Archive for May, 2010

7 reasons to get connected and stay connected with LinkedIn

May 26, 2010

Sometimes people tell you about something and you are really not ready to listen to them or you have a preconceived idea about how something works and have already made up your mind that it won’t work for you. That was certainly the case with my resistance to LinkedIn.  I avoided it at all costs, deleted the invitations I received from my connections for months (silly me) and boy, am I eating my words now.

 I am a LinkedIn convert and am loving it as a get connected, stay connected, re-connect networking tool. A huge thank you to Iggy Pintado –who helped me to reduce my resistance to LinkedIn and social media in general. Iggy and I were both presenting at a business women’s network and his way of explaining social media is so user friendly, I was convinced. Iggy’s LinkedIn tips for me included:

  • Go straight to the Premium Account for the added benefits.
  • Spend time creating your profile page – it will help enormously with your connections and linkages.
  • Decide how much time you can spend on LinkedIn every week – the more time you spend on it – the faster your connections list grows. Be realistic with your time, but by investing a couple of hours a week – you get a great return on your investment.
  • Have an open profile, which means that your connections can go through your directory and make contact with people they already know.

Iggy is a master connector and I recommend you visit his website – www.iggypintado.com it has stacks of useful information.

At time of writing, I have been a LinkedIn member for approximately 2 months and have already grown my connections list to more than 600 people.  According to LinkedIn stats, with me being the centre of my network with 618 connections (trusted friends and colleagues), I have access to 82,700+ who are two degrees away – friends of friends each connected to one of your connections.

 And three degrees away I have access to 5,151,500+ people who can be reached through a friend and one of their friends.  And as there are currently 65,000,000 LinkedIn users – the numbers are quite mind boggling.

Iggy Pintado has over 11,000 connections on his LinkedIn account – well done Iggy!  Here are   7 tips from a new and very satisfied LinkedIn member:

INVITATIONS -It is worth taking a moment to write a little more than the standard invitation message – particularly if you have not connected with a person for awhile. Some of my invitations messages start with – “A blast from the past.” Or “Greetings from Australia” – or “we met at XYZ.  In this way the person makes the connection – often they respond with a very friendly response.

 REJECTIONS – 90% of the people you invite to be one of your professional business connections say yes. And the 10% that don’t – that’s okay too. I don’t take it personally, as I know I deleted many invitations in the last year.

 TRACKING – I have found old clients, who have moved companies, school friends, relatives, social friends, current clients, audience members, product buyers – all sorts of connections – many of whom I lost track of over the years.

 EVENTS – You can promote events that you are attending, speaking at or arranging. It is the perfect low cost promotional tool. And I have found some very interesting events to attend, that I had not heard of before.

 SPECIAL INTERESTS – Knowing that we are not our jobs – nor the title on the business card – we do have a life outside of business. LinkedIn again gives you an opportunity to connect with special interest groups throughout their network.  There is a big directory of these groups – some more business than social –  and what the criteria is to join – but I have found studying profiles of people in my network enables me to see which groups they belong to and if appropriate I -can connect with them. Plus listing your interests on your profile gives more insight into your whole life not just your workplace. I recently had a holiday in Maui and wrote about the highlights on my network activity segment of my profile. It was amazing the number of people wanting to know more about Maui or share their experiences. Again an opportunity to network with like minded people.

 INSTANT UPDATES – Your connections regularly update their profiles as their situations change, they gain recognition or they change jobs – all great reasons for you to reconnect with them.

  TESTIMONIALS -One of the really great tools is your ability to send a testimonial or recommendation to someone in your connections list. I am a big fan of writing testimonials for a job well done and this is the easiest system to do exactly that. Recommendations/testimonials are given without expectation – but to date I have found all of them greatly appreciated. I prefer to do them without being asked, just a spontaneous response when you see someone’s name and profile.

 In this current competitive marketplace, LinkedIn is a great resource for getting connected and staying connected. If you have less than 150 connections, it might be worth trawling through your connections list of connections and if you are heading higher than 500 – well done. And if you would like an invitation to join my LinkedIn professional business network, just let me know. This is one social media tool that I am very pleased if am utilizing – even if many of my connections are saying – what took you so long? Sometimes you just don’t know what you are missing.

