Marketing From A Woman's Point of View

Category — Event Marketing

Live Social Media Marketing Events: Are You Attending or Intending?

Social media marketing events are happening all around us and with every one there are new opportunities waiting to be had.  However, without setting your intentions before attending, your mind doesn’t know what to be on the look out for and you will miss golden opportunities right in front of you.

When I say “intention”, I mean much more than just a casual “when I get there I’m hoping to meet so-and-so”.  Intentions are when your thoughts, desires, and focus are all in harmony.  Be clear (focus) on your business objectives (dreams)  and  your thoughts will line up to start noticing opportunities.  They will be attracted to you.  (Be sure to check out  Hardwiring Your Brain for Marketing Success!)

Intentions are important in any area of your marketing success, but especially when attending live events because things are constantly moving and changing.  Your chance to talk or network face to face with a top influencer can be a fleeting moment that you may never see again.

Below are 8 intentions to get you started, but take the time to put some thought into them and make them your own.  Really dig in and you’ll be amazed at how opportunities just appear because your thoughts are focused on finding them.

1. Make a list of questions

Before you go to the event sit down and think about your business goals.  You should already know what you intend to accomplish and have a plan on how to get there.  If you’re really working towards your goals and you’re growing, chances are you will have hit a few forks in the road or may need a little advice from someone more experienced.

Write those questions down that you’ve been holding in the back of your head that’ve been keeping you from taking your business to the next level.  Sometimes you don’t even know what it is that’s holding you back….thinking about it will bring to the surface what the real reason is.  Once you know what it is, think about questions you might ask and who might be the most qualified to answer.  Seek out those experts while you’re there.

2. Plan A Mini-Interview With Your Top Picks

These questions are different than the ones you prepared in step one. Those questions focused on you and your specific business ideas or roadblocks you’re experiencing.  These are about the Speaker and their business success.  You might even consider video taping and posting to your blog as a mini-interview.

Write down who you want to meet while you’re at the event and make a list of all the questions you want to ask them.  If you know someone you admire or respect in your industry is going to be there write their name and some specific questions about their success like, “What are the thee most crucial things you did that got you to where you are today?” Or, “If you were starting all over again what advice would you give yourself?”

3. Research The Event Speakers

Many times you may attend an event that has well known Keynote Speakers, but you may not be familiar with some of the workshop Speakers or Presenters.  Before you go to the event do your homework and find out everything you can about the Speakers: what their latest project is, what’s their specific niche in the industry, who do they associate with, what are some of the latest conversations they’ve been having?

The best place to start is their blog’s “About Me” page to get some background information, then browse the rest of their blog to see what kind of content they are putting out.  Check their Twitter conversations and blog commenting.  You can check Disqus or Backtype to see what comments they have left on other blogs.  Get a feel for what they are all about and where their attention is right now so you have something pertinent to talk about.

Once you get to know each of the Speakers better you may find that, while it’s great to meet the big dogs, one of the other Presenters may be someone more in line with your business desires.   Be prepared when you go….have set intentions.

4. Buddy Up

Find a live event buddy and hold each other accountable.  You may not be able to attend all the workshops at the live event but if you have a buddy you can split up and agree to share notes after the event.  How many times have you taken tons of notes and then gone home to set them on a shelf to never look at them again?  Use the buddy strategy to hold each other accountable to actually do something with your notes.

When the event is over meet with your buddy before you part ways to debrief and set your intentions on what you’re each going to implement,  Write down the action steps for when you get home.  Set an appointment to meet with your event buddy no more than 3 days after the event.  Don’t let the inspiration fade.  Then agree to have accountability chats once a week to see if you you’re completing your action steps.

This may morph into a partnership or a joint venture.  So make sure you find a good buddy!

5. Craft your brand

When you go to a live event you need to brand yourself just like you would online.  Have your 3 minute elevator speech memorized so when you meet someone you can quickly share.  Your intentions should shine through and your brand should be easily understood.  Boil it down to three things:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • Why you are here

For example, if I was going to a live blogging event I may say something like, “My name is Coree Silvera from Market Like A Chick.   I share principles behind marketing with social media and event community management.  I’m here to stay on top of the latest trends in social media and to meet other people in the industry.”

I tell those I meet enough about me so that they can ask some specific questions, like what is event community management, or how did you get started.  Then you can have a meaningful conversation instead of, “Where are you from?” Or, “Man, it’s hot/cold!”

6. Have Business Cards

Give yourself a few weeks ahead of time to order just in case.  Make sure you have your contact information on the front and your brand’s tag line on the back.  Or, if you’re an affiliate marketer, you can put the URL to your top three affiliate links. You might also print a special discount on product/services on the back of the card to encourage them to look further.

Be sure to include your social networking user names so it’s easy to find you.  One of the most annoying things is to go to a social media marketing event and get a business card without the person’s social media info.  At least include your Twitter name.

Remember the goal is not how many cards you give out but how many you get so YOU can follow up with them. If they don’t have a card write down their info so you can follow up with them.  Or, if you are really smart, one of the best ways to exchange social media information instantly is with a Poken!  They are neat little gadgets that just take a click of a button to sync each others info onto a USB stick and save to your computer.

7. Stay Organized

As you get those questions you wrote down answered, cross them off your list and make a note of where to find the answer in your notes.  Many times the Speaker may answer your question in their presentation so cross it off & make a new question that is more in depth.   Whatever questions are left over you can then seek out the proper people to answer them.

Find a system that works for you while taking your notes.  Maybe you want to bring a divided notebook for each topic or each workshop.  At the very least remember to write the date, name of event, name of workshop, Speaker and the Speaker’s Twitter handle.  It only takes a second or two and will save you time later when you’re looking for that tip you heard while you were at the event.

