HobbNobb_BajillionHits_NetworkingFacebook pics are looking a little ‘off‘. You’ve got low, double-digit Twitter followers. Your Instagram views are not exactly ‘blowing up’. You blog’s most recent post is 4 months ago (or more) and you’ve NEVER had a comment on a single post…ever. Your friend’s social strat is expanding more quickly than the universe, but you feel like you’re in a black hole. This equals stress for you and a sense you’re just not keeping up. Here is a 4-step guide to turning it around:

Consume

There is a lot of great content out there. It’s there because someone took the time to create and share it. Give them a touch of consideration and set aside time frequently to consume a VARIETY of content. Read some blogs regularly, but seek out others. Try Reddit or Digg for ideas. Watch random videos on Youtube, but also check out Ted Talks and Vimeo…just to see. Flip through the internet. It’s huge and filled with awesome. Try visiting wikipedia and just clicking around spending less than a minute (max) on any page. Do this for an hour and you’ll be excited and filled with new ideas. It can be illuminating.

Create

Open a blank Notepad and just start typing. It doesn’t have to be an ‘article’ or the beginning the next great American Novel, but just start typing. Open a drawing program and draw. Go through your photos and come up with an awesome album. Write a funny ad for a product you love and record the podcast commercial for it. You don’t need any particular technical strength or tools to do any of this. You just need to FORCE yourself to do it. The challenges you’ll face and the tidbits you’ll learn (in particular, the respect you’ll gain for how hard it is to create good content) will impart invaluable new perspectives and focus your life’s looking glass.

HobbNobb_CuratingContent_Social FunnelCurate

Now comes the hard part. Take all that knowledge you have and put your personal tastes and interest to work. Create an incredible collection of pics. Put together the ‘Best Saturday Morning Breakfast Recipes‘ list from the web. Put together a set of instructions on how to assemble five different pieces of Ikea furniture. Curate a list of great artists you discovered. When you force yourself to curate content you will learn more about yourself and your ‘voice’ than you expected. Your opinions will come into focus and you’ll start to feel stronger about your new opinions and moderate your reactions with more worldliness when others share theirs with you.

Share

Now that you’ve got through these three painful exercises (and wound up enjoying the process) you have to share. When you share the things you’ve consumed, created, and curated you will make lasting impressions and earn mind-share across the network of people that are paying attention to you. You can earn respect. You can become ‘in demand’. You’re invitations to life’s greatest adventures will await you!

HobbNobb_Networking_SocialStrategySEE…it’s not that hard to turn a vacuous social networking experience into a massively enjoyable one. It’s worth adding that you also need to pick up the phone and call, open an email and write, or knock on doors and visit with the people you are connected to. That personal, real-world interaction will set the table for growing influence among your circles and that influence can result in a renewed sense of enjoyment for all the demands of social networking. It’s worth mentioning here (because it’s the HobbNobb blog) that HobbNobb is a fantastic tool empowering users to easily approach keeping up with people in their networks. The four tips above will help you build a credible social footprint. HobbNobb will help you keep your shoes of success on…or something like that :-)

Get the HobbNobb iPhone App for Free in iTunes.  Happy HobbNobbing!

HobbNobb_MBA_GradSchoo_DiplomaYou’ve got $150k in undergrad student loans. You’ve mounted another $200k in debt to obtain your almighty Graduate School credentials. Now what? Any reasonably intelligent person can calculate that it will take a long time to pay off those loans if you don’t strike at opportunities wherever they are, whenever they are, presented by whoever they are presented to earn big bucks! How do you ‘ready’ yourself for this? You Network.

Now, that’s a rather general notion containing little-to-no practical instruction or guidance. There are plenty of ‘how to’ books out there, blog posts to read, and on-campus resources & professors or mentors who are there for you. BUT, what does it really come down to? Our answer: Your Connections. Without them you have nothing. We’d like to present three important bits of guidance.

How do you build your connections?

