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  1. 2011 The Year of 52 Phone Calls #yearof52calls

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    One of my 2011 goals was to find a new way to deepen online relationships.  Since some of the people I wanted to chat with are not within the cities I lived in, in 2011 I had to overcome location. So I wanted to try a different channel, what I came up with was “The Year of 52 calls”. The premise was to call a different person every week throughout the year. Sounds easy right? Well after making it through the whole year I partially succeed at my goal!

    I partially succeeded in number, but I fully succeeded in making some awesome connections even better! I think for 2012 I am going to continue on this path, but with major refinements. Below are the results of the fun I had and people I called.

     

    Week 1:

    Called Robyn Flach 1/7/2011: we talked family, business happenings, social media in the social context.  Scheduled a lunch appointment.

    Robyn Flach

     

    Called Sarah Kay Hoffman 1/7/2011: left Sarah and voicemail, she left me a tweet about not using the phone well.

     

    Week 2:

    Called Nicole Nicolay 1/12/2011: left a voicemail about what I was doing with the year of 52 calls.  Gave her my phone number and told her if she wanted to call that would be totally cool, but know running a business and being a mom life is busy!

    Called Alissa Ausan 1/12/2011: left a voicemail

    Voicemails for 52 Calls

    Week 3:

    Called Shelly Kramer 1/18/2011: Talked with Shelley about the business for 2011. Found out a little more about company. She helps companies with strategic planning and content management. Talked about Yammer and streamlining communication.  What I do for Target, what I have planned for 2011.

    Week 4:

    Called Leigh Caraccioli 1/27/2011:Had a wonderful conversation with Leigh about all things going on with her business, the family, and her book she is writing. I did not know about the book, so this was an awesome surprise. I also learned that her husband works for a company based out of Minneapolis and we started talking about her and her family coming up here to hang out. Leigh and I have known each other online for 2 years and this was the first time she and I talked on the phone.  This phone call is why I am doing this activity!

    Leigh Caraccioli

    Week 5:

    Called Katie Felten 2/04/2011: This was the first time we had ever spoken via the phone. Katie and I had a wonderful conversation about finding what the next steps of career are, exchanging social media stories, and told her about my tracking airport check-ins to find and connect with people.

    Katie Felten

     

    Katie Felten

     

    Week 6:

    Called Kris Colvin 02/17/2011:  Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring….so wanted to talk with Kristi too!

    LeeAnn Youngquist and Kristi Colvin

    Called LeeAnn Youngquist 02/17/2011: Let a message for following up a previous lunch that was cancelled.  Really looking forward to catching back up with LeeAnn!

     

    Called Ria Sharon 02/18/2011: So I used skype for the first time for the year of 52 calls!  Ria and I have known each other online for roughly two years.  We had a wonderful conversation about business, how to succeed and creating new business models instead of fixing the ones we have currently.  Ok now my head hurts!

    Ria Sharon

     

    Week 7:

    Called KT Wall 3/09/2011: Great conversation about life in Atlanta. Working for the Ad Agency in Atlanta and many of her friends getting married this summer!

    KT Wall

     

    Week 8:

    Called Angel Oakley 3/11/2011: Since Angel and I were both attending #ungeeked in May I wanted to get to know her before going to the conference. We have a great conversation about Chicago and owning her own business.

    Angel Oakley

     

    Week 9:

    Called Me Amy Roark 3/20/2011: This is was a reverse rule for the year of 52 calls, but hey I am making the rules! Amy and I got to know each other and discussed some strategies about marketing, cultivation, and formal ask for money for a whole new community of givers.  This conversation brought to light an uptapped market in Minneapolis!

    Amy Roark

     

    Week 10:

    Called Sima Dahl 5/19/2011: After meeting Sima at #ungeeked in Chicago, I had to talk more to this very powerful, energetic, get stuff done woman!  We had a wonderful conversation about personal brand (and my take about some of it being bullshit, she agreed partially), speaking, and running her own business.

