“Andy worked with my business partner and me for a number of months as a referral and networking coach. Our business has demonstrably grown due to the new techniques and skills learned through working with Andy. ”
Dan Hall, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
“I have already received three emails and two telephone calls from attendees who have expressly advised that as a direct result of the presentation they will without doubt be changing the way in which they network. A huge success. ”
Michael Strawbridge, Head of Member Services, Learning and Performance Institute
“Wherever I go, Andy is held in very high regard and I can personally endorse him as someone who is easy to do business with, professional and also great to work with. ”
Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director, Brother UK
“The process to gaining the right referrals does not happen overnight, but executing Andy’s strategy into your daily business routine will lead to referral success. ”
Tom Price LLB DipPFS Hodgson Wealth Management
“Not only my individual life has had a total makeover after I met Andy, as a result of my personal improvement, the networks that I lead are now making a much bigger impact in the society. I can never thank Andy enough and would highly recommend him any time without hesitation. ”
Ruth Lau, Central Marketing, HSBC Private Bank
“At each stage of the event from planning to delivery to follow up, Andy’s approach was extremely impressive. He spent time at the outset understanding us, the way we work and our key objectives and this continued with discussions with us in the run up to the event to shape the session to our needs. ”
Andrew Kelly, Director Human Capital Services, BDO llp
“In the pre-event correspondence, you were the most professional speaker we’ve ever had. By asking great questions as you did, it helped to make us more professional event organisers. ”
Jackie Barrie, Co-President, Professional Speaking Association South East England
“"I was captivated by Andy's insightful and thought-provoking workshop. You could feel the energy in the room at the end. Several people commented that the event had changed their lives!" ”
Miranda Abraham, Chair, Women in Banking and Finance
“The feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive and we will continue to run the training in other offices in EMEA. ”
Astrid Huijssoon, Senior Marketing Manager Cross Border Trade - PayPal CEMEA
“As a direct result of Andy’s workshop, we are now implementing a “networking strategy” that is aligned to supporting our key business goal. Andy’s advice/insights have made me re-think all my customer interactions and even in the short term I am getting results. ”
Adam Newman, Health Outcomes Consultant, GSK
“I would not be exaggerating in saying that last night was the most well received and successful event YEN London has had in over two years. ”
Jairo Jaramillo - Chairman, London Young Engineers Network
“There are many motivational speakers on the circuit who leave behind them just a short lived glow and then there are the subject matter pragmatic, passionate presenters who can potentially change the long term way their audience thinks or operates. I’d put Andy Lopata in the latter category. ”
Trevor Salomon – Director, Corporate Marketing, IFS
“Andy, thanks again for making our Balance HK event a huge success. The audience gave you their undivided attention and you could hear a pin drop when you were speaking. I have never witnessed that before, with a room of 170+ people! ”
Maggie Suttie, Chair Balance Network, HSBC Hong Kong
“Andy has a can do and flexible attitude and is happy to develop and shape the content in line with the clients changing needs. Feedback from participants on Andy's workshops has been consistently very positive. ”
Una Murphy, Manager BBC Careerlink
“Andy is an energetic presenter who quickly captured our audience's attention. The content of his presentation was excellent and fostered lively commentary and questions. We will definitely have Andy back for another session and are looking for other ways to partner with him. ”
Jennifer Rademaker, Head of Strategy Development Europe, MasterCard
“Andy's 'The Networking Mindset' networking event was fascinating. I've been to loads of networking events over the years which are always full of people who don't quite know why they're there.... myself included. ”
Nicholas Harkin, Head of Risk & Governance at Close Brothers Retail Finance
“'Networking' as a topic can often seem forced... about tools and techniques to 'work a room' or 'get noticed' - Andy's take on it in this talk was so far removed from the glib truisms we've all heard before. ”
Bryony Thomas, Watertight Marketing
“Andy's enthusiastic and interactive presentation at our National conference was very much appreciated by all and his series of workshops for my leadership team has been put to significant positive use. ”
Shona MacDonald, Business Director UK & Ireland, Wound Care. Molnlycke Health Care
“It was the best talk I’ve ever been to. Loved the content, pacing, delivery, structure. Your message was very memorable (imparting that much information can leave listeners forgetting what was said) and you managed the balance between substance, detail and memorability well. ”
Rebecca Aguilar, BBC Worldwide
“There is a handful of people who I would consider really an expert in networking, and Andy is one of the few people on that list. ”
Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and CEO, BNI
“Andy’s style suited our company values perfectly as it is very much based around letting people learn at their own pace and be part of the sessions instead of just being presented to. There was a mixture of experience, job roles, nationalities and seniority in the room and Andy ensured that everyone felt this training was directed at them, such is his way with words. ”
Robert Kenward, Global Development Director, Banks Sadler
“Andy has successfully elevated networking into more of a strategic arena ...................rather than it just being a "skills" thing. ”
Phil Jesson, Director of Speaker Development Academy for Chief Executives
“Andy certainly made a difference on how I normally approach / perceive events such as this. ”
Ann Azzopardi, Category Buying Manager, Pret a Manger
“Andy Lopata is a true role model for any aspiring professional speaker in my view ”
Heather Townsend, author of The Financial Times Guide to Business Networking
“I found the session with Andy really interesting and helpful. It offered a different perspective to development sessions I have been to before and it made me really think about how I was positioning myself at work and what I needed to be doing differently. ”
Tori Henderson, Senior Public Policy Manager HSBC
“The feedback we received from members was overwhelmingly positive, making it one of the best sessions we had all year. ”
Aileen Parsons, Relationship Manager - Strategic Client Services, Paypal
“I would recommend Andy to come and spend time with any team that wants to maximize the time of its busy people out in the market ”
Tomas Freyman, Partner, Valuations. BDO llp
“It is great to work with a speaker like Andy who really wants to understand the audience he speaks to and tailors his content to them. ”
Galina Lebedeva, Education & Events Senior Co-ordinator, Wella UK & Ireland
“In the three months since Andy delivered his sessions, I've noticed a clear change in the approach taken by everyone who participated. We have already received a number of referrals as a result. ”
Andy O'Sullivan, Head of Sales - Hospitality, Wembley Stadium
“Several people were surprised to find out that Andy didn’t work in our sector as he related his knowledge so well and confidently, which was key to getting the audience to buy into his advice. ”
Suzanne Rowse, Director, British Boarding Schools Workshop
“Andy is really engaging and left the audience wanting more which is a rarity when you work in Finance! He is extremely professional and personable and it felt like Andy really knew the topics and had researched the audience. ”
Nicola Hradek, Co-Chair HSBC Balance Employee Network

