Was Hemingway A Typewriter Expert?

I’ve been fortunate to have been speaking, training and coaching on how best to use LinkedIn and other Social Media platforms since 2003. Yes, 2003. That makes me Jurassic in the Social Media world. From time to time, I like to reiterate a very important point. Was Hemingway a typewriter expert? Was Picasso a canvas expert? No. These were just some of the tools these artists used to convey their messages. They were artists. And that’s what Social Media is for you. You’re an artist in terms of whatever value and message you’re delivering to the business world whether you realize it or not. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever, are just some of the tools you use to deliver your value and message. Have a basic understanding of these platforms but don’t think you need to become an expert at them. You don’t need to know how to fix a …


No matter how many Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections or Twitter followers you have, nothing happens until a conversation is started. A billboard on the highway isn’t a conversation. While most people are running around trying to get more “likes” remember that business is conducted one to one. You can use Social Media to broadcast your message, but at the end of the day, biz is conducted one to one. This may sound obvious, but just look around. Very few people and even fewer organizations understand this. Take a deep, sincere interest in the one person you’re speaking with right now. Whether you’re speaking to them face to face, by phone, or on a Social Media site. Your success always occurs in a conversation. Never outside of a conversation. One conversation at a time.

While Connecting With Lots, Go Deeper With Few

Social Media is full of paradoxes. Just for clarification, a paradox is a seemingly apparent contradiction. SoMe exposes how interconnected we all are and actually always have been but didn’t know it. And we can become even more connected as more and more of the world gets online. Make sure that as you get more connected you go deeper with the people who matter most to you. It’s up to you to determine who matters most to you. It could be clients, prospects, networking partners, referral relationships, strategic alliances, or all of them. It would almost seem like the goal is to just collect friends, connections and followers, but that’s not really the goal. The goal is while connecting with lots of people, create and enrich specific relationships. Connect with lots. Go deeper with few.

Use Social Media To Build Rapport Faster

I had a woman schedule an appointment with me to discuss the possibility of hiring me to deliver some speaking and training engagements. Prior to getting on our phone conversation this morning, I went through my normal pre-call Social Media SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). I checked LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter quickly to learn about her so that I could add as much value as possible to our conversation and possible relationship. I quickly discovered that she went to the same two colleges that I did and that she has a newborn. I also saw that she recently returned from a trip to Aruba. I brought this information into our conversation in a non-creepy manner and immediately started developing a “Know/Like/Trust” relationship with her. I’d be shocked if we don’t do business together. Lots of business together. How are you using the amazing free Social Media tools available to you to …

Know Like Trust Vs. No Like Trust

A person who has connected with me on multiple Social Media platforms and responds to my polite welcome reply messages with immediate sales pitches for their product recently emailed me, “You’re a very, very hard person to get a phone call or face to face meeting with.” I replied, “Not if I know, like and trust you.” There was an MBA’s worth of a lesson in my reply if he grasped it. I don’t think he did, though.

Please Let Me Know If I Can Ever Help You In Any Way

How do you end your emails? In a more and more over-caffeinated, hyper-competitive, Mach 5 with your receding hairline on fire, Crackberry, Blackberry world, I’m suggesting that you put your hand out more often and be more friendly. I almost always end my emails with “Please let me know if I can ever help you in any way.” I could write a book on how adopting a pay-it-forward attitude toward everyone creates an amazing life of abundance. Oh yeah, I am writing a book on that right now. This doesn’t mean that you’re trying to be Mother Teresa or Gandhi. You’re just letting people know that you’re friendly and that you’re sincerely interested in helping them in some way if you can. Spread the love. Pay it forward. You’ll be amazed at how rich your life becomes.  


Be Sober-Minded, Not Sober-Faced. Smile More.

