Friday, April 29, 2016

7 Predictions For The Future Of Online Marketing

I recently wrote a piece on my “7 Predictions For How The Internet Will Change Over the Next 15 Years.” Among my predictions were the disappearance of conventional Internet “connections,” the commoditization of privacy, the arrival of augmented reality, less work for skilled humans, and the arrival of the Internet to planets beyond Earth.

Those predictions for the development of the Internet got me thinking about their more practical, grounded ramifications. For example, with these predictions in mind, what can we say about the future on marketing and advertising? Here are my predictions for how online marketing will change over the next 15 years:

1. ‘Reality optimization’ will become a thing.

With augmented reality and more digital interactions with the physical world, brands will have to hybridize traditional and digital models of advertising. For example, the concept of search optimization is all about getting found, but there may be a new, physical application of this inbound discovery effort once augmented reality devices become popular. Companies may invest in some digitally relevant style of advertising, such as pop-up ads that appear when a user is close, or there may be digital ways of accessing physical locations, like virtually shopping at a supermarket. Think of these as a way of “optimizing” reality for digital consumer interactions.

2. Content feeds will become finely-tuned for each individual.

With the rise in connection availability and better algorithms for surfacing and serving content, users will have access to instant forms of information and entertainment at all times, highly-tailored to their interests. They’re going to become dependent on constant streams of this individualized content, filtering out anything deemed irrelevant for them the same way most modern users ignore generalized traditional advertising. For marketers to survive, they’ll need to provide a similarly instantly-rewarding experience, also customized for the individual. This may include adopting technologies that allow for such customization, or a simpler route of engaging people individually.

3. Non-digital ads will die.

People have been saying it forever (and I’ve even written about it recently), but once the Internet is truly everywhere, with no concept of connection, traditional advertising is going to eventually die. It may become digitized in some way, such as the pop-up digital ads I mentioned in my first point, but it will cease to exist in the form we know it today. The key disappearance here will be tangible forms of advertising—billboards, magazine ads, and so on.

4. Privacy concerns will reach their zenith, spawning more brands that prioritize it.

User concerns over privacy, transparency, and trust will reach their zenith as more tech brands monopolize the industry and consumers increasingly rely on digital systems to provide their wants and needs. Brands that are able to offer these rare, commoditized factors are going to have a distinct advantage over the majority that aren’t, which means a handful of competitive brands will jump on this opportunity and differentiate themselves accordingly. You’ll start to see more brands with “old world” values, and a niche of customers who want to stay as off-grid as possible, evolving into their own targetable demographic.

5. Competition will be reduced.

Thanks to increasingly sophisticated algorithms and machine learning systems, there will be less work available for humans. With less work, there will be fewer businesses, and the ones that remain won’t be quick at adapting to these new technologies and applications. All this results in a complicated evolution of our economic system; we’ll all have more access to the resources we’ve always wanted, but there will be fewer brands and businesses providing them. If your brand is one of the cutting-edge (and lucky) businesses to make the cut, you’ll likely benefit from the reduced competition. That doesn’t mean you won’t have to work hard to stay relevant, but you’ll have an easier time differentiating yourself.

6. Strange new social interactions will be introduced.

Social media platforms as we know them today are giant collections of content; each individual or organization has a dedicated profile that submits and promotes content, which is then pooled together in the newsfeeds of other profiles. In the future, this relationship has much room to evolve. Digital profiles may be more closely tied to an individual, and individuals may be able to produce content and exchange with one another in more immediate, interactive ways with wearable technology such as Internet-connected augmented reality contact lenses or glasses.

7. Face-to-face interactions will be rare, but highly valued.

Future generations may grow up in a world where digital-exclusive interactions are the norm, but until we make that progress as a society, most of us will still have a need for in-person, face-to-face interactions. The slow disappearance of these interactions in favor of digital experiences and algorithmically generated content feeds will leave users hungry for this personal interaction, and the brands who deliver these kinds of experiences will have a chance to get ahead of the competition. In some ways, this is like marketing taking a step back, reverting to one-on-one, in-person customer relationships to compensate for the overly digital age.

These predictions are somewhat general, and intentionally so. They’re based on predictions on the future of the Internet, which themselves are highly speculative and open for debate. I do imagine some of these outcomes manifesting no matter how the Internet develops—for example, the “death” of traditional advertising (as we know it) and the rise of individualized marketing efforts—but we’ll just have to wait and see how everything plays out.


Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
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The 5 Keys to Building Really Great Relationships

Good relationships are the foundation of any great business. How are yours doing?

Do you sometimes feel like you could be much closer to someone than you actually are? That a relationship with coworker feels disconnected, or could be greatly improved, but you just don't know how? Check out these five key things every great relationship has, and see how many you can apply to your own.

1. Communication

Although this is the most obvious of things, many people forget how important communication is when connecting with someone. People, in general, are not inherently bad; if they do something that's not to your liking, chances are that they have no idea what they're doing hurts you. Verbalizing the things you want--or don't want--is the sure way to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

2. Quality time

Nobody likes feeling like they're second priority. Spend time with those that you hope to build relationships with, and actually be present for the experiences you share together. Put down your phone, aim to be fully present, and get beyond surface level conversation. You'll undoubtedly reach a stronger relationship as a result.

3. Laughter

Laugh a lot with someone else--that's the easiest way to know you like them. You can spend time doing fun things, like watching comedies or going to concerts, or simply talking and enjoying each other's company. Knowing that you both are sharing in the same revelry is absolutely essential to fostering camaraderie.

