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Conversation, Not Content, Is King

Content may draw us closer yet conversation builds the relationships

New Media Journal on Ulitzer

Anyone who spends any time or resources online has heard the saying “content is king”.  That, though, is so Web 1.0.

I've heard the arguments that content is king.  Yet, really, can we not get content anywhere?  Is it the content that we love or the personal style, delivery, and even packaging that bring it closer? Content may draw us closer yet conversation builds the relationships, draws us in, engages us and inspires us to share and advocate.

And people will do things for friends and good contacts that they would never do for an entity.

Watching the classic movie "The Godfather", many people in business have used the phrase, "It's not personal, it's business". I would venture to say that in the  27 years since that movie was made some things have changed in our world.

"It's not business, it's all personal." - is now the phrase you here as social networks become the means to the way we connect, communicate and engage.

To succeed in being visible and memorable in the Web 2.0 world, conversation is king. And, it’s about engaging conversation not just one sided “walking commercials”.  The key to anyone’s success is communication and it hinges on two types of conversations:  1. The conversations we have with ourselves – our internal talk; and 2. The conversations we have with others.

Powerful conversationsFor Your Brand - Conversation is King

Your conversations have the power to bring your business to new heights and you will see that your conversations more importantly possess the authority to shape your life into what it is you want.

Strong conversational skills with positively affect your life on and off-line.  Understand that your skills do not automatically get better when you get online.  In fact, social media is nothing more than word of mouth on steroids! And word of mouth is a double edge sword – it can be positive and it can be very negative.  How do you make sure that it’s positive word of mouth that is flowing your way?

John Genovese, of the Rapport Key, refers to growing your connections like growing a tree. “Think about your personal network as a tree just sprouting from the earth. As you grow up, you begin to grow stems which eventually turn into branches. Each branch is a connection that you have made and each stem on that branch is a resource that you are linked to. Your goal is to be the tree with hundreds of thousands of long thick branches with smaller stems and branches sprouting out from it. Each contact you make will have his/her own group of contacts, who will be connected to you.”

Here are the basic conversational skills that you need:

  • In & outs of breaking the ice
  • How to initiate small talk
  • How to establish mutual connections and what to say about them
  • How to establish someone’s location
  • How to establish how a contact spends their time
  • How to establish their hobbies / interests to leverage conversation
  • How to establish their aims / goals for future leverage with them
  • The most successful way to part ways (by maintaining them as a contact)

And, the given in all this is that you do so authentically from your own style!

You must also be good at communicating who you are and how you help people. Really, what is your super power?  Refrain from acronyms and titles – they only box you into someone else’s experience with that position and title.  Or, they serve to make the other person feel that they “don ‘t understand” what you just said and so in return you’ll receive a “that’s interesting” or “oh, I see” which is a definite conversation stopper.

For example, I met someone for the first time at a meeting the other day and asked what do you do and she said “I’m a CIO”.   Talk about something that sat figuratively like vomit in the middle of the conversation!  It was definitely a conversation stopper.  I watched her as she repeated her introduction and repelled others as she “worked the room”.

Make sure you have your answers to the questions of “what do you do” and “what have you been up to down” in a way that informs and encourages conversation. When you have that part of the conversation already in mind, it will free you up to truly listen which is the cornerstone to success of any conversation.

Cross-posted on TheBuzz101

More Stories By Maria Elena Duron

Maria Elena Duron is chief buzz officer, coach and speaker with buzz2bucks.com. Buzz2Bucks | a word of mouth firm serves as the community manager around your personal or business brand online and offline, and coaches community managers on how to be buzz-worthy. Buzz2Bucks is known for the talk that yields profits. She is author of the book "Mouth to Mouth Marketing" and the ebook "Social I.R.A." She's been quoted as a marketing and word of mouth expert by Entrepreneur Magazine and contributes to several publications and is the creator of #brandchat, a weekly twitter conversation about all aspects of branding. She broadcasts weekly as the business coach with CBS7. Duron will speak at the 2009 Massachusetts Conference for Women

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