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Off-Line Networking Wins

Building online relationships through social sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogging, etc. are important, but  if you have to pick one over the other, building off-line relationships is more beneficial.  I don’t mean just rubbing shoulders in a conference and then leaving, but having the opportunity to hold real conversations with people.  These may be people within your industry, or people who know people, who know people, who know people… because 6 degrees of separation is a reality.

Why is a hand-shake better than an @mention on Twitter?  Because there is more to a conversation that just words.

What makes Off-line networking better?

  1. Honesty through body language –  gives you the opportunity to talk with someone and see their response to your words, or to you in general.  Do you ever notice that when someone loses interest in what you have to say they look away (or their eyes glaze over) or start to fidget?  This is your chance to redirect the conversation to keep them engaged, or let them go because you know now that they really aren’t interested in what you have to say.  Perhaps though this  is not about them, but about you.  Think of their response as a mirror to you.  Are you speaking only of yourself?  These are hard lessons that cannot be ignored when you are in person.  Real engagement is when you talk about others, and less about yourself.  You don’t get that opportunity to have this kind of immediate and insightful feedback when you are online.
  2. Memory – You have the opportunity to include all your senses (and emotion) when meeting someone in person:  Smell – the greatest sense for enhancing the memory, Sight – 3 dimensional sight is more effective than just a profile pic, Sound – how  their voice sounds during a casual conversation may offer insight to how they REALLY feel about what they are saying (podcasts that are scripted don’t offer such insight).  All of this gives you clues to who these people really are.  It will help imprint on your memory for future discussions that may take place later:  off-line or online.
  3. Speed – With all of the above factors taking place during a physical interaction with another person, the speed of getting to know one another through off-line conversation is so much faster than online.  Hard to believe, but online is slower in some things, and this is one of them.
  4. Authentic – people cannot hide their true self when in the company of another, or at least not as well.  Perhaps this is unnerving to some, but in the age of transparency and communication excellence, this should not be a problem.  #foodforthought
  5. Healthy – YES, it is healthy to get out and be with other people!  Away from the computer.  Physically interacting with other people.  For some people this is part of their everyday life, but more and more we find ourselves spending an incredible amount of time behind the screen of an electronic device.  Be good to your body:  Get out and mingle!

I enjoy the sales meetings and conferences that I have the opportunity to attend – especially the global ones.  Not only to learn about new products, but because it is a healthy change of pace.  It is a chance to meet peers from other countries :  to share challenges, accomplishments and best practices.  NOT over a digital platform, but with the mountains at our backs, music around us, drink in hand and much laughter and smiles.  Business cards exchanged, LinkedIn profiles connected, and promises to stay in touch.

THIS is networking.

What other benefits have you experienced through off-line networking?

Image borrowed from : WannaReadYou.com – More about body language

Sam’s Teach Yourself Facebook in 10 minutes: E-Book review

Recently I purchased a KOBO e-book.  Yes, I balked at this for a long time as I am one that still likes the touch and feel of a good book in my hands.  Having a wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor library has been a life long dream, but the reality of it is, e-books just make sense in today’s fast paced, transient and information overloaded business world.  It gives you the ability to carry a very large library with you at all times (very appealing) and for someone who is a compulsive highlighter and note taker, the ability to do it right on the e-book is a bonus.   Not to say that I won’t be giving up all my paper books right away, but I find I am gravitating to the e-book more and more.  What finally convinced me to purchase it?  It was the fact that books were available for me to download immediately from my KOBO account and I save money on shipping.

I have only had the opportunity to read a couple of books, and Sam’s Teach Yourself Facebook in 10 minutes was my first.  The book offers a background to what Facebook is all about, why you should have a Facebook page for your business, and simple step-by-step instructions on how to set up a business page.  The book offers advertising tips, best-practices, how to plan a campaign and links to other related articles.  Of course measurement is key and they touch on how to do this as well.  If you purchase the e-version, it allows for online registration to get updates of the book when they are available.

Overall a very simple and quick read, especially if you are just starting out and need the basics.  If you already have a Facebook page and want more in-depth advice on how to make your page and campaigns more effective, this might be a little light for you.  But don’t pass this off, even if you are experienced, the price is right for this inexpensive reference tool.

So for someone just starting out,  I would give this two-thumbs up.

Price:  Amazon offers it for $14.99,  my KOBO purchase was $8.79

Do you have any other books that were helpful for you as you built your Facebook business page?  Would love to hear from you.