Monday, August 8, 2011

Convention Aftermath 2011

I gave my first continung-education seminar ever on August 1 at the NCRA 2011 Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Downside: It was Sunday morning, and there wasn't a huge crowd.  Upside: It was Sunday morning, and there wasn't a huge crowd.

A good crowd, nonetheless.  Maybe about 20-25 people? I don't know.  Hard to count when you're too busy wondering HOW WAS I GOING TO FINISH THE SENTENCE I JUST STARTED AND WHY DID I JUST PUT THIS GRAPHIC UP OMG I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE DID I LEAVE OFF IN MY NOTES.

It felt exactly like the realtime contest -- plenty of nerves beforehand, plenty of nerves during; however, there were good stretches where I was confident and articulate, and there were also areas where I flubbed and stumbled and dropped.  But, like the realtime contest, it felt ATTAINABLE that in the near future I will be confident and clear all the way through.

And I MUST thank my dear husband Greg for jumping in a time or two with insights here and there.  He's not just my husband and best friend but also my wingmate.  In fact, if I get asked to teach on social media again, we may copresent.

In the months leading up to this session, I did a heck of a lot of research into successful social media marketing.  That research plus my own experience revealed several points in common, which I shared then and share below:

1. Determine your purpose.  And I should've said right after clicking on the slide, "Use the right platform the right way." (I had a funny pic, but I didn't tie it in with the point. Note to self.)   Use each platform according to its natural culture and determine who your target audience is.
2. Add value.  You must bring something to the table, because people OPT-IN to follow you and don't want to be bombarded with ads.
3. Engage with your followers by listening and responding.  People want to CONNECT with you, not be talked at.
4. Be real and consistent.  Post regularly, and don't portray yourself as something you're not.
5. Look at your profile and your interactions through the eyes of your prospective customers.  Would you hire you?  Avoid the text-speak and take down the drunk pictures, at least. Like this one.
Notice also that the cap is still on my borrowed beer.
6. Cross-pollinate and direct everything back to your blog or website.  If you update content on one platform, post on ALL platforms that it is updated.
7. Take the relationship offline.  Handwrite thank-you notes.  Meet up (in public).  Don't wait for someone to contact you first.
8. Be patient.  This is like gardening; it takes time, patience, and consistent effort.
9. Embrace opportunity! The fear of success can be just as damaging as the fear of failure.  Have a plan.

There.  And it didn't take me 90 minutes to say!

Afterward, Greg and I headed to La Creperie or however you spelled it for a light--LIGHT--lunch.  My stomach was still deciding whether or not to accept food.  We ate and deconstructed the seminar, so it will be better next time.  Next time?  I hope so.