Episode 13: LinkedIn for In-Person Networking Events
LinkedIn for In-Person Networking Events
Join us for an engaging discussion on leveraging LinkedIn for in-person networking events! In this episode of 'Jack Rants with Brynne.' Tune in as we dive into the world of networking both online and offline. We'll discuss how to make the most out of your in-person networking events using LinkedIn as a powerful tool. Discover the importance of optimizing your LinkedIn profile, connecting with event attendees, engaging with their content, and effectively following up to nurture valuable relationships. Whether you're attending industry conferences or local networking meetups, learn how to leverage LinkedIn to expand your network and build meaningful connections. Don't miss out on valuable insights and actionable tips to enhance your networking game. And remember to download our free eBook to get a comprehensive guide to mastering networking events using LinkedIn. Tune in next time for another enlightening conversation on the Jack Rants with Brynne Podcast!Click to Watch the Video
Jack Hubbard 00:01
I've had the privilege of being in and around banking for more than 50 years. Lots of changes during that time. We've gone from Ledger's to laptops, typewriters to technology. One thing, however, remains the same. Banking is a people business. And I'll be talking with those people that make banking great here on Jack Rants With Modern Bankers.
Hello, everybody. Happy Thursday. And hi, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 00:33
Jack Hubbard 00:34
Great to see you. And we're gonna have a lively discussion today. You know, my good friend, Bob at St. Meyer taught me something many years ago, he said, “It's better to be interested than interesting.” And today we're going to talk about networking, or as I like to talk about it, net sharing, because whether it's on LinkedIn or face to face, you want to share something. I've got a couple of books for you to think about. “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi is a classic and I love this one too, by Tommy Spalding, It's Not Just Who You Know. And I liked starting with Brynne on this one because Brynne in LinkedIn, it's not just who you know, but who knows you.
Brynne Tillman 01:17
Yeah, that is absolutely true. And we have that opportunity at scale, to stay in front of people that we meet, whether we're networking in person, which we're going to talk a lot about today, or online, I had an actual situation this morning, where I had a call with a prospect who said, I've been following you for years, not on my radar. And she really likes the content. And it was time. And you know, she's starting some coaching with us next week, and it was that it was as simple as nurturing. So this was about staying in front of them, I'm thrilled that she was following our content. But as bankers, this is our job, right? We're gonna network and build a network of people. But it's tough to stay in front of each of them all the time. LinkedIn allows us to that scale, and we can nurture them pretty easily. So, you know, we'll get into some of that a little bit as we go through today's program.
Jack Hubbard 02:24
Yeah, and we're going to talk about three areas before, during and after. And one of the things that's fascinating to me, and I wish bankers would do a better job of this. Get the list, if you're gonna go to a physical event, get the list before you go. Because you can then research, I know a bank that the bankers handed to a teller or a personal banker, they say “Here, do some research on this to see if we have any accounts with these people.” Because if they're a client, you want to go talk to them. And if they're a prospect, you want to be able to target your time. But Brynne,let's talk about before the networking event. And I think it goes right back to what we talked about several times, optimizing your profile, I think it starts there.
Brynne Tillman 03:08
Oh, I completely agree. I just want to add a yes and to what you just said before, we jumped into that, because you said definitely, especially if you're in person, get the list. But if you're networking online, like in this, your attending now, you probably clicked on our event you're attending, you can see all the other people right in that event on LinkedIn. So while it's amazing to go out and get that list in a networking meeting, and critical, it's easy to do on LinkedIn. So I just wanted to Yes, and that.
Optimize your profile. This is so important. People are going to vet you, right? You go out to an event, you're talking with people when they look you up and if you follow some of what we do, they are looking you up. You're presenting yourself in some way, right? And so you want to ask yourself, look at your profile and ask yourself, Is this how I want to be seen, right? You dressed up for this event, you might have even put on a tie or some comfortable heels right? You may have dressed up for this event, yet you got ready, you shaved, or you put on makeup and you got in your car and you know you smell good and you look good and you're networking and then they click through and they go this profile is like nothing it doesn't match.
