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The Fortune is in the Follow Up

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

I love that Podcamp exists. When Chris Brogan and Christopher Penn birthed the unconference back in 2006, I doubt even those visionaries knew it would touch all four corners of the globe and still be going strong six years later.

This is my third time hosting a session at Podcamp. This year I’ll be heading a panel about the third largest social network, Pinterest, with friend and lawyer Stephen Zralek who knows a thing or 60 about internet, copyright and social media law. Joining us is the second most followed man on Pinterest, Daniel Bear Hunley, who, in addition to being a “southern gent” is the social media coordinator at Powell Creative in Nashville, TN.

In fact, I actually cut my “speaker” teeth at Podcamp in 2010. Since then, I’ve spoken at events and to organizations nationwide, so I owe a lot to the format for helping me gain confidence, leverage, community and clients.

One of the most important things to remember about conferences, conventions and events like Podcamp, is that the fortune is in the follow up. These are amazing opportunities to network. However, the last thing anyone really wants at a conference is to be sold to.

Jason Falls, who is actually in town Friday for social media conference Explore, always says…

“Don’t sell. Give people opportunities to buy.” 

this, but with biz cards

Now, I’m not saying that if someone comes up to you and is ready to buy your services and become your new bestie client that you shouldn’t run the credit card through your fancy Square app device and iPad. What I am saying is that you’re not there on a scavenger hunt to see who can collect the most business cards and then do nothing but make a castle out of them when you get back to your office.

Spend time with the people you exchange cards with. Find out what they do. Find out why they do it. Discover what’s coming up for them — a new launch, new partnership, an event, etc. Figure out if there is anything they are currently struggling with. Really listen. Chew on the information and take notes after you part ways so you can remember them. Then make sure you actually follow up with them. I can not tell you how many people I know who don’t do anything at all with new contacts they’ve made at events — not even an email.

I’ll say it again — the fortune is in the follow up. After Podcamp has closed the bar and turned out the lights, that’s when your work should really pick up steam. Reach out to those you met on the phone. Yes, I said on the freakin’ phone. This is your time to help. Perhaps your contact with them becomes nothing more than a new friendly relationship in the industry right now, but at some point down the line, one of you may need each other or may be able to refer someone.

I’ve gotten clients, conducted interviews for my blog, made referrals, and most importantly, enriched my business and my life by expanding my network through events like this. And you can do the same.

What other tips do you have for remembering and following up with people you meet at events? Let me know in the comments.

Tags: pcn12, podcampnashville, podcast, Social Media, unconference
Posted in Podcamp, social media, Start-up/Entrepreneur, technology | No Comments »

Why Writers Should Attend Podcamp

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Attention all published and aspiring writers. Here’s the skinny on why it makes sense for you to attend events like Podcamp.

1. It’s FREE

and now for the real reason —

2.. The publishing world continues to change, and it isn’t enough anymore to just write the book. You have to be the publicist, the promoter, the marketer and, in some instances, the publisher yourself.

This year’s Podcamp has several sessions worth your time and attention to help you understand the online world of branding yourself AND your book, podcasting, building your online author platform, understanding the legalities of it all, how to network, the growing world of blogging and how it can affect your writing career and a lot more.

My particular session is called A Novel Idea: How Social Media Can Make You A Better Writer. I’m editing my 10-week course into a 35-minute session.

I walk people through what I call the four phases of a book’s life: 1. Concept and Research, 2. Writing 3. Publishing and 4. Promoting (getting people to buy it). I give examples, tools and tips on how certain networks can help you in each of these phases. Before you know it, you understand social media because you’ve integrated it into your lifestyle as a writer…on a daily basis.

I have a goal of my own for this year’s session: I’m hoping that those who attend it will also participate. All of our heads together are better than my talking head alone on the stage. As there are new apps and ways to leverage them coming to light all the time, my hope is that attendees will share their successes along this road.

I wrote a blog post called How to Pack for Podcamp that discusses what you can do to prepare for it, as well as what you can do once there to get the most out of it.

For those readers not attending this weekend’s Podcamp in Nashville, TN, I believe they will be posting the videos from the sessions. If not, I will definitely be bringing the goods to this blog shortly thereafter.

Going to Podcamp and other events like it IS part of your writing job better known as the modern life of a writer. Luckily, this one comes with booze.

Posted in Advice, authors, Conferences, marketing, Podcamp, social media, Social Networks, writing | No Comments »

How to Pack for Podcamp

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Who needs a groundhog when you have merely to wait for Podcamp registration to open? I know Spring is just around the corner when the birds start singing (tweeting), the updated site blooms with sessions, and busy bees descend on downtown Nashville’s Cadillac Ranch to pollinate the town with a wealth of information, friendship and business.

If you’re new to Podcamp, and aren’t sure what it’s all about, be sure and read yesterday’s Siblings Not Spouses post “What the Heck is a Podcamp?” After you finish come back here because this post is about how to get the most out of your Podcamp experience.

So, how can you make the most of Podcamp?

BEFORE PODCAMP

Have an objective: Know what it is you want to learn — how to create awesome content, blog, build your online brand, social media and causes, WordPress websites, the world of mobile. Knowing what you want to get out of it will help you plan your day.

Do your homework:

1. Visit the site. I have always been impressed by the caliber of the speakers and topics covered at Podcamp, and this year is shaping up to be no exception. If there’s a gap and you have the expertise, suggest a session. If you see a session that speaks to the heart of your objective be sure to sign up for it when the sessions have been finalized.

2. Get to know the other registrants and speakers before the event. Check out who’s going, follow them on Twitter, and start or join the conversation.

AT PODCAMP

Be flexible: Sessions can change, get added or canceled. It happens. It is an unconference after all. Also, some of the best conversation might be happening outside a session. Be open to missing a panel if you find yourself in a great conversation with a like-minded attendee.

Speak up: Ask questions. Share answers. Meet people.

In addition to learning a lot from the sessions, Podcamp is an opportunity to brush up on your public speaking and networking skills as well as build and strengthen relationships. I find that being surrounded by like-minded individuals who are all eager to kick ass in their chosen fields is a huge confidence builder and motivator.

Finally, have fun. Eat the grub, drink the beer, dress casual. Oh, and bring money for parking.

Tags: confidence, networking, public speaking
Posted in Advice, Conferences, Podcamp | 2 Comments »