How to Network In the Newer New Normal.

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I am a networker.  I have spoken about effective Networking across the country.  I have created a lot of content about networking.

Social isolating is challenging for me.

I have always said that networking is not about going to an event but about having an attitude of engagement.  Connecting with people all the time.

I think there will be changes in consumer behavior after this crisis.  I see signs of it already.  I have reports that in some parts of China that have reopened people are nicer to each other.

When I go on my daily social distancing walk in a park near my house people I pass or meet now say hello or wave.  In the past they would look down at the sidewalk or path.  Peaceful in their own cocoon.

Zoom has become a ubiquitous part of human interaction in just a few weeks.

It is a powerful way to network and stay in touch.

I was on a Zoom call with Canadians in OC the other day creating community but also staying in front of peeps.  I am one of the Founders of the Group. Canadians in OC might seem like a social group and it is.  But 13% of California’s trade is with Canada so there is a commerce piece to it.  It is also estimated that approximately 1 in 40 Californians have Canadian routes.

I will be on a Zoom call tonight with Laguna Niguel Connectors.  It originally started as a transition group but has evolved into a business networking Group.  It has over 4500 members.  I am also one of the Founders.

One way for you to network in the Newer New Normal is to start your own group.  Seems hard you say.  Canadians in OC was started by a conversation between two people.  Laguna Niguel Connectors by a conversation between four people whose only commonality was living in Laguna Niguel.  Once the flame is lit the group grows organically if it composed of likeminded people.

This is also a great time to reach out to all of your clients new and old and to prospects to just check in on how they are doing?  How is their business going?  How are they coping?  You will find that in these times their responses often share more of how their personal life is going.  It is a great way to reconnect and stay top of mind with folks and build more meaningful relationships.

You know the daily stream that you get on LinkedIn notifications?  Well know this is the time to engage with those notifications.  Great time to congrats folks on talking a new position.  Congratulate those that have birthdays.  Great way to reconnect and also to engage and build new networking relationships.

A great way to network today in this socially isolated world is to talk live.  Yes call people.  You will find that it is easier to get people to take a call.

It is all about reaching out and touching somebody as the old ATT ad used to say.

It is ironic that in a world that is ravaged and upside down every contact today seems to be a bit closer and more personal, often sincere and more important in many ways.  That is why you need to network.

Why You Need To Love Your Clients Every Day

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What can agencies count on every day?

Each day and in every way another agency is trying to pitch your clients.

You can count on it.

I have talked to many clients that share their stories.

They only listen when there is an alignment of their pain and an agency’s outreach but that only happens when the planets align.

Once upon a time a long time ago I was doing a want to see what’s out there agency search.  The client had a potential need in the future and was trying to get ahead of the game.

Agencies came in to show their Capabilities.

Some did it better than others.

One agency stood out and the CEO told the Marketing lead to stay in touch with the folks.

The same night or the next day I was copied on an email to the CEO from the Marketing lead saying I get so many of these emails that I don’t really look at them.

But I saw this one.  It was from an agency with experience in their category that had recently lost an account because of an acquisition.  The new parent company brought in their own agency to take over the marketing.

How many times has your agency heard that news?

How did the agency react?  They went after all the other companies in the category.

I have been in the meetings at many agencies when they got the bad news that they were in a review or worst were fired.

First the agency was in denial and frustration. After that it went into the emotional mode.  We have done so much for them.  They were nothing when we started to work with them.

Let’s screw those guys.

Let’s reach out to other clients in the category.  That is the first reaction of every agency that I have worked at.

Emotional yes.  Smart no. Following your emotions to try to have a meeting with a prospect in your category that is probably happy with their agency is not a good use of your time.

Much better use of your time is to invest in your current client relationships.  Relationships aren’t about the work that you do.  Relationships are about being connected with your clients in every way possible.

So how much do your love do you give your clients every day.

Do you call them every day?

Does the Principal of your agency have lunch with each client lead once a month or once a quarter?  I doubt it.

I once worked at a great shop where the President did that diligently.  We rarely lost a client and got lots of referrals.

If your agency focuses on loving the ones you are with you will be more successfully than trying to chase strangers.

You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter: @Hankblank

Check out Blank and Associates on Facebook

Read: Are Marketers Still Stewarts of the Brand.

What’s Wrong with Client Agency Relationships?

Why Marketers Need To Have More Purpose

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I started my agency career by working on McDonald’s when it had a great quality perception.

But I wanted to work on Packaged Goods. That’s where the game was in those days. Much like working on technology and gaming and the sexy sectors today.

My goal lead me to working on brands like Kellogg’s, Warner Lambert, Mithum Thayer, S.C. Johnson, Canadian Divisions of Campbell’s Soup and others that I can’t remember.

I really didn’t enjoy it often as I didn’t go to their schools, wear their Brooks Brothers suits or have their same homogenous haircuts or their MBA lingo.

But what’s a poor boy going to do?

I loved the Analytics, the knowledge, the fact based decision making based on all the research that was conducted. I loved the discovery of research. Continue reading

Why Agency People Need to Hedge Their Bets

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The longer you stay in this business the greater the chances are that you are going to get fired. The algorithm of the workplace today.

Sad but true. Don’t focus on the sad but anticipate and prepare for the true.

You may not believe this but I only report what I hear, see, and read in emails.

I got an email from a new friend the other day. They said they had watched one of my videos on “Why Agency Case Studies Are A Curse & A Blessing.”

My videos are produced by somebody who is 27 years old.

He was a copywriter and said he was aged out of the game.

I asked him how old he was and he said 51. Continue reading

Why Hiring Practices in the Marketing World Are Upside Down.

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I’ve spent my entire working life in the Advertising world. When I started my career there were basically two kinds of agencies, Advertising and PR.

Today, the marketing world is much more fragmented and segmented as Marketers like to say.

In the New Normal,Advertising is also Digital Marketing, Social Media, Lead Gen, Analytics, SEO, Content Marketing and any other segment you work in and promote.

In the Old Normal my elevator speech would have been much shorter but life changed the course of the world that some companies can’t see.

Most companies look for talent in the old way. They model the future, on the hiring practices of the past when trying to attract their future. That’s how I was hired so let’s repeat it. In the New Normal if you say that’s the way it’s always been done you will be disrupted. Continue reading

Why You Have to Up Your Networking Game.

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I meet a lot of people each and every day.

Recently, I’ve met with some great connectors that I’ve known but not at a networking event. One on one. In their offices for a glass of wine, a coffee or over lunch.

They said they were tired of the old networking game.

The large group networking game was very popular during the Great Recession and its sputter of today. The shotgun approach. In the depths of the Recession any activity was progress. The fire of the recession is not out. The embers are still red hot for the folks who are looking into the fire of losing their jobs. It happens every day, even in these days of low unemployment.

The people I met with are great networkers. Many are much better than I in their ways so I listen to their comments. Maybe I can incorporate what works for them into my ways.

They often tell me that they are networking less and in different ways. Continue reading

They Move Around A Lot

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Today we live in a word where blunt instruments rarely work and yet many companies continue to use them in their hiring practices. I’m often on the phone with a client or meeting in person and they look at a resume I’ve submitted. They scan the resume and say “They’ve moved around a lot.”

Yet I have met with agency principals that talk about how they have turned over more than half their entire staff in the last year because they wanted to shake things up. They create the problem that they criticize but wisdom doesn’t come easily to many in the New Normal.

Longevity doesn’t predict career success in many ways although many companies and their employees swear by it. That theory over indexes with people that haven’t lost their job in a while.

Why do so many companies still love the hiring road plan of the past?  Did they not experience the Great Recession? Continue reading