Your professional brand is both you showing up here and how you're showing up online. And your profile is the foundation of this. So we want to move our profile from a resume to a resource. So we're showcasing our skills, our accomplishments, what we're doing and we're adding value, we're letting our new audience and our new network know the value we can bring. So rather than telling them how we can help them throughout our whole profile, let's start by helping them.
Jack Hubbard 05:20
Absolutely. And we've talked a couple of times about getting the list ahead of time. But just getting a list doesn't do anything, you got a bunch of names, you're gonna want to do some research here Brynne before you go to a networking event. Who are these people? And what are they all about?
Brynne Tillman 05:36
Yeah. Oh, absolutely. So we have this list, and I'm gonna go back to the LinkedIn list and events, we should in the future, we'll do a deeper dive into events and how to leverage that. But you have this opportunity, you're in a virtual room, in this case, with 128 people that also wanting to come to the events, right, are interested in it, this is an opportunity, look them up, click through, look at their profile. Now in person events, you've got this list, it's a little bit more work, you can't just click through, but type in their name, they probably if it's a common name, they probably have their company listed on this list, and put that in and narrow it down to the right person, maybe even location. And so now we take a look. And we can do a few things, right, so we can learn about them. Do we have shared connections? Are we in the same area? Are they sharing content that I'm interested in that I can engage? Who do they follow? What are their interests?
You know, Jack, back in the day, when we were really like in the traditional sales process, we walk into an office and we look around the room, and we'd see awards and pictures of their kids playing softball. And you know, and we learn about them, so that we could use that information to build rapport. That's all we're doing. We're just doing it online. So learn about the people you're going to meet in person prior to the event. And you don't want to be creepy and say, “Hey, I was checking out your profile and I noticed you play tennis three times a week.” No, but you know, enough, I'd be like, well, that's a little creepy beforehand. You can do it after you've connected however, right?
Jack Hubbard 07:29
No, I was gonna say, you know, speaking of, of connecting, there's a conundrum here and I get a lot of calls, or, and people have different views. So I'm gonna go to a Chamber of Commerce event. Let's stay physical here for a second, we’ll also talk about virtual on LinkedIn. But I'm gonna go to the event and I have a list of names. Do I connect with them ahead of time? And what about engaging with them on their content or other kinds of things?
Brynne Tillman 08:02
Yeah, this is such an important topic because now you know, we found them. We looked them up. What do we do now? And this is where a lot of people get stuck? Well, it's a social media platform, we need to be social. So what can we do? You know, we can identify are they shared content? Is there an opportunity for me to engage in that content? If we are not connected yet, which in many times you won't be, you can follow them and ring their bell. So between now and the time we have the event, if they do post, we'll be alerted. And we can share on that content. There's so many things that we can do.
The other thing is if you feel that it's appropriate, connect with the, “Jack, I noticed that we're both attending the Chamber of Commerce networking event next week, I took a look at your profile and I'd be honored if you give me 10 minutes of your time. I'd love to get to know you a little bit.” Or “Let's connect at the event. I'd love to learn a little bit more about your company. I'd love to meet you in person.” I may also say and this is sort of my thing. “Who else are you looking to meet if I know other folks and saw him at the event? I'm happy to make some introductions for you.”
This can be huge, right? If they go “Oh, yeah, I'm looking to meet with bankers.” Okay. I know seven bankers that are gonna be there right? So I will strategically now make some introductions, and they feel so valued. They feel like they matter. This is not about you wanting to tell them all about your, you know, your new CD rates. That's what this is about. This is about you building rapport, engaging in the way that matters to them.
Jack Hubbard 09:59
Well, I love what you said there, there was a bank in Chicago that's no longer around called LaSalle bank was a great bank. And one of the things they used to do with their commercials was to talk about the importance of putting buyers and sellers together, that was their bankers main job. And that's just what you said, “Oh, you do big business with banking? Well, I know seven bankers, let's all introduce you to them. When you come to the event.” Well, that leads to the event itself, connect to the event. Connect at the event, what does that mean, Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 10:35
Yeah, so you know, you're walking around, you're having these conversations, sometimes for three to five minutes, maybe it's time to move on but you really had a good conversation, and you do want to follow up with them. On your smartphone, if you are in the LinkedIn app, you click on the search bar at the top and a little teeny, tiny QR code will show up in the top right. When you click on it, there are two tabs, the first tab is your QR code. So someone should scan that on their phone with their camera, it will go right to your LinkedIn profile. The second tab is the scan. So if you click on Scan, it'll say allow your camera to use the scanning device, and they can pull up their QR code, you can scan it, and it'll go to their LinkedIn profile. This is a very simple way to stay in touch.
