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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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… 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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5 marketing megatrends you can’t ignore –

1 02 2010
Favorite quote from this article:
“I’m wired. Almost every minute of every day, it seems I am connected. Emailing, surfing, Twittering, streaming, gaming, texting, Facebooking, downloading, chatting — will it ever end?
No. It won’t. Constant connectivity is a megatrend.

Couldn’t agree more and say it’s time to embrace it!”

Our society is undergoing massive fundamental transitions. Learn how these forward-thinking brands seized the underlying marketing opportunities.

Are you flexing your digital muscle?

25 03 2009

Bella Domain clients typically fit one of two profiles.  The first are early-stage execs that are in need of an extra set of skilled biz dev or marketing hands to dig-in and explore new opportunities, programs, channels or partners.  These folks typically know how to flex their digital muscle already and mainly need help with strategy and/or execution.

The second are solopreneurs focused on maintaining the delicate balance of actually delivering services to their clients (usually word-of-mouth referrals), and doing their best to try to market and promote their business so that they’re continually filling their pipeline with prospective new clients.  In most cases, the latter is easier said than done.

For the solopreneurs, I found a helpful USA Today article on using today’s tools to take your biz to another level by finding some “workout partners” (like me!) to help you flex your digital muscle. And, if you’re in the solopreneurs category, and also happen to have a Web 1.0 site, in what is a Web 2.0 world, well on its way to being a Web 3.0 world, definitely feel free to contact me. In most cases, I can provide the social networking and/or website help you probably need.

Networking for HR Professionals…the White Paper

17 03 2009

Many of you know me to be a networking enthusiast and “Connector” (Tipping Point/Gladwell reference), as well an experienced marketer and business development pro.  Well, recently I was asked to author a white paper where I offer 12 Rules of Networking for HR industry professionals.  As Bella Domain’s principal consultant, the originator of the Social Capital Assessment, and the current VP of Networking for one of the largest chapters of the American Marketing Association, it actually made sense to me that I was tapped for this worthwhile task.  Besides, me resist a soapbox? No way. Additionally, as some of you may also know, I am a HR industry vet with experience as an executive level outsourced HR services provider as well as an executive manager of in-house HR.

For some, it’ll be a refresher, but for all, this white paper will offer some valuable insights on what to do, and just as importantly, what not to do as you’re out there working hard to build good social capital while growing and nurturing your valuable network. You’ll also learn why you might want to become a “pay it forward” focused person, in addition to how to be more memorable while putting forth all that effort.

Please check out our Networking page or click HERE TO REQUEST THE FREE PDF of this informative 6-page white paper and don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help you, your company or association with either your on-line (i.e. LinkedIn) or off-line networking.

Final note:  Be sure to watch for the webinar and videos on this topic coming to a desktop, on LinkedIn or via an iPhone near you soon!

Are your skills relevant?

12 03 2009

Something about the post below really rang true to me, so I wanted to share it.  It’s about ageism as it relates to the unemployed many within the 40+ crowd.  Please keep in mind that this post was part of a discussion on the WA Recruiters listserv and was started by someone that went to an in-person networking event for job seekers which turned out to be made up of almost all 40-somethings.  Their hypothesis certainly warrants consideration these days and is worth the read/ponder.

BTW, I don’t advocate accepting the conclusion, but instead maybe consider what can be done to be a little more relevant out there (especially if you’re a job seeker or consultant in the marketing or HR arenas).  Maybe it is time to upgrade your skills (know digital? social media?) and/or learn new technologies (do you text?).  Please let me know if I can assist by pointing you to places/resources where you can find help.

Re: Ageism alive and well

Posted by:

Mon Mar 9, 2009 1:45 pm (PDT)

as much as I’d like to play the ageism card, and while I’m not saying it isn’t occurring in places as I’m sure it is, I’m also not convinced it’s as simple as just that.  I’ve been following this thread and wonder if it might not have more to do with our perceived ‘relevance’ to the new leaders of companies, and our commensurate salaries, than our age.

The under 40’s keep their resumes up-to-the-minute, take multi-tasking to new levels, they network via Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace, IM Chat, text messaging and a host of other social communities that don’t require in-person attendance (not to mention the requisite travel time associated with attending networking events).

I fear we’re becoming the newest victims of consumerism, whereby younger leaders want different options/features and see more instant gratification in purchasing faster and cheaper products (with possibly more memory 😉 than in upgrading what they currently have.

If we’re not paying close attention to the ‘value shifts’ and what our companies want for their dollar, rather than what we feel we want to offer for what they’re paying, we run the risk of becoming the ‘older’ people we used to dream of replacing and will fail the ‘relevance’ test…

v davis (name changed to protect the innocent)

sr recruiting consultant

425 xxx-xxxx mobile

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Proud to say…

9 04 2008

I’m proud to say that this list describes me pretty darn well…too bad the opportunity that corresponds to it is in SoCal….sorry John!

  • Seasoned business professional with a solid grounding in marketing, sales, business development, partnerships, negotiations, strategy, problem solving and business intelligence with a minimum of 10 years of client relationship management experience.
  • Entrepreneurial: Highly motivated, imaginative, and resourceful; a self-starter.
  • Aggressive: Embraces challenge; a reasoned risk-taker.
  • Highly-Confident: A persona developed over time by consistent over-achievement. This attribute reflects the substance of the individual that attracts the trust of both client and colleague versus any sense of arrogance.
  • Highly-Competent: An expert in relationship management with a core competency of marketing; intelligently effective cross marketer of other products.
  • Flexible; Intellectually curious
  • Committed: Energized and energizing.
  • Ability to identify a qualified client’s needs and introduce the appropriate supporting professional(s) to address the situation.
  • Knowledge of marketing disciplines and tactics including social media, interactive/online, traditional, affiliates and co-op.
  • Ability to set and meet corporate and new business objectives.
  • A working knowledge of local markets.
  • Excellent communications skills.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • An ambitious and fairly competitive individual who thrives in a team environment.
  • High personal standards of ethics and integrity.
  • Superior business development skills.