4. Generosity

Even though you may not think that people notice, it pays to be kind. People always remember when you buy them a cup of coffee, loan them an umbrella when it's raining, or reward them for landing a new account. Being generous with each other is an easy, but usually sincere, way to show that you care about and value this person without needing to say much at all.

5. Commitment

Following through is one of the most important aspects of relationship building that gets neglected today. The ability to commit to your words--whether it's something as simple as getting lunch or something as important as a promised promotion--is inarguably the thing people look for most in good relations. Don't make the mistake of being the one who flakes.

Image Credit:Getty Images

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
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Thursday, April 28, 2016

You're Invited! Join Our Signature Events Committee

We need to grow our team and invite you to join us!  

Do you love planning events? We are pleased to announce that Westchester Networking for Professionals is organizing our Signature Event Committee Team!

Our Signature events offer a unique approach to every event, whether it’s a golf outing, award ceremony, networking for a cause or networking cruise; these events support and benefit the mission of partner organizations.

Our Signature Events Committee will assist WNFP organize, plan, coordinate, promote and manage these events.

Participation in our Signature Events Committee is voluntary and varies by your commitment and availability. As a member of our Signature Event Committee you will be responsible to commit and dedicate 4 or more hours a week to at least one consecutive committee task, attend monthly committee meetings and communicate regularly via email with other committee members.

Interested in becoming a part of our team or want to learn more? Click this link to visit our WNFP.

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
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7 Ways to Increase Your Charisma

When you are able to leave a positive and lasting impression on anyone you come across, the world will become your oyster. Some people are born charismatic. The good news is that this charming talent is learnable and yours for the taking. This talent is widely knows as "charisma."

So let’s explore a number of effective ways that you can increase your levels of charisma and help your networking skills.

Start With the Sweet Spot
I have a great way of connecting with people that I’ve found to work really well, anywhere I go. I like to ask people what they love doing or what fascinates them. And when they answer me, I then ask them, “What is the one key thing that impacted you in this area, or one key thing that you love about this passion? etc.."

And I don’t just do it to make them feel good, I do it because I love seeing people talk about what lights them up. I also love learning cool and interesting things from others.

You have to remember, everybody has a story.

So imagine walking into a room at a party, event or conference. I want you to imagine: digital numbers lit up above each and every persons head in that room and those numbers signify the years of knowledge, living and experience that person has had. A room of 100 people at an average age of 30 to 40 years old would have around 3,000 to 4,000 years of combined knowledge and insight into life.

That thought alone BLOWS MY MIND!

So why wouldn’t you go in with the idea of extracting and sharing the awesome things you can learn from each individual? I’ve had some of the most amazing experiences and opportunities come about by approaching people with this perspective.

So imagine, meeting every one in the room before the end of the night?

How incredible would the stories, lessons and opportunities be that come about from this?

That was just an example to help shift your perspective a little when it comes to meeting new people. The problem is that most people feel like they don’t have the confidence to network with the masses because they don’t haven't developed the skills of building rapport and leaving a long lasting impression.

Well, what if you were able to set yourself up in a way that whenever you step into any room you bring with you a finely tuned advantage? What if you were able to keep your level of charisma at an all time high?

It’s possible, with these 7 keys you can increase your levels of charisma so that you leave a positive, long-lasting impression on others.

1. Stay Tuned
So first things first. When you’re talking with anyone you have to be ALERT. When I say alert, I mean completely present. If it’s a one-on one-conversation, you should leave them feeling like they’re the only one in the room.

If you are in a group, make the speaker feel important. If you are the speaker in the group, then be alert to everyone in that group when you deliver. Look at each person. This is something I used to struggle with until my fiance pulled me up on it and now I make the effort to look and talk to each individual during the conversation.

This will absolutely change the impact you have in groups. You will notice a huge shift in conversations and will leave a lasting impression on multiple people instead of just one or two.

So stay alert.

2. Stay Smart and Sharp
If you’re a charismatic person, you’re usually less stressed, more successful and more attractive. Now, when I say attractive, I don’t mean sexy in the face or perfectly symmetrical. I mean you look like you look after yourself, and that you smile and know how to look good without over doing it. That’s charisma!

And the great news is, you can learn to be more charismatic. It’s not a genetic thing, it comes from learned behaviours over years.

A lot of leaders are looked at as charismatic because they stand tall, they have a strong belief in themselves, they love to learn and grow and they love to inspire and influence others.

3. Remember and Repeat
When you can repeat someone’s name or use it as an example when you’re talking to them, this is a great way of subtly complimenting them without the cheesy try-hard lines.

They will really respect that you remember their name, because it makes them feel special and worth talking to.

What I do when I meet people is I use a one-line command on myself just before I introduce myself to them.

And that's another key….. 

Always introduce yourself first, instead of sitting back waiting for someone else to introduce you.

And once you do and you ask for their name, talk to your subconscious and say this one-line command to yourself: “Remember his or her name.” Do it just before you go in for the introduction.

This forces you to focus on their reply, and it also activates the subconscious to pay attention so you can better recall their name from your memory later in the conversation.

When they say their name, repeat it once back to them and a few times over in your head.  

Even drop their name in there now and then throughout the conversation, during every second or third question question. Doing so helps cement their name in your memory

I've done it over the years with a huge success.

