Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Magic of Linked In

When I first discovered Linked In a few years ago I made a determination that it was a valuable resource for those looking for jobs or searching for employees. It was a perfect way to introduce people I knew looking for contacts within larger companies but didn't seem to have a fit for marketing smaller businesses. with most social networks LinkedIn is being morphing by its users. We are making their infrastructure work to meet their needs.

Here is an example. I received an unusual request to connect last week from Jennifer Nguyen, CEO of Citinannies who found me on Linked In, researched my site and emailed me directly. This request was unique in that she wasn't trying to sell me something (like some who've cold called me through my Linked In profile) but framed her request in a tactful intelligent way. Of course I responded immediately and had a highly productive conversation. I thought you might like to see how she framed the invitation to connect.

Dear Kathie –
I know we both have a lot going on with our professional and private lives....being is busy is good I suppose in our fast paced world. My name is Jennifer and I wanted to formally introduce myself to you. I would love hear more about your business. Would you like to take 10-15 minutes on this Thursday or Friday to collaborate or brainstorm ideas how we can help each other?

Let me know what time/day it is convenient for you or just feel free to me on my direct line anytime on Thursday or Friday. If you are not available those days, let me know what day is best for you next week.

I am looking forward to talking with you! Thank you for being my linked-in connection.

Jennifer Nguyen

I learned Citinannies offers more than a nanny directory and is looking for strategic partners for potential expansion to new areas. Plus learned she has another business she is looking to launch and may need some strategic direction that I might be able to help her with.

Overall this was a great experience and one I hope to duplicate from my end. What about you? Would connecting with strategic partners through LinkedIn or your other social networks be of value to you? Think about ways you might connect. If you've already had a great experience. Please share!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Spread the Word - Check out

It is funny what you can learn when you network OUTSIDE your own backyard. My interaction with Nancy Juetten, of Main Street Media Savvy has produced amazing opportunities and truly helpful information.

Following up with Nancy after our conversations in Dallas, TX produced the following engagements along with gaining her insight on how to get the word out about events, workshops, and seminars using

As a result of our connection, Nancy will be speaking in Portland for the Women Entrepreneurs of Oregon on September 9th on the "7 Deadly Sins of DIY Publicity" and then I am sponsoring her popular Publici-Tea(tm) program on September 10th. If you are local you don't want to miss this opportunity.

I quickly saw the value in distributing my event information through and did so for our upcoming "Change What Matters - What is Important Now" series. I love that it is a one-stop location to touch the media contacts in your area but also hits the online calendars as well. To quote Nancy
"This online meeting notice service makes it easy for you to alert the online and print media in your backyard with one click. You just create 2000, 750, and 150 character descriptions of your event, pay your $19.95 for each event date, and let do the rest. "

So? Are you in need of getting the word out about you or your events? Check out Nancy's blog, sign up for her newsletter and save the date to attend one or both of our local events!

Spread the is a good thing!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Women United in a Common Cause = Business Growth

Creative energy abounds when people of like minds come together. Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of experiencing what happens when entrepreneurial women are together in one place with a common objective; to grow their businesses.

It was a fluke I was even present at this annual women’s event but as a result of attending I discovered a renewed focus, energy, and enthusiasm to keep moving forward in building my company. The event, eWomen Network Annual Conference, in Dallas, Texas ran Thursday through Sunday. The days were packed with quality speakers, break out sessions, opportunities to work with coaches, talk to publishers, and network with other amazing women.

A couple of refreshing insights stand out.

