How NOT to network in 2011

1 01 2011

Since so many people have “I will do more networking this year” on their New Year’s resolutions lists, I had to share this:

Here is an example of something I categorize as “leveraging the useless.” I’m also including my explanation of why this type of communication is useless to the sender as well as the receiver. The names have been changed to protect the innocent clueless.Clueless Networking

This message came from someone I’ve never met, referencing someone I barely know, and requesting an intro to someone fairly close to me, as well as someone I protect from inquiries just like this (as she does for me).  This message came into my LinkedIn messages Inbox.

On 11/28/10 3:49 PM, David Paul wrote:
——————–
Sandy,

I just had coffee with Wayne Lunky today as a followup from a seminar he did at his church on job search tips.

He highly recommended your book – ‘I’m at a Networking Event – Now What???’ to me.

I was wondering if you could introduce me to Mary Lorenzo at Expedia so I could learn more about the ‘Business Development’ opportunities they have.

Thank you for your help,

David Paul

——————–

That’s it?! Oh, sure. Let’s imagine what he thinks I should do on his behalf:

Call or email my contact and say, “Hey Mary, I don’t know this person, I barely know the person he referenced, but he apparently wants me to ask you to make time to talk to him about whatever opportunities might exist at your company in an area you have nothing to do with. Is it OK if I give him all your contact info? Oh, and since he’s acquainted with the guy I barely know via something at his church, he must be OK and totally worthy of your referring him into your company for a job and associating yourself with him.”

REALLY?! What I want to know is who is advising people to “network” this way? (He certainly did NOT read MY book!) There are so many things wrong with this I’ll get a headache if I have to go through them, so I’ll just go with the most basic:

The definition of the word “network” according to The Oxford Dictionary is:

nétwerk n. & v. a group of people who exchange information, contacts, and experience for professional or social purposes.

We can then define networking as one’s efforts to create a group, and the key word in the above definition is EXCHANGE.

So, if you’re doing the “ask,” and there’s not even an attempt to at least offer an exchange of some type of future assistance, it’s definitely best to find another way to get to a very distant connection’s contact.

Please feel free to share this post wherever you think it might be seen by people who need this basic business savvy info. Thank you!

Additional note: Even The Onion has something to say about what they refer to as “nonconcensual networking.” CLICK HERE for a chuckle.
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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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Learning to Love LinkedIn Tip #7

21 06 2010

Maybe it’s the many years I spent in market research and/or business intelligence that made me so data driven, but I rarely react to anything without doing some research first.

Where do I start? I use LinkedIn to conduct research on almost everything and everyone. Whether it’s a new prospective client, someone I met at a networking event, a highly recommended recruiter, a company I never heard of, or a potential new hiring manager, my go-to place is more often than not LinkedIn. Sure you can Google folks or companies as well, but I save a lot of time, and gain many more insights, by going to LinkedIn first.

I even use LinkedIn’s Answers feature to search for information/answers on topics I am already curious about because in many cases the question and corresponding answers are already in there.

LinkedIn Answers Search box on BellaDomain.comAnd yes, you’ll usually have to sort through plenty of thinly disguised self-promotional answers (I always prefer when people just admit doing this), but you will find some intelligent responses from all types of experts on LinkedIn, and it’s definitely worth your time to do a quick search there.

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