4. Master Your Other Language
The next key to charisma would be to watch your body language. It’s proven that body language can increase your level of confidence dramatically.

Body language is a language any nationality can understand.

People unconsciously read your body movement and facial expressions as you approach them so if you have certainty and posture and you are authentically happy and positive then this will show up as charisma to others.

Something I learned during my training with Tony Robbins is, if you stand in a Superman’s pose, or Superhero pose, tall with your chin up, your feet shoulder-width apart, with your hands on your hips and are looking up towards the sky and you hold this for a few minutes, this is scientifically proven to alter your state and raise your level of confidence.

And confidence is a huge component of charisma. People will admire you for your confidence, usually because most people struggle with being confident themselves.

So remember this: Your body follows your mind. Your body is the unconscious.

That’s why people are able to visualize things and imagine things like temperatures and sensations and physically feel it, even when in reality nothing is there or happening to them in the physical. 

So now knowing “how you feel” can affect your facial expressions, and body language, wouldn’t it be a great idea to start imaging yourself with supreme confidence?

Like you’re a freakin' superhero! Get so good at this that you can activate this on command.

This can be achieved through practice.

5. Your Eyes Say Everything
People feel the confidence in you when you can hold good eye contact.

Just don’t be a freak about it. It’s not a stare off.

If you find it hard in the beginning to hold eye contact, stare right in the middle of someone’s head between their eyes where the top of their nose starts.

It looks like you’re staring straight into their eyes. That’s another neat little trick, so give it a try. You won’t feel nervous at all.

6. No More Complaining
Another key for charisma is to stay away from negative conversation. Make the effort every day to not complain.

Keep the conversation positive. Even if someone is negative and you keep sharing the light, they can’t help but to get a little bit of the residual positive on them to.

When they think of you, they remember you and your conversations as a positive experience.

Keep diverting the conversation to a positive note. So that way others around you know that you set the standard, expecting positive conversations and nothing less. 

7. Good Words Go Far
Genuinely compliment people. This takes years of practice. Most people don’t pay attention to detail and they miss out on the opportunity to compliment others. That’s why when you do compliment someone, (once again, genuinely), this really stands out.

I know women are better at this, so imagine hearing a compliment or two from a guy when it’s least expected?

And don’t forget to be a little more expressive when you talk, with your body language and with your facial expressions. You paint a better picture this way when you share stories. You want people you come across to remember your stories and the conversations you had with them over the boring stand still conversations they may have had that day with others.

So you now have a good number of things you can work with to increase your charisma.

If you can put this into practice you’ll have an amazing influence over others and be able to lead in a more compelling way.

There’s great power in being a highly charismatic person.

We unconsciously pick up, frame by frame on the facial expressions, body language and energy of the other person, so whoever is more influential, confident, charming or appealing, this is going to influence the other less certain and switched on individual.

Remember: Charisma is the transference of enthusiasm. That means having the passion, energy and spirit and sharing that with others to feel the same.

If this helps you to remember what it means to be charismatic then live by this.

Image Credit:

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
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How to Turn Business Cards Into Business Relationships

Business cards that symbolize fabulous connections and conversations can easily transform into annoying reminders of lost opportunities. So how can you turn business cards into cash?

First, the most common mistake is failing to collect cards. Many people give out their cards but fail to collect from others. Politely insist on getting the potential contact's information so that you can follow up with him or her. If he or she doesn’t have a business card (which is a rising trend), write down an email address so you can follow up afterward. You want the ball in your court so you have the capability to follow up. Don’t place the responsibility on the other person.

The second common mistake is failing to follow up at all. Intending to follow up won’t put money in your bank account.

To ease your follow-up efforts, have a system in place for the business cards. Personally, I don’t like paper. I prefer to turn someone’s contact information into a digital format as quickly as possible. There are many apps that take pictures of business cards, translate the text and add the information to your contact system. Snap a pic, recycle the card, and follow up. Quick and simple. I use Evernote for this.

Apps will also geotag the information so you can remember where you met. A simple option is to take a photo of the cards and email it to yourself or your virtual assistant. A low-tech option is to carry the cards until you get back to your office. If that’s your choice, be sure to have a specific place you put the cards. I’ve lost many valuable contacts to the abyss known as my purse.

Next, keep your connection engaged. The phrasing of your first follow up is as important as your first impression. Make sure you stand out and won't be forgotten. 

Avoid phrases such as, “I’m not sure if you remember me but we met at …” Starting that way puts you in a position of weakness. 

Also, cut the word “just” from your follow up. Like, “I just wanted to say hi.” 

“Justs” make your email (and you) inconsequential and ignorable. 

To step up your follow up, be personal and interesting by mentioning something that you discussed at your initial meeting. Shared experiences, inside jokes or answers you found to their questions are great. Something conversational such as, “I love meeting a fellow Star Wars nerd!” keeps your email from seeming boilerplate.

Your top objective in following up is to get a response. I have one follow-up tip that, for me, has had a 100 percent response rate. It’s a bit outside the box and takes a little more work, but it’s worth it. Even the busiest people with celebrity-esque statuses have replied to this follow-up technique.

I create a personal video message for my new contact. It’s only a minute or two saying how it was great to meet them, mentioning something we shared in our conversation and offering next action steps. It’s short, sweet and effective. My contacts regularly say how cool the video messages are. They appreciate me taking the time to create them and talk to them “face to face.” 