Now, I think the key here and I think it's really important is to put in a note, right? Because maybe tomorrow morning, I don't remember did I meet them at the event, or are they just a random connection. So you know, you can actually add a note you have to click on the More so you get to their profile, you have to click on the More and there's a personalized invite. Once you click on that, like who has time to write and know when they're at an event? Well, there's two things you can do prior to the event, you can write a note, “It was great meeting you at the Chamber of Commerce event, I'm looking forward to continuing our conversation, let's connect on LinkedIn.” You can copy that and you can paste it for every connection request, or you can use your smartphone has a feature that's called Text replacement. So if you've ever typed something and says I'm in a meeting, I'll call you later, we can control those. So you can put your message in there, and then just use a shortcode. And boom, you've got that. And if you've questions about that, you know, actually, if you have questions about that, join our Public Library at themodernbanker.com/publiclibrary and drop your question in the community and Jack and I will answer it. How about that?
Jack Hubbard 12:51
Yeah, that's exciting and speaking of exciting, what better way to promote the event, the sponsor of the event, and help build your own personal brand as well, then to do live updates of the event sounds like fun to me.
Brynne Tillman 13:09
Yeah, I love this. And live updates doesn't necessarily mean live live, it means in real time. So I can take a couple of pictures and upload them. I can record a video and upload the video if you don't want to go live because there's too many hoops to jump through. But a quick little video of you in front of a booth in front of the Chamber banner, maybe even a couple of selfies with people that you've met and then you can tag them when you share. What's really fun is when you upload a few photos from the mobile device, it comes up as a collage. So it looks very Instagrammy. It's very casual and fun. But then you once you tag them and by the way, most people don't realize this, you don't have to be connected to someone to tag them in a post. So you may not have even connected with them yet and you can tag them then you can go back and connect later but it's a great way to stay current. And if there's a hashtag that that event is using. Other people will start to see your content as well.
Before we go to the next one, we've got a couple of little comments I'm gonna throw out here. Let's see. Oh, that is not the one that we want to put here. Here we go. Hi, Dustin. “Great point. Jack.” Jack has lots of great points. I agree. Ryan Dennis asked, “Is there any particular guideline in regard to optimizing your LinkedIn profile?” Well, yes, Ryan, there is. Connect with Jack or myself. We do have an ebook on the profile or checklist. I can't remember what that is. And, you know, feel free to join themodernbanker.com/publiclibrary. Ask some questions. In the community, and we're happy to help you with that. “We are being Googled all the time, our LinkedIn profiles represent our introduction to the entire world.” - Dustin, I can't agree more with you.
“On the topic of the LinkedIn Bell, do all profiles have it? If not, how to obtain it.” So all profiles have it, you won't see your own. Everyone else will see yours. So a lot of people are like, I don't have it. Well, you do if I go to your profile. And if you go to a profile that you're not a first degree connection to, you have to follow them to see the bell. And hi, yay. And LinkedIn user, we don't know who you are. So if you want to share your name, we will pull out your name, tagging in a photo tags them right? You don't need to @ them to do it, do you? You do need the @ to tag them? Yeah, I'm not exactly sure. But yeah, the question but all right, Jack, what is next?
Jack Hubbard 16:06
Well, I want to put a bow on this, on this live update. Dustin is a great example of this. He just attended a Risk Management Association Leadership conference out in San Diego, he took some photos, and included a photo with him and the sponsor of the event. And I think when you do that, that's endearing, it helps the sponsor, it helps yourself. And also if you've got a speaker at an event, go get a photo with the speaker, they love the publicity, and it will help you as well. But let's go on to the next one. And that is to engage with others attendees post.
