Written by Kevin P. Keane
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 12:40
Linkin In with the loopy leprechaun lawyer dude
On 31 May 2011, Kim Kotel, a Strategic/National Account Manager at our wonderful sponsor partner GPA, Specialty Substrate Solutions
) became my 1,500th Linked In connection.
She should get a prize! Hmmmm, I know we have a lot of well listened Linkin Park CD's around the manse; or maybe she would like a FREE copy of the 37th International Gallery Call for Entries. (Just like a leprechaun she says, all he cares about is GOLD awards :)
Still, it's a notable landmark in our quest to Connect with the Global Graphics Community in keeping with the IAPHC's Mission-Mandate: "We exist to Educate/Promote/Inform/Connect our members with the global graphic community."
Developing a network of connections is not an arms race to see who can have the biggest pile of connects -- our pal Jeff Hayzlett
, best selling author of "The Mirror Test"
) has left all of us so far in the rear view mirror, we won't even think about catching him! That dude knows everybody!
It IS about connecting with another human being with the possibility of being some small help to one of those individual connections one fine day.
Last year, we read a gently chiding and absolutely spot on post by our brother Paul Castain of the beyond terrific Your Sales Playbook
Paul is a power user of Linked In, but urged his readers to consider a lesson they should have learned in kindergarten -- be nice to others!
He noted that Linked In has a default mechanism for inviting someone to connect with you, but as it is a default invite, the language is brief and quite impersonal. Paul asked why we wouldn't all take a few extra seconds to personalize our invites.
Point taken, we were chagrined to admit. And so we developed our own little invite:
I'd be truly honored to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. Thanks and hope you had a great Memorial Day!
- Kevin Keane
IAPHC, The Graphic Professionals Resource Network
37th International Gallery of Superb Printing HQ
Ck out our 555 mbr IAPHC Facebook Group too!"
One aspect of making the little extra effort? It humanizes you in the eyes of your burgeoning network. Consider this reply :
On 03/31/11 1:34 PM, Lori Paravano wrote:
Mr. Keane, that was the best example of an invitation I have ever had. It is so good to know that gracious people are still a part of our industry. Thank you for that lovely message. Have a wonderful rest of the year and hopefully spring is on the way - even though we are suppose to get snow tonight! Of course, I am talking to someone who knows something about snow! Take care and have a healthy, prosperous 2011!
Lori is president of Paravano Printing in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania market. We have never met, but the extra effort makes the connection a bit more real, and someday, when she least expects it (to borrow shamelessly from Candid Camera's famous line) we will bring her a new business opportunity, an idea for her business or some other thing that makes connection matter. Remember Metcalfe's Law? Robert Metcalfe held that the more nodes (connections) on a network, the more exponentially valuable the network becomes.
Marc Andreesen, one of the founders of the world wide web, said:
"A network in general behaves in such a way that the more nodes that are added to it, the whole thing gets more valuable for everyone on it because all of a sudden there's all this new stuff that wasn't there before. You saw it with the phone system. The more phones that are on the network, the more valuable it is to everyone because then you can call these people. Federal Express, in order to grow their business, would add a node in Topeka and business in New York would spike. You see it on the Internet all the time. Every new node, every new server, every new user expands the possibilities for everyone else who's already there."
Note also that our attempt to personalise the invite to connect on Linked In, can be changed with the seasons, holidays etc. If we are reaching out to someone in Canada, we are truly honoured. If someone is in Quebec, we may use a French language salutation. This is not an affectation, it is a remark of respect for other cultures. It takes an extra minute and that person is worth it.
Additionally, you can see that we promote the IAPHC's premier event: "The International Gallery" in the Linked In invite. Since you are reading this, no doubt you want to find out more and you can do so right HERE as well as in many sections of the IAPHC website.
Furthermore, we cross-promote the IAPHC's very active Facebook Group page and know of a number of folks who became aware of the IAPHC Facebook Group page, and joined that Group (hey another network!) by virtue of seeing it referenced in our Linked In invite.
One of our longtime connections and friends, IAPHC member Ray Leveque wound up his duties at Printcrafters Inc in Winnipeg Manitoba last week, and sent this tremendously classy note to his suppliers, contacts, connections and more:
"To my valued friends and clients:
As most of you are aware, Printcrafters went into receivership in early April and is no longer in business. Today is my last day and I wanted to take this opportunity to say that I have enjoyed doing business with you over the years and I appreciate having had this wonderful opportunity to work with you. Over the years you have allowed me to grow professionally by working with you on each of your projects.
I now look forward to a new chapter in my life, one that I’m sure will bring new challenges and add more diverse experiences to my career. I do wish you and your company every success in all your future endeavors.
I look forward to the possibilities of our paths crossing again in the near future and if you want, we can keep in touch by email and I am on LinkedIn. Please visit my profile to check out my updates as they happen and if we’re not connected please send me an invitation and I will be sure to accept the invitation.
With best regards,
Ray has asked that we write a little 'recommendation' for him to include on his Linked In profile, as you can imagine, it will not be a chore to recommend such a class act.
Building a network takes a little effort, and to do so in a human and respectful manner requires a bit more effort still. We think it is worth it. So what can we do to help you?
We are open to connection, and trust, if we are not already part of each other's network, we will remedy that error quickly! Oh, and by the way, while writing this little blog piece our network grew to 1,505 wonderful folks like thee!
You see, kimosabe? Connection matters! Capiche?
Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 15:04