Many in the class were not excited about “professional networking” because their idea was that people pass business cards, want to collect info about you, and then reach out and hopefully close some kind of deal. It feels like it’s leading to a one-way, almost superficial relationship.
I said that LinkedIn is a great tool to “find and be found,” and that even JibberJobber is a great networking tool. But neither of these, for me, has been key to building intimate relationships. Want to know what has been the number one tool for building real, meaningful relationships?
My blog. Yep. Through the comments I have met many, many cool people. At conferences I meet people who follow me daily but don’t leave comments (lurkers!). I get e-mail from people who have something to say about a post, but don’t want to comment. I have been able to learn about my readers (you!), and in many cases, get to know you much, much better than through other mediums. I have been building intellectual relationships, emotional relationships, and intimate relationships. And it has been awesome.
(transition to my conference in less than two weeks!) That’s one reason why, for the Blogging for Business conference we have at least three speakers that focus on developing relationships with bloggers. These three are masters of relationships, as you can tell by their own blogs and networks.
Wendy Piersall is the first keynote speaker. I saw her speak in Chicago at the SOBcon, and she was phenomonal. I live-blogged her presentation, which you can read here. I had goose-bumps during most of her presentation. I thought she was going to come out and tell us how to have a successful eBusiness, or an awesome blog, but it was totally different. And I know her presentation at Blogging for Business is going to be the bomb. You can listen to her 12 minute podcast with my cofounder, Matthew Reinbold, here.
Liz Strauss is the lady I refer to as the Godmother of blogging. I don’t know anyone that has been blogging for a while that has not bumped into Liz. She was the founder of SOBcon, so I got to meet her in person this spring. Not only does Liz know just about everyone, and most people know Liz, I don’t know a single person that doesn’t have a ton of respect for her. She has built one of the strongest blog networks that I have ever seen (as I think about it, I don’t know anyone that has a stronger network of bloggers). It will be an absolute treat to learn from her.
Lindsey Pollak is another favorite of mine, and I’m excited to get to meet her in person. Lindsey speaks and writes about Gen Y, and their career management issues. You can see some of Lindsey’s presentations on the video clips on her site. I was anxious to get Lindsey out to speak because so many relationships to build will be with Gen Y bloggers – and understanding Gen Y mentality will be key in developing successful relationships.
So there it is. I’m a huge fan of building intimate relationships. These three ladies are going to talk about relationships, and how you can develop them with people in the social media space to make your business better – if you want to see them, sign up for the Blogging for Business Conference!