    Sima Dahl

     

    Week 11:

    Called Erika Napoletano 6/06/2011: I finally got up the nerve to call Erika! This was a long process for me gaining the courage to talk with her live.  I am so glad I did! We talked about live in CO, writing 2 books (that are completely unrelated to each other), and just getting to know each other stuff.

    Erika Napoletano

     

    Week 12:

    Called Peggy Fitzpatrick 6/29/2011: Peggy and I met and hit it off big time at #ungeeked! During all of the transition stuff to Virginia I wanted to chat with her about some east coast stuff. Plus I wanted to catch up on all the happenings since the conference!

    Peggy Fitzpatrick

     

    Peggy Fitzpatrick

     

     Week 13:

    Scott Wild Called Me 9/16/2011: So this was a turn of events, Scott called me after a question I made on twitter. We had a great conversation about relocation and catching up after doing a podcast with him and folks from TodayMade.com

    Scott Wild

     

    Week 14:

    Called Liza Sperling  10/07/2011: Liza and I met while I was out in San Francisco back in May 2011 for the SMOC Conference. I wanted to chat up to see how Liza was doing and hear about the Valley happenings.  We talked strategy, job seeking, and tech stuff!

    Liza Sperling

     

    Week 15:

    Called Jen Howver on 10/13/2011: Jen and I actually went to High School together and she reached out to me via twitter about a year ago to reconnect. We also had a chance to reconnect IRL at #ungeeked in Chicago. We caught up about all the moving I had done, ungeeked related news, and general family things.

    Jen Howver

     

    Week 16:

    Called Cassandra Girard on 10/17/2011: Cassandra and I met through Tara Hunt when Buyopshere.com launched about a year ago. We have still connected through the year while the evolution and revolution of their business model on the web. Cassandra and I chatted about release of version one of buyosphere community. Very excited I have had the opportunity to participate and add some value to their evolution!

    Cassandra Girad

    Week 17:

    Called Brianna Foulds 10/26/2011: Brianna and I have known each other across the social web for the last couple of years. I reached out as part of this Year of 52 Calls starting back in May of 2011. Because Brianna lives in LA and I at the time lived in Minneapolis made lining up the day to chat difficult.  We plugged thru it though throwing messages back and forth until we finally connect.  We had a wonderful conversation about relocation, reestablishing networks, and just plain getting to know each other! It was finally great to see hard work pay off!

    Brianna Foulds

     

    Week 18:

    Called Kasey Skala 12/29/2011: Kasey and I met in Minneapolis a few years back. I had planned on making him a part of the #Yearof52Calls and finally made this happen. It just so happens Kasey and I  are now in the same business model of working for a corporation that sells and operates franchises.  I needed to get some advice, insight, and knowledge dropped on me about this business.  So Kasey and chatted about processes, people, and especially technology.  We will be doing this again!

    Kasey Skala

     

    Missy Berggren called 12/29/2011: A reverse #yearof52calls Missy Berggren called me after I posted a funny comment on one of her facebook posts.  She got a kick out the topic that a feller would touch with a 10 foot pool! We had a chance to catch up and touchbase since I had moved from Minneapolis in July.  See how the connected world leads to more connections through different channels!

    Missy Berggren

     

    Experiences:

    • Seems awkward at the beginning when I say who I am and they pause.  Typically I ask do you know who I am or no?  Keith Privette from Twitter, usually blings the light bulb.
    • The conversations do not seem to flow as easy as they do online.  Adding voice and natural conversation ques seem a little awkward on the phone. 3. Conversations enhance the on and offline relationship.
    • Making the time to make the phone calls. If you don’t setup the schedule and figure out who you are going to call….you don’t do it! Next time around I am setting up a 6month schedule.  Then 3 months in setting up the next 6 months!
    • Keep track of new people you establish a rapport with! These are great candidates to connect with early to strength the connection!

     

  2. I think the dingo ate my Network…

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    This post was inspired by a person I have never met in real life, but have struck up conversations across the social web about relocationing and networking. [ilink url=”http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maryanne-shew/7/950/202″]Maryanne Shew[/ilink] and I have both moved to new cities at the same time.  Maryanne has moved to Salt Lake City and I have Virginia Beach, VA. We have been having conversations about our experiences over on facebook, so I decided to share some experiences and tips about how to establish a new network of people, organizations, and companies. Some of things that may work for me as a guy, may not work for woman and vice a versa.  More about this later in the post.