Brynne Tillman 16:47
Yeah, and you know, we're talking about during the event, right, but you could probably do this prior to the event as well, right? If there's a hashtag that you're following, and a lot of events these days, have those hashtags, but at the event, whether I'm gonna go into the zone of Twitter, but a lot of content is being shared on Twitter with hashtag. So you can look there as well. I don't, I stick with LinkedIn only. But I felt like I had to say it. But you can look at what people are, you know, posting on the event, and you can engage in real time. And I will tell you a quick story that happened quite a few years ago, but it was awesome. I was doing this. I was at a huge event. It was like a fundraiser for ALS or something. It was this huge, gorgeous, almost black tie event. And there were probably five or 600 people there. And I started engaging with someone on content. And I said, you know, where are you? And I met up with them. And they became a client about two months later but I found them through, we were giggling again, you know, on some pictures, and, you know, whatever text giggling and we stay, you know, we I'm like I want to find you in this room. And I did. And we you know, we talked and we're still friends to this day. So, you know, keep in mind this is really networking. It's not just engaging online. It's about leveraging these folks that are there in real time and meeting them.
Jack Hubbard 18:29
Yes, this is a blended approach. So you can actually use LinkedIn at a live event which we're talking about. And also as Brynne said, we can talk about this in another show. How do we engage in events on LinkedIn and there are certainly ways to, there are certainly ways to do that. All right, we're done. We're done. We're home now. And the first inclination is, you know, I've worked all day, I'm really hard. This was an evening event, I'm going to have a glass of wine, talk to the family, whatever. And that's all fine. But that top of mind is really important. So whether it's that night or the next day Brynne, I think it's important to try to connect with the new contacts you've made at the event.
Brynne Tillman 19:16
And Jack, I'll tell you, this is where you have incredible strength. I've never met anyone that has better follow up skills than you. You are incredible at strengthening new relationships and building deep rapport. So I'll probably turn it back to you after I give my little bit of advice. But for me, my favorite thing to do in a follow up is if we've connected I send a little video message. It helps them to remind them of who I was, right? It's deepening that connection. And depending on our conversation, I have to decide, you know, what do I want to do next? Do I want to go to coffee? Do I want to invite them to another event, do I want a zoom call? I mean, each of these becomes personalized. But the bottom line is the best way they're ever going to remember you is a little video message. So I'm going to turn that back to you Jack and some of your magic follow up.
Jack Hubbard 20:16
Yeah, I love I'm fanatical about follow up. You know, Meredith Elliot Powell and I talked about this all time she's fanatical at it as well, to me, if I spend invest some time to investigate the people who are going to be at the event, and then I meet them at the event, why would I not go to the next level to follow up on them, it's just an unfortunate. You know, I heard a statistic a while ago that about 80%. When somebody goes to a trade show, they go to a booth, and they put a business card in to win the putter or the driver or whatever the case, dinner for two. 80% of those opportunities go unfollowed up on. It just fascinates me. So the way I like to talk about this, when I actually do a live networking class is first of all, your business card goes into your left pocket, because you shake and take with your right, their cards go in the right hand pocket.
Now before that card goes into your right hand pocket. You write A, B or C on the front. To me that tells me okay, I'm going to follow up tonight, A's B tomorrow and see when I get around to it because they're not as important to me. But some level of follow up, Brynne is absolutely critical. And what better way to do that with LinkedIn than sending someone some content. I see “Oh, we talked about the fact that you're doing some robotics, I found an article from XYZ” send it to him. Because if you're connected at the first degree, you can message them. And I love your video example. This is such an underutilized tool, video messaging, Brynne, all those follow up skills are absolutely critical.
Brynne Tillman 22:07
Yeah, and I'm gonna throw in because our sponsor, one of our two fabulous sponsors, Vertical IQ. If you're talking with them, find out what their industry is, find out what their customer's industry is. And it's so easy to look for content on vertical IQ that you can send. Send the video message and say, I found this article or came across this article that just absolutely reminded me of our conversation last night. I'm going to stick the link below, let me know what you think. Easy. And then they really feel heard.
