Welcome to our first newsletter! Print it off. Frame it. Sell it on Ebay years from now for a small fortune.
Back in the real world, this is all about networking and you…which brings us to our very first member of the month! But first…
A question – are you getting where we’re going with all this WhatsApp chat, LinkedIn connecting and real world meeting stuff?
Here’s just one example from yesterday:
The online world is noisy. And disconnected. The vision for us all with Linked Online is creating one simple, ring-fenced community where we can all hang out. Both online and for real. With local folk.
A place to find clients. And for you to find good suppliers when you need them.
So let’s kick things off with meeting people for real. Where we put the phones away
(apart from 5 minutes!). Our 1st birthday event back in July…
It Starts With Chat
Where The Conversations Lead To Business More Naturally
The extroverts may love it. But many of us hate an event where we have to dive into a crowd waving business cards.
We thought we’d cracked it. The section where on tables of around 6, you can break the ice with a chat about the night’s conversation topic.
It’s worked really well for a year. But there’s a gap between arriving and that bit happening. Doh! Big mistake…
Particularly so with the sheer numbers we had at the Birthday event last month. We had to give people a way of dodging that crowd.
That’s why we’ve already got a gang of people booked on, with a “Y” next to their name when they arrive.
Those are the people that have agreed to a 1-2-1 chat on arrival. The first to arrive will be paired with the second. Third with fourth. And so on. It’s open to anyone who wants to arrive between 5:00 and 5:30.
Shazam! No crowd to tackle! The cynics may snipe at that. “What if they’re not relevant to my business?” they will cry.
Well firstly, if that’s not for you – no need to agree to a 1-2-1 – arrive a bit later, or grab a drink. Not everyone will want a 1-2-1. We already have people who have opted out of that bit.
The point however is that you get to break the ice if you do.
Either pair up and follow the suggested “get to know each other” exercise we give you. Or, agree between yourself to ignore it and just have a gab.
The goal is to reduce the size of that crowd that puts off the more introverted people.
But the extroverts may enjoy it too? And if not, you can start off the crowd!
BUT Don’t Forget…The Chat Has A Goal
After the 1-2-1’s and the group chat on tables of 6, the ice is melted. You’re relaxed. You’ve had a drink perhaps.
Time to take turns to outline your business – what you do and the types of clients you seek.
For those who want to leave at this point – you’ve ticked all the boxes – no crowd to tackle, and you’ve had some quality networking time.
Sowing seeds and expanding your Linked Online network. So you can either leave, or as many have found, sticking around for a little open networking feels fine.
That crowd is suddenly not as daunting.
Sown Seeds Soon Flower…
Not been yet? Please join in. Virtually everyone loves the conversation-based format.
And it’s arguably the most comfortable event around to ease yourself into this rapidly growing community.
Nuggets From Pam’s Pantry
“Do you want fries with that?”
There’s five golden nuggets for you TO DO.
Now, WHAT NOT TO DO: State what you do (not the benefits), and then sit and wait for referrals.
Influence Vs Manipulation
This Month’s Event Sees Our Very Own Tom Phillips Show You How To Get People To Say Yes
by Ian Denny
Tom will kick things off by teaching you the skills to do it, But don’t be fooled. This works significantly better if you approach things from a win-win or mutual benefit perspective.
Bright and fresh from his travels to Malaysia (you may have turned green with envy at some of the pics in group 1), Tom transforms individuals, teams and organisations to make them outstanding.
He’s a top-drawer trainer, blending in NLP techniques to achieve this. Take a peak at his profile here – and if you haven’t already, connect with him on LinkedIn.
I’m a huge fan of NLP – I’ve seen how it can completely change your perspective.
Tom’s WhatsApp avatar (featured here) sums up just how a little change can spin our outlook and perspective on any challenge you face.
So we’re honoured he’s going to teach us all a vital skill.
You’ll get a punchy session on how “Yes Sets” can change the dynamic of a conversation with somebody you wish to influence.
And then in groups of about 6, that will kick off the conversation topic for the night.
Insights Into The World Of Online Networking And Wishful Thinking Of A Recovering Evertonian
I am angry. With inappropriate selling. Mainly with myself. Correction – the younger version of me. That shy guy who failed miserably at selling face to face.
Instead, the young me became a copywriter – but I didn’t realise there was a line you shouldn’t cross which created my early inappropriate selling sins.
The net result was sales. I didn’t see the problem. Lots of sales blind you. You see I was spamming before they even coined that phrase.
Before the Internet had become a thing, in the days when you sent your carefully crafted marketing messages through the post.
Now yes, those who have had invitations to our event will immediately jump up and down and shout “BUT YOU ARE STILL DOING IT!!!”.
You may be right. There is a difference however – I wrote copy for all sort of products. Training and development. IT services. Porous tarmac. Hotels. Grocery delivery companies in Indonesia. Electronic babies.
But age changed me. I mellowed. I didn’t want to peddle it to people who didn’t agree to receive it. GDPR was the legislation I always wanted but never realised it way back then.
We do have a duty to get people to the event. But sometimes Pam will invite you or I will – there’s sometimes a gap between your saying no to either of us, and us updating each other.
I digress. What’s all this stuff about selling got to do with Linked Online? Well, pretty much everything.
I am slow on the uptake. It took me a long time to realise that the persuasion skills you use in copywriting are completely trumped by human nature.
We want to belong. Want to be part of something. We are tribal in our DNA whether we admit it or not.
We want to be loved. We want to be with people we resonate with.
And when it comes to business, it is almost always better to deal with clients we have some chemistry with.
The result of all this insight – why not start a community and see what happens? Based on chat. Not sales.
Me and Pam of the Pantry Column fame have participated in or created groups online. That’s where we noticed that even though the theme was general conversation, people were starting to buy from each other.
Those groups were international. Which is precisely why we were intrigued to see what would happen if we did it locally – and focused on the conversation in the same way.
And a year later, many of those original people are still here. They created it too.
So with heartfelt thanks to all those people who have stayed – and yes – gratitude to those who didn’t stay – they taught us all. It’s being fine-tuned based on what we learn from you.
I feel honoured to be part of the groups that make it work. Please to see the rapport so many have built – and seeing the pace it’s developing at.
Proud that together we have helped generate business. By doing things in a more natural way.
It has an almost tangible family feel. Something that seems to trigger when people break that ice and come along to an event for the first time.If you don’t yet feel part of it – that’s what we’re working on next. The website is building more ways to get involved and start those conversations that lead to business – but don’t wait for me and Pam.
Say hi in the groups. Don’t know where to start? Read the stuff on the website under Start Here. Discover the 9 ways we’ve identified to help you get more from it.
Nadeem Ansari – AND his wonderful team
Okay, we should pick the member of the month on some sort of criteria like participation in the group. Contribution to other members. How they helped someone by putting an arm around their shoulder. Maybe even make it democratic and vote?
But we decided to have an autocratic moment and simply award it to Nadeem and his team.
What looks like a simple site, was in fact much more complex. There were also budget constraints. In an ideal world, we would have tackled it a completely different way.
But Nadeem came up with a solution that slashed the budget and made it possible.