How do you curate the important people from the not-so-important people. Answer: you cannot (at first). You just never know who you come across that may have that connection to that company you want to work for down the road, who will invite you out the night you meet your future business partner or funder or mentor, who will expose you to some new experience that inspires your million-dollar business venture, etc. How do you build this amorphous list of potential? You just get out there. Don’t be shy. Go to the entrepreneur lecture. Go to the cocktail party at the campus library. Join the local business or civic association. Get involved. Get involved and stay involved. A funny thing happens when you sit around wondering where the next opportunity is going to come from…NOTHING. BUT, when you get out there and get in involved you meet people and you get busy and your interests get peeked and things start to happen. As they say, a rolling stone gathers no moss!

How do you keep a ‘spark’ with your connections?

HobbNobb_TimingIsEverythingThat’s a wildly wide-angled question. Some of your connections simply require the annual holiday card and birthday wish and they will be there for you forever. Some of your connections work in an industry with regular cycles (retail peaks in advance of holiday, financial analysis peaks in advance of earnings, travel peaks in advance of seasonal considerations, etc.) and there can be an incredibly important bit of timing relevant to specific connections that you must bring yourself to be aware of. The best single answer here is this: READ. When you read a diverse set of material on a regular basis you keep your synapsis firing (not at each other) and you come across tidbits of information that other people might enjoy hearing. Everyone has interests: art, business, technology, health, outdoor, etc.. Learn what people in your network are interested in and then, when you come across something that may interest them, just share it with them. Send them a link to some online bit of information (an article, a unique store, an artistic collective, etc.) and a SHORT note. You will be gaining important mind-share in the mind of the recipient. THAT is what gets you to the head of the line when an opportunity comes up and that person has the opportunity to invite in others.

How do keep up with all your connections?

The hardest part is remembering. If you do the first two things you will be VERY busy. You will build a massive Linkedin network, a jacked Address Book, and an expanded set of connections on Facebook and Twitter. You will not have time to sift through hundreds of connects all the time and figure out WHEN you should reach out to someone to ensure not too much time passes before you do. The worst feeling in career building is learning that you need a connection you HAD, but no longer HAVE because you didn’t keep up the relationship. It’s a terrible, terrible feeling. This is why HobbNobb was created. It gathers up all your connections, lets you filter them down to the most important ones, set a few simple parameters and off you go. Every week the app will remind you to keep up with a focused list of people. It will tell you to DO THE WORK…and it will help you to REMEMBER to do the work.

Get the HobbNobb iPhone App for Free in iTunes.  Happy HobbNobbing!

Springtime is for HobbNobbing and it’s time get out and BUZZ like a bee! To celebrate the beautiful weather, we’re giving away the HobbNobb iPhone app for free…grab it NOW and HobbNobb away.

Get the HobbNobb iPhone App for Free in iTunes.  Happy HobbNobbing!

Are you trying to build your social, business, or other type of network? We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Networking is hard! It is daunting if you’re focused on attending networking events and gathering business cards, and you’re simply not comfortable with doing either. The follow-up can feel like a dart throwing exercise as your outbox gets steady use and your inbox sees little action. You might be thinking, why bother?…it is too hard! True, but don’t give up hope just yet. There is a key aspect of networking you can begin with right now and you might be pleasantly surprised how a small shift in your approach can yield a tremendously different and better result.

It’s something that will not only build your network, but also has the potential to make you feel like a better person – the person you deep down strive to be. What is this magic ‘thing’? It’s a concept exemplified in some classic and often quoted lines, such as:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

What is the common thread? These lines ask you to think of someone (or something) else before yourself. It isn’t about you, it is about the other person. This notion is a cornerstone, bedrock, principle when you are networking – help the other person and make them want to know you by networking genuinely.

Dale Carnegie’s Principle #4 from the classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People – “Become genuinely interested in other people.” Click here for a video describing the concept.

