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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

It's part sales, part marketing, part branding, part market research and development.

But most of all, it's an art whose masters have made millions.

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Expanding Into the Twitterverse

I recently spoke at the Increase Sales with Social Media conference in  San  Diego with David Carleton  (@DavidCarleton)  Denise Wakeman (@blogsquad) of the Blog Squad, Mari Smith  (@MariSmith) of Facebook fame, Paul Colligan (@colligan) - Social Media Strategist, and Warren Whitlock (@warrenwhitlock) of Twitter fame.  I'll write more about what I learned in a future post.

But the thing that sticks in my mind was that the place was "tweeting" like mad.

Now, I had been on Twitter.com for some time.  But I had no idea about the power of the platform.

For those of you new to Twitter, it is a micro-blogging platform (you have 140 characters to get your message out) which allows you to follow key people in your networks and to build a following of friends, fans, customers, and partners.

Imagine this - as each speaker was presenting, people from the audience were taking the gems and sending them out to the people in their Twitter network.  And a buzz got created out in the real world about what was happening in a conference center in San Diego.

Think about that.  People built a following on Twitter, and then fed them with valuable information that they were getting at a conference which their followers couldn't or didn't attend.  Talk about delivering value & building customer and partner intimacy.

This is something that savvy business development people have been doing for years offline - and now they can do it online - and deliver incredible value to the stakeholders in their success.

I also learned about a few cool management tools to keep up on what was happening in the Twitterverse.

  1. Tweetdeck - this platform allows me to search for exact terms out in the Twitterverse and respond personally to people who have an interest or ask questions in my area of expertise.  I have been steadily building a following by doing just that.  One of my students, Anita Leafty, introduced me to it.
  2. Twitter Search - Search allows you to do much the same as above, but doesn't update automatically like Tweetdeck.  Very powerful, however, to find people who are interested in areas in which you have interest.
  3. Hash Marks - If you want to be able to easily aggregate information or a flow of information, us the "#" followed by a short moniker.  For example, the ISSM conference was #ISSM (go ahead, Twitter-Search it).  I've started #LinkedInTips, #BizDevTips (go ahead, check them out too)
  4. Direct Messaging - While some people dislike it, DM, as it is referred to, allows you to send a special message directly to someone on Twitter, much like an email.  This helps when you have something private to say and don't have their email address.  Very Useful
  5. Socialtoo.com - This service allows me to follow the people who follow me and to send them a special thank you message.  As my following grows, it can be time consuming to do all the followup.  This program automates the process.  Now I just go and change the message every few days.
  6. Mr Tweet - A very cool service that tells me who I should be following given my "tweet" content and the people I follow & who they follow.  Very good for network building and visibility.

Results, you ask?

I've been booked to speak at several more conferences (I'll keep you in the loop); I had more sales come through for our LinkedIn Training Webinars from people who have followed me; Jack Canfield is now following me (wow - what an honor!); And with some generous help from Mari Smith and folks in the Twitterverse, I now have close to 300 people following me - in less than a week.

And I'm just starting to get the hang of this.

I HIGHLY recommend that you start to learn about Twitter.  It can revolutionize the way you interact with, build, and leverage your network.

Find me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/chiplambert73

Raymond Chip Lambert
Network2Networth
Your Outsourced Business Development Training Partner

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