For more articles by Robyn Henderson – visit www.networkingtowin.com.au or robyn@networkingtowin.com.au

HOW TO SET UP A MASTERMIND GROUP FROM SCRATCH

May 3, 2010

1 + 1 = 11 –

 THE POWER OF MASTERMIND GROUPS –

 How to set up a mastermind group from scratch 

One of the biggest challenges you may face in your home based business is the shortage of people to bounce ideas around with. Particularly if you have previously worked in large organizations surrounded by mates and co-workers, the isolation factor can at times be crippling. And if child minding is part of your daily duties, then you may have already found that a 4 year old has no concept of the potential distribution market for your latest brainwave idea. Lets look at a possible solution to this universal home-based business challenge.

Smart home based business operators have clicked into the power of creating a regular mastermind or brainstorming group. They use this group as a sounding board for new ideas, innovations, business challenges and in many cases informal mentorship. Let’s face it, not only do you get to know this handful of people extremely well, you also get to tap into their business acumen and knowledge. And when it’s well planned and organised, it can be a win-win for all the mastermind members, not just you.

 So let’s look at a ten point checklist for setting up a successful mastermind group:

 Every mastermind group needs a driver – an organiser. Since it’s your idea, you automatically become the organiser. And as the organiser, you will firstly want to decide what you want to achieve from the mastermind group. Make a list of at least 5 things you would hope to achieve from regular meetings with a specific group.

TIP: Be as specific as possible here – when reviewing the results of the group, down the track, you will want to measure your results and clarity at the start will make this easier.

 Next, list 10 things, that you have to offer a potential mastermind group – dig deep here, maybe you can provide the venue, the refreshments, the transport – ideally if you have potentially four members – each will contribute different things.

 TIP: Don’t overcommit with your list – be realistic about time, money and energy.

Now you need a list of prospective members for the group – people you know and trust, people who ideally work outside of your profession or industry. This will ensure that they can give you ideas with fresh eyes, rather than the “this is how we’ve done it for years” attitude. As you may encounter rejection from some of these potential members, it is best to list at least 10 people as prospective members. You are looking for 4-5 people with similar values and ethics to you. They may have different ways of thinking and expressing themselves, but they are known to be honest, reliable, professional and good communicators.

 TIP: the list preparation may take a week or so, don’t be disheartened though, as it is critical to have synergy within the group – and ideally people who are not all total strangers. It often helps if there is some loose non business connection between the prospects, e.g. similar sporting interests, cultural group, neighbourhood or  background. You are looking for a common thread, which will make it easier to link the potential members and the thread may create an initial base of a small amount of trust – rather than a total stranger.

 Create a time line of when you will make contact with the prospects, when you will prepare a brief outline of what outcomes you hope to achieve with the group, the return on investment that the group members can expect, when you will meet for the first time, meeting time that suits most people, trial period time frame. Basically you are preparing your mastermind plan here that you will present to the prospects.

 TIP: It is best to over estimate this time line, rather than underestimate it at this stage. It is better to take a little longer to arrange the group, than rush in and have the group fall over within two meetings. The more prepared you are, the more your prospects will be inclined to say yes.

 Work out your ROI – return on investment for the group. Lets look at potentially meeting with this group twice a month for 1 hour.

Meeting time –                                     1 hour

Travel to and from venue –                 2 hour

Action to be taken post event – say    2 hours

                                    Total                5 hours per meeting x 2 meetings per month

We are looking at 10 hours per month x 11 months (allowing for holidays)

Total = 110 hours.

Now your charge out rate may be $250 per hour multiplied by 110 hours = $27,500

            (adjust your charge out rate to suit your fee)

At a charge out rate of $250 per hour, this mastermind group is potentially going to cost you $27,500 in the next 12 months plus 2.75 weeks of your time (working on a 40 hour per week rate)

 TIP: Now do you see why its important to take the time to plan the mastermind group, set rules, make people accountable and to choose wisely. Is every person on the list worth 2.75 weeks of your time in the next 12 months?

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  1. At this point in time, many mastermind groups do not proceed as the organiser throws in the towel, deeming it to be all too hard and they don’t have that much time to spare. If that is the case, consider reducing the meetings to once a month, for a longer time. Constantly be aware though of your ROI –aim for quality mastermind groups not quantity.

 

TIP: Many mastermind groups end up being a “talkfest” – lots of talk – but no action being taken. Avoid this at all costs.

 7.         After preparing a 1-2 page summary of your mastermind outline, make contact with  your mastermind prospects and ask if you can forward the outline to them. Make sure to include the first proposed meeting date. Don’t take it personally if they reject your offer – better to have an early rejection than an overcommitted participant.

