PRESS RELEASE 30/11/2009
Diest, Belgium – Very successful launch of book ‘Friends with Benefits - Networking in a new economy’
Saturday 21/11/2009 Geert Conard’s new book ‘Friends with Benefits’ was launched during a special Booklaunch event in the Cultural Centre of his hometown, Diest.
From all over Belgium and even some neighbouring countries, 70 people had found their way to the historical beguinage of Diest. This great group of people enjoyed a unique booklaunch event in three parts :
- Red Carpet Photoshoot
- Official part in the Auditorium with speeches and presentations
- Networking Event + Book signing
The event started with a promo-movie, produced by Cineworks : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bh3D477hgc
Photos of the event, including the Red Carpet photoshoot : http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=136553&id=560297038&l=fca9a01e7e
Press page including Press Releases and Press Pictures : http://www.friends-with-benefits.eu/presspub.html
This book is available through the official website or through webshops such as Amazon.com
30 November 2009
PRESS RELEASE 30/11/2009
23 November 2009
As many of you know in the past weeks I have been setting up a booklaunch event for the official release of my second book 'Friends" with Benefits'.
One of my contacts (Erwin De Laat) brought me in touch with Johnny and Nick of Cineworks, who produced a very nice promo movie for my book.
I can HIGHLY recommend their services as excellent, tailor made, personal and very professional.
Here is the result of what they have put together for me in just a few days :
(We shot the footage on 18/11 and had the movie in Premiere at the event on 21/11)
(Click on the movie to go to YouTube and watch in original size !)
12 November 2009
3 November 2009
30 October 2009
If you haven't read part 1 and part 2, just follow the links.
Tomorrow we are exactly 3 weeks before the official booklaunch event.
In the past few weeks I have ordered the furniture and props for the event, contacted some friends to lend me a hand during the evening of the event, started to prepare for the main presentation and spend LOTS of time in contacting potential sponsors and inviting guests.
By now already +90 people have registered. There are max. 120 seats available in the auditorium.
Because of the financial crisis which has been going on for this entire year, finding sponsors was a very hard job. A first round of mailings and cold calling had zero result.
I created a complete new offer and started all over again ... today we have 6 sponsors who will cover the overhead costs of rent, insurance and logistics. With a minor extra cost I will also be able to offer a free first drink at the networking event, which takes place right after the official part in the auditorium. Of course additional sponsors are still very welcome ;-)
I have seen networking events drop down from +100 attendees to 30 or 40 in the last year, so I already knew it wouldn't be easy to fill up the room. A few weeks ago I started to invite guests, contacts, VIP's and Journalists. I opened meetingpages on my website, on Ecademy and on Facebook. To my surprise the journalists were almost the very first to respond and I'm already sure of some press coverage.
So these are the final 3 weeks before the event. The new book is already available on the Ecademy Press Webshop, on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
My BlackStar colleagues started to spread some noise on Twitter, Facebook and other networks to promote my book and event ... Thank you guys !
Now it's fingers crossed ... and maybe I'll see you on Nov. 21 in Diest. I'll be the short guy on stage doing the main presentation ;-)
27 October 2009
I thought it might be interesting to share the slides on my blog.
21 October 2009
I'm absolutely shure that if I had written this book 6 months later, one of the buzz-words would have been 'Real-time' because that's the technology all online social media are now implementing.
15 October 2009
13 October 2009
If you haven't read part 1, you'll find it HERE.
9 October 2009
[to be continued]
5 October 2009
30 September 2009
For those people it's often also the first time they are facing customer/supplier relationships, which sometimes can be a shock.
Customers and suppliers usually have different interests and each of them is trying to get the most out of the deal. This animation movie is a good example on how a typical demand from a customer to a graphical designer could be like. If you are easily offended please skip to the next part.
As this may come as a shock to some of you and you will think this is very much 'over the top', it's actually typical for a lot of the conversations you will experience when interacting with customers. Sometimes it will be even worse and customers might even demand to deliver your services for free. In this second movie I found some more 'over the top' examples, which are VERY recognizable.
Of course I don't want to scare you out of a possible adventure in chasing your own self employed dream, I just think it's better if you know upfront that these are actually common situations.
Using Social Media and Social Networks can improve the relationships between the users.
You wouldn't even think of having such a conversation with any of your friends, do you ?
When you really know each other, you are much less likely to start digging to the bottom like in the examples of these movieclips. Networking will help you to build your reputation and to build trust between people. When people come to you through a referral based on your reputation they will be less likely to start a 'flea market trade'. In those cases they will probably ask you to make a honest calculation and then they will decide to take it or not.
It's possible that the stressful life we live these days is sometimes pushing us over the edge and makes us dig for the bottom. But from time to time we have to stand still and look at ourselves in the mirror. Everyone needs to make a living and also those people at your service are earning a honest paycheck to feed their families. Maybe the new generations are lacking a bit of the politeness of our grandparents ... not all progress is an improvement.
28 September 2009
I often get questions about this choice to work with a publisher which is based in another country, so I'll try to explain a bit more about this.
In general there are two options for publishing a book : Making a bookdeal with a mainstream publisher or self-publishing. For me both these options don't really work. Getting a bookdeal with a mainstream publishing brand is close to winning the lottery. The odds are against you unless your name is Dan Brown and you have already published a million-selling book before.
If you go for self-publishing, you are choosing for publishing without any backup at all. In fact you have to become a publisher yourself to get your book on the market.
I have chosen for Ecademy Press which is a cooperative publisher, offering packages of services which makes you land somewhere in between both choices I mentioned before. When I wrote my first book in the summer of 2005, I didn't even have a clue about the processes that were needed to transform my manuscript into a nice paperback book.
