5 Articles About Networking Worth The Read

23 11 2011

With the hectic holiday season approaching, and all the opportunities for socializing and networking that go along with it, I wanted to share 5 articles I’ve come across that are definitely worth the read (yes, one is mine).

1) Here’s one about networking as “lifetime career insurance”

2) Quality versus quantity is always the way to go

3) Here’s one that discusses the difference between how men and women approach networking differently

4) The holiday season is NOT the time to pull back on your job search and with so many networking opportunities around them, it’s no wonder

5) What NOT to do while you’re out there networking this holiday season

Hope your takeaways from these help you enjoy the holidays just a little bit more. 🙂

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Last Chance to Register for Oct 5th 12 Rules of Effective Networking Webinar

3 10 2011

Being a strong networker can mean the difference between getting a great job offer and remaining unemployed. On the job, your network can help you stay employed when the lay-off cycle comes around. Register today to learn how to further develop your networking skills!

Yes, it’s your last chance to sign up for my FREE, thanks to UnitedHealth Group, webinar on Oct 5, 2011 for Out & Equal Workplace Advocates:

12 Rules of Effective Networking – http://ow.ly/66NHD (To register.)

The webinar is hosted by Out & Equal’s LGBTCareerLink, a great and supportive resource, and is a repeat of one I did for them last year – they have over 500 sign-ups already! (Last year they had 200!)

Here’s what some of the attendees said about last year’s webinar:
“She breaks down networking, a process that used to mystify me, into practical steps.”

“Frankly, networkers turn me off with their pushiness. I prefer Sandy’s approach which shows how networking is actually sharing in the spirit of community service.”

“I’m not outgoing naturally and I often don’t know what to say to people I don’t know. Sandy changed all that for me.”

“I work for a high-profile company where people are always trying to network with me to get a job. They go about it the wrong way by being in it for themselves and even pestering me. I will be recommending Sandy’s “12 Rules” webinar to them!”

Hope you can join us! Register here.





Learning to Love LinkedIn Tip #11

6 05 2011

I thought I was done with these LinkedIn tips, but apparently I am not. 🙂

I just received an email from LinkedIn about using their messaging system and InMails in particular. They shared 5 good tips on how to make the most of these communications and I thought I should share it because most of this applies not only to InMails, but also to any  email or message within LinkedIn or elsewhere, and regardless of the degree of connection:

1.First impressions count: Use a direct and informative subject line to make it clear what your message is about.  

2.Less is more: Keep your message clear and concise. Longer messages tend to have lower response rates.  

3.Mention common threads: If you know someone in common, or have similar backgrounds, mention it. It’s a great way to start a conversation.  

4.Build credibility: Make sure your LinkedIn Profile is complete and up to date. A strong profile can help strengthen your message.  

5.Reach out with confidence: InMails have a response guarantee*, so don’t be afraid to send them out. (Nice that they have a guarantee, but coming across with confidence is always key…just try not to come across as cocky.)

And, one last thing from Guy Kawasaki with which I totally agree: 

The ideal length for an email is five sentences. The ideal content level is one idea. If you’re asking something reasonable of a reasonable recipient, simply explain who you are in one of two sentences and get to the “ask.” If it’s not reasonable, don’t ask at all.





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





Are your LinkedIn Skills Up To Snuff?

4 02 2011

LinkedIn rolled out another new feature this week and I found it worth more than a few minutes of my time. It’s called LinkedIn Skills, and within LinkedIn’s powerful social networking tool, you can now conduct a search and produce a unique page on a specific skill.

You’ll soon see if it appears whether the skills list on your profile is up to snuff compared to other people in your industry or market. I recommend using these insights to make some edits to your profile and/or perhaps reconsider how you are positioning yourself. (Contact me if you need help with this!)

Basically, you can type in any string and get a snapshot of that skill within LinkedIn’s database of 90 million (and counting) profiles. A search on “Online Marketing” is below and you can watch a short You Tube video on this new feature HERE.

Online Marketing search string on LinkedIn Skills

Online Marketing Skills on LinkedIn





Thank You Notes 101

14 12 2010

“Thank You Notes 101” is the title I decided to give this blog post because it’s better for SEO, but I really wanted to name it “Why Bother With Thank You Notes” or “Thank You Notes and then some…”

I know a lot of folks think that thank you notes are more in the realm of etiquette, but I believe they are not only a sign that someone has good manners, they also indicate what I refer to as “basic business savvy.” Not much else creates the same impression or positive social capital as a well-written, genuine and timely thank you note. (Earlier this year, I even wrote about a “Best Thank You Note Contest” I came across.)