I travel a lot. As a Professional Speaker/Author, I probably meet more people in a few weeks than most folks meet in a year or more and I’ve noticed something over time. There’s a lot of men who look like they’ve been sucking on a lemon since they were three years old. What’s with the dudes? I don’t find this so often with women. The Bible (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) says to be sober-minded, not sober-faced. Smile more. Dale Carnegie taught this as one of his thirty instructions in his timeless classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” back in 1936. Matter of fact, in HTWFAIP, all of his chapter summaries are written as simple sentences, and the only instruction he gives which is only one word is the instruction, “Smile”. We tend to get what we give. Give a smile. It breaks the ice. And it usually …

In Business, Every Day Is Valentine’s Day

We know we’re supposed to show our love on Valentine’s Day. We’ve been sold this by Hallmark, Nestle and others since we were kids. If you’re in business, every day is Valentine’s Day. Your customers, clients, boss, colleagues, networking partners, and referral sources better be feeling the love. All the time. How are you ensuring they feel special?


The Knebl Three-Foot Rule

I’ve lately had a number of people tell me that they’ve heard of my three-foot rule from others and they’ve said that they want to hear it from me in my own words, so because I seek to serve, here ya go. The Knebl Three-Foot Rule: 1) Smile at everyone who comes within three feet of you. 2) If they smile back, say hi. 3) If they say hi back, start a conversation with them about them. That’s it. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity – things that are simple to do are also simple not to do. Like exercising, eating correctly, etc. This simple rule has made me hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that’s not why I do it. I do it because it’s the right way to live. The money is a nice fringe benefit. Now go forth, be friendly and prosper. To your massive …


I’m All About Paying It Forward And I’d Love You To Ask Me To Prove It

As our parents and grandparents told us, we only have one chance to make a good first impression. Make smart use of first impressions. When someone sends you an email, calls you, leaves you a voice mail message, pings you on Social Media, etc. think about how you typically first respond to that person. What if one of the first sentences out of your mouth or in your email or Facebook reply was “I’m all about paying it forward and I’d love you to ask me to prove it.” I’m suggesting that this one simple act and then backing it up with action will transform your business and personal life. It has mine.

Manners Never Go Out Of Style

We’re all very busy running hard. Since it’s so easy to take things out of context online without the facial expressions, tone, and all the other body language signals we normally see offline, it serves us well to err on the side of politeness. I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. Say please and thank you when you’re online. If you haven’t spoken to someone in a long time, or perhaps ever, how hard is it to start a message with “Hi, long time no talk….” or “I know you’re busy so I’ll be brief….” or how about just a “Hello….”? At the risk of sounding overly sensitive, when someone starts asking you questions or tries to get your attention without even a polite hello, don’t they realize that they’re starting the communication completely on the wrong foot? I guess not, because so many folks have no netiquette …

Let Them Know You Care

One of the nicest things we can do for someone is to provide encouragement. It’s wonderful to post inspiring messages on various Social Media platforms. But selecting one or a handful of people and encouraging them on a frequent basis is a whole other matter. This needn’t take a tremendous amount of time. Just a check-in from time to time to see what they’re working on in their personal and professional lives and letting them know that you’re thinking of them and wishing them the best in everything they’re doing. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Pick a person or five and let them know you care.

Old School Face Time Before Apple FaceTime

After a speaking engagement in Parsippany, NJ yesterday, I went out to lunch with a group of the attendees and we had some great discussions. One of the conversations was about how most people are so focused on electronics that they forget offline ways to build and enhance relationships. As you’re connecting with folks on Social Media platforms, don’t forget that no amount of Facebook posts, LinkedIn status updates or tweets are equal to a face to face coffee or lunch meeting. Make sure you’re scheduling face time into your week. Invest in old school relationships. You’ll completely differentiate yourself from the folks with the Blueteeth in their ears who think that being too busy to meet with someone is some kinda badge of honor. Yeah, it’s a badge all right….