 TIP: Never assume anything. Clarify everything, don’t be afraid to state the obvious. What is obvious to you , may be totally unknown by your prospects – get commitment from all prospects to attend the first meeting

 On the first mastermind meeting day – plan to arrive early at the venue. Avoid consumption of alcohol during the meeting – you are wanting to set the scene that this is strictly business. You may get a no-show on the day. Many people agree in principal to something and then find that due to prior commitments or unexpected events, they cannot honour their agreement. Prepare an agenda and stick to it. Give people opportunities to discuss their business while still keeping the meeting informal at this stage. Be sure to highlight the ROI expected and discuss best and worst case scenarios. Ensure that each person has an equal amount of time to discuss their own business challenge.

 TIP: Set a date for the follow up meeting – be flexible here dependant on people’s availability. It is a good idea to commit dates for the next two –three meetings, so as to give people plenty of notice.

 It may take a couple of meetings before the bridge of trust is strong enough for people to let their guard down and discuss business challenges they may be having. Be patient with this.

TIP: Always start on time, even if a couple of the group are not there. If you set the precedent of starting on time, you will keep the meeting on track and people will fall into line time wise. Once you extend the start time, no one will ever take your agenda seriously.

  Allow for exit clauses. You may like to place a “trial time frame” e.g. lets review this in 45 days and see how we are travelling. If things are not working out by then, we can dissolve the mastermind without any hard feelings. This one point will ensure clean breaks if required.

 TIP:    Once the group has been going for a reasonable amount of time and one of the members drops out, don’t jump in with a replacement straight away. Let the group decide on and discuss a replacement over the coming meetings. You might find the synergy works better if you disband this group and start another one from scratch.

 “If its to be, its up to me!” (Cavett Roberts) We can find excuses every day to stay in our comfort zone and not approach others, who can help us to grow our businesses and our careers. Yet if we have courage, face our fears and make our dreams, goals and targets greater than our fears – we can have whatever we want in life. When one open mind connects with another open mind in a mastermind situation – magic always happens

 TIP: Start today – make a list of potential mastermind participants now!

ARE YOUR STRATEGIC ALLIANCES WORKING FOR YOU?

May 3, 2010

ARE YOUR STRATEGIC ALLIANCES WORKING FOR YOU?

Strategic alliances are definitely becoming a competitive advantage in this tight economic market. Let’s clarify the difference between a strategic alliance and networking. The basis of networking is giving without expectation – doing something for someone not to get something back – but because you want to help someone achieve what they want. It may be a tiny piece of information to you – but a very relevant piece of information for that person. You make a decision to share the information not expecting anything in return. No money exchanges hands, you share the information and that is it.

On the other hand, strategic alliances occur when two or more people come together in a pre-defined situation and both expect a return on a relationship or project etc. e.g. a company sponsors a conference or an event hoping to gain business from that alliances. Their expectation is that the other party will endorse their sponsorship and assist them to gain new business by giving them access to the members or attendees. In this example there are no guarantees but an above average expectation of mutual gain.

Another example might be where an accountant, banker and real estate agent form an alliance, meeting regularly and cross network clients – facilitating a regular stream of referrals for all concerned.  

All of these alliances are built on a high level of trust.  Some have a predetermined conclusion e.g. the convention ends and the sponsorship ends. Unfortunately, some alliances dwindle out and fade away without a formal conclusion and sometimes this builds resentment with one or more parties. So let’s look at some ways to avoid strategic alliance pitfalls.

  • Watch out for different personal habits e.g. mixing non-smokers with heavy smokers, people who run late with people who are always on time or early. This may not sound like a small point but over time can become a very irritating habit and ultimately sabotage the alliances
  • Ensure all parties are prepared to lose or invest the same amount of effort or money.  There is no shortage of great ideas for alliances, but there can be a shortage or limit to potential financial commitment. Again resentment can creep in when one party is expected to contribute more than the other with no obvious advantage
  • The alliance is open ended.  Using the example of the accountant, banker and real estate agent – let’s say the banker and the accountant initially gain most from that alliance, but seem to be unable to refer home buyers and sellers to the real estate agent – who may eventually become resentful and stop giving the referrals. A way to avoid that situation would be to initially come together in an informal referral network for a set amount of time. By tracking the referrals over a three month period  and assessing the return on effort/investment of time  at the end of that period, the group can then decide if they are going to continue the arrangement or disband. The real estate agent will also have an opportunity to express his disappointment and maybe suggest ways that will make it easy for the others to speed up the referrals.
  • Be prepared to cut your losses. If you have given an alliance your best shot, exhausted your budget and still no results. Then you have to really look at your options with this alliance  – whether you continue or walk away. Is the market ready for your project? Have you missed the market? Have circumstances beyond your control affected the potential number of buyers e.g. market crash, natural disaster etc.  Are you prepared to broaden the potential allies to create a cash injection or alternately open new networks to you? Sometimes all you need is a month or so away from the project/alliance to allow for fresh ideas and recharging of energy – maybe even waiting until the market catches up or a market downturn adjusts.  Having honest and direct communication at these times is very important to ensure longevity of the alliance. Plus how you manage a difficult or tricky situation is often discussed amongst your allies networks as well. Many people don’t realize the ramifications of this when they abuse trust or deal unethically with a ally – they not only destroy the one connection, often their destroy any future connections with their allies networks as well.

