“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“Andy certainly made a difference on how I normally approach / perceive events such as this. ”
Ann Azzopardi, Category Buying Manager, Pret a Manger
“'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, 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 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 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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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
“"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
“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
“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
“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

Will LinkedIn sink in a sea of spam?

LinkedIn is potentially a very valuable resource for both individuals and companies. It allows users to tap into the combined knowledge of the community, find mutual contacts to introduce them to the people they want to meet and to build their profile and develop relationships with key influencers in both their own and their clients industries or in the fields in which they want to work.

Unfortunately potential is often not realised. Most people do not take the time to understand just how effective LinkedIn can be in helping them achieve their objectives. Instead they treat it in the same way as any other new technology, by applying the same tired and lame practices.

Despite its tremendous growth in popularity over the last five years LinkedIn is in danger of being sunk by spam.

As the owner of a group on LinkedIn I have to waste a frustrating amount of time moderating spam posts in the discussion forum. The spam will range from completely unrelated posts dumped in the forum in the hope of selling someone's products or services to blog links and event invitations shared with no comment or attempt at discussion. 

Often you will find that the blogs and invitations are duplicated across a number of different LinkedIn groups. That sends a very simple message to me - the person (or robot) posting them does not care at all about what other people in the forum have to say or in entering discussions, they simply want to broadcast. They are using LinkedIn as an advertising forum. 

But how effective is this approach? Look at most discussions in LinkedIn groups and you see real engagement where the poster has reached out and asked for opinions. Share your latest blog by all means, if relevant to the membership and focus of the group, but don't just link dump, ask for other people's experiences and viewpoints. Where a link has been posted with no comment to frame it, there tend to be very few comments or 'likes'. 

Link dumping in groups is one thing, LinkedIn users can choose to ignore such activity, annoying as it is. Much more dangerous to people's willingness to engage with LinkedIn is the rise, particularly prevalent over recent months, in spam messages. 

I now receive several general messages a week direct to my LinkedIn inbox. People inviting me to events, asking me to sponsor them, telling me about their latest product or service. I say inviting, asking and telling me but that is being generous. The messages are scattergun, sent to the originator's entire LinkedIn network and, sometimes and somehow, even to people to whom they are not directly connected. 

Why am I sharing this? Sure, I'm no great fan of receiving spam messages. My inbox is full enough as it is. But the problem this causes, or reflects, goes deeper. 

The more that people abuse LinkedIn the less likely they are to explore its true potential. As a result, the less likely it is that they will benefit from membership of the network. In addition, the more that people receive what they perceive to be spam, the less inclined they will be to engage with LinkedIn, the more likely that they ignore other messages through the site and the less effective the network will become.

Any network is only as strong as the community of which it is constituted. For LinkedIn to reach the heights its functionality promises that community needs to stop spamming and remember the Golden Rule of Social Networking - Engage don't Broadcast. 

Comments

I agree it's a problem that's

I agree it's a problem that's growing as LinkedIn grows, and it's fundamentally an education issue. As you say, it's down to lazy people applying the same tired and lame practices.

What I think LinkedIn need to do is to put in place technology that can spot abusive patterns, and limit it - and to develop more sophisticated tools for group owners to filter content. At the same time, I think they also have to be more proactive in educating people who join LinkedIn about best practice.

LinkedIn provide a platform, but they fail to actively educate those who join the platform - and I think they are doing themselves, and everyone who uses LinkedIn, a great disservice. It is a trivial matter to send activity-triggered and time-triggered messages when you control a platform like LinkedIn - but it does not happen - and as a result, you have uneducated users. This is not helped when LinkedIn encourages bizarre behaviour such as prompting you to email your entire address book to ask them to connect immediately after you accept a new connection - when what you should be doing is sending that connection a personal message.

Thank you for your comment

Thank you for your comment David. I thoroughly agree and made the same point in conversation last week. LinkedIn leave all of the training on how to use their site to third parties acting independently, although they have introduced limited endorsement of a few trainers.

Simple autoresponder tips sent to members outlining how to make the most of the site would, as you say, be simple to introduce and of great benefit to the community as a whole.

There's an excellent take on

There's an excellent take on this blog for the legal industry here.

http://kevin.lexblog.com/2013/04/17/will-law-firm-spam-sink-social-netwo...

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