Monday, January 12, 2009

Tweeting for new business...?

First of all, please allow me to wish you a belated Happy New Year. I may have been quiet on the blog through the first couple of weeks of the year but I certainly haven't been hibernating. I've been working on a number of exciting projects throughout the Christmas period and all will be revealed over the coming weeks.

Let's start the year as we mean to go on....with a question.

If you are a member of social and online business networks, such as Facebook, Ecademy and LinkedIn, how often do you update your status?

Introduced following the early success of Twitter, status updates can be used in a number of ways. Ridiculed initially as people told us the minutiae of their lives, from when they were going to get a cup of tea, to nipping to the loo or reading a magazine (or even all three together!), they now offer a great opportunity to gain deeper insight into what our network does.

Understanding what other people do is one of the challenges of effective networking. A title or elevator pitch can rarely do it justice. However, 'Tweeting' your latest actions, or updating your status with details of the clients you are working with and what you are doing for them can play a key role in educating your network.

Similarly, personal updates, from the films you are watching to the sports you follow help people get to know the individual better. And we all know how important it is to remember that 'people buy people'.

Above all of this, you can post requests on these updates. Sometimes, those requests, or your updates can lead directly to new business. It is the most simple and effective form of marketing possible.

This morning I received an email from Theresa Summers, inviting me to connect to her on LinkedIn. I first met Theresa about three years ago when she was the guest at a BRE meeting that I was visiting. She showed that she really understood networking, wanted to learn more and was incredibly enthusiastic. We have remained in touch ever since, although we have met rarely and her business has changed since I last saw her.

Connecting with Theresa, I noticed the status on her LinkedIn profile. It said, "Theresa Summers is looking to connect with people who could utilise moving classroom training to e-learning" and had been posted just 45 minutes earlier.

E-learning is an area I am very interested in and wanted to explore later this year. I looked on another social network, Facebook, where Theresa and I are connected, and saw she was online. Within a few minutes we have agreed to meet and discuss how we can work together to accelerate my e-learning programme.

It probably took Theresa less than one minute to write a status update that could hopefully lead to some very profitable business for her.

You won't win business every time you Tweet, or update your status. Some of the time it will fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes). Sometimes you will be building people's knowledge of what you do or who you are.

And sometimes it might lead to a referral, or a direct piece of business.


  1. What a great testimony to utilizing social networks! I have found that my friends and connections that "know all I do", find "A-Ha" moments while reading some of my status updates or additions to profiles on my networks. Status updates on Twitter, Linked In, Ecademy, Facebook, and Plaxo allow passive "low key" conversation and since many people have a difficult time "breaking the ice", and these networks offer a common ground or "excuse" to strike up a real connection.

    Your post brought me to seek out Theresa Summers' profile since I too am heavily involved in eLearning. She may be a very interesting contact.

    Thanks again, Andy.

  2. Anonymous9:07 am

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