8. Go Early, Stay Late

Some of the best time to network is before and after the event.  I know several people that don’t even go to the workshops, but pay to be there just for the networking and hang out in the exhibitor area the whole time.  Personally, I want to go to the workshops and learn something new to share with my readers or to enhance my service.  So, I don’t have time to network in between workshops.

You’ve probably traveled far and paid a lot of money to come to the event so make the most out of it. Get to the event early and stay late if you can. By doing this you will have a better chance of catching a moment to chat with some of the Speakers. Your time there is valuable there so make the most of it!

Being clear about what your business intentions are and why you are going to the event will make it much more meaningful and you’ll come away with fresh ideas, contacts, and action steps.  This is the difference between merely “attending” an event or “intending” to seize every opportunity at an event.  Your time and money are valuable, go with purpose!

What’s your best tip to get the most out of a live social media event?  Have you ever gone to an event without any clear purpose of what you wanted to get out of it?  How can you line up your intentions with the next event you’re planning on attending?  Share any stories of how you used an event to create a new joint venture, move past a roadblock, or how you may have missed an opportunity because you weren’t prepared.

To Your Success,

May 4, 2010   9 Comments

Attending Live Social Media Events – Which Events Are Right For You?

Live events are a great way to network with others in your business field. Human interaction builds strong relationships. Also, you get to practice those networking skills in person. But, what events are right for you?

Live events are going on all around you. The trick: knowing where to look.

Where To Find Events of Interest

  • Visit your favorite blogs for information. If your bloggers are speaking or attending a conference they will want to let their readers know about it. Most of the time you will see a badge or a list in the sidebar or if they’re very busy speakers you may find a separate page with their engagements listed.  Ask for more information if they don’t provide a link.
  • Visit forums. Business forums usually have a place where they list upcoming events both online and offline. Check to see which are close to you and if they are on a topic that interests you.
  • Visit social networking sites. These are great for business connections. If friends are hosting events or attending, they may post an invite to the event for their business contacts. Read the information and attend.
  • See my events list. Since you’re here on my blog I figure you’re interested in some of the same events I am.  You can see my wish list of events I’m looking to be SPONSORED for on my Sponsor Me page.

If you’re a business looking for a professional conference blogger that’s the page to find one!  Whether it be me or another blogger, it’s important to know how to reach out to a blogger and find the best match.  I wrote an article on Branding With Blogger Outreach that may be helpful in your approach.

If you’re a blogger that would like to be sponsored for an event, let me know and I’ll post a few of the tips I’ve learned.

JD Lasica put together an awesome Calendar for 2010 conferences and events that lists best social media, tech­nol­ogy, media and mar­ket­ing con­fer­ences for the upcom­ing year.  It’s a great starting point for your research.

Finding Events For Your Interests or Niche

The live events you choose may interest you in two ways:

  • Professionally
  • Personally

Professionally, choose live events that are relevant to your business. You wouldn’t attend a crafting seminar if you sell gardening supplies. And, you probably would pass on a seminar that highlights how offline businesses can get into online markets if you already own an online business.

It can be hard to decide if you are new to online business. Because you aren’t sure what you need to know, you don’t know what live events will be best for you. Here are some pointers:

  • Check geographic location – Your first time out, you might want to stay close to home to lower costs. Money is often tight when you just get up and running.
  • Look at event registration costs – Now, money is not the only consideration. As the fees get more expensive, your attendees will reach a different caliber as well. And, some events are tax deductible as a business expense. What we are talking about here is to see if you can swing the cost for a highly rated event that will benefit your business in many ways. Or you could consider offering your promotion skills for a brand that can’t attend an event and be sponsored to go.
  • Look at the speakers – Who is coming that you really feel you can learn from? Don’t go just because the speaker is well known…make sure their topic and speaking style is going to be something that you will be able to absorb and implement in your own business.  If the speakers are some of your favorite bloggers or online business owners that you have been wanting to meet, don’t pass up the chance to have your questions answered and gain some insight.

Choosing a live event to attend doesn’t have to be a hard decision. Gather as much information as you can about upcoming events, their location and fees so you can map out your networking strategy. Be prepared with which sessions you want to attend, who you want to meet with, and what you will say when you do meet your mentors in person. (Perfect that elevator speech!)

What events are you planning on attending this year? Why did you choose those?  Have you found any other sites that list upcoming events that you can share? Please leave your questions or tips below in the comment section.  I love hearing from you!

To Your Success,

P.S. –> When you attend events your goal is to network and collect as many contacts as possible to follow up with later.  Show your digital style, save precious time, and stay organized with a sweet little gadget called Poken.  You can collect social network info with one touch of a button and it’s saved forever.  Check out the post I wrote on How To Exchange Social Media Contact Info Instantly at Events for more info on Poken.

March 12, 2010   5 Comments

Women To Watch – Rebecca Orlov, Co-Founder of Blog Out Loud

Today’s Woman To Watch article features the very busy and very talented female entrepreneur, Rebecca Orlov, Co-Founder of Blog Out Loud. Rebecca understands social media and has helped brands build their communities online and off by teaching how to engage with blogging and events

Her success has taken her beyond Blog Out Loud and has now inspired her to launch another new venture which she will tell you about.  One thing’s for sure…Rebecca stays busy!  Check out her fantastic interview below.

I feature one woman entrepreneur every Wednesday for my Women To Watch series. If you would like to be featured on Market Like A Chick, just check out the details on my Be Featured page and get back to me. We want to hear from you!

To start off, Rebecca, could you please describe what you do and how you earn your living?

Sure, I am digital consultant, writer and producer. I had a 10-year career in advertising, producing broadcast campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and transitioned a year ago to full-time design blogging and digital consulting with lifestyle brands. I contribute to popular home network Apartment Therapy;  edit my shelter blog: loving. living. small;  co-founded Blog Out Loud and am writing for a soon-to-be design website for Williams – Sonoma Inc. that is launching in March.

