Being Bold and Making Connections – Al Getler
The Inbound 2012 Conference (put on by Hubspot) is taking place this week in Boston, MA with over 2,500 people in attendance.
What is Hubspot? What is inbound marketing? Here is a quick lesson from their website:
HubSpot all-in-one marketing software helps more than 7,500 companies in 45 countries attract leads and convert them into customers. A pioneer in inbound marketing, HubSpot aims to help its customers make marketing that people actually love.
Marketing Yourself to a New Contact
The attendees to the Inbound 2012 Conference are from around the USA and beyond. Putting a bunch of marketers under one roof is always a lot of fun. The most enjoyment I get is seeing people connect and the many ways they do it.
The traditional way of connecting, like say if a gathering like this one happened in the 1960’s through the 1980’s, would go something like this:
Ted – “Hi Bill. I am Ted. Say, here is my card should you ever need widgets at your place. Tell ya what. Let’s say we head to the bar and I buy you drinks until you can’t see your watch. Then I will have you sign a contract and send those widgets right over next week.”
Bill – “Well Ted, I like good scotch! It’ll cost ya! Let’s go!”
Ted – “No Bill, it will cost you! The contract is for ten years!”
Ted and Bill – “Haw! Haw!” (as they walk into the bar)
Rather pathetic, certainly not bold, but I suppose it sold a lot of widgets back in the day.
New Times and New Ways to Connect
If you want to make a connection today, you have to work hard at it. You have to be bold. You have to be willing to use the available tools. You have to be willing to do your research and follow-up.
Merely exchanging business cards is not a connection. Most people usually take the business cards collected from a day at a conference or meeting and drop in their desk drawer. The next time they look at the card they have no idea who the person is or where they met them.
Being Bold or “How To Market Me”
Lindsey Kirchoff is the model connector. She calls herself the “Millennial Marketing Blogger”.
Lindsey just graduated from Tufts University. She wants to be a marketer. She wants to work for Hubspot. I bet she ends up getting a job there…soon.
Why do I know so much about this girl? Because as I waited to ask a speaker from Hubspot a question, Lindsey walked right up, gave her pitch, handed everyone and the presenter her business card and started collecting cards. The Hubspot speaker didn’t have a card, so Lindsay took her email and sent her what she needs to connect.
Lindsey looked directly at her target (the presenter) and said, “I want to work for Hubspot.” With laser focus she made her case: She blogs, she does social media, she is a millennial marketer and she can write.
I had to ask Lindsey a question. The Inbound Conference is not inexpensive to attend if you are not associated with HubSpot. I wanted to know if she had paid the full price to get it.
It turns out Lindsey bought the “Keynote Only” pass which is the least expensive.
“They upgraded me when I got here. Isn’t that so nice?” she said.
Nice my foot, Lindsey.
A guy named Ron I worked with in Atlantic City taught me the phrase, “She could talk a dog down off a meat wagon.” That seems to be Lindsey’s modus operandi.
Not until I walked away, however, did I see the ingenious thing Lindsey had done to the back of her cards to assure her connection. She had three simple, preprinted lines followed by space to write. The lines were:
PS. WE MET AT:
NICE TO MEET YOU!
Check out Lindsey at her website: http://howtomarkettome.com/. You might want to hire her. You had better hurry as Hubspot will beat you to it.
You better take what I am about to say seriously.
There is an army of Lindsey’s out there. They are smart. They are focused. They are survivors in the new economy.
These connectors, these self marketers, they are bold. B-O-L-D.
I am going to say this again: Don’t give me your, “Oh, I don’t Tweet.” or “Who has time for Facebook?” Spare me the “Why would I LinkedIn? I am not looking for a job.” or “What the heck is Pinterest?”
Listen Aunt Tilley, the time has come to face facts. Either get in the game or sit out the rest of the season. If you want to make new connections in today’s economy you had better bold-up, use the tools and make connections in today’s world.
Of course, you don’t have to. Bill and Ted are in the bar and there is an empty stool right next to them.
How else can you be bold in making new connections? Share your thoughts in the Disqus section after this post or by clicking HERE if you are reading it in an email.