Did I Say That?
I read several articles and blog posts today about the marketing firm employee who Tweeted on behalf of Chrysler. I won’t rehash the entire story (you can read it here).
He meant to send a Tweet through his personal account and accidentally sent it through the Chrysler account. His Tweet read: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (expletive) drive.” A horrible mistake that cost him his job and his employer the Chrysler business.
@pwilson wrote a great blog post today talking about the power of our words. Whether you are Tweeting, talking, writing or any other form of communication your words hold power. They have the power to harm or to help.
– Reality check –
How are you using your words when communicating with…
- Your staff?
- Your clients?
- You vendors?
- Your family?
Something to think about…
P.S. As a marketing professional who manages several social media accounts this affects me on many levels. I will save that post for another day.
Why do people attend networking events?
Usually because they are hoping to make some connections that can help their business.
I’ll be honest. These types of events are not my favorite way to spend 90 minutes. When I first became serious about building my business I made a decision to get over myself and start attending networking events anyway. I know it works and as a marketing coach I will not ask my clients to do something I am not willing to do myself. So with my apprehension in tow I jumped into the pool of networking. Each event I attend gets a little easier and I definitely get more energized when I leave having made some great connections.
I have noticed four types of people at networking events:
The Wallflower – this person is either shy or may not be really sure what they are doing there in the first place. They will not make the first move to engage in conversation.
My Take: Some of the best conversations I have had are with wallflowers. They are usually very interesting people with interesting careers – if only someone would draw them into conversation.
The Social Butterfly – this person’s goal seems to be to talk to everyone in the room and they usually accomplish their goal.
My Take: Since the purpose of a networking event is to meet people and make connections this can be an excellent approach. You cannot go into any depth by doing this but networking events are about starting the conversation.
The Trainee – this person is fairly new to the networking scene and is just learning how to concisely answer the question “what do you do?” Unless you are a totally polished and competent salesperson I think everyone goes through this phase – I know I did.
My Take: Give them grace and let them practice on you. You might just find a meaningful connection.
The Unapproachable –This person stands against the wall with arms crossed or sitting at a table with their head down. Their body language says “don’t bother me – I’m in the zone”.
My take: If you want to get “in the zone” do it in your office and stop taking up space that could be filled by someone who really wants to make a connection.
What is your take on networking groups? I have several blog readers from networking groups I belong to – please chime in and share your experience!
Looking for new connections…
Over the post 30 days the top read my post on blog was about email signatures. Who knew this is such a hot topic?
I was prompted to write the post because I had been noticing several “over the top” email signatures and felt I just had to say something.
Since your email signature is truly a reflection of your brand you might want to review yours and revise it if necessary. Ask these questions:
- Is my email signature “over the top?
- Is it too long or too short?
- Does my current signature reflect my brand?
- What do I want to convey?
- Am I conveying it?
Many people are obviously thinking about this topic as evidenced by the visits to my blog on this topic. What is your viewpoint on email signatures – keep it simple or “over the top”?
Want me to critique at your email signature? I can arrange that – contact me.
Are you getting their attention?
If you are a small business owner you have a story to tell. It may be difficult for you to see because you are living out your story every day. Marketing is about telling your story – the story of your product and your company.
Effectively telling your company story can communicate many things:
- Your passion for your business
- What drives you to do what you do
- Why you are different
- The core values of your business
- The quality or dedication of your employees
- How your company has helped your clients
- The benefits of your product/service
Anyone can give information on the features / benefits of their product or where it is sold or what it looks like. This information is not “news” and is rarely given a second thought.
Communicating your passion will get people’s attention.
What else will telling your story communicate? You fill in the rest of the list.
Coaching with Passion,
Keep it simple!
Your email signature is part of your brand strategy. Short, simple and consistent email signatures is a key element in presenting a professional image.
Here are my suggestions:
- Email signatures should provide your basic contact information so the recipient can reach you.
- Email signatures should not take up a large amount of space.