As Eric Finley said in the Online Magazine for Dale Carnegie Philadelphia:

Network genuinely! When attempting to build trust, credibility and business relationships, you need to present yourself in a genuine light. You should only attend networking events if you genuinely wish to help others. If you attend networking events or situations with the intention to sell, you will come off as self-serving, fail to connect with other attendees, and waste your time (and theirs) in the process.

Happy HobbNobbing and don’t forget to check out the HobbNobb iPhone App in iTunes!

Posted: April 4, 2012 in Business Networking, Social Networking

We’re really excited at HobbNobb to have our app reviewed by iPhoneFootPrint.com and be given 4 out of 5 stars!  Thank you for all of the support and the great review.  Please check out the review at iPhoneFootPrint.com HERE.

Happy HobbNobbing and don’t forget to check out the HobbNobb iPhone App in iTunes!

We all know The Great Networking HobbNobbers and wonder: How does she do it?  How does she know someone everywhere you turn…at the convention, the airport, on the street, at the party? How does he do it? How does he know every VIP at every business and restaurant in your professional and circle? Here are 10 great insights to mastering your universe and become one of the Greats.

1. IT’S WORK! – Before you absorb anything else, recognize that The Great Networking HobbNobber is created, not born, and he or she is what he or she is because he or she works at it…HARD! Just like it was hard to first learn to ride a bike, after mastering the two-wheeler, riding it appeared like second nature to the observer. HobbNobbing is WORK!

2. The ‘Double Tap’ – With the same cold calculated tactic of the trained assassin, networking is not performed with the single shot. It’s a head shot, followed up with a second merciless head shot. You met someone. You send a single email the next day and you never follow up, so you never hear back. What did you expect? Don’t forget the follow up and soon you’ll be killing it!

3. Bring It – When the editor at the local paper reviews the content for the daily paper they look at the headlines first before deciding what articles are going to be included.  They evaluate the BAMN effect (i.e. will this hit the reader with enough relevant and interesting/compelling info/value to cause them to care to read the article?). Likewise, when you open an email with, “Nice to meet you” you are not ‘Bringing It’ – you are ‘Losing It’. Don’t be a ‘bore’. Be enthusiastic and when you do you will be able to consider it brung!

4. Be a LIGHT – People hate the dark. It’s scary and unknown and even a little boring. Bugs go to light naturally. People do this to, metaphorically speaking. Ultimately bright and shiny things get all the attention while the dim and dull things get forgot until the yard sale, and being an item in the yard sale just totally sucks. So, be a source of light for those with whom you HobbNobb.

5. Be Valuable – Remembering someone was having back pain because they sit in an office chair 10 hours a day is as much an email or conversation starter as it is an ender! BUT, telling them about the benefits of yoga and the name of a studio packed with hot, ambitious, flexible vixens and vice roys every Sunday at 10am is helpful…even if they don’t go. You just positioned yourself as a source of potential value…which is the category every HobbNobber wants to be in.

6. Add – This is slightly different than being valuable. It’s great that you told that person about that party (that everyone already knows about), but that’s not going to make you a valuable connection for this person.  Tell them about the amazing free concert happening Sunday from noon to 2 at XYZ Park featuring an artist similar to one they mentioned when you met.  That is the coup d’etat and you will be loved, remembered, and successful in life.

7. Prioritize – Frankly, you do have to filter a bit. While you never know who is going to be that lynch pin in securing your next job, closing that deal, meeting that potential life partner, etc., you SHOULD know that becoming close friends with your dry cleaner or office janitor might bring a few smiles now and again, but they will only result in two things: (1) fast dry cleaning and (2) promptly emptied office trash receptacle. That’s gonna get you nowhere and you do have just 24 hours in the day!

8. Emulate – Don’t be afraid to try and sound as big as that big shot you envy. Then, with a little practice, YOU will be that big shot. Never be an exaggerator, but go for exciting, fun, and exclusive. Sure, the happy hour IS $2 beers and half off wine, but that’s not news. Call it, ‘the happy hour attracts the best looking crowd this side of tomorrow land’. THAT is news and acceptable ‘spin’ when HobbNobbing (bonus tip: when you tell someone that something IS something, then, as it turns out, it IS — that’s how the Big Shot does it!).

