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The good, the bad and the ugly of face to face networking.

Face to face networking is still a great way to create buzz, build relationships and of course clientele. Despite the social networking sites popularity (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc), when it comes to businesses doing business with other businesses, people still like to do business with people they have met face to face. People are more about “trust” than EVER before. Today getting access to information online is easy, it’s become part of your lifestyle, wether it’s using your smart phone on-the-go to access directions, or it’s to read the latest news while you’re sitting on the train. You are (whether you like it or not) expected to be found online through blogs, social media networks, reviews, news feeds, corporate/business websites etc. People like transparency, to access truthful information whether it be; what you do, who you are, what other people think of you, customer help/troubleshooting, asking a question or even making a complaint.

If you don’t take part in the social media networks and online communities, then you are missing out on opportunities – and I can guarantee your competition will be found EVERYWHERE you are not, communicating in EVERY WAY you are not, and most importantly accessible to people seeking YOU out! It used to be that YOU seek out the clients by advertising in various industry magazines, newspapers and the like and you WOW them with your clever or funny advertising headlines, but not anymore, now THEY SEEK YOU OUT by researching online and finding the truth. You can’t hide behind great advertising anymore, people expect more, they want transparency.

As you grow your circle of friends through face to face networking, you get the opportunity to build on the TRUST that people desire before wanting to do business with you. You re-enforce your brand, your beliefs and mission and hopefully develop long-term relationships to help you get your brand in words out and people talking about you.

Additionally, you can further connect through the social media platforms. You can build your social network online too – with real people who truly are interested in your business and will comment on your page. So it is a win win situation…. the “good” part of this article headline.

Face to face networking will be effective IF…

1. You don’t become “a member” of a group that pressures you to refer the “members” in the group

You can’t “buy” referrals, you earn them. So when people start referring you because they are under pressure to under the “membership rules”, it deceives the PURPOSE and POINT of what a referral is, and could ruin your reputation in the process. If you start referring for numbers (referring under pressure to have five referrals issued by the next meet up), rather than to truly help a business with a “good fit” recommendation on both ends, then it’s basically FAKE and not likely to go well. But it was a referral so you “TRUSTED” your referrer’s judgment. And the downward spiral of that is – whoever you disappoint is highly unlikely to develop your friendship any further – there’s nothing worse than a bad fit… and we’ve all had them, when they don’t pay on time, don’t think the same way or are just plain difficult!

Many networking groups are a business, they need members. And they need to set rules in place because they are under pressure to ensure happy members.

Don’t let that destroy the true essence of what networking is about, or it could potentially be a waste of your time and money!

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What drives you in your pursuit of success and happiness?

Have you ever asked yourself what makes you happy? Is it your job? Family? Money? Friends?
Something I have come to understand more and more over the years, is that success and happiness isn’t about “stuff” and “winning”, it’s about attitude and a sense of fulfilment. For me, doing what I LOVE to do is what makes me happy, I am willing to move all over the world in pursuit of that happiness, and have done. For me doing something that enables me to continue to learn and grow, or helps change the world in some small way, is far more satisfying than money, material things or having a job to pay the bills.

I’m not driven by money, luxury or status, I’m driven by passion, knowledge and compassion. I continue to want to progress as a human being – learning, reaching out to people and developing long-lasting relationships – climbing the ladder in the corporate world and making more money whilst stabbing a few people in the back along the way – just doesn’t interest me.

When speakers and motivators sell their seminars or webinars they more often than not do this:
1. Offer a £12,000 seminar to you for £600 (If that’s one of their strategies, it the oldest trick in the book!)
2. Mention their strategy has made them 600,000 – 1 million a year as living proof. (I know many of you, you’re not millionaires)

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Branding and Business Ethics from The Dalai Lama Perspective!

While I’m not a Buddhist, I am very much inspired by the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. His Holiness fulfils these commitments through his public talks, widespread international visits and publications. What I personally love about him is how he talks so simply about such complex issues.

He frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments:
  • The promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness.
  • The fostering of inter-religious harmony.
  • The preservation of Tibet’s Buddhist culture, a culture of peace and non-violence.
One would hope to see similar commitments in the interest of a thriving business, when you delve deeply into your business ethics (Brand):
  • The basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of your employees, clients and shareholders happiness
  • The fostering of harmonious diversity
  • The preservation of your brand culture, a culture of respect, honesty, passion and above all integrity
Without fundamental values and beliefs serving as a basis of weight, measure, value, comparison, or judgment, how can YOUR “recognized excellence” be established within your company DNA (Internally or externally)?
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How do you come up with a name for your product or service?

