Yep. She hired me.

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beth mcalhanyI walked into this woman’s office for a job interview over five years ago. I was almost 20 minutes late, put both elbows up on her desk, and said “wasssup.”

Now, I know I was nervous, and trying to play it cool. Beth McAlhany saw right through it and hired me anyway. And every time I did anything right in my five-year career at Kindermusik, she reminded the good folks who doubted that initial decision, that it was a damn good one. Especially since a few folks weren’t so sure I had “the Kindermusik” in me.

And now, we’re working together again. Beth McAlhany owns her own marketing company, Beth Mac. She regularly networks with a supergroup of women who also own and manage their own businesses, and busy, busy, busy lives. They also refer to each other when a client asks for something that’s not in one of their marketing bag of tricks. They’re so social networking. They don’t even know it.

beth mac Tomorrow, I’ll join the conversation and talk about how social networks and blogs can possibly help their clients.

And Beth. This time, I won’t be late.

It’s not about you

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As a musician, I’m trying to imagine what would happen if I invited a bunch of folks to my house to play music, and then kept all my ideas and songs to myself. People would stop coming over. And they’d tell other people to stop, too.

As a musician, I want to provide a meaningful experience for the people I play with, plus, provide them with access to musicians or resources that would enhance their networks, too.

Same goes for building community online. I’m more drawn to sites that capture my imagination, not my “lead capture” information.

So this little paragraph on Tara Hunt’s blog Horse, Pig, Cow is top of mind this week as I tinker around with ways to build community online for my clients and my music:

“The key to attracting and keeping members of a community is to offer them heaps of ways to accrue Social Capital within it. That is, to offer them more connections, more influence, more of a chance to grow their reputation, more bridging capital, more bonding capital, more access and potential access to ideas, talent and resources, more ways to display their accomplishments, more ways to do nice things for others (to build up those favors) and more access to those with loads of Social Capital of their own.”

Putting research into practice

As we build Tonya’s blog for her Pilates studio, I want to keep the social networks of Tonya’s clients in mind, too. Because, according to Tara, it works best when your nurturing your community, and the communities of your clients, too. I love that.

A few ideas to incorporate into Tonya’s blog:

  • A recipe for success. Tonya is a nutritionist, too, and she’s often giving clients recipes for her breakfast smoothies. Incorporate recipes, tips, and daily snack suggestions into blog posts. The trick is to write these tips in such a way that it feels urgent, and practical enough for someone to share with a friend.
  • A MAT class like no other. Tonya is trained in a muscle recovery method called Muscle Activiation Technique. She’s one of only two certified MAT therapists in North Carolina. We’ll use her blog to provide more information about this fast-growing, muscle building and rebuilding method. Then, provide ways to make the information accessible to friends. For instance, a friend just tore an achille’s tendon, how would I know if MAT is good for him?