With video follow ups, you don’t have to remind people who you are. They see you, hear your voice and instantly remember you. Plus, you are creating a more human connection because your nonverbal communication shares more than text can. As a bonus, you can tell if and when your contact has watched your video. Video uploading services, including YouTube, have a number of views counter. I’ve had contacts watch my video messages a few times because they enjoyed them and shared them.

Your video messages don’t need to be highly produced. Just have good lighting and quality sound. I use a single lighting kit or natural sunlight for light. For sound, I use a Snowball microphone or simply my iPhone ear buds mic. 

There are many video upload options. I use YouTube, set the privacy settings to hidden and share the video link in my follow-up email. Don’t upload the video directly into your email. The attachment will be too big and get captured by spam filters.

Lastly, expedite the scheduling process for your next meeting with your contact. One of the biggest time sucks in modern life is sending emails back and forth to schedule something. To bypass that annoyance, I recommend having an online calendar tool. I use Your contact clicks a link and books a time. The system takes care of the rest.

My personal follow-up system includes a link for a video call with, and other services such as Skype work well. If you’re interested in keeping a stronger, more personal connection, then video calls are your best option. Your connection is enhanced when you see and hear the other person. Don’t discount this wonderful modern communication option that is readily at your finger tips. 

Follow up is about personal connection. With these tips, you'll be turning business cards into thriving business relationships.

Image Credit: shutterstock

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Why Networking Success May Be All in the (Business) Cards

Nothing beats face-to-face networking when it comes to driving new revenue, small business owners say. Online social networks don't hold a candle to in-person efforts when it comes to making the cash register sing, a new survey shows. And what really makes it work is that artifact from the olden days of business, the humble business card.

Nearly 90 percent of small business owners (SBO) reported that networking has led to "at least some" new business and nearly one-third said it has brought "a lot" of new business to their company, according to a survey of more than 1,000 consumers and business owners sponsored by MOO, an online printer.

The linchpin for all this networking is the business card. A majority of both the general population (67 percent) and SBOs (78 percent) agree that the business card, long thought to be a dying medium, remains a critical component of successful networking, the survey found.

And nearly half of SBOs (48 percent) said that they were giving out more business cards today than they did five years ago.

Nearly half of them (44 percent) said they believe that handing out 100 business cards would generate $5,000 or more in revenue.

However, business cards are not the only golden oldies seeing a resurgence in the networked world. Among all respondents, traditional methods of follow-up such as email, phone calls and notes remain the standard after making a new business connection, as opposed to just sending a LinkedIn or Facebook invitation.

Nearly 50 percent of those surveyed said that email is the best way to follow up for all respondents. Email (38 percent) and phone (32 percent) are the preferred methods for SBOs, with 4 percent continuing the tradition of sending a handwritten note.

Though a majority of SBOs use online social networks, their impact remains to be seen, the survey found. Only one-third of SBOs find social media "very valuable" in their business and one half of them don't even list social networks on their business cards.

"It is imperative for small business owners to leverage every tool at their disposal," said Richard Moross, founder of MOO. "This study supports the idea that face-to-face networking is an anchor for building a thriving business and is complemented by the growing social media platforms available today."

Image Credit: Exchanging business cards image via Shutterstock

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
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Become a Networking Beast by Following This 5-Step Plan

The thought of networking at conferences and industry events makes some entrepreneurs nauseous. If you go into it feeling uncomfortable, your results will be disastrous. Networking is a major part of being a successful entrepreneur, so it’s in your best interest to get good at it -- really, really good at it.

Here is a simple plan to make connections and unlock new opportunities by transforming into a networking beast.

1. Identify your goals before you even arrive at the event.
You should have all of your goals identified before the event.

  • What are you looking to get out of the event?
  • Are you there to prospect for leads?
  • What attendees do you want to target?
  • What speakers do you want to target?

Reach out to the targets that you know will be attending in advance. Exchange contact details and stay in touch -- plan to meet in the evening and belly up to the bar. Some of your most valuable connections will be born at the venue hotel bar.

2. Leave your sales pitch at home.
Remember that you aren’t there to sell. Avoid rambling off the reasons why your product or service is the best. Instead, ask everyone whom you speak with if there is anything you can do to help their business. This unselfish approach will leave an impression that guarantees they will answer your phone call or email after the conference.

This strategy helps you set the table for a future discussion. Don’t forget to follow up with everyone -- open up a dialogue within 72 hours of the event. This helps to ensure your encounter remains fresh in your new contact's mind.

3. Don’t sound like a robot. Let your personality shine.
Establishing a half dozen meaningful connections is better than collecting 50 business cards from people you will more than likely never speak to again. Spitting out the same script-like spiel might get you a business card, but probably just to make you go away.

Take time to engage in conversations with the goal of making an impression -- it’s that follow up after the networking event that’s important. Those are the conversations that lead to business deals and opportunities.

4. Be heard and seen.
Nobody is going to remember interacting with you unless you are memorable. If you are at a conference make an effort to ask at least one question during the Q&A session following every keynote you attend.

Don’t just fire off a fluff question -- you need to make sure your questions and interaction is intelligent. This is a great way to get on the radar of everyone in the room. People will approach you after looking to connect and they will even initiate the conversation. If you are memorable, you become a magnet, pulling in contacts from every direction.

5. Work the crowd with a partner that compliments your weaknesses. 
It’s always easier to work a crowd when you have a wingman or wingwoman -- it gives you that extra confidence and if you strategically select your networking partner you can make sure you are equipped with someone that makes up for your shortcomings.