Personalize Everything

It takes so little to be above average. In a more and more interconnected, over-caffeinated, hyper-competitive, Mach 5 with your receding hairline on fire world, it’s easy to forget to make personal connections. And most people just hit the Like button on Facebook, Accept Connection button on LinkedIn and Follow button on Twitter. If someone walked up to you in real life, stuck out their hand and introduced themselves to you would you look at them, ignore their extended hand and just turn around and walk away? If you did, your mother would smack you. Don’t be a Social Media drive-by Liker, Friender or Follower. That’s what the masses do. By the way….watch what 95% of society does and do just the opposite. Always, and I mean always, personalize everything. Send a personal note saying thanks, asking them how they heard of you and how you may be able to …


Relax And Enjoy The Game

Ever notice that people who are good at something seem pretty relaxed when they’re doing it? Business tends to be a very serious game for most folks but that doesn’t mean you have to be so serious. Yes, take your business seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Put people at ease. It’s easier to communicate and work with people when they’re relaxed. Just for fun you may want to play a game with yourself called “How relaxed can I make this person feel?” As my good friend, Bob Burg, taught me years ago, “All things being equal, people do business with and refer business to people they know, like, and trust.” Usually they know, like, and trust you because they feel relaxed with you. What can you do to make people feel more relaxed today?


Do Business With People Who Believe What You Believe

I don’t remember where I first heard it, but something that has really stuck with me over time is “Don’t work with the people who need what you have; work with the people who believe what you believe.” This may not resonate with you, but it sure resonates with me. If you’re trying to convince (that’s code for “sell”) everyone that they need what you have, that’s a hard road to travel. And it’s the road most people travel. If you’re finding people who believe what you believe in terms of life philosophy, attitude, business practices, etc., you’ll find that life becomes easier. This is a road with little traffic. Taking this approach means that you have to find out people’s life philosophy, attitude, business practices, etc. And most people don’t find out these things about other people. Most people are just looking to close a transaction versus open a …

Social Media Cross-Pollination

Remember the old days in the last century when you had your work life and your personal life and never the two shall meet? How’s that working out for you in a more and more interconnected world? When you connect with someone on one Social Media platform do you also connect with them on other SoMe platforms? I do. I’m not suggesting that you should too, but allow me to tell you why I do. I do because for me SoMe is all about relationships. The more I can get to know someone the easier it is for me to figure out how I can add value to them in some way. Don’t read into my “add value” comment as code for “sell them something.” When I accept someone’s LinkedIn connection request, I see if I can find them on Facebook. If I find them, I send them a friend …


Earning Versus Getting

As people are trying to gain more visibility through Social Media, a question I often hear is “How do I get more connections on LinkedIn, likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter?” I think the problem lies in their question. The question they should be asking is “How do I earn more connections, likes, and followers?” I can show you how to get a lot of followers very quickly. And you’ll lose them just as quickly. Almost as quickly as you’ll lose your credibility. Success isn’t something you get. It’s something you earn. First: add massive value. Second: add massive value. Third: add massive value. Guess what fourth is. While everyone else is trying to get, invest your time in earning your connections, likes and followers. When you earn them they won’t leave. When you earn them, they want to do business with you. When you earn them, you have …

You’re A Mosquito In A Nudist Colony Of Opportunity

We have almost unlimited ways to connect with each other. When you meet someone either personally or professionally do you look to connect with them on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter? I do. It’s a good habit to start. Then after you connect online, offer to help them in some way. Without an agenda. And not so they can owe you. There are a lot of people who are out of work for long periods of time, tolerating jobs that they hate, dealing with clients they’d love to fire, and a hundred others types of soul-sucking torture. The reason they’re living in this situation has nothing to do with the economy, the Democrats, the Republicans, global warming, the Mayan calendar, or any other excuse. It has to do with the fact that most people don’t understand that all things being equal people do business with and refer business to people they …

Hanging Out On The Corner

I’m writing this in the beautiful Loews Hotel at 12th and Market in Philadelphia after delivering a speaking engagement. I’m in the lounge by the piano with floor to ceiling windows that look out 180 degrees on this busy intersection. It’s amazing to watch the people go by. You see folks of every size, shape and color. You see people who are in a hurry, walking slowly, looking happy and sad. It’s a lot like watching your news and status feeds on your Social Media sites. But life changes when you stop just observing and start interacting….