is to build up your connections so you can communicate and be seen by that target audience. This involves joining groups, sending requests to connect and making yourself found so people want to connect with you. It’s no good playing a great game to an empty stadium! [click to continue…]

Your ideal referral

by Andy Lopata on May 10, 2013 · 0 comments

Networking GroupIn a previous blog, I talked about how to help people understand what you do in order to help you more effectively; making it easy for them to do so rather than antagonising them. 

Once your network understand what you want them to say about you, you then need to focus on who you want them to share your message with. If, for example, you are looking for contacts in the public sector, there is little advantage to be gained if your message is being shared with small start-up companies.  [click to continue…]

Waiting for things to happen

by Andy Lopata on February 15, 2013 · 0 comments

Business people planningOver the years I have run many seminars and training sessions on referrals strategy. I have asked a lot of business audiences where their best and most effective new leads come from and the vast majority will always reply ‘word of mouth’, ‘recommendation’ or ‘referral’. Yet, when I ask specifically for them to describe what strategy people have in place, I am met with blank looks.

On the whole, companies believe that if they deliver good service, their customers will refer them naturally. This is a passive approach, and in reality quality referrals are unlikely to be forthcoming. [click to continue…]

The true value of BNI isn’t the meetings

by Andy Bounds on February 4, 2013 · 0 comments

sligoI love BNI meetings.  I love the energy and positivity.  I love seeing people’s businesses improve before my eyes, as they get referrals, public endorsement, new contacts, new ideas…  It’s just a great start to the day.

But I have long believed that the true value of BNI isn’t what happens during the meetings.  It’s what happens outside them.  It’s all the:

  • The calls you make, to trigger referrals for others
  • The calls they make, to trigger referrals for you
  • Referrals you all follow-up on, that lead to business
  • 121s you have, to get to know each other better
  • The time you spend writing testimonials and preparing 60 seconds that your Chapter will enjoy
  • BNI training you attend, to help you grow your – and others’ – business even faster

That’s where the real value of BNI is. [click to continue…]

What is this networking thing?

December 27, 2012

“Networking – that’s not for me. Cheesy American rubbish! You can’t get business just by chatting to people, besides I’ve got better things to do with my time. Trust me; it will never catch on…” I’ve had all these thrown at me in the past and I still probably hear one similar phrase a week dismissing networking as new age nonsense. But let’s look at this a bit closer and see whether networking is new or American, or whether it even works.

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If it’s good enough for Usain Bolt, it’s good enough for me

December 2, 2012

Excluding relays, Usain Bolt has run in four finals in the previous two Olympics.  He’s won four Gold medals and has become widely accepted as the fastest man ever. And do you know how long he took to win these four finals?  57.94 seconds. That’s less than a minute. In fact, that’s less time than you’ll spend reading this blog.  Talk about practising hard so you perform brilliantly when it matters…

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Thank you to Tim and Charlie for supporting Born Digital Youths

November 6, 2012

On the 11th October the Digital Youth Academy (DYA) had its official launch at the House of Lords, hosted by Lord Jim Knight. The mission we share with businesses, colleges and wonderful networks such as BNI is to connect two fabulous resources that we have in the UK – our Business Community and our Born Digital Youths, so that together we can innovate, thrive, grow and understand the social culture of the online world for business. 

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October 29, 2012

A few years ago, if I were setting off on a journey to somewhere new or unfamiliar I would have done a few things first: look at a map, calculate how long the journey would take, choose the best route and note down a few alternative ways in case I came across road works or delays. We now have more modern technologies like Sat Navs which allow us to simply type in the destination and they do the rest. In a matter of minutes they calculate the route, the length of time the journey will take and they can even advise [...]

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