And I am excited to announce my brand new company, Sweetline Agency, that is getting ready to open it’s digital doors in just a few days. Sweetline is an online brand project management company that helps lifestyle brands and companies define, concept and build their full online presences. This includes the editorial voice, adopting social media and designing and building the website and social media communities.

What most influenced you to launch your business?

I am passionate about creativity and I’m inspired every day by design, color, texture and style. I have always connected with creative people and noticed early last year that many small business owners weren’t utilizing the web to build and market their biggest brand – their own company! And I can understand why – many small business owners don’t know where to begin, who to work with or think it’s super expensive to get their online presence up and running. I am here to help.

The inspiration for launching Sweetline was initially ignited by Blog Out Loud, the community I co-founded last June that encourages creative people to engage in social media, to connect to community and enhance their businesses through offline events, webisodes and a blog. The amazing response from Blog Out Loud combined with the my years of branding/production/marketing at a large firm inspired me to start Sweetline, a creative, affordable and collaborative company that any small business owner can enjoy and benefit from.

Why do you think the female factor is so important in today’s economy and business world?

Most women inherently possess traits that lend themselves to nurturing and guidance and – when connected to other like-minded women – a momentum and buzz seems to happen. Having a trusted community of like-minded women provides a sense of security, strength and motivation. To me, this is why social media networks are so inspiring and relevant. I personally follow many female entrepreneurs and creative innovators (like Coree, that’s how I e-met her!) because of their strength, clear message and unspoken nurturing.

Have you used the marketing concept of tribes in your business?  Do you feel this concept can help other female entrepreneurs in their business pursuits?

I love the idea of having a place for like-minded people to connect. My success with tribes was forming one – Blog Out Loud. I saw that there wasn’t something like it and that people were looking for it. So, yes, I have used this idea of creating a tribe and definitely feel that this concept can help other female entrepreneurs. If you are passionate about your business, niche, industry, products, clients – and want to expand further on this – create a place for yourself and other people that are just as interested.

The 3rd Blog Out Loud presents “Belong: Building The Advertising Blog Community” from Blog Out Loud on Vimeo.

How do you use social media for your business?

I use social media 2 ways:

1) I have set up my own social media communities for my design blogs and Sweetline. I enjoy chatting to followers and sharing my thoughts about design, social media and web presence.

2) I engage in like-minded communities. I love following brands, companies and people that are appealing and interesting and, of course, that I relate to.

For my own networks, I use social media by blogging and using Twitter, in particular, Twitter lists. I have set up an editorial schedule for the Sweetline blog (that’s just getting started!) and I tweet once a day for all of them. I carve out about 30 minutes each morning to do all of this work since, yes, it does take time!! But it’s worth it!

What aspect of social media have you found to be the most help and/or most hindrance to your business?

I really do love Twitter and use it in many ways. Sure, I tweet, RT and DM but I also use Twitter as a search engine. It’s such a cool way to hear what people are talking about – right now! Whether it’s a broad topic like “interior design” or a specific item like “social media e-Books”, I can read right away what’s going on, how people are talking about these things and, most likely, find a new interesting person to follow and connect with.

Have you had a mentor and if so, how has that helped you?

Yes, I have a mentor and I have mentored. I absolutely love the experience of both! I definitely recommend embracing a mentor. For me, I really just enjoy the experience and opportunity to connect with a trusted person that supports and encourages me AND tells me like it is! We all need a little of that!

What would you say is the single biggest reason for your success?

Positive attitude is definitely the foundation for my success. I’ve always been someone that goes for it and keeps it real. My parents taught me this at an early age and I live by the idea to just do it! If it doesn’t work out, hey, at least you know that you gave it a shot and you were true to yourself. And, usually during this time, another interesting door will open. Trust me!

If you could step back in time to when you were just starting out, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?

This is a great question! If I could go back in time, I would encourage (ok, actually push, force, wrangle) myself to leave my last career sooner and get going on my current one. I was in the advertising world for over ten years and, although I loved many parts of it, I had wanted to move on for quite a long time. I love what I am doing now so much that I wish I had transitioned into working with great people on their online presences sooner. But I am here now and that’s what counts!

Can you share with us any plans or lifetime goals (personal or business) that we can look forward to from you?

My current business plans are to give Sweetline the love, focus and attention it deserves and enjoy doing it! This work is also very much an experience and I am excited to collaborate with amazing brands and companies. I am hoping to establish Sweetline as a real gem and go-to place for small lifestyle brands and I hope that my clients really enjoy the online presence experience.

My current life plan is to continue to be positive and always to embrace new things. In the last year, I had some unexpected life changes that I chose to embrace rather than regard as defeat. Wow, did this shape where I am today – for the better!

What is the best way for our readers to learn more about you or contact you for more information?

I have a few different ways to connect and I hope to meet many of you!!

Sweetline Agency :: Online Brand Project Management

  • · rebecca@sweetlineagency.com
  • · http://sweetlineagency.com
  • · http://blog.sweetlineagency.com
  • · @sweetlineagency

Blog Out Loud :: Blog Community

  • · rebecca@blogoutloudevent.com
  • · http://blogoutloudevent.com
  • · http://blogoutloudevent.blogspot.com
  • · @blogoutloud

loving. living. small :: Small Space Blog

Thanks so much for sharing all your successes and creative genius with us, Rebecca!  I’m looking forward to checking out Sweetline Agency when you go live, so be sure to let us know!

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> If you would like to be featured on Market Like A Chick, just check out the details on my Be Featured page.  You can choose to write a guest article of your own or be featured in an interview like this.  We want to hear from you!

February 17, 2010   1 Comment

Branding With Blogger Outreach

A marketing or PR employee may ask, “why blogs?”, when I have an armory of tools like press releases, social media, and email, why do I need to add blogs to my arsenal? And, if they do add blogs, what cost factors are in involved and will it be worthwhile?