When naming your product or service there’s a few things you should think about before taking the plunge. If you don’t spend the time and research to get it right, it can be a costly mistake. Check the url is available for example, if you can’t get what you want with the name you have chosen, it might be a good idea to rethink the name. Or, what if you didn’t realise the name meant something offensive or negative towards your product in another language? Spending a lot of money working on the corporate image to learn later that the name is offensive would be quite an obstacle to overcome.

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So you want to get more clients? Who doesn’t! Here’s how to…

Most people overlook a number of important steps when it comes to marketing their business to get more clients. It’s not about glossy advertising and SEO tricks. No. It actually starts with you and your business. Here are some tips that will change the way you look at your business and help you market your business.

The best way to explain good marketing sense is from a book by Simon Sinek, “Start with Why”. It may not be an original concept, but it deserves to be spread to the communities. It’s an inspiration for any business looking to be a success in today’s world of marketing.

When most companies or people think, act or communicate they do so from WHAT, to HOW, to WHY. And for good reason, they go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. We say what we do, we sometimes say how we do it but we rarely say WHY we do WHAT we do. But not the inspiring companies, not the inspirational leaders. They start with WHY and end with WHAT. Choosing to inspire rather than manipulate.

People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. It’s the discipline to never veer from your cause and hold yourself accountable that enhances an organisations ability to work to it’s natural strengths. When you start with WHY, your organisation’s product or service gives life to a common cause. It’s not WHAT that distinguishes you it’s WHY.

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Instagram-Based Annual Report, the first of it’s kind?

Calgary Zoo & Trigger Co. have released “the world’s first annual report on Instagram”! An annual report is created to inform, inspire and draw in stakeholders, so trying something creative on a popular new platform generates additional benefits: Press coverage and buzz for the cause.

Using quirky and fun photos to illustrate report findings is certainly an interesting way to breath new life into the traditional annul report format. I’ve designed many annual reports over the years and I have to say, no matter how creative you get with them, reading the “message from the CEO” and pie charts is not exactly riveting.

Here’s a video from last year, you’ll see that this isn’t the first annual report idea they’ve had!

After the buzz for this project dies down however, I wonder if they will continue to use Instagram? If it’s true that #calgaryzoo is a popular hashtag, maybe the zoo should consider being active on their official Instagram account.

Here’s some visual examples of how they did it….

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Gen-Y, Gen-X & Baby Boomers Comparison of Employment Traits

Baby Boomers. Gen X. Gen Y. We are a culture that loves labels and so names have been given to various generations based on our dates of birth and framed by socio-cultural experiences and similarities.

While I’ve seen variations in dates categorizing Baby BoomersGen Y, Gen X, andTraditionalists, the following chart will give you a good idea of what people are talking about:

  • Traditionalists: Born before 1946
  • Boomers: 1946 – 1964
  • Generation X (Gen X): 1965 – 1980
  • Millennials or Generation Y (Gen Y): 1981 – 2000

Which generation are you from? Check out the comparison:

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Pencil sculptures

These amazing pencil sculptures are carved by Hungarian artist cerkahegyzo from a single lead pencil. Cerkahegyzo says he started carving after coming across the highly detailed sculptures of artist Dalton Ghetti.

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Any Product Can Become Remarkable.

“Remarkable”, “fantastic” or “great” may seem like a rather unreachable goal for your product or company but knowing what being remarkable means, gives you the power for greatness.

Most people think that being remarkable is unattainable, too hard. When they compare themselves to the likes of Apple or Nike who make remarkable products they simply don’t believe they can achieve anything quintessentially that remarkable.

I’m here to tell you this: YOU DON’T HAVE TO.

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Who hasn’t had a difficult client?

I think it’s not an inaccurate statement to say most businesses have to deal with clients at some point and that it has not always been the greatest experience. This infographic by Ciplex describes the different types of difficult client you come across. Helping you identify the signs of trouble and how businesses can identify and successfully work with them.

Enjoy! Hope you find this funny if not useful!

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