For instance, if you are shy, partner up with someone that is very outgoing. Let them open up every conversation and then introduce you to bring it home and make that new connection.

You attend networking events and conferences to make connections, right? Then use this simple plan to make sure you make the most out of every event you attend.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

4 Behavioral Styles to Know When Networking

Have you ever walked into a room full of people and thought, “How do I get business from this group?” I am sure you have. As entrepreneurs we walk into rooms full of people all the time and we recognize these as ideal opportunities for generating business.

If you don’t know how to effectively gain referrals in these situations, the opportunity is lost. When you attend networking functions you are potentially walking into a room full of business. However, networking is more about “farming than it is about hunting.” This means you get to know the people that you want to build a professional relationship with.

With that in mind, how can you identify and react appropriately to the behavioral styles of others and have your behavioral style attract them to you rather than turn them off?

Here are the four main behavioral styles, complete with a short definition and description, followed by a short assessment of that networking style. As you get to know your networking partners better, you’ll be in a better position to understand how to work with them effectively.

Definition: A hustling, enterprising type of person.

Go-Getters tend to be very results-oriented, driven, fast-paced and impatient. They have a “get it done now” attitude. They attend networking events to gain new business and look to meet the most successful people at the event.

Go-Getters “believe in expedience and are not afraid to bend the rules. They figure it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. They are so focused that they can appear aloof. They are so driven that they forget to take the time to smell the roses.”

Definition: An active supporter, someone who urges the adoption of, or attempts to sell or popularize someone or something.

Promoters tend to be very positive, friendly and “happy go lucky” type of people. They love to be on the go and are okay with having lots of irons in the fire. They avoid confrontations and seek fun in everything they do! They attend networking events to hang out, meet new people, talk to their friends and make sure they are “seen” at the event.

“Promoters would rather “schmooze” with clients over lunch than work on a proposal in the office. They are idea-people and dreamers who excel at getting others excited about their vision. They are risk-takers who are not inclined to do their homework or check out information and base many of their decisions on intuition.”

Definition: Someone who gives tender care and protection to a person or thing, especially to help it grow or develop.

Nurturers tend to be very patient, kind, caring and helpful people. They are great listeners and tend to enjoy things at a slower pace than the Go-Getters and Promoters. They do not liked to be pushed or rushed into things and appreciate quality time with people. They attend networking functions to connect with people they already know, meet a few down to earth people and focus on deepening their relationships.

Nurturers relaxed dispositions make them approachable and warm. They develop strong networks of people who are willing to be mutually supportive and reliable. They are excellent team players. But they are risk-averse and may tolerate an unpleasant environment rather than risk a change.”

Definition: A person who inspects or analyzes a person, place or thing in detail, while testing their knowledge or skill by asking questions.

Examiners tend to be very thorough, efficient, task-driven people. They seek information and knowledge and love to check things off their “to do” list. Because Examiners need a lot of information, they tend to make decisions more slowly than the Go-Getters and Promoters. They have a propensity towards perfectionism. Examiners tend to be very good conversationalists as they know a lot about a lot of topics. They attend networking functions only to market their business and, once they achieve their goal for the evening, they usually leave the event as quickly as possible.

Examiners are always in control of their emotions (note the poker-faces of many Jeopardy! contestants) and may become uncomfortable around people who are less self-contained; i.e., emotional and bubbly like Promoters. They tend to see the serious, complex side of situations. Their intelligence and natural wit, however, gives them unique, quick and off-the-wall senses of humor.”

Once you start to understand these four different behavioral styles, it can actually become easy to identify someone, adapt to their style, help them feel comfortable – and make them feel good at the same time. Understanding this as a starting point will allow you to begin to develop a stronger working relationship with potential networking partners. 

Image Credit: shutterstock

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
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Monday, April 25, 2016

3 Tips for Growing Your Professional Network

A strong professional network can help you achieve things that you'd never accomplish on your own, from solutions to seemingly impossible problems, to word-of-mouth recommendations that could get your foot in the door with your target market. Through his work with American Express OPEN, Scott Roen has seen firsthand how valuable connections can be for entrepreneurs.

"OPEN Forum is a proprietary community for small businesses, with a strong networking component built into it," said Roen, vice president of digital marketing and innovation at American Express. "Before OPEN Forum launched in 2007, we were only hosting live events with speakers for entrepreneurs to learn from. That content was useful, but we realized that the networking between attendees was even more beneficial to them. We help entrepreneurs succeed by connecting them with one another."

Growing your network can be difficult if you don't know where to start. Roen shared these three networking tips to help you build up a solid base of connections:

Identify the right community. There are millions of small business owners in the United States, and each one is unique in geography, size, revenue and type. By seeking out online communities and networking events created for businesses similar to your own, you'll enable greater tip sharing and more valuable connections.

Attend speed-networking events. As with speed dating, there's something about a natural connection that's hard to quantify, and when you've found one, you just know it's right. Attending a speed-networking event fosters an environment in which you can rapidly go through numerous people to find the connections that are the right fit for your business.

Offer your help first. Many individuals come into a networking event with a problem or challenge they're facing and immediately seek answers from others. When you meet people, ask questions and discover how you can provide value to them first, instead of the other way around. Ask yourself what you can bring to the table, and share tips with others to be helpful. When you give advice, it's much more likely to be reciprocated.