Even with  social media becoming more widely accepted as a viable marketing tool there are still those that are skeptical of the results a blog can bring.

Creating Marketing Cycles With Blogs

Marketing plans generally go in cycles.  One marketing strategy is attached to another and if done right the next steps fall into place to automtically create that cycle.  Blogs work in conjunction with all the other efforts like your press releases and social media to turbo boost your cycle.  For instance:

  • The press release a company sends out may, in fact, be the pitch that results in a blog review.
  • The review can then be promoted on social media sites like Twitter – A good review from a respected blogger can create hundreds or even thousands of shares or retweets
  • The blogger review can be emailed to brand loyalists via email with a copy or link to the review.  This is press, just as any other type of media mention. Having your company’s product reviewed and posted to a blog should be added to your media kit and promoted to your email lists.
  • More bloggers may pick up the conversation happening on social media sites and post their own blog article with their own opinion, they promote that and the cycle begins again.

With Twitter’s 6 million users, (Compete.com Feb. 2009), and Facebook with more than 65 million active users, (Facebook.com Oct. 2009), it makes sense to include a blogger’s network and social media community into your marketing cycle.

Narrowcasting With Niche Specific Blogs

There’s no denying that media and the whole model of customer engagement is changing from a broadcast model to a narrowcast or niche model and incorporating a tighter feedback cycle. Those companies that can adapt to this new shift of brand equity to sweat equity are the ones that will find greater successes and more loyal brand evangelists.  Those that refuse to bend will be left in the dust.

Your target market is out there reading blogs.  Find the ones they are reading and become a presence where your market is hanging out.  Whether that’s women’s interests, technology, travel, B2b, or pets…there is a blog out there that your market is loyal to.

With bloggers rapidly overtaking the Internet, they are quickly becoming part of our media landscape. With more and more newspapers shutting their doors, blogs have become the default for many consumers to learn about news, opinions and products. Bloggers share their opinions with their readers, and readers listen.

If a blogger recommends a brand, you can be sure that their readers will visit the company website if not buy the product. The power bloggers hold in this regard is worth far more than traditional advertising methods.

A banner ad on a website just says, “We are “xyz” and we want you to buy our products”.   A blog review says, “I doesn’t make a difference to me if you buy it or not, but I thought this product was great.” Customers react MORE to referrals than advertising. The power of word of mouth referrals has always been the key to a successful and long lasting company.

Cost Effectiveness of Blogger Outreach

Blogger outreach as a marketing tool is more cost effective in general than traditional methods. A marketing budget of $100,000 will cover perhaps a television commercial, billboard ad for several months, and a year’s prominent placement in the Yellow Pages if you’re lucky.   Or, that same $100k will more than cover the blogger outreach and a detailed internet marketing and social media marketing strategy in your target market.

Bloggers have readers. This can vary from 100 readers a month to 200k+ per month. Readers follow a particular blogger because they find her a reasonable source of news and opinion. When a blogger writes about a particular brand, her readers pay attention. When readers pay attention, brands win by getting more traffic to their websites and an increase in sales.

Blogger outreach and using their social media influence will result in:

  1. More net new customers
  2. More depth – Helping your customers buy deeper
  3. Frequency – Your customers will hear about your brand more often, return more often, and inevitably purchase more often

Adding Blogs to Your Arsenal

No matter what your product or service, you want more customers, right? Blogs provide a greater reach for your products when you add blogger outreach to your overall marketing mix, and nothing beats a well-respected blogger’s endorsement.

But how to you begin reaching out to bloggers and adding blogs to your arsenal?   You should approach a blogger with the same respect you would any other press contact.  Get to know them first, who they are, their style of writing, what their niche is, who their readers are, etc…BEFORE you pitch them.

A good blogger pitch should:

  • Show that you’ve read the blog and find your news and product a good fit. This should be mutually beneficial and a blogger will not want to promote something out in left field that has nothing to do with what their community is there for.
  • Be customized to each blogger. Mention a post they’ve written that relates. By all means, do not SPAM multiple bloggers in a broadcast effort and call it blogger outreach.  I delete those, and will generally voice my opinion of such efforts publicly.
  • Not offer an interview with your CEO on the numbers for the company. <- B-O-R-I-N-G.  Bloggers want info on your product or service, not your latest financials or canned sales pitch.
  • Keep it sweet and simple.  Provide info but don’t overload.  Make it easy to understand the features and benefits.
  • Provide multiple ways to contact you. Email, phone, Twitter, Skype.
  • Be interesting.  Be cute. Funny. Outrageous.  Be anything besides boring.

What To Sponsor

There are several ways to sponsor a blogger.  You can sponsor their blog for a period of time, sponsor their newsletter, podcast, or my favorite…sponsor the blogger to be your representative at an event in combination with blog reviews and advertisement.

I have a special page dedicated to both sponsored advertising and sponsored events.  Sponsoring a blogger at an event is really the best way to get all your bases covered and provides a full spectrum of promotion to their readers, social network communities, and live interaction with those communities and other bloggers at the conventions.

See my Sponsor Me page for full details on what event sponsoring includes.  I also list many of the upcoming social media and Web 2.0 events for 2010. It really is the best bang for your buck!

To Your Success,

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February 12, 2010   21 Comments

Use LinkedIn Introductions to Build and Engage Event Communities

Now that you have installed and learned how to promote your event with LinkedIn Events application let’s talk about how to build your community and create some conversation.

An event without buzz is just another boring seminar that no one knows about.  You want to have your attendees, sponsors and speakers all participating in conversations to get people talking and have the topics picked up by those outside the event.  You want people to say, “Hey, everyone’s talking about this event over here.  What is it?”

So, how do you get the conversation started?  The great news is, you don’t have to do it all yourself, but you have to do a little seeding and get really good at introducing people to each other.  This is, after all, called social “networking”.