9. Just ASK for it – Never underestimate the willingness people will show when asked to help you with something. Everyone is NOT always just out for themselves. You have to remember that HobbNobbing includes a never ending circle of doing and asking for favors. Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours twice. So, if you think someone can help you with something, just ask. Don’t be passive or quiet or indirect.  Be aggressive, motivated, loud, and direct. That is how the West was won son.

10. It’s Work – Okay, this is a repeat, but it’s worth repeating. Write down the names of people you meet on lists described with value and goals they may help you gain and achieve. Make a spread sheet or use your Address Book functions to keep everyone organized. Use HobbNobb (duh!). Use origami or flow charts or beads or whatever. Make a system and use that system and work at it every day and week. Nothing comes easily, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Work at it until you find it second nature to work at it and HobbNobbing will be like a riding a bike :-)

That’s the scoop. Do these things and you will be the most powerful, connected, capable, able, and known quantity in your universe. Remember the HobbNobb app can help you organize your connections with ease…it’s your personal, professional and social networking assistant!

Happy HobbNobbing and don’t forget to check out the HobbNobb iPhone App in iTunes!

How do some people seem to succeed, shine, or advance in the world simply because they seem to ‘know somebody’ or have some ineffable and elusive quality? Well, the answer is in the question! In order to get something, you have to know from whom to get it and you need to do things that help you stand out from the crowd. So, the more of the RIGHT people you know, the more you will be able to GET what you so desire. HobbNobbing is the primary activity of anyone looking to extend and strengthen their network. But what makes some types of people such great HobbNobbers? Let’s look at Seven Magnificent HobbNobbers (and how they do it).

Politicians – Obama, Kennedy, Bush, Reagan, Republican, Democrat, or Independent are magnificent HobbNobbers (regardless of your political affiliation, it’s undeniably true!). Of the many daily activities that politicians partake in (public speaking, community organizing, publishing opinions, campaigning, relentless self-confidence, etc.) they all have one vey simple thing in common: they can shape their message for different view points and relate to a variety of audiences. They listen to the feedback from all corners so they can maintain a strong position among them. They listen to their advisors, understand the data, and act quickly on their feet.  They know how to WORK THE ROOM! You should too.

Cops – What?…did you read the word, ‘Cops’? Yes…COPS. They know everyone. They know the store managers, the mayor, the teachers, the tax guy, the coffee shop operator, the drunks, the criminals, the criminals-to-be, and the reformed. They know everyone and they have street smarts high up in their skill set. Of the many things that the brave men and women of the local and state police organizations do to become Cops (training, testing, collaborating, etc.) they do this one other particularly important thing: they KEEP their EARS to the ground. They maintain ‘situational awareness’ as if their lives depend upon it; because they often do. YOU should do the same, because your QUALITY of life depends upon it.

Jerry Maguire – Wait, he’s not a real person. Okay, you figured that out. He’s not an actual person, but he is based upon people that everyone knows and these people are quite real. Fast talkers, tall walkers, closers, joke tellers, charismatic shmoozer, the hot guy/girl on the arm, the big house, you get it. Jerry is a cumulative character exercising both the qualities of Politicians and Cops, but adding in one more distinct quality: The Tireless Effort. He’s up all night, thinks about nothing else than the people he represents, walks, talks, eats, sleeps their goals. He puts people before himself every time and a funny thing happens: he gains as much, if not much more, than he gives.