    Here is the conversation that inspired me to make this post:

       

    Keith Privette

    How to start over in a new city where you barely know anyone.  Let me tell you it is not easy. I lived in Minneapolis for 15 years. That is a long time to be in one place, right? Well it is for me since graduating college. So we picked up everything and moved to Virginia Beach, VA in July 2011. The reason my wife got a huge career opportunity here and we decided to take the risk and dig up the roots and plant them here in Virginia. From what I am told this is rather unique. I do believe in the next five to ten years this will become common place, so you fellas support your woman when they have this chance.

    Here are some tips at going about rebuilding a new network, while maintaining the one you have have already built. This is very important. Just because you are in a new city with new people does not mean you neglect the relationships you have built and cherished.

    1. Use your connecting skills on twitter

    Being that I have fully engaged on twitter since April, 2008 it has become second nature to find people on twitter for me.  I find twitter being the lowest barrier for connecting.  All you have to do is hit the follow button and bam you are partially connected already.  Now with the follow button has to come some organization of this noise or you will not effectively use it for reestablishing your network. Once the decision had been made that we were relocating I setup a Twitter List called Virginia Beach to start adding profiles to it as I found people that lived in this part of the country.

    This list contains people, companies, and news outlets for the region.  By following people and adding them to the list right away I was able to setup a column on my Seemic web and a short cut on my EVO to follow the conversations happening in this list. That is only 50% of the equation of this networking activity.  Then you have to start having conversations with people to truly make the connections. If you find interesting things people or companies are saying ReTweet them. If you find something to respond to, respond to it.  Start promoting things in the area events, conferences, and jobs.

    This helps to show commitment to helping out the area not just broadcasting.  Now the conversations may not happen right away, that is ok.  These new people have to get to know.  Have patiences the conversations will happen!

    2. Use searches on Meetup.com

    I have to admit I really forgot how much organizations and people use meetup.com!  I used to use this tool a lot a couple years ago, but like many tools if the communities you are involved are not using them, you tend to place them on the back burner.  Well when starting in a new city Meetup is a vital resource to finding out, engaging and getting involved in a new city or region.  There are a many many many organizations that use meetup to schedule events and organize communities.

    The first thing I did was update my profile to begin my searching and getting new information email to me based on my new city. After updating my profile I bagan searching for organizations that fit my professional and personal interests.  This can be many different things to many different people, so right size it to your needs.  I have been looking for recruiting organizations, social media organizations, project management organizations, and non-profits to get involved with here in Virginia Beach or Norfolk.

    I have already joined one meetup group and looking to join others real soon. The biggest step you will need to take is registering for events and showing up.  This will changer everything for you.  You can not play on the sidelines of this platform.  This tool is used to truly live the long-tail of the on and offline relationship.  Trust me you will be nervous, unsure about going and scared.  It is ok, everyone is, I know I am sometimes.

    3. Find events on Eventbrite.com

    Much like meetup.com Eventbrite.com is an events planning and community organization platform.   Once again update your profile so people know you live in the area.  Then start doing searches for events you want to attend.  Many of these events will be paid events, so break open the wallet.

    There will be return on the small investments you make.  Now what I have seen you will find all kinds of events to attend on eventbrite! So invest time is searching one time events and reoccurring events. This platform will get you involved very quickly.  Additionally if you don’t find what you are looking for create your own event!

    Yes you being new to a city can start your own events. I saw this a lot in Minneapolis and many of them have built quite a community of participation. So if you think your new city may be missing an organization or a monthly type of event CREATE IT!  This will for sure be a benefit to the community as well to yourself getting plugged in and engaged.

    4. Find new folks by their bio’s on twitter using Followerwonk.com

    This platform has proven to be my biggest asset in finding people in my new city! I was introduced to this tool by my very good friend Kary Delaria about a year and half ago! This platform let you find people based on their twitter bio’s.  Once again when I learned we were moving I started researching people’s twitter bio’s in the cities that I was going to be living in and by.

