During my highly educational, fun and life changing May 2014 UK Trip I was very lucky to spend almost must have been a week with 4Networking UK “Network Director” Stefan Thomas. He did an amazing job of looking after me and I instantly clicked with this kind-hearted man.
Like myself, we had some shared experiences turing loss, suffering and both creating “Second Lives” where we started again to achieve great things.
We also shared a strangely similar taste in “Floral Shirts” and I was very lucky to learn some very life / business changing ideas from him. Stefan does an amazing job of running a network with 5000+ Groups per year and what grabbed me as quite unique about him was his deep emotional level of understanding as to how business relationships work.
Stefan is also the author of the Top Selling UK “Business Networking for Dummies” brand – and we would go from bookstore to bookstore in the UK and see his book in always in the Top #5 Business books.
I am very lucky to have him Guest Blog, right here on “The Edward Files”. Powerful and intelligent – read on!
The New ‘Local’ in our Small World (Guest Blog by Stefan Thomas):
Has local changed?
What does local mean to you now? I used to think it meant my geographically local community. Carterton. West Oxfordshire. Even the whole of Oxfordshire lately.
I mean, those were the people I had something in common with, by virtue of living in the same place and having an interest in local issues. Like the roadworks in Oxford right now which are killing everyone’s commute. You can start a conversation with ANYONE in Oxfordshire about that right now.
But then networking and social media changed that, for me at least and maybe for you too.
My crowd now has changed. The people I associate with come from all over the UK. They are ‘local’ to me, no matter where they come from as we occupy the same communities, even though these aren’t geographically bounded.
Everyone in 4Networking is ‘local’ to me, whether that is in England, Scotland, Wales or Australia. I have something in common with anyone in 4N. There is always a topic to start a conversation about, even if that is as simple as “how was your 4N group this week?”.
I also am a member of various communities on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, and, particularly through Twitter, can carry on a conversation with anyone in the world. Just last night I got into conversation with a guy who was considering self employment. When I asked him where he was from it turned out he lives just seven miles from me. But it could have been anywhere and there were other people involved in the conversation from all over the world.
We have a saying in 4Networking that you can use the network to build your business locally, regionally, nationally or even internationally. But actually it’s all local these days.
And that has another implication too, just as the local greengrocers reputation would be won and lost by how they treated their local customers, because word would spread about how good they were (or otherwise). These days the spread of good or bad service is turbocharged. You still have to have that same care as if you owned a local shop, whilst understanding that local might now mean worldwide. Give someone astonishing service and value, they might talk about it to their friends. Give someone shocking service – they will DEFINITELY put it on Facebook.
Local has changed. Understand that and use it to your advantage.
No Red Braces
Tel: 01993 768292
Get a FREE chapter of Business Networking for Dummies – noredbraces.co.uk/free
Edward’s Commentary on a Brilliant Article:
As a late Generation Y who is just used to this technology, I am the first at times to forget how the world has changed so quickly.
On a daily basis, I interact with my friends from 4Networking UK like they are sitting at a desk next to me and the “Local / Global” world is an amazing thing. Talking more Sales & Marketing – it’s brilliant, Stefan Thomas is from the UK and many awesome Australian’s (like you) will be reading his words right here.
Check out his book too – love it and downloaded it on Kindle.
Thank you for the read and thank you to Stefan Thomas for one amazing Guest Blog! Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor & Crazy Persian!