No startup is an island. All successful small business owners know that they were only able to get to where they are now because of the people who helped them along the way. If your group of "people" consists of little more than a few business cards at the bottom of a drawer and a long-abandoned LinkedIn account, then you'd better put on your networking pants and start building those connections.

Image Credit: Networking image via Shutterstock

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
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Networking As an Entrepreneur: 3 Steps to Make a Connection

As most professionals and job seekers know, networking plays a huge role in helping you achieve your career goals. But strong industry connections can be beneficial to entrepreneurs, too: According to a recent survey by Dell and small business community Manta, one in five small business owners made networking their top priority when they first launched their startups.

"The phrase 'knowledge is power' is not a cliché," said John Swanciger, Manta's CEO. "New and aspiring business owners need to network to gather as much information about prospects, competitors and the industries they are targeting in order to make the strategic decisions that will set them up for success."

"Business is about people," added Anna Urban, co-founder and creative director of Aviva Hair Revitalizer. "It starts with an idea, and gets off the ground with networking. Whether you're looking for customers, help or information, it's all much easier to achieve when you start connecting."

Trade shows and industry events are the most common networking opportunities for tracking down potential sales leads and business partners, but they're far from the only ones. Networking events designed specifically for business owners provide a perfect forum to meet other entrepreneurs and peers from different industries, said Erika Kauffman, executive vice president and group director of 5W Public Relations. Attending these meet-ups gives you the chance to learn about running a business firsthand from fellow entrepreneurs. [3 Tips for Growing Your Professional Network]

Whether you're handing out your business card at an event or reaching out via email after a webinar, networking is only effective if you're smart about it. Follow these three expert tips to help you grow your startup through your connections.

Have a plan

Most event websites have a list of the speakers or exhibitors attending, and general attendees will often post on social media about their plans to attend these events. Do some research before the event, and identify potential connections. Frans Van Hulle, CEO and co-founder of lead-exchange platform ReviMedia, suggested reaching out to attending companies beforehand to set up meetings. Work on your elevator pitch so you're ready to deliver it when you do meet these contacts.

If you don't know who's going to be there, at least have a goal in mind, Urban said. Make yourself a priority list, but remember that sometimes, the smallest connection can lead to big things.

Take advantage of social media

Not all networking has to take place in person. Connect with industry contacts, and even your customers, via social media, to get feedback on your products and services, Swanciger said. This can help encourage word-of-mouth referrals and positive reviews — two great strategies for gaining new business.

Van Hulle recommended networking through great social media content as well. Use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to produce, comment on and engage with relevant industry content to build trust among your followers. You'll also generate inbound networking — contacts will find and reach out to you, so you'll spend less time having to actively seek more contacts.

Always follow up

While you may have made a great impression on the person you just met, you may never hear from him or her again if you don't follow up. Send a short email or LinkedIn message recapping what you talked about at the event, and invite the person to continue the conversation. Kauffman noted that this follow-up should occur within two business days of exchanging contact information.

The same rules apply to online networking scenarios like webinars and Twitter chats. If you notice that some participants offered particularly helpful advice, reach out to them afterward, and praise them for their insights, Swanciger said. A simple compliment can go a long way.

Image Credit: Network image via Shutterstock

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
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Friday, April 22, 2016

Networking in the Age of Social Media

In the 1980s, anthropologist Robin Dunbar used brain sizes and other data to calculate the largest number of people with whom a typical person could have a social relationship. That number was 150, and it became known as Dunbar's number. Since that time, Dunbar has updated the number of names and faces that people can juggle in social situations, increasing that maximum to 1,500.

Fast forward to 2016, when people with top LinkedIn profiles claim hundreds of thousands of followers and celebrities tweet to tens of millions on Twitter. Apparently, either Dunbar was wrong, or networking in the 21st century is a lot different from what it has been throughout human history.

Michael Goldberg, an author and networking expert, is an adjunct public speaking professor at Rutgers University, and consults with organizations through his company, Knockout Networking. Business News Daily asked him about the current state of networking and how it has changed with the rise of social media.

Business News Daily: How did you get into consulting on networking?

Michael Goldberg: When I started my business 16 years ago, it had a different market and different name. At the time I was hired to teach leadership skills. It wasn't my favorite thing to do but I was pretty good at it. Then I was asked to talk at a conference about networking. I said, "Isn't networking just something you do?" I didn't think there was anything to it.

In the midst of the presentation, something happened. I put the remote down, forgot I had slides and just talked. I realized I had stumbled upon something I was meant to be doing. I was passionate about connecting with people and teaching others to do the same.

BND: What did you discover about the importance of networking?

Goldberg: You can't accomplish anything in business without developing relationships with other people. With LinkedIn and social media and social selling being so prevalent now, and with so many people relying on technology, the ability to create a personal touch is more important now than ever.

BND: How did the rise of social networking affect business networking?

Goldberg: Online, it's all about the numbers. If you're into it for social reasons, that's enough. But for business, you have to have a strategy. It's not just about having your numbers be large — which isn't always important — but about having connections be deep. Creating connections online is about creating engagement and adding value and ultimately establishing offline what you've established online.

BND: What are most people's biggest obstacles to better networking?

Goldberg: One of the biggest obstacles is the fear of talking to a stranger — going up to somebody you don't know, introducing yourself [and] asking them for business.

BND: Is asking for business an essential part of networking?

