Friday, November 27, 2009

7 Ways To Open Marketing Doors By Being A Virtual Social Butterfly

In my absence, Tony Eldridge has agreed to provide a guest blog. He and I are the perfect example of what "social butterflying" can do. We met on Twitter (find him @TonyEldridge) and have been cross promoting and marketing ever since. After you read it, you'll want to drop him a note and begin to work with him, too!Yes, and go comment on his blog!

By Tony Eldridge, author of The Samson Effect

There are some people who make it a point to be at every conference, every cocktail party, every local charity event and every corporate sponsored event. In fact, they make it a point to be where ever people are. Why? Not because they like to party or drink, but because half their marketing work can be done at social events like these.

Maybe you don't live in a large city where these opportunities are available, or maybe you don't belong to the "in" crowd where some of the most exclusive (and in many respects, most profitable) "networking" cocktail party happen. But there are things you can to do stretch your social butterfly wings, flit around to meet people, and thus, open your own doors of opportunities. Consider these social mingling techniques:

Tweet and DM your followers- Engage not only people on your follower list, but those who follow your followers. Is there someone whose ear you wish you had? Follow them and engage them in conversations. Who knows where it could lead?

Comment on blogs- Read blog posts and then take the time to comment on them. I know it's easy to digest great content and adapt it to your needs, but taking that little extra moment to drop off a comment can be a powerful way to strengthen your networking ties.

Use the About Me/Contact Me page- For a more private way to rub elbows with people you wish were in your marketing circle, look up their contact info on their web site and drop them a line. Plan out your message. You wouldn't walk up to someone at a cocktail party and say, "Looks like rain, doesn't it?" Make a quick intro, highlight your common ties, let them know you appreciate their blog (site, product, book, etc.. Just be truthful), and plant the seed for future conversations.

Show up at scheduled gatherings- Is someone hosting a podcast, webinar or other event? Sign up and participate. Mutual support can go a long way in the marketing business.

Groups, Groups, Groups!- Facebook, Yahoo, Google, MSN Linked-In and a plethora of online niche groups exist to provide ample opportunities for you to hobnob with others. If you don't see any you like (unlikely), you can even start your own.

(Wo)Man of the "week"- Look for ways to honor someone for their contributions. You can do this by doing a quick blog post, ask them to be a guest blogger, sent out a Tweet (similar to the concept behind FollowFriday), or a whole host of other creative ways. As the sponsoring individual, you should have some great access to the guest of honor.

Ask for introductions- Hey, you have cultivated some great networking relationships, right? Reach out to them and ask for introductions. You've done it many times at offline social events, haven't you? "Mr. Jones, I'd like you to meet a colleague of mine..."

Stretch your wings, flit around, and develop those virtual social butterfly skills. Before you know it, your Rolodex will be full and your name will be known in many circles. If you're like me, this is a fun way to build your network. However, keep in mind my parting advice: Just like offline gatherings, you will make a much more memorable impression by making the initial meeting more about them than about you.
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Tony Eldridge is the author of the award winning action/adventure novel, The Samson Effect, which Clive Cussler calls a "first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure." He is also the creator of Marketing Tips for Authors, a site the publishes free tips and videos to help authors learn marketing techniques for their books. You can read the serial release of The Samson Effect at http://samsoneffect.marketingtipsforauthors.com/

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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