He looks at me with terror in his eyes and utters the words that would send chills down anyone’s spine: “I lost my phone.”
Mark (@Xtramoney) is tapping each pocket, more and more frantically. I say the most unhelpful thing, but it’s the thing everyone says in this situation: “Where did you have it last?”
We think. Was it in the coffee shop? I call quickly, and they look. No. It’s not there.
Mark remembers having it out in the cab. I call his phone a few times, but no one picks it up.
I open a browser and look up the Yellow Cab Lost and Found. You have to file a form online. Mark paid in cash and did not get a receipt, and neither of us remember the cab number.
Mark looks like someone just kicked his puppy. “Is there a way to track it?” he asks out loud.
We both have Google Pixel phones. @Xtramoney and I are Google Ambassadors, and as such, they give us free stuff like the Pixel. We are still learning it, so we are not sure if there is a “Find My iPhone”-type function.
“Oh!” the lightbulb moment happened. “I can see it!”
One of the new functions on the Google Maps app is that you can share your location real-time with friends. Luckily, we had enabled it for each other. I opened the app and we could see Mark’s little avatar bopping around Manhattan.
We ran to the nearest taxi and dramatically instructed the driver to follow that cab! (Then we showed him the screen and explained what we meant.) Well, we picked the right cab driver. Ibrahim embraced the challenge like it was his own precious smart phone that was perilously close to being lost forever.
“It’s headed uptown!” Mark instructed. “It’s stopped at Fordham!”
“West Side Highway? No, it’s coming down 11th!”
Ibrahim weaved through honking cars, sped through yellow lights, and nearly ran down elderly pedestrians while we cheered him on from the back seat. He planned aloud to cut off the cab and brake so that Mark could jump out and get the phone. Ibrahim is the embodiment of everything that is wonderful about New York.
After taking a ridiculous route uptown, we slowed. The avatar bubble had stopped moving, and we were close. Mark remembered the taxi we were in looked like a Prius, and the driver was a thin, middle-aged black guy in a white shirt. We saw the taxi! But it was empty.
Ibrahim was scanning the streets with intensity. “The Subway!” he yelled with excitement. He pointed to a Subway sandwich shop on the block. Mark dashed in and sure enough, the driver had parked his taxi to get some food. He quickly got over the shock of being accosted and let Mark into his cab so Mark could retrieve the phone. It had slid under one of the seats.
Mark returned to Ibrahim’s car triumphantly and we breathed a collective sigh of relief, probably just like SEAL Team Six does after extracting a prisoner of war.
I’m not sure what the moral of this story is, but I think maybe it's f$%k Uber, take NY yellow cabs. They're awesome.
DON’T ask someone “how they got big.” People with large social media followings get this question a lot, and it gets annoying. The question ends up sounding like, “I care the most about how many followers I have. You just met me, but give me your secret so I can get a big number!”
I’ll give you the answer right now, so you’re not even tempted to ask it: they produced quality content, posted consistently over a long period of time, and hustled relentlessly.
DO compliment someone’s body of work, especially if you’ve been following them for a long time. Choose something specific to comment on that shows you’ve been paying attention.
DON’T ask someone how much they got paid for a sponsored post. We’re all curious about the rates in this burgeoning field, but save that discussion for an appropriate forum. Also don’t ask them to “hook you up” with the brand. It comes off as opportunistic and ends up being a turnoff.
DO ask them behind-the-scenes questions or about their experience working on a campaign. You can also mention some of your projects or goals and things you’ve been doing to achieve them.
DON’T ask someone to follow you. You can give them your card or ask to follow them. Many people try to keep their following number low and for whatever reason, you may not make the cut for a follow back. Don’t take it personally.
DO take a great picture of people with whom you wish to connect. Make sure you get their @ so you can tag them later. Showing up in each other’s feeds helps your networks on many levels.
DON’T let your momentum stagnate. Within 24 hours of the event, send a DM to the people with whom you had a good connection, making a reference to the conversation you shared. Chances are, you both met a lot of people and this will make you stick out in each other’s minds.
DO continue to engage. Make an effort to like and comment on your new connections’ posts. Even big accounts notice their consistently engaged followers and appreciate the love, and having met you in person strengthens that bond.
Do you have any tips for in-person networking for a social media network?
1. Get business cards.
There's no sense in networking if you can't give people your contact info. Make it easy for them. Have a card or a sticker or something with your information on it that you can hand out as you meet people.
2. Go to instameets or events open to the public.
Follow people and brands you admire on Instagram. Look for opportunities to meet up. Hubs will often post this type of info. Also, get an Eventbrite account and pay attention to Facebook for events that are in your area that are open to the public. Choose events that match your interests, and go. Be friendly. Talk to people. Pass out those business cards. Post about the event on your social media channels. Be sure to use the hashtag so people looking back over the event photos see your pics / videos.
3. Don't be shy about your goals.
That's not to say that you should just demand invites from people. Nobody likes to feel used. Explain what you could do for them. Tell them you'd love to come and take pics and post them. Offer to help in some way with promoting the event. Somehow make it more give-and-take than just take.
4. Once you start scoring invites, go.
You know who people like to invite to events? Good guests! Be dependable. Don't be a no-show if something better comes along, cancel last minute, or arrive late. You want to make a reputation for yourself that if you say you are going to be someplace, you will be there. The people making guest lists for these events have goals they need to hit, and you dropping out is a quick way not to get invited again.
5. Be cool.
The social protocol in the insta-event culture is that if you're invited to an event, you should post about it. The fancier the event, the more you should post. If there's no open bar and you're not getting any swag, maybe this means an IG story or two. But the higher profile it is, the more your hosts are expecting. If you play along, you're more likely to be invited to another event.
Obviously, if you're being paid to post or provide a deliverable, this means keeping your quality high and being as quick as practicable with getting the content to your client. If they don't have to worry about chasing it down or explaining to their boss why they don't have it, they'll be much more apt to use you again.
Do you have any tips?
Blogging my path as a professional social media addict / influencer