I’m not a celebrity, get me out of here!

I’ve been to a couple of networking events recently where I have been left standing in mid conversation by someone eager to capture a photo opportunity with a celebrity. How rude! Clearly building a relationship with me is not as important as splashing a celebrity photo across social media.

Andrew Shawley & Damian Lewis

This photo raised my son’s credibility with his peers and gave him an opportunity for a conversation with one of his idols.

Now I’m not saying people shouldn’t seize the opportunity to get a snap with someone in the public eye but what advantages will it actually bring?

What do you hope to gain?

A celebrity photo is not necessarily an endorsement of you or your brand, it may even convey the wrong message.

If a celebrity has a queue of people waiting for a photo there probably won’t be much time to deliver your elevator pitch so you could be left looking sycophantic which may not do much for your credibility as a successful business owner. However if you have an opportunity for a short engaging conversation which you can follow up at a later date then that could be very useful. Henry Cavell (the new Superman) revealed a schoolboy encounter with Russell Crowe which Russell Crowe recounted on a recent Graham Norton show. Perhaps in years to come Damian Lewis will remember the boy in the ankle support boot who praised his charity footballing skills!

Manners matter

Even in 2013 we judge people by their manners. When people leave me in mid conversation in order to chase the celebrity photo I am affronted. Am I really that unimportant?

I go to events to build relationships with people. Often this is our first encounter, if you are rude to me there will not be a second engagement. If you can be rude to me you can be rude to my contacts so I will not share them. I won’t like you and that is the first action of the know, like and trust trilogy that leads to building business.

Are you going to get more business from your celebrity photo than you are from building a relationship with someone who is very well connected with hundreds of other small business owners? 

I’m willing to have my picture taken!

So instead of rushing off rudely why not invite me to join you in the photo with the celebrity? Why not ask me for a photo and then publish it on social media with a caption that introduces this really helpful woman you met last night? 🙂 I’m far more likely to share the photo with my contacts than any celebrity is and we will have taken another step to promoting a mutually beneficial relationship.

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