I’ve always found that the end of the year is a great time to turn the “To Do” of holiday card writing into an enjoyable gratitude exercise and use it to write personal thank you notes to:

  • Clients
  • Business/referral partners
  • Vendors
  • Managers
  • Employees
  • Neighbors
  • Others

Write a thank you note in your holiday card
Try to make sure your notes include sentiments like the ones I’ve used or have received over the years:

“I am proud that you think so highly of Bella Domain that you recommended our services to one of your clients. Many thanks for your thoughtfulness.”

“I hardly know how to express my gratitude for your assistance; without it, the deal would never have closed.”

“Your kindness and responsiveness during a very stressful time were deeply appreciated.”

“Words cannot express the heartfelt thanks of my team. Your assistance was invaluable.”

“I was so glad you were able to attend. Your insightful questions helped put the client’s challenges in a whole new light.”

“I appreciated the opportunity to learn the ropes from a real rock star like you.”

“My time is your time – anytime.”

“You were very kind to take time to meet with me about developers. I hope to have the opportunity to return the favor when you’re ready to talk about your launch.”

“The gift of time is priceless. Thanks for the countless hours you devoted to the WITI proposal.”

“We think you have just redefined ‘above and beyond.’ The presentation deck was more than anyone could have imagined.”

“I know you had to put aside some important projects to complete the proposal deck. I just wanted to tell you how much it meant to us. Please use this gift card to take your team out on our behalf.”

“Your efforts added a new dimension to the scope of our upcoming social media project. Thanks for being there when it mattered.”

“I just wanted to let you know that I never take clients for granted. I will do everything possible to continue to deserve your business.”

“Many things have changed since we started doing business together. One thing has not: I value our relationship and will do all I can to strengthen it in the coming year.”

In lieu of a gift

Now, granted, some of the vendors or employees you’re thanking might prefer, and even warrant, a gift card along with the note (see below). However, when you can’t afford gifts, or it’s not appropriate because of a corporate policy, a well-written thank you note creates a lasting impression and is often posted up on a bulletin board and glanced at all year long.  I recently read that President Clinton advised Oprah to write thank you notes in letterform and kept to a single page so they’d be easier for the recipient to frame and hang on a wall. Not exactly what I’m talking about here, but it proves my point. People hang onto thank you notes and the gratitude or recognition within them.

When I managed a large team of what I like to affectionately refer to as “junior mints” (either directly or indirectly), as the VP of Research Operations at a past employer in Chicago, each year-end I would take time throughout the month of December to personalize a holiday card for each member of my staff. I couldn’t afford to buy them each a gift, but I could take the time to write a note thanking them for specific things they’d done during the year or to recognize their unique talents and contributions to the company.  I knew the notes were received as I’d hoped when I would still see them hanging on the cube or office walls of the recipients long after the holidays had past and into the next year.Thank you notes on a cubicle wall

So why not take some time this year to write thank you notes/holiday cards and put some thought into how specific people have helped you in your business, career or life in 2010 and tell them how grateful you are that they’re in your network? You’ll be surprised at how good you’ll feel when you write them and how much good karma you’ll experience once you pass them onto the deserving recipients.

When a gift is appropriate

One word of caution though, if you have biz or referral partners that have sent revenue generating business, or other types of significant opportunities your way, think very carefully about what else you could do to show your gratitude this year. If you haven’t reciprocated or offered them some form of trade, well, that’s just bad business savvy. And, if you’re not sure how you can reciprocate or what they might value in trade, simply ASK THEM.

BTW, as a biz owner you’re allowed gift allowances as a business expense (here’s a WomenEntrepreneur.com article covering this), so if you don’t have a formal referral program in place (which I recommend), or don’t extend some form of a gesture of thanks other than an email, you just might see fewer opportunities or leads sent your way next year.  I’m just saying…..
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Learning to Love LinkedIn Tip #10

29 11 2010

My #10 and final tip for 2010?

Read this blog post titled, “20 LinkedIn Case Studies for Personal Branding” from Kyle Lacy. I spotted it on the Personal Branding Blog. I’m grateful that Kyle culled these stories and saved me the trouble! I think my favorite is #11 because it mentions that Jeff Ragovin of Buddy Media “..found success with quality not quantity.”

I’m certain reading this motivating post will generate some new ideas for career as well as business development activities for the new year. Enjoy! P.S. If you need help developing a strategy for applying any of these to your 2011 goals just email me!

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