 

My final tip would be to aim for quality alliances, not quantity. Alliances come in all shapes and sizes – electronic, physical, global, local, national – social, business – the options are endless.

Start small, communicate well, aim for mutually beneficial results, work project by project always in an ethical manner and you will enjoy a lifetime of valuable connections.

For more articles by Robyn Henderson visit www.networkingtowin.com.au

Total words 797

SECRETS OF AN ACCIDENTAL INDUSTRY EXPERT

May 3, 2010

SECRETS OF AN ACCIDENTAL INDUSTRY EXPERT

With Global Networking Specialist, Robyn Henderson

People pay to hear from industry experts – not speakers. Yet 50% of industry experts are experts by accident – they did not set out to be an expert. Often their passion for their area of expertise, experience and wisdom converted into “expert status” – purely because they became the “go- to person” in that industry. This was certainly the case with my “Robyn Henderson – the networking expert” label.

 When I launched my speaking career in 1990, and wrote and self published my first networking book in 1992, it was never my intention to become an expert. At the time I was running a women’s network in Sydney, holding two events each month and very concerned at the way people would come to an event, sit and talk only with their friends and leave with friends – and question why they never generated any new business – how could they? They never met any strangers.

Secondly, I met with a mentor and asked the question – “I want to be a professional speaker, what do you recommend I do?” He  suggested that I write a book about something that I was very passionate about – because I would be speaking about it for a long time. At the time I had no plan, other than my mentor’s to do list with a handful of things to do starting with – write a book. So I did write my first book in 1992.  However, the first Australian book on networking was written in the late ‘80s, by an author who was in fact ahead of the networking trend.  I was fortunate that the early ‘90s was the start of a global swing towards professional networking.

Here are ten questions that may assist you to build your profile and create that “go-to person” status in your specific industry or profession.

  1. 1.       Why do you want to become an industry expert?

Responses may include – increase your income, satisfy your need for recognition, gain acknowledgement for an area you are obsessed with,

expand your career opportunities, maybe even please others?

TIP: When the going gets tough – and it will get tough on your road to fame, you need to be very clear on WHY you are seeking this label or title.

  1. 2.     Where do you want to be an expert?

Today we are living in a borderless society and the internet has opened the global marketplace to us. Your industry expert status may expand to cover your community, city, state, country, the Asia Pacific region and/or the world. You might be a total online expert, or a combination of online and offline.

TIP:  Being a world expert might sound appealing if you love to travel and don’t want to be at home much. Again the internet is a wonderful enabler for global domination. However, I would suggest you become very well known in your own state or country – before you seek the global market.

Create your own tribe of followers who will help to build your industry expert status.

  1. Who owns your “space” now and how long have they owned it? Once you identify your competitors – global and national, and research these people thoroughly – you may choose to create a strategic alliance with the experts that you align the most with. Be very clear on the outcome you are aiming for with these allies.

TIP: In the last twenty years, many people have become networking experts – I have formed alliances with a number of them by creating non-fiction compilation books and inviting them to contribute to the books (e.g. Network or Perish, Strategic Networking). In that way, I share their  information with my networks and vice versa. Aim for co-operation not competition.

 What is your key message and who needs to hear your message? Is it controversial, radical, innovative, old-school, mainstream, anti-establishment, political, anti-something?  Many people are often ahead of a trend, and they need to wait for the market to catch up to that trend.

