Category Archives: Women in Business

Top 10 Networking Tips for College Students and New Grads

1. Be prepared. Have a business card on you with your contact info. Include your social media outlets as well as your blog/website.
2. Have in mind who you are looking to meet. People need to know how best they can help you. This will be easier when you are specific. I’m looking for contacts in this role at these specific organizations.
3. Be creative and fun. What are your hobbies/interests. Share this, this is you and people will remember that about you. Perhaps on your online profiles include that interest/hobby i.e. running marathons, enjoying craft beer, snowboarding, reading biographies, cooking etc.
4. The lost art of the hand written Thank You. Have a goal to send out notes of gratitude, x number per week.
5. Be Genuine and willing to Help People. Be a connector, go above and beyond if you are called on to help.
6. Be Philanthropic. Volunteer for projects or non-profit organizations that interest you.
7. Have meetings with a purpose. What are your objectives and expectations going in and make them known. Leave with specific idea of follow up.
8. Become a Resource for others in your area of expertise and activity interests. Perhaps start a blog on wordpress or tumblr.
9. Connect with everyone you meet on LinkedIn and Kelley InCircle where appropriate. These are great networking tools that will help you be more productive.
10. Work the room. Shoot to spend a few minutes with everyone in the room, or go in with a goal to meet x number of new people.

 

The Authentic Influencer

As I’m looking through my twitter feed waiting for ‘the social network’ to begin, I found a tweet that read ‘the nation could care less about #thesocialnetwork’. I was intrigued for more…CLICK: the full statement read, ‘the social network is doing really well on the east coast, the west coast and a little blip in Chicago, the rest of the nation could care less.’ facebook is used by 500 million people now, this is the business story that will be told for generations. Why is it not capturing more interest? This is something most use daily checking in as often as email.

The movie inspired me, as most others, to think, which I was really excited about. When I think about facebook, I see it’s success broken down to three areas:

Audience : In the beginning, College Students, a mass population of inquisitive people eager to learn and socially influenced.

Labor : User Generated Content, and guess what? It’s Free.

Distribution: Viral Sharing, spreading messages like disease.

The University

Young Bobby goes to school, he’s influenced by leaders in the classes he’s in, clubs he joins, ads he sees with people that look exactly like him, doing cool things. Is he a social influencer? Or a follower? The social influencers are those who may be looked at as ‘cool’ and popular within their own crowd or interest group. Some brands are even paying students to wear/use their brands on campus. If a college student is driven enough (and of course with an authentic social personality) they could probably sell themselves out to pay their entire tuition. But would you consider this authentic?

I’m not speaking that all social influencing going on on campus is bad. Here locally, let’s use Indiana University in Bloomington, IN as an example. I used to work for Upland Brewing Company. Great organization, great beer and a step up from the light beers on other universities reach. Pitcher night is apparently on Tuesday, never been. Do you know how I learned this? Down in Louisville, KY when I was wearing an Upland shirt. The gentleman that approached me at the local coffee shop had went to school there and of course had an emotional connection with the brand as it defined the best experience of his life. College Days! His emotional connection to this time in his life was so strong he wanted to tell me about it and not only that offer to help me expand Upland’s brand presence in Louisville. He gave me a good list of accounts he thought Upland would be a good fit at. (I sure followed up on that list and of course was grateful for his help.) This was only one experience of many with Upland. College grads are now an authentic street team as they leave campus and plant their roots in other communities.

How do you leverage these relationships? How does a company maintain a relationship with these fresh college grads? The answer will more than likely include facebook. Are you an influencer or a follower?

I’m noticing more and more business starting up around The University. Well, it works. What brands or examples can you think of with Authentic Street Team opportunities centered around brand loyalty?

What I learned from Oprah

 

Mom invited me to go with her to the Oprah show!  It was a great time and of course I was analyzing the entire experience.  First off, the audience department is amazing.  Not sure how many times they called mom.  But that they know 133 audience members (266 total, each invite gets to bring a guest).  They knew why each one was there and where they needed to be at any point.  It was just amazed all the logistics involved here.  And when we all entered the studio, getting us seated, noticing color mismatches and repositioning people, quite the attention to detail.

Then, the show airs and you watch how the studio department including set designers and all interact.  The show was nearly flawless (except some trouble with Skype).  I realized what type of manager Oprah is in this sitting.  She acknowledged her audience during commercial breaks, making eye contact with several members of the audience as she waved up into the upper seating.  I know this seems dismal and not important, but sometimes we all walk down the sidewalk without making eye contact with someone in passing, shoot we email our co-workers who are sitting right next to us.  It’s great to witness something different about this space, it’s not all corporate, business as usual, well the stereotype, perhaps based on my experiences.  It’s more of a way of life.

Oprah did not seem to be a micro-manager in our short time in the same room.  It is clear that everyone knew what’s expected of them.  Everyone has their responsibilities and everyone understood what brand they were representing in performing them.  Every aspect bled Oprah.  Even in our shopping experience at the Oprah store.  You know that this woman is busy and doesn’t have time to decide which bag our purchases will be placed in or even what imports to bring in from Africa.  I found it amazing at how seemingly well this company operates.  Kudos to Oprah and I hope your business practices bleed on all of us as well.