Has LinkedIn helped you too?

22 03 2011

LinkedIn has helped me in my career and business too many ways to list and I know loads of other people that feel exactly the same way. And, because I’m a “friend” of LinkedIn, I was invited to participate in the launch of their 100 Million Members campaign. I responded immediately because I recognized that this would likely be something I could utilize in my own personal branding efforts and because it has to be one of the savviest social media marketing campaigns I’ve come across in a very long time. Just think about how much viral activity this is going to generate….it’s mind-boggling.

If you take a few minutes to submit your story to them you just might find yourself featured in this clever campaign too. Best of luck!

Sandy Jones-Kaminski featured on LinkedIn's 100M Member campaign

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To whom do I write the thank you card?

25 11 2010

As tough as things have been for most of us these past few years (we’re definitely included in this), I feel that I have so much for which to be grateful this Thanksgiving and now just need to know to whom I write the thank you card?

Between finally getting out of dreary and “frosty” Seattle, thanks to Keith (my incredibly creative and talented husband) landing an amazing opportunity at what we’re pretty certain is his dream interactive agency in San Francisco, and a healthy and happy enough circle of family and friends, I thought I had been blessed enough. However, by seriously shaking things up in our lives and shifting the energy around this year, it appears the universe is now directing some of that famous California sunshine on the many seeds I’ve planted these past few years.

So, why do I want to share some of what I have to be grateful for today? Well, beside it being Thanksgiving, and simply wanting to share my excitement over recent events, I think it is worth explaining that the type of content creation, publicity and media exposure I share below demonstrates what I can also do for my clients. It took plenty of hard, smart and efficient work, and a little bit of good fortune, but it was mainly strategy, tactics and persistent follow-up that made most of what I share below happen.

I'm at a networking event--Now What??? by Sandy Jones-KaminskiSome of the most significant sprouting is around my writing and content creation in the form of  the little seedling that is my book, “I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???” I’d say this little sprout is well on its way to becoming a nice sturdy plant and I have my incredible network of friends, family, contacts, colleagues and fans for helping me get the word out and consistently supporting my efforts in promoting my networking manifesto.  Plus, doing a few 12 Rules of Effective Networking webinars for some non-profits has brought me more good karma than I ever could have imagined and has enabled me to reach way more people than the number of folks that have attended my PIF (pay it forward) Parties to date.  I’ve seen the direct correlation between those webinars and the opportunities that have recently come my way, as well as the new Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Bella Domain Networking group members on LinkedIn, email/blog subscribers and more.

Earlier this year, I was also fortunate enough to get selected as a columnist for WomenEntrepreneur.com where recently my third article for my Networking is Connecting column was recently picked up by FoxNews.com (of all places).  Then, within a few days of that happening, and thanks to a Google alert, I found out that my book was in the #1 spot on the Inc.com 2010 Holiday Gift Guide for business books! Whah?? Such a gift! And with any luck, I’ll soon get to break-even with my publisher, Mitchell Levy of Happy About!

(Soon after the above we noticed that my book was finally ranked less than 100K on Amazon again and was ranked #44,867! It had been in the coveted less-than-100K rank soon after it was released, about a year ago this month.)

Lastly, after spotting the Inc.com recognition, and a few days of jumping up and down with excitement, yesterday, I learned (thanks to another Google alert) that, most likely due to all the activity around these things, I was the featured columnist on the WomenEntrepreneur.com home page (see below)! Sweet!

Now, to whom do you think I should write the thank you card?? Kind of a hard call isn’t it? 😉 Happy Thanksgiving all and please let me know if there is anything I can help YOU be thankful for by next Turkey Day!

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Are you on the National No Brain Picking list?

6 04 2010

Are you a consultant or a service provider? How many non-billable brain picking sessions did you sit through so far this year? Or, on the flip side, how many brains did you try to pick for free in Q1 of 2010? I think we should start a National Do Not Brain Pick registry and I want to be on it.

I know I’ve written about this before, and even referenced Matt Youngquist’s spot-on post about banning the phrase “pick your brain,” but based on what I’ve experienced, witnessed and heard during the first quarter of 2010, not that many people are getting the message. One of my favorite quotes Matt shares in his blog post is from Jeffrey Gitomer, “People call me all the time and ask to buy my lunch so they can pick my brain. My response is: ‘I have a $1000 an hour brain-picking fee, so I’ll buy your lunch!’ That stops all the bloodsuckers.”
No More Brain Picking! a SandyJK & Victor Pascual collaboration
And then in Kevin Dugan’s popular blog post titled, “Can I pick your brain?” he states, “Sending someone a note asking to pick their brain is the equivalent of saying you want them to work for free.”

If you are a consultant or a service provider you are no doubt all too often faced with the brain picking request. And, maybe, if you’re lucky, the other party will at least offer to buy your coffee or drink, or occasionally lunch. However, more often than not, you’ll only receive a “Thanks for meeting with me.”

In my book, “I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???” I write about the etiquette around follow-up meeting requests after meeting new people. I strongly encourage folks to show their gratitude for the meeting by, at the very least, offering to buy the other person’s cup of coffee, and have since added to my workshops that if they already have something to drink or they decline, when you go up to buy your latte, buy a $5 gift card and give it to them with a smile and say, “Thanks so much for making time to meet with me and I really want your next coffee to be on me.”

But, back to the brain picking sessions…..as Matt asks, “Do you even know folks who charge only $3.50 an hour for their expertise?” I don’t, and wouldn’t take advice from them if that was the highest value they placed on their intellectual capital.