Although networking has been around forever – in the early ‘90s when I launched my speaking career, I predominantly generated business from organization wanting to increase their sales via networking – real estate agents, motor dealers, retailers, small business owners. In the late ‘90s

many professionals invited me to speak to their firms as they realized that the potential for referrals from their current client base really boiled down

to the ability of the partners to more effectively network with their clients. From 2005 onwards, I was invited to speak to university alumni, students and staff as there was a greater need for universities to collaborate with other campuses, corporate sponsors as well as potential students both nationally and internationally. Plus the students needed to know how to network their way to career opportunities both while they were studying and once they graduates. Alumni are potentially very powerful networks – and are often filled with people who know, like and trust you.

TIP: Initially targeting everyone is tough and can be very expensive and time consuming. You may identify a number of niches that urgently need your message. Focus on becoming very well known in 2-3 niches, industries or professions, who would gain from implementing your ideas. Aim to become a big fish in a small sea and let your tribe of followers spread your message to a wider sea of supporters before you take the step to target that big fish yourself. This will save you a huge amount of time, energy and effort. Plus your skills will continue to improve as you expand your knowledge.

  1.  Can you describe what you do in fewer than 10 words? Too many people create long introductions that may trigger interest – but are too long winded. Make it easy for people to remember you and your name with maybe a 3-4 word title – the work/life balance person, the stress management person, the change agent specialist, the leadership expert – the shorter the label – the easier it is to remember.

TIP: When you have an opportunity to introduce yourself at a networking event, don’t ramble – make your introduction, short, sharp and easy to remember. Use your business cards as another marketing tool.

  1. 6.     What time frame are you aiming towards with your expert status?

By 2020 there will be entire areas of experts on topics that don’t even exist today. Consider how quickly social media experts have sprung up – almost overnight it seems. Though some of them have been working on-line for more than a decade.

 Many people, who start their own business, focus on the time they have been self-employed rather than how many years they have been in the industry/profession.  It’s important to include the full length of your

industry experience with your self-promotion.

Sometimes if you are an employee, your expert status is linked to the organization that you work for and you share the glory with them – so to speak. Whereas when you are self employed, and you don’t always have the security of regular income and may experience erratic cash-flow, but the profile is 100% reward for effort.

Sometimes people have a “day job” that enables them to finance their passion  and they become very well known for their “out of hours” expertise.


                                                           

TIP: Create a time line of best case scenario working towards your industry expert status. Define your desired outcomes with short term 6-12 month time-frame and long term 3-5 year, 10-20 years. Don’t be discouraged if its slow moving initially, remember be seen, get known, move ahead.

  1. How much material have you already written or sourced on your area of expertise? Consider converting some of this material into articles, books, special reports, ebooks, blogs, ezines, podcasts etc. Depending who your target market is you may also utilise twitter and Facebook to get known. If you know enough about your niche market, you know what social media tools the bulk of them are using right now.  My rule of thumb with social media, once you have identified your potential tribe, is to decide what tools will work best for you, how much time you can commit to using them and how you can measure the results. E.g. there is no point being on LinkedIn if you only have a handful of connections and no desire to build a tribe of connections. Create systems that work within your time frame, form alliances and network! Grow your tribe of follower’s one article or blog at a time. If you think your writing is not up to scratch, engage an editor to write articles for you – the investment will be well worth the outcome.

 

TIP:   I am a late adaptor with LinkedIn – but I have found it is a great networking tool for reconnecting with old friends, fellow workers, relatives – all sorts of national and international connections. Be an active LinkedIn member, (www.linkedin.com) complete your whole profile – the more you tell the more you sell. Regularly give testimonials and recommendations to other people you have worked with. Getting your name out there is the name of the game

  1. What would you be prepared to do if you were paid or not – if the outcome was a potentially a great profile building activity? Consider creating speaking opportunities locally, nationally and internationally at industry specific events. Be a flexible speaker, ready to jump in if another speaker no shows or is delayed. Conference organizers and speakers bureaus are often master networkers and it’s much better to gain a reputation as a reliable professional than a prima donna speaker – who over promises and under delivers. Research what conferences are coming up in the next 1-2 years and submit a paper for consideration. There may not be a fee attached, you might even have to pay to attend the event – but what an investment that will be if there are hundreds of potential tribe members and followers and decision makers in that audience.

 

TIP: Twice I paid to attend conferences, plus travel expenses to speak at industry conferences for free. It was a big risk at the time – with no guaranteed results, but these events were both perfect marketplaces for my topic. Within 2 months of each event, I was invited to complete two national tours for different organizations – a huge return on my initial investment. Be prepared to invest in yourself – if you don’t believe in you how can you expect anyone else to believe in you?


