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 where recently my third article for my Networking is Connecting column was recently picked up by (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 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 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 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 #3

28 04 2010

LinkedIn is a great tool for doing follow up after meeting someone at an event, for coffee or when you’ve exchanged business cards after a long flight back from the east coast. I often send LinkedIn invites as my follow up, and then use it to keep in touch and up-to-date with what is happening with the person I’ve taken some time to get to know.

If you decide to use LinkedIn for this purpose as well, make sure that you are more than occasionally updating your status, while also checking your connections’ status updates, links, blogs, announcements, reading lists or whatever else they have shared there.

Try to interact with others when it’s relevant and sincere, and use it as a way to send support, congrats, resources, news or info you think they might truly find useful. And, whatever you do, don’t use it to try to “leverage the useless.” (More on that in my next book!)

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Networking myths debunked

16 12 2009

This morning I had the exciting challenge of living up to the introduction I received below at an event hosted by Matt Youngquist of Career Horizons:

Topic: Networking Tips, Technique & EtiquetteI'm at a networking event--Now What??? by Sandy Jones-Kaminski

Guest Speaker: Sandy Jones-Kaminski, President of Bella Domain & Author of “I’m At a Networking Event: Now What?”

In this next meeting, we’ll be joined by a good friend of Career Horizons and one of the top local experts on professional networking, Sandy Jones-Kaminski of Bella Domain.  Having recently published her new book, mentioned above, Sandy has agreed to come share some of her top tips about how to win friends and influence people in the modern marketplace.  A huge proponent of the “pay it forward” philosophy, she’ll be discussing some personal stories of how she’s leveraged her network of relationships to great effect and how her constant attempts to assist others have brought her many levels of personal/professional prosperity, in return.  It should be an exciting discussion, and in the first hour of the meeting, we’ll also be engaging in some networking exercises and icebreakers designed to help all of you make some new acquaintances and become more effective at this important interpersonal aspect of the job search process.

One of the things I reviewed with the group had to do with some networking myths (included below) which I believe I adequately debunked during the presentation. My goal was to set the stage for all 47 of his guests to read the gift copy of my book (he provided them) with a much more open mind. Based on the feedback I received at the end of the event, as well as Matt’s kudos, it appears I did fairly well and I think I even achieved my goal! 🙂

What a great time I had and what a wonderful group this was to be part of today! Thanks so much Matt – you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger fan than moi!

Myth #1: Networking means you’re looking to use people to achieve selfish goals, or opportunistically ask people for help.

REALITY: The definition of the word network according to The Oxford Dictionary:

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

Networking can be defined as one’s efforts to create this group, and of course it can be done honestly and considerately!

Myth #2: You have to be a born networker or a natural at it.

REALITY: The skills needed to be an effective networker can be learned by anyone. Get comfortable asking folks you meet, “So, what are you working on these days?” or, “What do you need help with right now?” Then, just read my new book titled, “I’m at a Networking Event—Now What???” for more ways to further develop your networking muscle.

Myth #3: You must have above average charisma to be a good networker.

REALITY: You merely need to be thoughtful, sincere and genuinely helpful. You get offered a job or opportunities from people who are trusting of you. There IS a hidden job market out there, but you have to be willing to be open and giving to be part of it.

Myth #4: You have to be a good talker or an overly chatty “schmoozer” to be a good networker.

REALITY: The truth is it is almost the exact opposite. According to Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of Garage Technology Ventures, Forbes columnist, and author of the recently published, Reality Check, “The mark of a good conversationalist is not that you can talk a lot. The mark is that you can get others to talk a lot. Thus, good schmoozerʼs are good listeners, not good talkers.”

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best left behind in 2009

14 12 2009

It’s time to start making a list of the things you’d like to leave behind in 2009.

As I shared last year, a few years ago, my hubby and I learned about an incredibly helpful year-end tradition that we’ve embraced. For us, and other folks that aren’t fans of a new years resolution list, making a list of the things you’d like to leave behind in 2009 allows us all to create space for the things we really want to have in our lives in the new year.