Using LinkedIn To Make Introductions

One of the unique features of LinkedIn is the ability to introduce your contacts to one another by forwarding profiles.  This comes in very handy when you are organizing events to create conversation and, quite possibly, increase attendance.  A couple suggestions:

1.  Introduce those that have RSVP’d they will be attending – Help break the ice of those that have never met before so they have someone to look forward to meeting at the event.  They will start their own conversation about the event: why they are going, what they expect to get out of it, who else they are meeting, etc.

2.  Introduce RSVPs that are “interested” to those that are attending – Remember the power of WOM (Word of Mouth).  A referral from someone else that already sees value in attending may be all they need to get them off the fence.

It’s easy to do from your Events page.  Just go to your RSVP page for your event and see who’s attending or interested and use the LinkedIn feature “Forward This Profile” to make the introduction.  The easiest way to do this is to open and minimize two browser windows so you can have them side by side rather than trying to do it from memory.

To navigate to your LinkedIn Event RSVP page:

  • At top of home page click on “More”, tab then choose “Events”
  • Click on “My Events” tab
  • Click on the name of the upcoming event you created
  • Click on “RSVP’s” tab.  This will show you all your RSVPS: attending, not attending, and interested.

I just took over some of the PR for SohoBiztube’s seminar “Aligning the Corporate and Personal Brand” that’s coming up in Chicago, March 4-5th, so I’m using their profile as an example.  (If you’re in Chicago, check it out. Branding experts Dan Schawbel and Olivier Blanchard are keynotes…if you’d like to attend, let me know and I’ll get you a discount off 2 day registration!)

Now that you can see who has RSVP’d you can select a profile to forward.  Try to choose someone that has RSVP’d they are attending that you are familiar with and know will recommend your event.  From their profile page, click on “Forward profile to a connection”.

That will open up a window for you to create a personalized message. BE SURE TO PERSONALIZE! Make the subject headline something that you would want to open – use email marketing smarts. Type in a little introduction and why you think it would be great to have the two meet before the event.

You can choose who you want to send the profile to by clicking on the small box next to the “Send TO” box to open up your LinkedIn contact list.

You’re sure to find RSVP’s from people that are not in your network so be sure to make the connection and ask to add them to your LinkedIn network. Again, take the time to personalize the request to mention what you have in common…in this case, your event.  There are very few times I will ask someone to join my network without a personalized introduction….usually when it’s already clear that we know each other and are on a familiar basis.

I wouldn’t call someone I know and say “Hi this is Coree from Market Like A Chick, we know each other from Twitter and you subscribe to my blog”.  It’s redundant and dorky.  Once they pick up the phone I’d just start talking.  If you have that type of relationship with the person you’re adding, then it’s cool to skip all the moo-ha-ha, otherwise… personalize.

By making introductions you’ll be paying it forward by helping others build their network and you’ll be building your own.  You might even add to the intro message a question to get conversation going, like “what are you most looking forward to at the event” or “what speaker would you like to see added to our future events?”. (Seed the conversation)

So, how many introductions have you made by forwarding profiles on LinkedIn?  What other LinkedIn tips do you use to promote or build your event community?  Please leave your comments and suggestions below.

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> If you are looking for more help with promoting your event on LinkedIn or through other social media marketing, I am accepting a limited amount of new clients.  You can see more details about the services I offer on my Hire Me page.  Or, if you’d like me to be your personal representative, live blogger or Twitter moderator for your event, please check out my Sponsor Me page! You’re more than welcome to email or call me with any questions!

January 29, 2010   14 Comments

Promote Your Event Using LinkedIn Events Application

Many event professionals have found the benefits of using social media in their event marketing campaigns for the viral potential.  LInkedIn has an event application that works well to target your niche market while also building an engaged event community.

You must first download the LinkedIn Event Application, which can be found in the Applications Directory under the “More” tab at the top of the window.   Then you can opt to have the application appear on your profile page, so whenever you log-in, the event information is now a module on your page.

Adding Your Event To LinkedIn Events Application

Once you add an event the system will automatically promote it to your network (the people you are connected to in the first level on LinkedIn).  Each time someone says they are attending, their network will get a network update.  So, listing your event first alerts your entire network, then each subsequent RSVP spreads the word further adding to the viral effect.

1.  Go to the Events Application and click on the “Add An Event” tab.   From there you will add all the event details.

2. Be sure to click on “Add More Details” so you can include event description, keywords and who should attend your event.

Make your details keyword rich, as LinkedIn matches your event keywords to the keywords used in your network’s user profiles.  You want your event displayed to as many as possible.  Just remember the same SEO rules you use on your blog.  You want to sound natural, so don’t overdo it.

3.  If it is a virtual event you will want to check the box “This is a virtual event“.  This will take out the unnecessary details of filling in Venue, Location, etc.

4.  Before publishing your event, click on “Preview Event” to make sure everything looks right.  Go back and make any changes, spelling corrections, and add any additional information you may have left out.  You want it to look perfect and professional.

5.  Once you’re satisfied, hit “Publish Event“.  Your event is now active and searchable on LinkedIn as well as Google. (Another reason keywords are so important!)

Promoting Your Event On LinkedIn

Once you’ve added your event LinkedIn will automatically promote it to your network and will open a new window with several options to promote your event.  If you don’t already have a large network you may want to consider using one of LinkedIn’s other promotion opportunities to get your event in front of a larger audience.

You have two options from here:

1.  Share With Contacts – You can manually enter a contact (someone not in your network but who you have an email address for) to make aware of the event.

2.  Advertise on LinkedIn – You can purchase paid advertising options targeting a specific audience on LinkedIn.  This would be going outside your own network of connections using advertising methods such as CPC (cost-per-click), CPM (cost-per-impression), or  text ads.