                                                               

  1. How long is it since you applied for an award or an industry designation? Awards are a fantastic way to gain recognition for your achievements. And again there are people who specialize in writing award nominations – if that is not your skill set – get help with your application. There is no point bitching about the award winner, and how much better you are than them – if you have not even bothered to put in an application. Similarly if your profession has an accreditation process – complete the paperwork. In my association experience, one third of people just haven’t filled out the accreditation paperwork – what a lost opportunity for recognition.

 

TIP: Create a list of awards that you would be eligible to apply for. Even if you don’t get short listed – it’s a great way to acknowledge your achievements and much of the collected material can be re-used for other applications. And if you feel you are not ready to nominate yourself – why not nominate someone else – maybe even one of your clients or peers.

  1.  Are you prepared to back yourself? Having written, contributed to and self-published more than 25 books, I have also run book writing programs showing people how to write and self publish non-fiction books – and am proud to say more than 250 books authors have gone to print as a result of these programs. I was recently asked if the fact that I had self-published made a difference when corporate clients were booking me for speaking engagements, training sessions or corporate events. If they knew I was self published, maybe that might affect their decision adversely. On the contrary, I explained that in my 20 plus years of professional speaking, the self publishing question had never actually come up in briefings. I treat my books as a $5.00 business card – $5.00 being the approx. all up cost of a self published book in Australia – approx. 25,000-30,000 words.  So if I give a selection of my books to a conference decision maker and I am up against someone who has no book at all, I am definitely seen as the industry expert. I have had a couple of books published by “publishers” and found that to be a long and arduous exercise.

 

 Reality is, that once you have finished writing your book, and have lined up the editor (to correct your work and make the words flow), typesetter, graphic designer (for the cover) and the  printer – you can have a book out within 2-3 weeks rather than traditional publishers who may take 12-15 months. Yes it is an investment of your time, money and credibility – but if you don’t believe in you, enough to publish your own book, why should anyone else take the risk of publishing it for you? Plus you make 100% of the profit rather than the traditional 10% royalty payment.

TIP. The publishing industry is currently in a state of flux as new ebook readers hit the market place. Thinking quite radically, what if the ebook reader system worked like a mobile phone – it was free – the ebook publishers made their money from selling the ebooks, rather than the cost of the reader. Just as the communications companies make the money out of the phone calls we make – not the actual mobile phones.  This is one possible outcome for the current publishing industry revolution, which I think will continue to change moving towards 2015 – but may create new foundations by 2011.

At the end of the day, your thoughts, ideas and passion converted to the written word is a powerful way to build your message, increase your profile and make it very easy for other people to share your words of wisdom.

It goes without saying that increased visibility leads to media opportunities and then the world really is your oyster. And the master goal is always to become an industry expert or specialist on your specific topic and have the media put you on a retainer – so they can call on you regularly for responses to market issues – plus give you a regular spot on certain shows as their in-house expert. The only catch is – that if you are on retainer for Channel 7 – your contract may specify that you are not to appear on Channel 9, 10 or 2 without express permission.

 And depending what is happening in the marketplace even daily.  E.g. if you were a volcanologist (expert in volcanoes) you would have been in demand with the Iceland volcanic eruptions and travel disruptions.

Longevity is important! If you want to become an industry expert that is around for more than decade, it’s important to keep abreast of global trends and how they may affect your tribe. Stay informed and up to date with the shifts in the marketplace – particularly in your niche areas.

There is no shortage of short term industry experts – here today, gone tomorrow. For many of them, the road was tougher than they expected, so they switched tribes or changed their focus or jumped to the next “hot” topic.

However, if you want to be an authentic industry expert – you must be passionate about your area of expertise, your topic, what you truly care about, something that truly makes a difference in the marketplace. Jamie Oliver has set a major goal to rid the world of obesity – he has certainly come a long way from being a quirky chef wanting to change the UK menus and dining habits, when he started out.

  In the speaking industry we use an expression about great speakers and how they truly “walk their talk”. In a nutshell people who walk their talk, actually live what they are talking about – what you see on the podium is what you get when they are off the podium. My wish for you is that you become an authentic industry expert with your tribe of online and offline followers, supporters and advocates. You will be tested many times about what you believe in. Stand firm, be strong,  hold your ground and always “walk your talk”

For more articles by Robyn Henderson visit www.networkingtowin.com.au