Goldberg: It's a very small part of networking. You shouldn't be going to events and asking people for business. That's selling, not networking. Networking is speaking to an individual in the hope of learning about them and potentially helping them. It's not about pitching and selling. It's about learning and helping. If you go to the right places, say the right things and meet the right people, learn from them and help them, they'll tend to help you right back. That's really what networking is.

Having a target market makes it easier to determine where you need to go, what you need to say and to whom you need to say it. You can target an industry, a market segment, a demographic or a geography. The more specific you are, the more opportunities will start to find their way to you rather than you having to find your way to them.

BND: What are realistic goals of networking? What can and can't it accomplish?

Goldberg: There are five reasons why people network: to get more business, to land a job, to learn something, for social reasons and to solve a very specific problem. For example, my mom has a rare form of Parkinson's disease. As I'm speaking at events, I might bring that up to see if I can learn something that might help. I find that every motive falls into one of those five.

BND: What if you just aren't comfortable networking? How can you get started?

Goldberg: Start to read up on what networking really is, so you have some education behind you. The second is to actually go to an event where there's a low cost of entry, like a Chamber of Commerce meeting, and practice some of the things you're reading about. Introduce yourself to people, ask some questions and, when they ask you questions, have succinct, focused yet articulate answers.

Ultimately, you're looking to create a "we" dynamic as in, "How can we help one another?" If you can create this dynamic, you're probably doing it right. You don't go to networking events to look for your next prospect, although that can happen. You are looking for your next referral source.

BND: Will social media continue to grow in importance for networking?

Goldberg: I think social media is going to continue to grow. The social selling concept is going to become more prevalent because more business people are figuring out how to monetize LinkedIn. But I think face-to-face networking is going to become more important, because the personal touch is going to become more important.

You don't have to go to events to be a good networker. You can network from your seat using LinkedIn. But if you're really focused on meeting new people, going to events is still one of the best ways to do that. And if you like to socialize a little bit, it can be fun.

Image Credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
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3 Networking Mistakes You Should Never Make

Sometimes in our excitement to make that big connection, we end up blowing our chances by making these mistakes.

While we all know how much the right connections can help us grow our businesses, most of us don't relish the idea of walking into a crowded room of people where we might not know anyone. But even once we've mustered up the courage to walk up to complete strangers to meet someone new, whether at a convention or a chance meeting in a restaurant, we can sabotage our own efforts. Here are a few common networking mistakes that will tank even the best of opportunities.

Seizing the Wrong Moment 

Every city has popular networking hubs where you're more likely to rub shoulders with the movers and shakers in your community. The upside of frequenting these locations is the opportunity to be a part of the local scene and stay casually connected to a large number of people. The downside is that you can ruin your chances and leave a terrible impression if you are over-eager in your efforts to connect.

No matter how tempting, don't make the mistake of invading someone else's private lunch meeting or interrupt their deep conversation in order to make yourself known to them or to make a request. This applies, even if the CEO of a company who could be your next big sale is seated at the table next to you. It still applies, even if you spy an investor who hasn't yet responded to your pitch deck - especially if they are meeting with another entrepreneur. And, yes, it apples, even if they make eye contact or smile back at you. If they don't invite your over or to join their conversation, either say a quick hello and move on or give them their space.

If you invade on their current conversation, instead of admiring how you seized the opportunity, they will now know that you didn't respect their time enough to allow them the space privacy while they were meeting with someone else. 

Instead, send a follow up email later that day letting them know you were happy to see them but didn't want to interrupt their meeting but that you did want to follow up with them. They will appreciate your manners and your respect of their time. It could even turn a previous no into a yes. 

Monopolizing the V.I.P.

I have attended conferences with the express goal of meeting a VIP guest on the speaker list who I believed was a strategic contact to add to my network. And when we spend precious funds to get in front of someone, it can drive even the most discreet among us to get a little aggressive to make sure we accomplish our goals before returning home.

If you want to meet a VIP at an event, by all means get in line and be persistent. Most speakers understand that part of what they are there to do is give the attendees some face time. Most are quite gracious about meeting and speaking with each guest in line. To get the most out of your opportunity, introduce yourself, tell him what you liked about what he said, ask your question, or tell him why you want to connect. If your question or request will require a follow-up, ask if it is ok if you follow up. Don't ask him to follow up with you - and give him a job on top of taking time to talk with you. If he says it is ok for you follow up, ask the best way to make contact. You can also have a business card ready with a personal memo written on it if you have a specific ask or reference. It doesn't mean he will follow up with you, but it will mean when he is cleaning out his luggage, your business card will have a personal reminder that will jog his memory. 

Persistence pays, but being classy while persistent will pay off far more often.  

Unsolicited Introductions

One of the best ways to make someone regret sharing their contact information with you is if you fill their inbox with introductions to other people without their permission. Even when done with the best of intentions, you leave your contact in the awkward position of now having to reject someone they never planned on meeting if the connection isn't welcomed. 

Instead, email your contact and let them know who you want to introduce them to. Include the background of the person and specifically why you want to facilitate an introduction. What is your expectation from the introduction? Are you hoping they'll find their efforts similar enough to perhaps collaborate or are you hoping that your contact will be able to give advice to the person you're wanting to introduce? Are they in a position of influence where they might be able to help this person? By communicating clear expectations, your contact will be able to quickly assess whether the introduction is something they can accommodate. 