Ryan Seacrest – How does this guy do it? I think I saw a show hosted by Ryan Seacrest sponsored by big brands who had hired Ryan Seacrest as their spokesperson that was followed by a show produced by Ryan Seacrest productions, featuring him, and those same big brands. He’s a phenomenon. He’s got many talents. He’s a terrific and steady interviewer. He reads up and knows the current and relevant topics to discuss. He’s good looking and well dressed, but there’s one particular thing that he does that makes him so super connected that the game should be change to ‘Six Degrees of Ryan Seacrest’ (sorry Kevin Bacon…you’re next): Ryan Seacrest understands the power of reinvention. For a guy that puts himself out there as much as he does, you’d better believe there are gaffs, errors, technical problems, late planes, bad set production, drunk guests, boring entertainers, etc. You’d NEVER know that this happens because he reinvents himself ever moment and THAT is called ENTHUSIASM!…and he shines every time (99.9% of the time). This makes him a force that people gravitate towards. It’s a pure numbers game. Think ‘cold caller’ and mustering up that enthusiasm for each of your 500+ daily calls. Reinvention is a mindset that this magnificent HobbNobber has nailed!

Kevin Bacon – Yep, THAT guy probably knows well that he is connected to all of us. This is not the result of him using Constant Contact or even the HobbNobb app (though we really wish he would). Kevin Bacon has done many things: worked hard (very hard), honed his skills, dominated the dance floor, the stage, and the screen and he’s humble. But his secret: good and fun self-promotion PR! The infamous game ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon‘ is a constant source of good and steady PR. It’s fun, light, memorable, and well, it elevates the perception of Kevin Bacon to a height that conceptually, few people ever reach. I’m not suggesting he created that game to promote himself, but I am suggesting you see how the game-ification of yourself is a hott (two “T”s) move, which brings me to Paris (not the one in France).

Paris Hilton – Remember when her phone was stolen and like 1,000s of celebrities were like totally having to change their numbers? You gotta ask yourself, is losing your phone going to reveal a massive network of VIPs and otherwise hard-to-obtain access to greatness garnering National media attention? Probably, the answer is ‘no’ (sorry). What you can ask yourself is this: are you connecting with the right people? Are you guy in the bar who starts off the night talking it up with the most beautiful girl in the place…and then ends the night befriending the town drunk over the juke box? Do you GET the girls number?…or not? Paris gets the number AND the permission to use it. She ALWAYS has someone to call for entertainment, pleasure, work, career, fixing stuff, etc. The point is her secret: to close the deal you have to have an open door so build up that rolodex.

Batman – No kidding, batman puts most HobbNobbers to shame. Think about it. He goes around Gotham in the late hours, confronting criminals, stopping crime, helping people, and is almost never seen. THEN, as if that isn’t enough to fill the day, he ‘day lights’ as a Bruce Wayne throwing big parties, buying art, and doing a billion things to make Bruce Wayne a typical society HobbNobber. He is a two-for-one of HobbNobb infamy!…but let’s focus on Batman. The ONLY people that ever see him are the criminals he stops and they are never really sure WHAT they saw, but the story spreads through an inside game of story leaking at the local paper. Simply put, his secret is this: he does magnificent stuff and takes no credit for it (though there is no reasonable way to believe that he didn’t know he’d be heralded for the things he did). BUT, nevertheless, he didn’t do it for the glory. He did what he loved to do and, if Batman had a go-go BatPhone with Address Book App Maximizer, surely it would be filled. He may as well just carry around a phone book, because he could call ANYONE and ANYONE would do ANYTHING for him at the drop of hat. He’s got mad skills and isn’t afraid to use them. What’s your skill?…everyone has at LEAST one. Figure that at and you’ll be seeing bat signals in the clouds.

To recap, here are the seven secrets of some magnificent HobbNobbers:
  • Learn how to ‘work the room’!
  • Keep your ears to the ground and grow your situational awareness.
  • Follow the rule of always putting forth the The Tireless Effort.
  • Understand the power of reinvention and enthusiasm.
  • Pursue avenues of fun self-promotion.
  • To close the deal you have to open the door so build the rolodex
  • Do magnificent stuff and take no credit for it.
Now, we certainly want you to take OUR advice and try out the HobbNobb App to see how it can help you organize your connections with ease…it’s your personal, professional and social networking assistant! Good luck mastering the universe!
Happy HobbNobbing and don’t forget to check out the HobbNobb iPhone App in iTunes!