- Be consistent with font types. Make sure they are readable. Subtle is better.
- Leave out lengthy descriptions. The recipient can visit your website for more information.
- ONLY include the full signature in the first message in the email string. Create a secondary signature for replies. Including the full signature in replies is repetitive.
- Everyone in the company should follow the SAME email signature format. This helps build brand consistency and makes your organization look more professional.
- Do not include your email address in your email signature. They obviously have it.
- If you must include a disclaimer, decrease the font size and put it at the bottom of the signature like a footer. Short is better.
- If you want to include an image make sure it is small. Some industry professionals say do not include an image at all and some say small images ore ok. I am considering removing mine.
- Including social media contact methods are good. (hint: use hyperlinks – it looks better)
Informative, concise and tasteful should be the rule for email signatures. Have a different idea? Post a comment and let me know your thoughts.
Here are some example signatures…
Keeping it Simple,
Happy New Year!
May your New Year be filled with…
- Passion for your work
- Passion for your clients
- And a passion for life and family
- Effective communication between your team and your clients
- Effective communication between you and your team
- And effective communication in all you relationships
Now is a great time to reflect on all that we accomplished or missed the mark on in our business over the last year. It is important for all businesses to take inventory. This is more than just counting the number of widgets we have left – it should include taking an inventory of how well we served our clients/customers and how well we served our employees.
As a small business owner how well did you serve your employees? Did you empower them to do their job effectively? Do you they see your passion for the business? Do you all work well together as a team?
How about your client’s? Do they feel like they matter to your organization? Do they feel like you listen to what they need and then provide it?
If your answer to these questions is a resounding yes! then celebrate and do more of the same in 2011. If your answers are and it stings a little then perhaps the New Year should ring in some changes.
Food for thought…
V Veracity – Be consistently truthful in what you say.
People really are paying attention.
A Adjust – Continually assess and adjust your approach to
L Listen – Really listen to what your customers are telling
you. You may learn something.
U Understand – Identify with your customer’s position. It
will strengthen your relationship.
E Effort – When you make the effort to be truthful, listen,
understand and adjust you bring immeasurable value.
There are many things I am NOT good at.
Imagine our world if everyone were completely up front about what they do well and what they do not do well. Then, imagine what the world would be like if we lined up our passions with the gifts and talents God gave us. We could change the world!
I wrote my first guest blog post today and talked about this very thing. It is amazing to me how many people pretend to be good at something when they know they are not. It takes more confidence to say “I do not do that well” then it does to say “yes, I can do that,” when you know you really can’t.
There are a couple of things in which I am really gifted. There are a few more things I am “ok” at doing and there are thousands of things I am not good at – period. I am very grateful to be at the place in my life and career where I can recognize this – at least most of the time. [No matter seasoned we are I think we all have moments where we experience delusions of grandeur.]
So, I will continue to serve my clients by doing the things I do well and leave the rest to other experienced professionals.
I would love to hear about what you do well (and what you don’t do well too)…
If projects are not managed well, clients and employees alike may not be happy or productive.
A key element to solid project management is communication. Goals and expectations must be clearly communicated. If the information people need to be effective in their roles is not provided then frustration, lack of commitment and missed deadlines are sure to occur.
As a small business owner it is important to make sure that those managing your projects have a well thought out approach. There is more than one approach out there. He is my basic approach to managing projects.
- Obtain overview of the project
- Identify all stakeholders
- Interview key stakeholders (if necessary before kickoff)
- Create the project plan including timeline and applicable milestones
- Facilitate project kickoff meeting
- Communicate expected deliverables from each stakeholder
- Call team meetings only when critically necessary
- Establish regular communication intervals
- Maintain regular communication with all stakeholders
- Regular communication with specific groups on the project as necessary
- Maintain accountability of project stakeholders to insure on-time, successful project launch
Being someone who typically has 47 things going on at once it is important for me to have an organized approach to projects. I hope sharing my process with you can help you get your projects better organized.