For a fixed fee I now get help with every service I need, after I have finished writing the manuscript in my wordprocessor. Processes like pagesetting, layout, coverdesign, ISBN Barcode, printing setup, proofs, distribution, ... everything is taken care of while they keep a constant dialog to ensure you agree with every step.
While I still sell most of my books through my website and at the events where I'm hired as a speaker, my publisher is also taking care of websales through their own webshop and also through other webshops like those of market leader Amazon.
Another plus for me is the fact that all books are digitally printed on demand. Stocks are no longer necessary and I can survive with just a small box of books to take along to speaking engagements.
When anyone orders a book online it's printed on demand.
How long does it take to produce a new book ? Writing a book takes me more or less 3 months and the processes to produce the paperback books will take more or less the same time, unless you are hard to reach for feedback.
For me this option still works the best, but I think every writer/author should decide for themselves which option to choose.
24 September 2009
This was Penny's answer : "Your network value is based on what people say about you when you are not there". Indeed, networking is about being talked about when you are not in the room. That sentence really sums it all up, doesn't it ? Gaining trust and reputation from your network should be the only thing on your mind. I also have been asked the obvious question 'What's the real value of all your networking efforts ?' a number of times. My answer was this simple statement :
The single value you really want as a result of your networking efforts is to become TOP-OF-MIND for the people in your network.
I'll add an example to make this more clear :
Imagine meeting me at a networking event in Brussels. We get to know a little bit more about each other while having a drink at the bar. You are telling me about your professional activities and I'm also telling you something more about my IT company and the fact we are coming onsite to solve your computer problems. Three months later you are visiting a friend and he complains about his computer. He needs someone to take a look at his problems, but he really doesn't want to take his PC to the shop.
If my name is on top of your mind at that very moment ... I succeeded in my networking efforts.
How to achieve this ?
The best advise I can give you for this rule to work, is adding something to your story which will stick. Something that isn't average and what will make people remember you. Otherwise you will just be one of the 1000 other business coaches or IT technicians in my network. Make sure you stand out and have a special twist when you present yourself !
23 September 2009
Already some time ago I was thinking about creating a story on the fact that just 'being a member' of a networking group won't do much for your business. That's when I thought of the similar experience you could have joining a health club. I created a little story around this and put it in my presentation. People seemed to like it and the story started it's journey going from mouth to mouth.
Today I'm happy to notice that even other social media writers are using this same example in their presentations and books. It's never better than the original, so here we go :
In my presentation I use this example to describe one of the five networking types : The Passive Networker. I call this type “The guy from the fitnessclub”.
Imagine it would be early January. You have been partying all through Christmas and New Year and you don’t feel in the best shape ever. One of your New Year’s resolutions is to work on your health and to become a member of a fitnessclub. In the second week of January you walk into a local fitnessclub, pay up for a full year of “better health and exercise” and you start working out 3 evenings each week. After the first month you drop back to 2 evenings each week because you just have too many meetings lined up. A little later even more fitness evenings are cancelled due to other appointments and before you know it you haven’t been inside the fitness club for months. At the end of the year you meet a friend who has been partying too much during the Christmas holidays and who says he wants to work on his health. You show him your membership card of the fitnessclub and say “I’ve tried it … it doesn’t work !!!”.
Just buying a membership card of a fitnessclub is NOT going to improve your health in any way. You will still have to work out and train those muscles to get into shape.
Buying a membership card of a business club or paying a subscription to an online business network is NOT going to improve your business in any way.
If you don’t engage in getting to know people and if you don’t attend business events and meet people face to face … it’s not going to work for you !
Taken from the chapter 'Which Networking Type are you ?' - 'Friends with Benefits', releasing Nov. 21.
22 September 2009
In the last months I also read a few articles about the mass dropout of early adopters from the larger social networks. The average age of new members seems to be increasing. Most early adopters were in their late teens or early twenties and used to be very active on these websites. Today more and more members aged +30 are joining these platforms, while we see some of those early adopters leaving again and heading toward the niche networks.
21 September 2009
As most of you already know, in about nine weeks I'm launching my new book 'Friends with Benefits', during a launch event in my hometown. I'll soon tell more about the event.
This new book also contains articles written by 4 guest-authors, each of them recognized as true experts in their specific expertise.
One of these great people is Sharon Drew Morgen. In my book she talks about her view on sales in a new economy.
I first got in touch with Sharon Drew in 2004 when she was prospecting for new workshop-opportunities in Europe. I convinced her to visit Belgium and be the guest speaker at our national Ecademy event in January 2005.
After meeting face-to-face we kept in touch and this way I was also one of the very first people who heard about her new book coming out :
"Dirty Little Secrets : Why buyers can't buy and sellers can't sell"
Dirty Little Secrets is not a sales book, but a systems guide through change management and decision making. It actually teaches the skills to help buyers make their off-line buying decisions.
As a proof-reader for this book I can give you a first-hand recommendation. Through lots of examples she shows and demonstrates where most sales talks go wrong. Excellent work !
Buy the book on Amazon (Release date Oct. 15)
20 September 2009
Last Thursday, after the Louis Gray Workshop, I also attended the Ecademy event at the same venue, which was a very special evening launching Penny Power's new book : "Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me".
I've already read the first half of the book and can recommend reading this to anyone even remotely interested in social networking. Penny not only shares her view on proper use of social media, but she also shares how she lived through the startup years of Ecademy with all the ups and downs involved. Refreshing to read such an honnest view of the life of startup entrepreneurs.
Buy the book on Amazon
(Picture : Dianna Bonner)