LinkedIn will suggest relevant events to users based on keywords they have used in their profiles. (Industry, Job title, etc).  Events will show who is organizing event, who is speaking and who is attending. Browsing events defaults to industry and can be filtered to show more or less results.

This will allow members to network with others attending or make a better decision on attending based on who’s going or who’s speaking.  It will also allow attending members to make more detailed plans with others in their network  rather than running into them by chance at the event.

There are more tips on getting your event discovered on LInkedIn, such as forming Groups, Discussions and participating in LinkedIn Answers.  For the sake of time I will go over these in a separate post this week.  This deserves a more in depth look that I don’t want to skimp on here.  Be sure to check back later for the follow up post.

Have you used LinkedIn Events to promote your organized events?  What benefits do you see to using LinkedIn?  Have you found and/or attended an event by browsing the LinkedIn Events application or had events automatically suggested to you?  Please leave your comments in the section below.  We would love to hear your feedback.

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> If we haven’t already connected on LinkedIn, please feel free to add me to your network!  You can find my LinkedIn profile here.

January 24, 2010   61 Comments

How To Exchange Social Media Contact Info Instantly at Events

How many business cards did you pick up at the last event you attended?  Business cards have been around for ages and seem to be the easiest and fastest way to share  and  our contact information with others. Power networkers have been known to collect and exchange 100 or more business cards in one day.  But, once you’ve got the card, what do you do with it?  Often they’ll end up in our bags, pockets or purses and never quite make it into our address books because no one wants to spend the time to input and organize the information.

Poken – The Digital Business Card

In this digital age, what is the answer to every paper pushing problem we have? Make it electronic, right?

That’s the idea behind the Poken. It’s the newest gadget to hit the event community and it’s a winner in my books!  With these super little guys you can exchange all your contact information – including all your social network profiles – instantly by touching Pokens together.  I know, it sounds kinda kinky with the name and the touching and all, but it just makes it all the more fun!

Poken solves one simple problem: how do I remember the email addresses and screen names of everyone I meet? At your next event bring along your Poken and voila you are a walking talking contact exchanging master!  You can choose from a few sleek designs created for the professional, or choose from many cute cartoon looking characters .

The new executive collection called the Poken Pulse is a 2gb USB flash drive and Poken all in one. The ones with cartoon characters are called the Poken Spark .  (My favorite character is the Poken Ninja.)

As a brand, you can even have your own customized Poken created just for you and use them as promotional gifts at events.  When you’re thinking of promotional gifts to offer your guests your goal is to give them something that has “keepability”…meaning they will not trash it, lose it, or give it away.  Poken as promo gifts give your guests a useful tool that will be taken with them everywhere and will flash your logo every time they use it.

How Do Poken Work?

You buy a Poken for around $20, open a FREE account at http://www.doyoupoken.com and set up your account.  Load your profiles, design your “ID Card”.  Attach the Poken to your keychain, keep it in your pocket or purse or use the provided lanyard for easy access at events.

When you meet someone in the Real World, touch Poken-to-Poken, feel the magnetic pull and look for the green light as they share your Facebook, Twitter and other social network profiles.

Once you’re done for the day, just bring it back, plug your Poken into your computer’s USB port, and download the data.  You’ll notice now that you have pending friends on your account page. Once you accept them you’ll not only have their contact information but also their Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, and other social network names.

Building your own contact card is easy. Simply add in whatever fields you want. And because it’s digital if you change jobs or join a new social network, as soon as you update your Poken business card, all of your friends and colleagues will have the contact information changed on their devices. You can also instantly be export all your new friend info from the website to Outlook and other email programs via downloadable vcards.

Bottom Line

Pros: The simplicity of exchanging contact info and the automatic updates for each contact is something I really love. Just touch Pokens, look for the green light and you know the next time you plug your Poken into your computer you’ll have that person’s contact information as well as links to their social media profiles. The price point is great too,  at just around $20 for the Spark and $35 for the USB flash drive version, it’s a deal.  Oh and did I mention there is no monthly fee?

Cons: Because Poken is just catching on in the US, you’re not always going to find that everyone already has one. But as more people start using them and seeing how simple the idea is, it will only be a short time before Poken is the standard.  Still plan on carrying some regular business cards with you.  Just be sure to remind your new contacts how much time and effort you both could have saved by going digital with Poken.

I’m sold on the idea. As a matter of fact, I am so sold that I’ve decided to become an affiliate for Poken and may be sponsored by them at this year’s SXSW convention. (Keep your fingers crossed for me!) If you do decide to purchase any Pokens, the links in this post are my affiliate links.  I appreciate it if you use them, but no worries if you don’t.

So, what’s your take on the Poken strategy for contact exchange?  Have you seen anyone using them yet?  Please leave your comments and suggestions below.  As always, I love talking with you!

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> Need a customized Poken with your corporate logo? We can custom design, create and manufacture a new Poken model with complete artwork that looks like your company’s image. Having a convention or business meeting? Large orders available at bulk discounts. Orders of 50 Pokens or more should click to call for pricing.

December 29, 2009   58 Comments

Ban Twitter: How To Stop Free Speech At Conferences

When should Twitter be banned at conferences?  That’s like asking when does your right to free speech stop.  There seems to be some controversy over whether Twitter use is appropriate at live events and conferences with strong stances from both sides of the camp.  Some see Twitter as a tool and others as a distraction.

In a recent article by Chris Pirillo titled Should Twitter Be Banned at Conferences,  I was surprised to see the reaction from his readers as well as Chris himself.  Chris had just finished up a live presentation at LeWeb and, from Chris’ viewpoint,  his presentation on community was not as widely praised as the presentations made by the guys from Twitter and Facebook.  After the presentation Chris noticed that there we some negative and even what he termed “harsh” comments made over Twitter regarding the conference.

