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For me, one of the joys of working in the Social Media is the opportunity to connect with people you might never get to know. Thanks to my Twitter coach Trilby Jeeves @tjbuffoonery, I have had the joy of making a great personal and professional relationship with one of the world’s foremost speakers – Kevin Knebl.

Kevin has been the main speaker at several of our Social Media Bootcamps and I’m delighted he’s agreed to join the #SMC90 team.

kevin knebl at we make stuff happen

“In May 2003, I accepted a request to connect on a weird website called LinkedIn. Little did I know that when I clicked on the “Accept Invitation” button my life would change forever. Back in those days, LinkedIn was still within the first few months of its launch, and I was still in a corporate sales job and I had no idea that within a few years, I’d be speaking and training all over the USA, Canada and internationally on combining time-tested, networking, relationship building, and sales skills with Social Media for huge business and personal success.

Today, LinkedIn has over 200,000,000 members and has become the world’s largest business networking site, bar none. My dear friend, Jonathan Christian, very kindly asked me “Kev, if you could go back and start over again on LinkedIn, what would you do differently?” What a great question. So, here’s what I would do differently.

Instead of waiting a few years to develop a system to categorize my LinkedIn connections by location, client, prospect, referral, or whatever parameter I deemed important, I would do it immediately, day one. I would put every LinkedIn connection I have into the appropriate category instead of just blindly accepting invitations and thinking “Someday I should strategically do something with these people” and never getting around to it.

I would make sure that I would send a personal message to every person whom I accept a LinkedIn invitation from. I would explain very briefly what I do without being “slick or salesy” and then ask them what they do and offer to help them in some way.  And then I’d see if they reply and if they’re open to developing a mutually beneficial, win-win relationship. And I’d be amazed at the number of people who’d be open to a relationship where we can both help each other succeed.

Kevin Knebl & Trilby Jeeves #SMC90

Every morning, I’d log into LinkedIn before I open that email vortex from the really hot place with the pitchforks which hasn’t been down to zero since 1995, and I’d see who has been looking at my LinkedIn profile in the last 24 hours. Then I’d send them a message saying that I’m honored that they’ve been looking at my profile and that they must have been doing that for some reason and since I’m all about paying-it-forward, I’d love to help them in some way. And then I’d get their amazed reply back indicating that no one’s taken the time to actually offer to help them in some way.

These are just a few of the many things I’d do differently. I’d understand that Social Media isn’t about technology, but about relationships. I’d take the appropriate steps to build, enhance, and maintain my LinkedIn relationships. If I get the opportunity to embelish on this, great. In the meantime, Jonathan Christian is just about the coolest guy on earth. Definitely the coolest guy in Vancouver, BC.”

Can you see why we hit it off so well? Kevin is very humble, and I know, that what he talks about here, is actually his daily practice. If a couple of guys like us with a few, ok more than a few grey hairs can do it – why can’t you?

Would you like to learn more from Kev? Drop him a message via Social Media and we’ll welcome him back with open arms!

And if you’re local and free this evening – come join us at our Social Media Challenge Meetup  7pm Trinity Western University

Jonathan Christian & Kevin Knebl
Kevin Knebl is an International Speaker, Author, Trainer and Advisor. Kevin is The Highest Rated Business Speaker in the World among over 281,298 Business Speakers Worldwide (LinkedIn 2013) and coauthor of “The Social Media Sales Revolution” (McGraw-Hill). Kevin is also a contributing author of “Learn Marketing with Social Media in Seven Days” (Wiley – Australia). He is an in-demand, leading authority on Social Media, Online and Offline Networking, Relationship Building, Personal Development, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Kevin’s background includes being the top salesperson in the world for an international consulting company with over 300 salespeople in 11 countries. He has over 20 years of experience in sales, networking, and relationship building skills training and related areas of expertise.

Kevin is recognized as a leading authority on LinkedIn and has trained hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of professionals on the most effective uses of LinkedIn since 2004. Kevin also has the most Recommendations (1410+) on his LinkedIn profile among over 200,000,000 LinkedIn users.

Kevin can be reached at www.kevinknebl.com.

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