If the answer is no, don't take it personal. Their time is precious, and they have an obligation to manage their time to effectively meet their own obligations. Protect the privacy of the people within your network, and they'll be much more likely to be accessible to you when you need them. 

Image Credit: Getty Images

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
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Thursday, April 21, 2016

How This Entrepreneur Built a Community of 3 Million Members in 5 Years

Setbacks can be some of the best precursors to success.

Imagine this scenario: you've spent months, perhaps years with your team building a product to launch and launch day has finally arrived.

What do you do?

Send out an email to friends and family?

Post on Facebook?

Perhaps list it on Amazon?

This is a scenario that, many business owners go through and most of them can agree on one thing: product launches are challenging.

But, what if there is a better way? What if you already had a list of people who trusted you? Some savvy entrepreneurs seem to have found it and it lies in the building of a community before your product ever launches. In fact, this is exactly what Lewis Howes, Neil Patel, Sujan Patel and other successful entrepreneur do.

Community building has become a hot trend these days and it's all centered around the idea that if you can build a community, establish trust, thought leadership and prove you can help them, you can have a nearly guaranteed customer base when launch day rolls around.

Push vs. Pull Marketing

The reason that community building is becoming so popular is because it follows a much different dynamic of selling then companies have done in the past to market their product. Before marketing was about eyeballs. Newspaper ads, TV ads, and radio which were used in the past follow the push method of advertising. According to data, however, consumers have grown numb to this style of marketing and now pull marketing is where marketers are turning their attention to.

Instead of blasting your message in front of people that don't know you, this new style of marketing involves pulling the customer in and establishing a relationship with them then at a later date, selling them a product or service. This process of relationship-first selling is the reason why marketers are buzzing about communities.

One of the most well-known experts in community building on the internet is Drew Canole who runs Just a few years ago, Drew Canole was in Florida working in the world of finance, earning a six figure salary, and driving around in luxury cars. But despite the success, or perhaps because of it, his personal health was not a priority and it began to suffer.

The Back Story

On a particularly stressful afternoon spent at the office, a friend offered him a green juice. The drink was packed with nutrients that he rarely got elsewhere and he immediately noticed a difference. He had more energy, his mind cleared, and his mood improved.

That one glass of juice kick-started one of the largest online health communities on the internet,, a health, nutrition, and mindset community that combined has over 3 million active members.

The community is thriving today, but it began from humble beginnings like most success stories do. Drew left the finance industry and set out for San Diego. Overweight by 35 pounds and dissatisfied with his health, Drew began juicing and transforming himself. Along the way, he documented his own changes and published YouTube videos to help inspire others.

The videos took on a life of their own and organically developed a following. Drew saw an opportunity.

Three Million and Growing

Today, across his various social media channels, he has an audience of nearly 3 million people that are engaged with the educational content and videos that he publishes multiple times per day. This community is the foundation for his business, which today sells numerous products, like Organifi Green Juice, Daily Turmeric Boost, and multiple e-books and courses.

To learn more about building a community and how other entrepreneurs can do the same, we sat down with Drew and asked him some questions.

How did you get your first 100 people to join your community?

Drew Canole: I think the biggest thing to do when starting a new business, especially one that attracts millions of people... is to first and foremost know who your avatar is.

Know where they shop, what they eat, where they like to travel, what music they like and become familiar with every quality that they possess. Once you are really clear on who you are talking to, it is a lot easier to produce content for that person. I knew when creating the world's largest online "juicing" community, we had to create content that they would love and share. Don't deviate from the path too much and always give... give... and give some more.

Above all else, once you know WHO that person is, talk directly to them. Every video you watch of ours, you will notice I am only talking to YOU. I want you to feel like you are really in my kitchen with me.

What have been the crucial steps in building your community?

Drew Canole: I think having an indoctrination process is key for our communities rampant and continuously growing community. People want to belong to a cause and for us - our cause is simple.

It's in our E3 method. Empower, Educate, and Elevate.

It often starts by someone watching a video of ours or reading a blog... or when a person buys our organic greens powder, Organifi, the world's best-tasting superfood blend. From there, they join our always evolving, educational site chock-full of resources and tools to inspire radical change in their life. We give them the steps to document the process and share it with those in their life, be it online or off.

We're huge advocates for education. And once they learn how to lose weight in a sustainable way, begin to look and feel younger, have more of a vibrant glow - they become empowered to enroll others to follow suit. When this happens and they truly begin to embody the

How important has passion been in building your community?
Drew Canole: In the beginning, there were years without a paycheck. Without passion, you can't sustain an "I will never give up" attitude. We teach a process called Whydentity that allows people to instantly develop a high-level cause in their own life. It dramatically increases passion and gives the person an opportunity to turn their J.O.B. into their dream life. You MUST have passion. That's non-negotiable.

What advice could you give to other entrepreneurs looking to establish a community?

Drew Canole: Approach it with a different mindset. Most "business people" go after money first. We've done the opposite. We focus on who we are. Really - the business, the lessons, the videos, the content, the products - they are something that is embedded in the very fabric of our team and company's DNA. Every individual has had a transformation in their own lives and they are able to show up in the world as their best self because of their own personal experiences. When the core of your being changes... the people you attract and the community you build become a reflection of this new type of thinking.

The community starts with you. If you commit to becoming congruent in your life and really start to live differently compared to the masses, you will inspire others to do the same.  And that makes everything worth it.

Image Credit:Getty Images

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!