The Basics of Social Media: '...and Death Came Third!' 10th Anniversary Celebration

Ten years ago, in 2006, Peter Roper and I published the first edition of ‘... and Death Came Third! The Definitive Guide to Networking and Speaking in Public’ on Bookshaker. The book was a big success with over 2,000 copies sold in the first 48 hours alone, a second edition published by Panoma (formerly Ecademy) Press in 2011 and a separate edition published in Malaysia and Singapore.

We have consistently been amazed by the affection held for ‘…and Death Came Third!’ by many readers, reflected by the emails and comments we have received from people from a range of backgrounds. The book really focuses on the basics of networking and presentation skills, giving readers simple approaches to working the room at networking events or giving their first talk.

To celebrate this, each day over the month of September will see a new guest blog exploring the basics of business, from the basics of confidence and attitude to negotiation and strategy.

Today's blog is written by Steve Bustin and is about the Basics of Social Media

Social media is not only ubiquitous in business these days – it’s essential. Your customers expect to be able to find and interact with you on social media so if you’re not there, you might as well have shut up shop, as your competitors will be all too happy to pick up the conversation with those customers.

There are still a lot of businesses that struggle to see value in social media so either don’t bother or expend serious amounts of time and money without being sure whether they’re getting any return on their investment. Here are three things you should be doing to maximise that return:

1. Set some social media goals. Why are you on social media? Who are you trying to reach and what do you want them to do once you’ve reached them? Do you want them to click through to your website? Share your content? Reply to your posts? You need to understand what you’re trying to do.

The key one is to know who you’re trying to reach – and go and hang out where they hang out. If you’re after young customers, you need to be on Instagram and Snapchat. If you’re after B2B customers, LinkedIn is where you need to concentrate your efforts. Better to be on one platform and do it well than spread yourself across a number of platforms and use them all poorly.

2. Measure your social media activity. A lot of businesses get obsessed with the wrong numbers – how many followers/likes/connections they’ve got. This is a really blunt measure because you can have tens of thousands of followers but if they’re not engaging with you, they’re worthless. Better to have a couple of hundred really engaged followers than thousands who think you’re spam.

Measure engagement instead: Replies, responses, shares, comments, messages, click-throughs etc. If you’re not getting enough engagement, change what you’re doing. If nothing else, ask a question when you post on social media as it’s an invitation to reply – to engage.

3. Mix it up. Keep it varied. No two consecutive posts should look the same. Add images, video, infographics, blog links, shares of other people’s content, competitions, advice, humour, questions and even  (occasionally) sales messages to the mix on your social media feed. Make it useful, fun, engaging and shareable and people will come back for more and share your content – and your brand – for you.

 Steve Bustin is a Business Communications Expert, coaching, training and speaking to businesses on a range of communication channels including social media, public relations and presentation skills. See www.stevebustin.com for more details.

Don’t forget: the Kindle edition of ‘…and Death Came Third!’ is available for just £1.99 or $2.99 throughout September. Get your copy now!

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