  • Women connected for a common cause make things happen. The heart of this organization, the eWomen Network Foundation, raises money throughout the year through their chapters and annual auction. The foundation’s beneficiaries are local non-profit organizations making a difference in the lives of others. The worthy recipients were nominated by those in the local chapters. On Thursday evening, to kick off the event, representatives from the nominated non-profits received their distributions. I was impressed with the diversity of the amazing people. It was quite a moving experience. An auction held during the evening raised another $185,000. WOW!
  • Women supporting, believing, and encouraging other women to reach new heights…means everyone grows. We are talking BIG growth. eWomen has an annual award for emerging leaders. I met with a couple of last year’s nominees and the 2007 recipient. The publicity from receiving the award in addition to the connections they made grew the finalist’s business to over 1 million dollars.
  • Women absolutely want to connect. Not only to gain assistance but to give back. Sprinkled throughout the weekend were eWomen’s signature Accelerated Networking and Wisdom Circles. Women had the chance to connect quickly in meaningful ways and provide feedback and problem solving. Priceless.

Visionaries, Sandra & Kim Yancey along with Taya Levine started with their vision of a robust yet dynamic women’s organization and filled a niche connecting women in business. Regardless of the size of her business, every woman walked away with something. I sensed an attitude of wealth and abundance throughout the event. Only a very special women’s organization could incorporate everything from a “girlfriends” tone to the nitty-gritty content of how to build wealth and make money.

For those of you serious about growing your business, I encourage you check out the organization and mark the calendar for next year’s annual conference in August. The benefits gained from time away from your routine, challenges to your thinking, and new relationships are worth every penny.

Get started today. Look for a chapter in your own backyard.

Networking Makes the World Small

I had the unexpected pleasure this week of encountering several women who are part of my social network in a far away place, Dallas, Texas.

Imagine the feeling of seeing someone you’ve been watching online, read their articles and regularly read their newsletter…but have never met in person.

I found myself this past week, walking through the eWomen Network tradeshow when I caught a glimpse of a familiar profile. You should know I came to this event knowing only one person, my mother. (But that is another story.) Surprised to find someone I might know, I touched the woman’s arm to get a better look and discovered Nancy Juetten of
Main Street Media Savvy from Seattle in her signature blue dress.

Again, I had never met her in person, only seen her online. Based on the content of her website, articles on
Biznik and e-newsletter, I refer clients to her fairly regularly so you can imagine my surprise to meeting her in person.

Later that weekend, I found Nancy in a huddle with some women from Seattle and met Marcia Brixey, author of
The Money Therapist and Lori Richardson of Score More Sales. Again, both only online acquaintances, we had a chance throughout the weekend to connect and learn more about each others goals and specialty.

After this experience, I am challenged to pick up the phone and call those I follow online. Better yet, if they are within proximity, I will travel to where they are. I am confident the alliances we began this weekend through the extended personal connection will pay off for all.

The small world phenomenon is rampant in the Portland Metro area leading me to state my belief that in this town there are only three degrees of separation rather than six but this is my first out of state scenario.

What about you? Have you experienced the small world outcome of great networking? Tell us more!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Reality Sucks When Networking Doesn't Work

I overheard a conversation this past week at a networking event between two business professionals. The comment that drove this post was "None of my networking in business organizations paid off". (I always cringe when I hear that.) The woman continued to share what did work for her; social networking, specifically "meet-up"s. Her profession? Interior Design. His profession? Realtor.

This sounded like a brilliant conclusion. If you are trying to meet consumers who will buy interior design, they are not typically at business networking events AND unless you are networking at "partner rich" events (i.e. Realtors, contractors, window coverings, etc.) you will not likely make as many quality connections. There is nothing more frustrating than attending networking with the hope of making good connections and walking away empty handed.

It made me wonder, are we simply swallowing the "how-to's" hook, line and sinker without evaluating our own business model, personality, sales style, and target audience? I hope not! Here are a couple of things to think about as you personalize your networking efforts.

If you are networking for lead generation and getting less than desired results, ask yourself:
1. Is it the group? Not rich enough in prospects, partners or opportunties? Are you fishing in the wrong pond?
2. Is it you? Are you not asking the right questions, engaging the right people, and following up?

If you've invested dollars in membership and time in an organization, be sure to evaluate the above. Before jumping ship, make sure it isn't you. If it is, you will take your troubles to the next organization.

Suggestions for face to face social networking

Google "meet up" and your city. Happy Networking!