    Now I am not suggesting start following everyone that shows up in your search. Start with a plan and some criteria you would like to find people.  First search find people with the same city as you. You may already be following people in that city based on previous interaction. The platform shows the following relationship.

    Here is an example of how the tool shows the relationship: Followerwonk after searching Virginia Beach:

    5. Use Tweet.Grader.com to find top Tweeters in your new area!

    Hubspot has made a great free tool to find people and or companies in your new area.  You can read bio’s and view how the internet views people and companies in your new area.  To take the next step is follow these people and utilize suggestions #1. This will keep all these new people organized and actionable.  You will be able to reach out quicker if you add to list or you are just adding them to your following and hoping you see in your feed.  Here is an example of the search I used:

     

    These tools along with your online profiles should help you get started rebuilding your professional and personal connections in your area. Then it is up to you to start meeting people offline. None of these tools can help with that.  The platforms can help you organize, find, and lower the barriers for communication, but they will be all for naught if you don’t take it offline and let people get to know you IRL (In Real Life). This brings me to the the interesting point Maryanne brought up.

    I started making the above suggestions to make connections, then I mentioned to start asking people to meet for coffee or lunch. Which she promptly told me this is much different for woman than it is for men. Which I had to pause and think about this comment. My perspective was and has always remained “It is just coffee or lunch!”  For me making this suggestion did not matter to me whether you were a woman or a man.

    With Maryanne’s explanation that a single woman in a new city the opposite gender may get the wrong idea, which makes the next step of IRL in a one on one situation not as quick. A few group events may be the direction before this step is taken in most cases for woman. Which has now enlightened me to understand when making the request out of the blue to woman.

    Woman go through a different thought process about this request than I do. So thank you Maryanne for that suggestion. Don’t let this stop the connecting, I am suggesting just be aware of the situation, gender, and perspective when making the ask. Now go forth and rebuild that network!

    If there are other platforms or people I should be connecting with please leave a comment below! Oh and Maryanne and I have also discussed doing a co-written post about what does our networks and experiences look like 4 or 6 months later. Also I have asked Maryanne to make a guest post on my site (can not wait for her to do this, giddy actually!!!)

  3. Real Rahm vs Fake Rahm and Influence

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    We live in some interesting social dynamic times today!  People can become other people online, in less than 3 minutes (about how long it takes to setup a twitter account).  Case in point, the “little” scenario playing out in Chicago with Rahm Emanuel’s campaign to be the next mayor of that city.

    Now here is where it gets interesting check out their Klout Profiles:

    @MayorEmanuel




    @RahmEmanuel





























     

    Now at first glance and if you did not know any better you could start following and interacting with the fake Rahm Emanuel (do you know which is which?).  If you assumed the Real Rahm would have a better influence quotient, you would have been WRONG!   So there is a Real Rahm Emanuel account on twitter @rahmemanuel, there is also a fake Rahm Emanuel account on twitter@mayoremanuel.

    So if you started following the first account, you may be disappointed,  if trying to follow the real Rahm to discuss issues in the city of Chicago. You may not be disappointed if you found out you were following the fake account, because the influence thing did not matter to you that much. On a side note and personal opinion the person running the fake account is hilarious (I am sure Rahm’s campaign staff does not think so)!

    After thinking about this a little further, Klout may have themselves an interesting case study.  The case study would center around online vs offline influence and the combining of the two sets of data. The reason I include offline because this is a data points Klout is figuring out to include in their algorithm, which I am fascinated and tuning in to see how they are going to get this information (have a couple ideas myself, but really curious how they are going to measure this information). Clearly if offline influence was a factor in the quotient and most likely carried a higher weight there would be a clear line of site between these two accounts.

    So on face value the Fake Rahm Emanuel appears to have more influence, based on the current evaluation, but here is where it gets interesting! The Fake account has no offline influence (well it could, but we do not know who this person is yet!), but the Real Rahm Emanuel has tons of offline influence and if this was factored into the equation would that boost the score and by how much.  So this example shows how influence is way deeper than the score or reach you see in the pictures above.