First off, let me say this to Chris:  I wasn’t at LeWeb, but I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation at Blogworld and appreciated the touch of humor and wit you add to your teaching.  It’s nice to break it up a bit and not sit through line after line of boring instructions. With your less tangible talk on what a community really is rather than step by step instructions or breaking news, you were leading people to think about their philosophies.  Anytime you make people think for themselves there will be those that balk.  It’s just simpler to follow the leader rather than being a thought leader themselves.

People Flock Together

That being said, I think we need to realize that there will always be some sort of negative feedback whenever we express a viewpoint or philosophy.  When we are dealing with social communities and the mass effect of a tool like Twitter we are going to see some “me-too’ers”.  Meaning, it’s our nature to want to be like the rest of the crowd…whether it be negative crap or a cheer leading squad.  People flock together.

Don’t believe me?  Have you ever had a friend share their opinion with you on a subject only to do a 360 on their viewpoint when the rest of the gang (usually headed up by an alpha’s nudging) decided they were on the other side of the fence?  It takes courage to be different and stand up for what you believe in. So people take the easy way out and go with the masses. The same holds true for social masses, social media masses to be more direct.

Herding the Flocks

If we know people flock together then our goal is to learn how to herd the flocks.  In any marketing strategy we will always want to be able to influence decisions, right?  The trick is knowing how to gently lead.  If negative feedback comes in our first reaction is to react in defense.  Especially when we have poured our heart and soul into something and were giving our best.  But for more desirable results our emotions need to be taken out of the mix and strategic thinking and response needs to take place.

In the case of the Twitter bashing of the LeWeb conference, at the first notice of negativity the event leaders should have immediately been made aware and responded.  Isn’t this what we teach about customer service?  We praise companies that use social media to respond to consumer reactions.  Why would an event be any different?  If the event is looking to make a profit, it is a business.  If it is a business, it should have a logical system for responding to the attendees (consumers).

By incorporating an Event Community Manager, or at the very least a Twitter Moderator, a negative comment can easily be responded to or taken into a private DM conversation if possible.  The manager would also be feeding the Twitter feed with positive comments during the presentation to counter set any negativity or just lead the flocks to a greener pasture.  Each event should have a major presence on Twitter during all presentations and should be creating a cheerleading section.

Ban Twitter?

Preposterous.  Twitter is a very valuable tool that any experienced marketer will use to influence their flocks.  In event marketing Twitter can be used as a monitor to alert the event staff to potential fires and feedback, good or bad, and allow them to respond, grow and profit.  There are many reasons why events should use social media for their marketing.  There are very few arguments for why they should NOT.

Who is the most important person at the event?  Is it the event producer, the keynote speaker, or the attendees themselves?  If you are looking for profit, then your very most important person had better be your attendee.  They are paying to be there, they are looking for education, and they are the ones that control the word of mouth concerning your event.  I strongly disagree with the statement made by Chris in his article:

There are a lot of important people in the audience, yes. However, the person on stage is the most important one of all.

What are your thoughts?  How do you feel about the thought of banning free speech through Twitter at conferences?  How have you seen conferences use Twitter for crowd control or customer service? Please leave your comments below.

To Your Success,

P.S.~~> Do you want to hire an experienced social media professional to manage your event community?  Here is a shameless self promotion:  I have begun to offer my services as an Event Community Manager and would be happy to offer a free 30 minute consultation and provide rates.  Please contact me via email at coree {at} marketlikeachick {dot} com or use my contact page to send me an inquiry.

December 23, 2009   18 Comments

Live Tweets at Events – Tool or Distraction?

I published a series on using social media to market your events a few weeks ago and it has stirred up a few questions.  One of them being the debate over whether Twitter should be used at live events.

Now, you probably all know that I am a big proponent of Twitter and using it as a tool for not only event promotion but also to promote yourself using the event itself.  When I hear someone say that Twitter is a distraction it puzzles me.  So, I’m asking you for your opinions.

When you attend live events, do you use Twitter to send out updates to your followers?

I do and they love it.  I usually add a few followers because they know I will give them valuable information from the event. Could I possibly miss some wise tidbit that the speaker says during the 3 seconds it takes me to tweet the update?  Possibly, but chances are that someone else picked it up and sent out an update which I can then pick up and retweet…giving the credit to the source.

What if the Twitterfeed is displayed behind the Presenter on stage, is that a distraction?

Hmm…I guess this could be a distraction.  Personally, I’m a single mom of four and have learned to tune out much more noise and distracting occurrences on a daily basis just to get my work done! But, I can see how displaying the Twitter feed behind the Presenter could steal a bit of attention and if there are unprofessional tweets going on it could become uncomfortable, fast.

There have been times where the Speaker was presenting and the Twitter feed behind them had negative remarks about their presentation or their appearance. Nasty little snickers filled the room and it was very unprofessional. In this case, it would definitely be a distraction. Hopefully, we would not be subject to these high school antics often, but it is possible.

For me, Twitter is a tool that can be used very effectively at events for self promotion, taking notes, staying current with where the crowds are gathering at the event, getting to know the speakers better (Twitter is the best for reaching those you thought you’d never talk to in person), and I can not support the marketing strategy of using Twitter for event promotion enough.

Amy Gahran, of Contentious.com, posted an excellent article on live-tweeting an event that went over the benefits of using hashtags and had this to say about the importance of using Twitter to gauge community reaction:

People live-tweeting your event will do more than report on what’s happening — they’ll comment on it. They may even praise it, or criticize it, or raise questions. And other Twitter users may react to those tweets. If all or most of that discourse includes the event hashtag, it’s easy to follow later and get a sense of what people thought and felt about the event. This is often important after the event as well as during, since people tend to mull things over and debate.

Your opinions on live Tweeting at events?

How do you feel?  Do you see Twitter as a tool or a distraction?  How do you use social media while attending events?  Where do you see the trends heading as far as using social media for event marketing?