Jack Hubbard 22:44
Yeah, they really do. And I liked the idea. And this is such a nuanced, but it's so critical to send an article about their customers, the industries that their customers might find important. That is so vital, because then they can forward it out as well. So that is an outstanding one. So in music, there's something called a one hit wonder. There's a one hit wonder song called "I love you more today than yesterday.” My wife and I saw him in 1972. But that's the only song that the spiral staircase is known for. Here's my point. Follow up once is great. Following up by nurturing your connections Brynne, is that's where it's at.
Brynne Tillman 23:35
Absolutely. And you know, a lot of times they don't respond to that first follow up, and that's okay, they have their business, their life. Maybe the timing isn't right, whatever it is, or they have 70 people they met last night that they're following up with. But if we just let that go and go “ahh… they're not interested.” what a crazy waste of time going into that event last night. This is about nurturing, as you mentioned over a period of time. So you know what content they're interested in, what their clients' content is, and you can always go back. But even more powerful if they've ignored the first piece of content that you sent is now ask them their perspective. Post something and say, “Hey, I remember you saying you serve this industry. You know, I'm wondering if you'd be willing to share your perspective and comments.” Or “I just published a poll.” And by the way, I have written whole polls for one prospect because I'm trying to get back. It served me beyond it but the poll was…
This guy's ghosting me and I want to re-engage and it works. “Hey, I don't know if you recall we met three weeks ago at an event. When I posted this poll. It made me think Man, you're the perfect person. I'd love to get your one vote, once it closes, I'm happy to share the results with you. And where you benchmark to your peers or whatever that might be where, you know, other people in your industry or serving your clients industry are thinking.” And at the end of the day, we're engaging them and nurturing, not around banking services. We'll get there, it'll happen. But right now we want to really engage with them around content that matters to them. And a lot of times that's asking their perspective.
Jack Hubbard 25:34
Yeah, that's right. And there might be a time when you're at a networking event, and people are readers. I mean, it's unfortunate that we don't read as much as we used to. But the people that you see at networking events, many times the readers, and so you try to engage them the first time. And remember, there's a fine line between sales and stocking, okay. And so you got to be real, real careful and be judicious about this. But the other thing that's kind of interesting is, if you don't engage with them the first time, take a picture of the book you're reading now, I'm reading The Nine. I just got it yesterday, a phenomenal book, feel Simon. And so I might say, “Hey, Dustin, I was thinking about you. We saw each other at the networking event about a month ago. I'm reading this book, and we talked about human resources issues. I thought you might have an interest in this.” And you can send that as a private message if they connect with you.
Look, Dustin, may be out of the country, he may be on a two week vacation, he may be so busy and swamped that he can't respond now. So don't take that as an affront. But I love your idea of the poll to be able to reach out to somebody. I thought the exact same thing Brynne. Well, one other thing you can do. That's so important. And we can't forget these people. And that's our referral partners. So whether it's a face to face event, or if you're at an event at LinkedIn, meeting with those folks, very, very important.
Brynne Tillman 27:00
Yeah, and, you know, for bankers, it could be CPAs. It could be payroll people, it could be tax advisers, right? There's a lot of folks that can be great referral partners. And when we focus too much on meeting prospects at an event, we can sometimes miss the folks that are maybe even more valuable. When you are prospecting. It's fishing with a pole, right? We've got one pole, one line, one hook, one worm, to get one fish, and we have to prospect with a pole. But when you build relationships with these other trusted advisors, and you build this referral partnership, you are now prospecting with a net. Hence, networking, I'm sorry, just all came together at one point. So right, so we've got this net, right.
So the CPA might refer three or four people a year, the tax advisor, one or two people a year. So we have people that are helping us to fish, we have to help them as well. So as we're meeting folks, we need to make sure that we're being good stewards of our network, and we're doing this but the goal pose a network is if we've met a few of these people, we need to build trust and rapport with them, we need to, you can't just immediately say to some of these folks who do you know that you can introduce me to because they don't know you and their network is important. So we need to be of value to them. And there's lots of different ways to do that. But once we've earned that trust, invite them and they've earned it with us. By the way, it is two ways. We invite them to look through our LinkedIn connections, we can look through theirs. And we can build a list of 8,10, 12 people that we know run the names by one another. And maybe we get two or three introductions each.
