Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dave Taylor - More than a Tweet

Today I had coffee (we were at Starbucks anyway) with Social Media Guru, Dave Taylor. That's right folks. It wasn't just a little tweet. It wasn't a wall message. It wasn't even an email. It was an honest-to-God, real-life, look-ya-in-the-eyes chit-chat. I've heard the social media naysayers say they don't like all this social media stuff -- they prefer talking to real people "face to face." Of course they do! Face to face is absolutely the best way to communicate! But it's social media that helps us figure out who we want to communicate with! At traditional "networking events" everyone goes around meeting each other, handing out business cards, just hoping to meet someone that might know someone that knows something we might care about. With social media we can figure out who knows something we care about immediately instead of wasting our time passing out business cards and giving our elevator speeches.

Now, as it turns out, Dave and I originally met through a mutual friend in a different network, so I guess the old fashioned way of meeting people still works, too. I heard he liked social media, so I connected with him online and soon discovered, he didn't just "like" social media - he is THE KING of Social Media! And he's a writer (the kind of geeky non-fiction stuff that really turns me on). He's written 20 books for God's sake! This was like stumbling upon pay dirt for someone like me. This would kind of be as if someone who wants to learn how to play golf happened to get introduced to Tiger Woods.

So, of course, I wanted to set up a meeting with Dave to pick his brain. But some golf rookie doesn't just go out and ask Tiger for a lesson. You gotta give something in return. So, I told Dave that if he let me pick his brain what I could do for him is write about him in my blog. It could be the first of a "Follow a Real Person" weekly segment. This would give Dave extra publicity to my entire readership, I'm sure somebody must be reading. Mom? Laptop Guy? Anybody? To follow the golfer analogy, this might be the equivalent of the new golfer going out to the golf course (when no one is playing) and yelling out, "Hey Everyone, guess what? Tiger Woods is a really great golfer!"

Dave already has more business than he wants so he assured me he's not too worried about my readership -- or lack thereof. We know that one of the beauties of networking is that all it takes is one person who may set in motion something that could be life changing.

The biggest takeaway I got from our discussion? The idea that social media should be used first and foremost to establish trust and credibility. Don't get on it to sell. Go in with the mindset of giving not taking. Look for opportunities to help others, have fun, be funny, be real. If people like you, they are more likely to want to do business with you.

That's all I'll say about Dave right now. I'd suggested an interview for my "Man in the Street" pseudo-blog. (Something I'd created simply as a ploy to meet available men.) Dave declined. (Sorry, ladies.) Maybe I'll interview him again when I'm more serious about blogging and there are more people "playing golf" with me. I could even start a whole new blog: "Men who can Tweet." The possibilities are endless...

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