Please leave your comments below.  If you tweet your comments this post will seem incomplete without your opinions, so please leave your comments here before tweeting.  Thanks mucho!!

To Your Success,

P.S. ~> I will make a formal announcement post soon, but did you see the new job board that’s been added to Market Like A Chick?  If you or someone you know is looking for a job in social media, marketing, and/or online community management, take a look at the postings.  They will all be targeted to the niche that follows my blog.  There’s no fee to apply, ever!
If you have a job opening you think would fit well with this awesome crowd, then please post it here.  Your add will be displayed on hundreds of other targeted sites like mine and I have a special coupon code that will give you 60 days for $30!  (use code: chicklet) Expires Dec 31st, so hurry!

December 10, 2009   29 Comments

5 Secrets To Promoting Yourself Using Someone Else’s Event

How much do you love mutually beneficial arrangements?  Collaboration is a wonderful way to help yourself and your partner (in whatever form) create a larger following, build your brand awareness and draw from each other’s knowledge base.

But,  have you ever thought about using a live event you are attending as your partner?

We see them on Twitter and Facebook all the time…the invitations to attend live events, whether virtual or face to face, free or fee.  Chances are you have passed a gazzilion of them by thinking it wasn’t worth the hour of your time.  You are wrong!

Attending live events are not just about learning from whomever is presenting a session…oh no, it’s much more.  It’s a chance to use that event as your podium and your launch pad to prove your social media know-how.  But there is a method to follow in order for that mutual beneficial arrangement to work for you, as the attendee,  and not just for the event.

5 Secrets To Using Someone Else’s Event To Promote YOU:

1. Tweet Value: This absolutely has to be number 1!  Have you ever read some of the tweets from live events?  People will talk about lunch plans, how their feet hurt, their private conversations with friends that have nothing to do with the event at all, and use the event hashtag for everyone to follow.  STOP IT!  Just like any social network, it’s fine to toss in a few personal notes to give readers a sense of who you are outside the virtual world, but the majority of your updates should offer some sort of value.  Just do it without using the hashtag.

Your goal should be to use Twitter as your notepad to send out bits of valuable pieces of information you’re picking up during the session.  You will find yourself paying closer attention to what is being taught because you are digging for hidden treasure to share. When you send out tips from panel experts you are not only establishing yourself as a resource, but you’re proving to be a VALUABLE resource.  People will follow you to keep getting great notes from the seminar.  I have often had event Speakers send out a tweet to their followers to follow me for more notes from the event when they need to go offline.  Now I have the attention of all their followers.  See how this works? Be the one that is providing the most value and people will recognize that.

2.  Use Twitter Handles: When you’re tweeting out that valuable info be sure to credit the source.  By using their handle you’ll be letting them know you find value in what they are teaching (and we all want to be loved), you’ll be letting your followers know this person is also worth following (they will love you), and the Source usually thanks you with a tweet of their own…leading to their followers seeing YOUR name mentioned by them and possibly a new follower of your own.

NOTE:  Event Organizers –>Pleeease make sure to add Twitter handles for important peeps to all promos, bios, links, presentations, etc. to make our life a little easier.

3.  Use Event Hashtags: One of my favorite things to do when I can’t attend an event is to log in to TweetChat with the event hashtag and hunt for good stuff being sent out by attendees.  If you are using the event hashtag your tweets will be seen by others that are not even following you.  I’ve found many new friends this way and picked up lots of new followers. Using the hashtag to retweet some of the notes being tweeted from attendees gets your name associated with the event even if you’re not attending.

4.  Link Love: According to Dan Zarella’s report The Science of ReTweets, nearly 70% of all ReTweets contain a link of some sort.  People love to share links and people love freebies.  One of my top retweeted posts was a link to watch the live streaming of Blogworld.  Remember, one of the tips from the experts on marketing events with social media that  shared with us by Warren Whitlock was, there are always people that are not at the event that wish they were.  Cater to them.  If a speaker offers a free report from their blog to attendees, send out the link.  Provide value and you will be retweeted and valued as a great representative for the event.  By the way, you can get a copy of Dan’s full report the Science of ReTweets here.  It’s worth some study!

5.  Be A Little Off The Wall: When you’re at an event there is always some down time to cut loose and have some networking fun OUTSIDE the virtual walls.  Or so you think when you’re downing that 5th shot of Patron…but, there is always some savvy person there to snap that picture or video & post it for all the social networking world to see.  Such as top affiliate marketer,  Tim Jones, chowing down on the biggest burger I’ve ever seen in a Fatburger eating contest.

The "Real" Tim Jones in a Fatburger Eating Contest at Blogworld 09

Everyone wants to know what goes on behind the scenes or what someone is really like behind their perfectly designed website.  By tweeting something hilarious or off the wall you’re sparking a conversation and causing a smile or two.  After all, you can have all the followers in the world, but if you never have a conversation with them it’s worthless.  Just don’t get carried away or tread too heavily on someone’s boundaries.  You’re not Perez Hilton.  ;)

Those are my top 5 secrets I use.  Events are fun and can be very valuable in many ways.  I hope you thought this was valuable to you and you start seeing events in different way.  If you have any tips of your own that you use, do tell!

To Your Success,

P.S.-> I’m wishing all of my US readers  a very beautiful Thanksgiving tomorrow with many warm new memories and traditions to carry on for generations to come.  I am thankful for all of you and your support throughout the last year.  My readers ROCK!!
P.S.S-> Another note of thanks goes out to Natalie MacNeil, the wonderful blogger at She Takes On The World,  who included me in her 30 Women To Follow On Twitter which made ForbesWoman yesterday!  I can now officially say that I was featured on Forbes. :)  Thank you Natalie & ForbesWoman for your recognition.

November 25, 2009   37 Comments