Mike O’Neil is passionate about business and music, so much so that both are an integral part of what he does. The entrepreneur/president of Integrated Alliances, a national leader in social media training, kicks off the social media tour this Wednesday in Denver, Colorado. The networking and music tour, featuring the LinkedIn, is designed to entertain and educate job seekers, primarily college students.
“It’s kind of like a rock tour,” said O’Neil. “It’s called ‘Rock the World Social Music Tour 2010’ and it starts out in a Cadillac, my big Deville, then we move to an RV and then we move to an actual rock band tour bus.”
O’Neil plans to speak to students at universities and colleges about the importance of building a social media network while they’re still in school.
“You have to start doing these things (looking for a job) ahead of time. You don’t start next year if you want a baby next year,” he said.
The co-author of Rock the World with Your Online Presence — Your Ticket to Multi-Platinum LinkedIn Profile and his small staff have trained over 10,000 people on the popular social media website.
“I started Integrated Alliances in 2003 so I didn’t look unemployed,” said O’Neil who has worked at several companies including Quest Communications. “It just so happened that we were doing business to business networking events, doing a really good job at it, making enough to live on, and then started training on LinkedIn in 2006 and that has become all that we do now.”
Whether it’s meeting with sponsors, donors or prospects, O’Neil believes in gathering as much personal information as possible. “I want to relate to them as a person first and then migrate it to a business relationship,” he said. “I make sure I print out their website and circle things of interest.
He’s also a big believer in getting the prospect talking freely. “I sometimes lead off with ‘Do you have any social media stories to tell?’ Very open ended question. Our brand is based around rock so I’ll ask, ‘What kind of music inspires you? What kind of music did you grow up listening to?’ I’ll throw that in because it relates to what we’re doing.”
Of course, LinkedIn will be an important tool for targeting people that will help fund the tour. “We’re going for people who have adventure investment money as opposed to investment money. People who fund cool stuff. Anybody who’s in the music community out there, I’m going after them. This is as much a music play as it is a social media play. We’re bridging two continents here.”
And for the man who saw Elvis Presley at the Metropolitan Sports Center in Minneapolis, 1972, it’s all about entertainment. “We’ll try to be very entertaining when we speak to the students because there’s a chasm we’re crossing. We’re bringing the entertainment aspect into the social media space. We’re really designed to be twenty-five percent content and seventy-five percent entertainment.”
Oh, and how was the “King of Rock and Roll”?
“Amazing,” said O’Neil. “The flashcubes never stopped all night. It was like being in a night long Fourth of July. That was the day of instamatic cameras and flashcubes. On the way to getting a beer you were stepping on flashcubes. They were like June bugs. Crunch, crunch, crunch.”
For the “Rock the World Social Music Tour 2010” tour dates please visit: http://www.rocktheworldbook.com/the-book-tour