    Just something to think about when using data points to help produce a execution strategies and operational plans for your business.  Klout can be very helpful in these categories, but your business should not use this as an exclusive path, which I am sure I am preaching to the choir on that. What do you think is this interesting?  It will be really interesting if @mayoremanuel takes @rahmemanuel up on his $5,000 offer!

  4. Social Networking Tips from a Regular Guy

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    This will be an ongoing list of networking tips from a regular guy making his way through this wacky wacky world of reality and social networking. Hope you enjoy and please comment and let me know what you think:

    Networking Tip #1: Just ask people to meet once you establish a good foundation. Don’t be afraid many people want to meet face to face!  Jokingly I told people a while back I had a 98% success rate on my asking, but went back and looked at numbers and yes since Jan 2010 I have met with 67 people face to face many asks on my part.  Only one in a round about way turned me down.  Not bad hey.

    Networking Tip #2: Be yourself when meeting with experienced professionals. they want to know the whole you. Don’t let titles scare you!

    Networking Tip #3: If I ask I pay or if this is the first time me and this individual have met.  Additionally,  if the meeting goes well you will get a second meeting!  We are a pretty “keep it socially equal” type society which is awesome to social networking.  The “Hey I owe you lunch or coffee” subject is awesome from my perspective.

    Networking Tip #4: Build a connection hub for yourself and own your online presence!  Where your at is mine.  All my other profiles point back to this one and I point this to my most prominent digital landscape.  This way people can explore everything about me, but they get the 3D personality in real life

    Networking Tip #5: Set up Google Alerts for your email addresses and name to be notified when it is used online.

    Networking Tip #6: Use Twitter to connect with really interesting, action oriented, passionate people.  Even better if you do not know them. Start a conversation and engage to build that relationship.  I find this community has the lowest barrier to connect and start a conversation, which is key when finding people from your industry vertical or not.

    Networking Tip #7: In the course of meeting someone live or online (encourage both as a strategy) they offer up a name you should talk with or meet, politely ask for an introduction.  When this social capital exchange happens, good indicator it is going well or it did go well!

    Networking Tip #8: Call people when you have not connected in a while. Call them for no reason at all. Facebook.com has a darn nice Phonebook (you should go check it out).  Maybe call to line up schedules for that first meet up.  Personally I have been doing more of this especially with DM’s on twitter or @replies with questions.

    Networking Tip #9: Put some time into profile Bio within all your accounts you have established. This is your 30sec commercial for yourself. It also helps people know who you are.  Make sure to follow have the link back to #4.

    Networking Tip #10: Organize your Facebook contacts into groups that make sense to you. This makes for targeted communications fast. If you have not started start today and keep up while you add new contacts.

    Networking Tip #11: Find the Fan Pages you are passionate about and invite others to join these fan pages.  It is right under the logo on the Fan Page.  This creates the “Like” in the News Feed and people start making connections this way.

    Networking Tip #12: Use your Lists for organizing your signal on twitter!  Especially useful on a mobile app to be able to go to a certain list and scroll and scan the information to engage and make connections with.

    Networking Tip #13: There are plenty of events to go to in any town, start going to them!  Regardless of membership or being in your industry.  When you sign up for these events tell everyone you are going.  Then when at an event meet at least 2 new people.  I know this sounds corny, but if you talk to the same people online as well as offline, I feel you are missing out.

    Networking Tip #14: My last tip and this one I think is the best one and love doing this all the time.  When you see two, three or even four people you know that don’t know each other and should (of course insert biased opinion here) introduce them!  Or if people want to meet some one you know you use the reverse of #7.  I personally do this all the time and for me it feels good to connect people!

    So I hope this helps it you were wondering how to make the book you just read become reality.  My best advice for social networking is that it is an on going experiment.  Being curious, wanting to connect, wanting to learn, wanting to create, wanting to improve and wanting help will be key behaviors to an on going successful experiment within social networking.

    Oh and one final thought “Go forth and Cross Pollinate those Verticals” – @keithprivette

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