About a month ago, I got a message on LinkedIn about a networking luncheon in Biloxi. I’m lucky to have read that message because back then, I was rarely checking my LinkedIn account.
The luncheon, sponsored by “The Legacy Group,” consisted of about 90 African-American business men and women. The keynote speaker was Dr. Samuel Jones, Dean of Student Affairs at Jones County Junior College (JCJC).
Before Dr. Jones spoke, we were all asked to rise and give a 10 second self-introduction. I elevated my chair, and boldly declared, “I am Greg Smith, the greatest keynote speaker on the planet!”
That must’ve struck a competitive nerve in Dr. Sam, a former professional basketball player! He stood in front of a crowded restaurant room and, without a mic, delivered a very inspiring presentation that held everyone’s attention throughout. He was marvelous!
After the speech, I made my way to his table and in a matter of minutes, gained a new friend, a new client, and a new colleague all in one person! We had an instant connection. We exchanged books, business cards, and took some photos.
One month later (last Thursday) I had dinner with Dr. Sam and his family. On Friday, I gave a keynote speech to his faculty at JCJC. On Saturday, I turned him on to his first National Speakers Association (NSA) meeting in New Orleans.
I had planned to go to New Orleans with Sam, but I made a decision to instead go on Sunday for a full day workshop on keynote structure. That workshop, presented by Steve Lowell, forever changed and improved my presentation style.
While there, I met folks who had met Sam the day before. Among them was another instant new friend and colleague, Mildred Dillon “The Money Doctor®” Her mission to bring personal finance into the classrooms of post, secondary and college classrooms is one that I applaud and support. Both speakers and radio hosts, we had a lot to discuss over a post session brunch.
These connections came from cyberspace. I believe that the key to success in social media is to take the activity from the computer screen and apply it to real life interactions with real people.
Is social media a waste of time? Does it really deliver business results?
Had I not read that one LinkedIn message, buried among hundreds, I would be thousands of dollars poorer, and without two great new connections.
Would I have met Sam without the social media message? No chance. Would I have attended the NSA workshop and met Mildred had I not met Sam and made the recommendation to him? Probably not. I would also be without the momentum and excitement that comes with new relationships. I predict this momentum will build upon itself and lead to more success! My suggestion to you: Link yourself In!