And it's just a powerful way to leverage other people's networks while it really letting other people leverage yours. I'm going to just repeat one more time, make sure that you have trust and credibility. I am almost offended when someone connects with me and offers me to look through their connections before they know me. And I will respond and they do this because they think it's the right thing to do. Brynne, nice, nice to meet you even though I never heard of you ever before in my whole entire life. I'm a networker. Feel free to look through my connections and let me know I'll make some introductions on your behalf. And I'll respond with them. “How do you know I won't burn your relationships? You don't even know me yet.” So I You know, and sometimes they’re like, “Well, I'm just trying to be a good networker.” I said, a good networker is learning about me and my business, sharing about you and your business and see how, who in our network could be a value to one another, not just hey, look through my people, and I'll introduce you. So be a good steward of your network as well.
Jack Hubbard 30:23
So we're back to face to face, which is great. We talked today about before, during, and after, and Brynne, you had me at download the eBook talk about that a little bit.
Brynne Tillman 30:35
Ah, so we put this together for you. All of our points that we talked about today are in a nice little bow in an ebook, obviously, totally free at themodernbanker.com/events. ebook. And you'll also get access to our free library where, by the way, there's a 24/7 community where you can ask questions, now it's brand new, so there's not a lot of engagement in there yet. Just if you're the first to engage, you're gonna get so much attention, you're gonna get your questions answered. So once you download the ebook, you'll get an email to log into the Free Library and the community and we look forward to answering your questions.
Jack Hubbard 31:19
Absolutely. And next week, I've got the great opportunity to go to Syracuse. I'm doing a one day program for the independent bankers in New York state. So I'll be doing this program, virtually what we always do and virtually I'm doing it in another state. So Brynne next Thursday at 12 o'clock, we do this again, what do you think of subject wise? Any thoughts on that?
Brynne Tillman 31:42
Well, we just recently put together another ebook, so I think it's the 21 Tenents and it's, I want to say tenants people live in my ebook, I don't know. I just can't get the word. It's like this mind trick. Anyway, 21 Tenents, social selling, I promise by next week, I'll be able to say it. And we go through really, it's really the philosophy, how to get the most out of LinkedIn and social selling through coming at it from the right perspective.
Jack Hubbard 32:29
And what's really exciting is we had the first week we had about 30 people 174 Last week, 128 this week, so we're catching fire. I'll be and Brynne will be inviting you if you're a first degree connection to this event, next week. And if we, if you can't attend live, but still want to go accept and then it'll come right into your, into your LinkedIn and you'll be able to see it as well. So Brynne, great to see you. Thanks for this wonderful, wonderful approach to networking on LinkedIn. And any final comments from you.
Brynne Tillman 33:11
You know, my final comments are I'm having so much fun Jack, this is awesome. I'm really enjoying it and guys, don't discount the importance of going back to live events. It's really critical. You know, we've gotten very comfortable on Zoom, and I will forever do nerd virtual events. But you know, Brian Fanzo have said, I don't know if anyone knows who he is. He's awesome. But Brian Fanzo once said, “Social media does not take the place of a handshake, but it will turn a handshake into a hug.” And there's never been more truth than there is now all these people that you've been networking with online. Let's go meet them in real life.
Jack Hubbard 34:01
Perfect. Thank you Brynne. Thank you all for joining us this week. We'll see you next week at noon Eastern time on Thursday because if it's Thursday, it's Jack Rants with Brynn.
Bob Woods 34:14
We are thrilled that you have joined us for Jack Rants With Brynne. We are here live on LinkedIn every Thursday at noon Eastern time. We'd like to thank our amazing sponsors RelPro and Vertical IQ. Two vital platforms that all modern bankers should be leveraging to start more trust based conversations without being salesy. If you found value in today's program, please subscribe, review, like, comment and share with your peers. And lastly, be sure to sign up for a free public library at themodernbanker.com/publiclibrary. Again, that's themodernbanker.com/publiclibrary. Here's to your continued great success.