Be sure you can print it though, and then on New Year’s Eve say a little “goodbye” to your entire list and do something dramatic with it like burn it in your fireplace, flush it down the toilet, bury it in the sand at the beach or in the dirt in the woods or somewhere other than your backyard (it’ll still be around then).

If you’d like an example I’ve decided to once again share mine (I’ll add to it between now and Dec 31):

Sandy’s best left behind in 2009:

Unconscious people (still working on this weed out from last year)

The excuse that I have no time to work out if I’m writing a book (I’ve joked that you too can write a book if you just stop working out!)

Acquaintances that simply do not demonstrate an interest in creating a quality or meaningful connection

Working without even the opportunity of a few decent windfalls

Netflix (boo hoo!)

Buying things that I can easily just borrow from others

Trying to remain “friends” with people that really don’t have the same core values as I/we do

Hit and runs (read more about this in my book or this post)I'm at a networking event--Now What??? by Sandy Jones-Kaminski

AMEX Rewards plan loyalty

Checking my book ranking on Amazon daily

So, that’s all I have come up with so far, but I am sure they’ll be more and here’s to a very HAPPY 2010! 🙂

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Get it in writing

11 08 2008

An interesting discussion about the importance of getting things in writing took place on the Seattle Tech Startups (STS) list-serve recently.  The discussion pertained to business partners that had failed to get a commission expectation for introductions and assistance in writing.  I’m a big believer in this practice as many folks with whom I have worked have experienced.  Perhaps it’s because I worked side-by-side with a few too many attorneys in my past corporate life, or maybe because I, or people close to me have learned the hard way, but whatever the reason, I cannot recommend it enough.  It’s especially critical between “friends” because that’s where things can really get murky, and the stakes are higher.  I believe that putting it in writing helps keep things objective and all in involved on the same page.  Isn’t that a good thing?  See this blog post for support of this idea as well.

Email Basics – contribute to my Top 10

17 04 2008

Been pondering ways for people to increase their Social Capital, and recognized that there is a serious need for a primer on, not necessarily email etiquette, but what I am calling email basics or common sense.

A Top 10 List of Email Basics:

10) You do NOT have to forward the clever/sweet/funny/insert adjective here emails you get. Really! You have a choice and no one will be upset if you don’t. I promise.

9) You do not HAVE to respond to every email you get. Sometimes you are just part of a group’s string and they’re interacting about something in the dialogue, and you really don’t have or need to comment. More often than not, you’re still on the CC:, To: or maybe BCC: line just because they don’t want you to feel left out.

BONUS TIP: If it appears you are in the BCC line, then odds are it might be good to check if a comment is expected b/c there often is some cloak ‘n dagger stuff being shared that might concern you or it’s serving as a heads up, which means it is probably wise to find out why you were looped in!

Eight 8) Using caps for good is good, using caps to make a dig or be passive aggressive is BAD! (WordPress inserts a smiley for the #8?!)

7) It’s time to start using the once popular “NRN” at the end of emails. A “no reply needed” would save the world’s Inboxes from a world of hurt. Reminder: NRN usually means please don’t reply.

6) Change the subject line of an email string when the subject changes, which they so often do.

5) Stop apologizing for sending group emails (unless you’ve included everyone’s email addresses somewhere visible. Haven’t we all learned not to do this by now?). This world is hectic and we have so many points of contact whether it be email, cell phones, Facebook, MySpace, text messaging, etc. We can’t possibly call everyone we’d like to as often as we’d like, and who says I want to get a Borg-like device so I can call while driving (which is usually the only time I have time) or that the other person wants to “talk” to you anyway? Keeping each other in-the-loop on life’s ups and downs or goals or births or events can be done so easily via email, and the alternative of not staying in touch is just unacceptable.

4) Please share your contributions to this list via the Comments section. Thanks!