What experts can learn at Social Media Breakfast

by Carl Natale on December 21, 2010

What experts can learn

Maybe you do know more than the speaker. But that doesn't mean you can't learn something.

Someone asked me why I go to the Social Media Breakfasts. Surely I must know everything about social media.

Not really. There are a lot of people doing some good work in social media, and I learn from their experience.

Honestly, that’s only a small part of why I go to these breakfasts. And I’m not there for the food.

I’m not saying I don’t learn anything. But I enjoy three other benefits to going to these events. And I think they’re strong enough to attract any expert or guru.

Be seen

In the battle of the cliches, “Out of sight, out of mind” beats “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” like nobody’s business. Since I’m living more than an hour away from Portland, my appearances are rare. I need to remind people I’m still available.

Sure they can find me on Twitter and this blog. But you can’t beat being seen in real life.

For example, at the last breakfast I talked to two people who asked me about Expensiccino.com. Neither could remember the name correctly. (That’s what I get for making up a word.) Luckily I was there and able to hand them a promotional card with the name on it.

Work the room

This is classic networking. I love meeting new people and checking in with the people I know. I really do enjoy talking to them. One of the reasons is that I learn a lot by listening to people talk about their businesses.

Plus these events usually are populated by people looking for help with their businesses. And I’m a writer who wants to help people with their businesses.

So if you’re in the business of helping business, why wouldn’t you go to these breakfasts?

Listen to the questions

This is the real reason I go to just about any conference or seminar. The people looking for help ask questions. I don’t care what the answers are. I want know what they need.

Each question could be a blog post. When I look over my notes, I see a week’s worth of blog topics.

If I hear trends in the questions, I know there’s opportunity. This amounts to relatively inexpensive market research.

I base my business on informing people. To do that right, I need to know what they don’t know. And this is one of the forums where they reveal that.


Those people can learn a lot for $5. It’s usually enough to get started with social media. They also learn where to find out more information. Sometimes they learn they need to get more help.

I’m not an expert so I never know what I’m going to learn at a Social Media Breakfast. But I know someone is going to ask for help.

It’s ironic. People to go the breakfasts to learn how to use social media to market their businesses. I wonder if they realize they can learn a lot about offline marketing too.

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