by Dawgelene "Dr. Dawj" Samgster
If you asked Brian Tomkins what he does, he would simply say, " I am a go-giver". If you asked anyone else, you would hear words like, "social media guru, PR guru, marketing guru, networking guru," and the like. He is known for his ability to connect the "right people" together to bring about something positive in that connection, whatever "positive" may mean for them.
I sat down recently with Brian to get tips on networking and being a "go-giver," which turned into a wonderful conversation on social networking, growing businesses and networking for the social good. This is part I of that interview with great tips for those seeking to enhance the overall networking experience.
Dr Dawj: What is something people don't necessarily know about you?
BT: "I started out as a teacher and always use those values in everything I do now. I found creative ways back then to enhance the teaching experience for teachers in the classroom using technology, which led to me training teachers."
Dr Dawj: What are some things you value?
BT: "First and foremost, I value my family and friendships. I find that people get so caught up into working and trying to succeed, that they forget to enjoy life with family and friends, which is important. I have a beautiful wife and children that I adore; along with wonderful friends which is so important at the end of the day. I also value a sense of community and making a difference, which is why I support organizations like Operation Home Front for military families and children's teams like the Garfield Park Gators."
Dr Dawj: What tips can you provide people that want to network effectively?
BT: "Oftentimes, people want to network with the "what's in it for me?" mentality. The problem with that is that it's one-sided. The mentality should be, "what can my product/service do for the receiver to help them". The "go-giver" models teaches us to put others first. What we should be doing when connecting with people is:
- Get to know people sincerely. Have the mindset of truly wanting the best for that person you connect with and sincere in how you can make that happen.
- Listen more than talking to fully understand their needs.
- When we do talk, we should be talking to further understand and process what we learned from listening to them, and convey that back to them in a way where they will know that we understand their needs.
- Be analytical but don't go to the extreme with it.
- Avoid "paralysis by analysis". People spend so much time trying to analyze a person or their needs, that they allow opportunities to pass them by because they've expended too much time second-guessing their understanding.
- Be prepared when making confident decisions. Oftentimes, people connect with people and something magical happens, then the giver second-guesses his/her decision. Be prepared to move forward when you make decisions, knowing that your "battle plans" are in place to bring everything to life.
Brian Tomkins is a Social Media Marketing and Digital PR Strategist in Chicago, IL. He has successfully helped authors, businesses, entertainers, organizations, and politicians build community around their brand by supplementing traditional marketing with online social media, and maximizing the effectiveness of their online media campaigns across the country. Brian has been a frequent speaker and media guest where he discusses the latest trends in social media as they apply to business, politics and current events. He was a regular TV contributor on KUSI's "Good Morning San Diego," hosted the radio program "The Social Media Nation" and was a regular on KCBQ radio. Brian has been regularly published in the Herald News Business Ledger. In 2010 he was featured in the book, "Go Givers Sell More" co-authored by best-selling authors Bob Burg and John David Mann. Contact: Brian@BrianTomkins.com