Sometimes it’s much worse for me as both a consultant, service provider, and having a reputation as an “idea person” and “connector,” because more often than not, most folks I’m barely acquainted with think nothing of asking me to:

a) make an introduction to a highly valuable (potentially lucrative to them) relationship (notice I didn’t say “contact”) that I’ve worked years to develop, maintain and typically protect (which is why their target and I have a relationship, and are not just “acquaintances”), without acknowledging the value, size or real agenda of the ask. Usually, it’s that they want to pitch them on their services or sell them their product and generate revenue (money) from the new connection.

b) meet for coffee because they want to “pick your brain” (PYB) about how to start using social media in their business, effectively and cheaply promote their new site, network effectively at an industry association event, which companies to pitch their service or product to, review their site content for relevancy, the list goes on.

The things listed above are classic business development, marketing or networking strategy activities and are things I making my living doing, so why would someone ask me to do these things for free (or a cup of coffee)?! At the very least, it would be nice if they ASKED ME what I currently needed help with first or suggested some kind of equitable trade we could do in exchange for the pieces of brain matter or social capital they intended to acquire from me. For example, would I ask my mechanic to change my oil without offering him my credit card or maybe a website content refresh? Do I ask my accountant to file my annual LLC paperwork without expecting an invoice or at least offering to set up a Fan page on Facebook for her small practice?

Nicole Jordan writes about “Classic PYB behavior” in her blog post titled, “No. You can’t pick my brain.” She asks, “Would you ask a lawyer to coffee to “pick his brain?” and accurately states that, “Creative ideas and connections are the real currency in this digital economy,” and observes that “Strategic and creative counsel is one of the most under-monetized aspects of being in the communications and marketing business.” She’s right and I’m going to start doing as she suggests:

From now on, and especially for people who I do not know well (you know who you are): I will tell them I am happy to meet, that I am flattered they asked, and that because my time is extremely valuable I don’t do these PYB (or “sounding board”) sessions for free.

Nicole also shared that, “Most of the time I’ve said this, they’ve understood and honored it.  The ones that got a little ruffled, are the ones who will suck you dry and likely leave you paying for your own coffee. And theirs. Run. Fast.” Beep Beep!

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Are you involved?

16 04 2009

One of the rules in my 12 Rules of Networking for 2009 white paper is: Rule #10 – Get Involved in something.

Are you involved in something that matters to you professionally or are you just planning to “get involved” when you’re more-or-less forced to as a result of an unexpected job loss, relo to a new area or maybe a bad new boss?

Sadly, too many folks join industry associations or things like Rotary AFTER they really need to, and then they’re disappointed that they’re not instantly “connecting” with people that could potentially help them. This, unfortunately, is often true because not only have they not actually put any time into the group to build some real RELATIONSHIPS, it’s also usually palpable to the folks they meet that they are coming from a place of desperation instead of giving.  Sigh.

You personally can avoid this, and also help folks you know that need this kind of help, by taking note & letting them know that the Puget Sound American Marketing Association is in the throws of a major membership drive and is currently offering an incredible sign-up package to new members…details below.

And, also below, you’ll find details about the upcoming all-day MarketSmart conference in Seattle on Friday, May 15, 2009.  Talk about a great way/day to test drive your (new) membership, save money on the conference fee, invest in yourself, network with others, and maybe even get inspired! We really hope to see you there.

Now through May 31 AMA membership application fees are waived PLUS new members receive a $20 Master Card gift card. Details at www.psama.org – just click on Membership.

Come join the fun at MarketSmart on May 15!

Hey – we’re gearing up for MarketSmart!

MarketSmart: The Upside of a Down Economy
Come to MarketSmart. Smart strategies that work.

Don’t miss one of the most anticipated marketing events of the year! Sign up today for:

• Speakers from nationally & locally recognized brands
• Informative topics, strategies and best practices
• Networking
• Business development
• Personal development
• And fun!

Speakers:

Dove: Real Beauty
Sharon MacLeod, Dove Brand Building Director of Unilever Canada

2008 Beijing Olympics
Terrence Burns, President of Helios Partners, Inc.

“The Bravern” Marketing Approach
Dan Ivanoff, Director, Managing Investment
Partner of Schnitzer West

Seattle Sounders
Gary Wright, Senior VP of Business
Operations of Seattle Sounders FC

LinkedIn
Torrey Lincoln of LinkedIn,
Western Region Sales Manager

Viking Bank
Dana Giove, SVP and Retail Banking
Market Manager of Viking Bank

Xbox
Chuck Frizelle, Director of Xbox/Games
Advertising Product Strategy and Planning at Microsoft

Early bird rates (until April 24):
PSAMA Members: $195 Nonmembers: $230 Students: $195
Regular registration (after April 24):
PSAMA Members: $230 Nonmembers: $295 Students: $260

Start: 7:00 AM–Registration
Continental Breakfast and Networking

To register, go to www.psama.org or call (206) 623-8632

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Business Development is not sales or marketing

13 06 2007

Since I recently went back to consulting, and am marketing myself as a business development professional, I recognized that it was time to explain what my view of biz dev actually is and finally put it in writing.

Business Development is not sales nor is it marketing. It plays in the same sandbox, and has a strong connection to those areas, but business development focuses mainly on identifying, securing, cultivating and maintaining relationships that matter to strategic partnerships and/or the sales pipeline.

Business developers are rarely commission-based employees. They’re compensated for a high skill level and an innate ability to make things happen and get things done. They have usually progressed from sales or marketing and are able to create opportunities out of ideas that they’ve either generated themselves or perhaps found lying around being ignored. There is often a commission component to a business developers comp package, but it tends to serve as a motivational incentive or tool for success measurement.





Quote I like…

13 04 2007

“Strategy and timing are the Himalayas of marketing. Everything else is the Catskills.”
– Al Ries and Jack Trout

Indeed, timing is almost everything, but if it were not for strategy, you could still be standing there looking at an opportunity with a blank look on your face.