Chris Brogan interview – Social Media Expert
Chris Brogan is a social media expert and co-founder of PodCamp, a free unconference exploring the use of new media tools like blogging, podcasting, and videoblogging to build relationships. Chris has been active in the blogging world since 1997 (when it was called journaling). He started podcasting in 2006, and videoblogging later that year. Chris produces the Video on the Net conference, and blogs at [chrisbrogan.com]
Josh: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?
Chris Brogan: Business networking is establishing social contact with people with the intent of business. I’ll tell you that I don’t really frame MY relationship building in this way, but only because I believe that it’s the same as meeting people for social purposes.
The only difference is that with business in mind, you might be considering how each new contact can build into a business (i.e. monetized) relationship instead of just a friendship experience.
So, if I can just blather a moment longer, I’d say it’s really important to remember that businesses are chock full of HUMANS, and to think with your heart set on adding value, instead of “what can I get out of this?” The results are stellar.
Josh: Can you share one or two ideas that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?
Chris Brogan: Here are a few tips on meeting folks in a business networking setting: When you meet someone, say your name loud enough to be heard, and clear enough to be remembered.
Not like a robot, but clear like you’re hoping they remember you forever. PRACTICE this. Another tip, don’t do the card-swap/handshake-at-the-same-time thing. The other person might not need your relationship, and you might not need theirs. Instead, when it’s about time to break off the conversation, say, “I’m really excited we connected. I’d love to talk more with you. May we exchange cards?” See how that feels? Totally different.
Josh: What is your favorite (preferred) business or social networking site? In your opinion what are the key features which are most valuable to you? What makes the resources you use most appealing to you, as opposed to the other online networking resources and sites that are available?
Chris Brogan: I use TONS of methods to reach people: Twitter, Facebook, my blog, and media like podcasting and videoblogging. I go to conferences and meetups. I use services like upcoming.org and meetup.com to look for events that appeal. This is how things get done in this space.
My networking successes happen daily because of this. Last night, I went to a blogger dinner in Boston hosted to welcome Jeremiah Owyang to the neighborhood. Doc Searls was there, and lots of other really swell heavy hitters and energetic newcomers to the space. What I found in those few hours for potential business, and LOTS of contact was more than most folks would get in MONTHS of handing out resumes.
So If I were going to advise you, do it that way.
BTW, I got my last job from networking. No resume was ever reviewed. Nothing. Just a job on the spot.
Josh: I couldn’t resist this last question. On your blog, you mentioned a game you play called, “call Chris”. Can you tell us more about it — as well as how the idea to do it came about and what results you’ve had since you began with it?
Chris Brogan: “Call Chris” is a game I play using Twitter. I give out my phone number to everyone, and ask them to call as if it’s a radio show. Only it’s not. It’s just a way to have conversations. The main response of this is that I get to talk with people I haven’t met personally, or chat briefly with friends who want to have a laugh. The secondary response is that I get a whole phone full of numbers to call should I have something to ask someone in a pinch. I do the game for the primary reason, but the secondary benefit doesn’t hurt, right?
Thanks for this interview, Josh. I appreciate your time, and I’m grateful you’re out there helping people with their networking and social connection advice.
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