Archive for August 2010

The same rules apply for online and offline Word of Mouth

I have written before about online & offline networking needing similar approaches. Recent HP Labs social media research concludes that successful influence on twitter does not depend on a large number of followers. That for information to propagate in a network, individuals need to forward it to the other members, thus having to actively engage rather than passively read it.

This supports the behaviours we identified in our research into offline networking and how to proactively create positive word of mouth.

Success in networking (offline and online) comes down to building a manageable number of relationships amongst people with influence amongst the right audience. Then motivating that network to advocate you.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke

'Don't dive in' is not an excuse for doing nothing

I received a message via Twitter about my recent article, The BIG Mistake That Means Networking Doesn’t Work. The person said she agreed with the article, but thought people may take the advice 'don't dive in' as an excuse for doing nothing.

My main point was that people often start networking with no end in mind. Put some thought into what you want and then get out there and join some networks. Find those groups with other business people who operate in similar markets to you. Commit to investing the time to develop relationships and create a network of advocates.

Many people miss out by not joining a group or joining much later than they should. If you put a little bit of effort into identifying the right places to network up front then you can join in as soon as you find them. If you attend a group & leave it for a few months before joining you are missing opportunities.

One thing is absolutely certain. If you do nothing you will get nothing!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke

Sorting out the Chaos

I was talking to an NRG member, Phil Cheesman, the other day. Phil was observing that he saw many business people leading fairly chaotic business lives.

They never seem to have time to sit back and think strategically about where the're going and how the're going to get there, let alone do anything substantial about it. Instead, they end up conducting a daily series of fire-fighting actions which leads to inefficiency, frustration and stress. In the worst-cases, the stress can manifest itself in tiredness, grumpiness, depression and deteriorating personal relationships.

He calls this the "chaotic business syndrome". Typical indicators are:

  • there are too many things you could/should be doing
  • you can't see the wood for the trees
  • you find it difficult to prioritise tasks effectively
  • you are "running hard to stay still"
  • you become forgetful and make mistakes
  • you're too busy to grow the business

If that sounds like you, you should consider early actions to escape from the spiral before it's too late.

The trouble is, when there are more things you could be doing than there are hours in the day to do them, how do you choose which tasks to do and which to drop or delegate when they all look equally important or can only be done by you? Well the obvious answer is to identify the really important tasks that have to be done by you and then focus on doing them. OK, so how do you do that?

Phil describes what can be done in his article Sorting out the Chaos. The process is called strategic management.

Good Networking!
Martin Davies