Tag Archives: social media

Who’s Promoting Who?


Received this “endorsement” a while back on Merchant’s Circle:

Review Atlantis Educational Initiatives Gladly Endorses Referral Institute Atlanta


 (5 stars)


“Atlantis Educational Initiatives would like to thank Referral Institute Atlanta for supporting our foundation by listing us as a referral and networking partner on Merchant Circle. We are trying very hard to improve education for our children, won’t you please visit our site at atlantiseducationalinitiatives.org to learn how we are doing this. We need your support so if you would like to endorse, contribute or volunteer, please let us know. Thanks again. The Team at Atlantis Educational Initiatives Atlantis Initiatives, Inc. All Correspondence Should Be Sent To: Professor Paul Tynegate Piehler – Director paul@atlantiseducationalinitiatives.org 174 Turnberry Circle New Smyrna Beach, FL, 32168 Phone: (386) 426-6898”


Atlantis Educational Initiatives of New Smyrna Beach, FL on March 11, 2011

So I’ll ask again, “Who’s promoting who?” 

I don’t even know where to start with this.  While this is a very clever way to communicate with me and create visibility, the truth of the matter is that this is nothing about me and my business and everything about them.  That’s not an endorsement.  This is using me (and my credibility) as a platform for a solicitation for their organization. 

I am on Merchant Circle mainly out of curiosity and as a way to stay informed about various “real time marketing” tools so I can better advise my clients.  My observation about Merchant Circle is that most of their members could use a good dose of Referral Institute.  While the object of the network is, rightly, to promote your business, I have witnessed more obnoxious self-promotion on this site than on any other.  As soon as I accept a connection from someone, I immediately become a prospect.  Let the selling begin!

Maybe I’m out of touch with the culture of this on-line community.  Probably, because it seems to be a culture of hard-core, make ‘em an offer, cold calling, close ‘em, and do it quick.  This certainly isn’t about building relationships and a business community that offers value or mutual support.  I suppose I’d be doing the membership a favor if I connected with as many as possible and then spammed them with an offer to enroll in Certified Networker and 6 months of coaching.        

Endorsements and testimonials are a powerful way you can help a business and are valuable in attracting new customers.  It’s just better when they are about someone other than YOU! 

By the way, I thought about deleting the organization’s name and any identifying information but decided I’d leave it in.  They’d probably like the additional exposure. 



Web-Based Networking

I attended a presentation by Jeff Sheehan recently on social networking.  Jeff always does a good job in helping me feel a little better by helping me sort out the abundance of networks and which might be right for me.  Here are a few ideas on the topic from my friend and Referral Institute colleague, Paula Frazier.

Join a Web-Based Networking Group

So you’re stuck in your proverbial cave? There’s still a way out…through the world wide web!
Some say that if you successfully harness the power of the internet you can actually experience positive results in your business networking efforts. David Teten and Scott Allen, authors of The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online, tell us that online networks may even become the next power lunch or golf course.
Many times when folks hear the word “network” they assume it’s referring to the way computers are physically connected and hardwired together. The most current definition has to do with the virtual connection to today’s wired-up world. WWW dot opportunities seem almost infinite!
These days, how often do you hear, “Let’s do lunch?” Almost never! It’s been replaced by, “Shoot me an email” or “Let’s catch up on FaceBook.” My teenage daughter literally uses the word “talk” in place of “text” and describes online communications as if they’re discussions.
Like it or not, we can keep up or get left behind because technology is going to continue to move forward with or without us. It’s generally more empowering to get started on your own terms. So let’s do it!
This week TAKE ACTION by venturing out via computer:
1.    Find an online business community that’s a good fit for you.
2.    Set up your profile (completely).
3.    Request connections with people you know.
4.    Post your status and comment on a colleague’s blog/status.
5.    Schedule daily or weekly time to regularly participate in your online community.
Can you establish relationships and do business online? Yes. I still firmly believe that the strongest relationships, those that stand the test of time and turmoil, will be those that are nurtured face to face, nose to nose and toe to toe. Online communities shouldn’t take the place of the actual community you live and work in. It should enhance and add value to it!

As someone that relies completely on word-of-mouth to build my businesses, I’ve found The 29% Solution, written by leading referral marketing expert Dr. Ivan Misner, to be instrumental in my success. He offers 52 weekly networking success strategies (one per week) and specific actions to take to experience success through focused, purposeful networking efforts.

Paula Frazier is a referral marketing trainer, consultant and keynote speaker. She is an Executive Director for BNI and part of a select team of Master Trainers for Referral Institute. Paula’s business networking articles have been featured internationally. She was recently published in Brainsbook for Networking and is also acknowledged in the New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion – Busting Networkings Biggest Myths. Check out #33, Delusion with a twist! Paula can be contacted at paula@referralinstitute-va.com.