Networking Tips

25 04 2009

A few tips on business networking from Phil and Drew Lewellyn from CIBER Inc.

  • You never know when a networking opportunity may arise so make the effort to be positive and energetic when discussing what you do and where you work.
  • Don’t hesitate to do favors for people in your network when asked. Having a friendly and helpful reputation is a fantastic asset to have.
  • Think nationally or even globally! Technology has given us the gift of fast and limitless communication. Just because someone’s office isn’t across the street doesn’t mean they can’t be a valuable resource.
  • Stay in touch. Quick emails or phone calls “Just to say hello” are very powerful and will keep you in the forefront of people’s minds. Stay in touch.
  • Never exaggerate your abilities or connections. Trust is a vital element in networking and is hard to regain. Furthermore, dishonest actions or dealings can spread to others quickly.
  • Asking for favors (within reason) is not a bad thing. Everyone likes to feel important and useful so being asked a favor is actually a compliment. It also makes others more comfortable with you and helps develop relationships faster.
  • Contrary to the well known adage “You owe me one!” network relationships should not be treated like bank accounts based on deposits and withdrawals. Instead, networks should be thought of as a partnership, where each party willingly participates knowing that the rewards will soon surface.
  • If you don’t already… learn to play golf. Golf often.
  • Attend networking events and join networking groups.
  • Never leave a job or project on less than perfect terms.

Obtaining References

25 04 2009

Its no secret that web developers and their skills are becoming more and more desirable to businesses, both big and small, everyday. However, despite this trend in their popularity few are fully aware of what to look for when deciding to work with one.

it is a process

Every good web developer, or at least anyone worth paying, should have glowing recommendations for the services they have preformed for others in the past. My reasoning is that there is no way to determine the skills, professionalism and timeliness of an individual by simply seeing a finished product. Building a web site is a process not an event. If a web developer is difficult to communicate with during this process it will move slowly and be more costly to you.

monkeys with typewriters

They say a monkey with a typewriter could eventually produce Shakespearian work (or something like that) and the same goes with writing code. How are you to know that examples of their work really hide a nightmare of an experience had by someone else. I know of instances where clients have stuck with horrible situations simply because they had already invested a great deal of resources working with an individual and it would be more difficult to find someone different and start over.

In closing, I hope this post was helpful and I encourage you to both provide your knowledge on the topic by posting comments as you read this series and to also ask questions regarding information I have yet to cover.

Tough Economy? Look to the web…

25 04 2009

With the current state of the economy businesses and individuals are looking for innovative and cost effective methods to generate new customers and income.  This post covers a few tactics which are cost effective, if not free, and will provide many benefits to those who utilize them.

Create a Blog

A common misconception that many in the public still have is that blogs are nothing more than a public diary of rants and opinions with little substance or value. This however couldn’t be further from the reality that some have already discovered. Blogs are an excellent way find new customers, communicate with current customers, establish credibility and create brand presence. All of this is accomplished with little or no setup costs and only a few hours of week to maintain.

Utilize Email Marketing

Email marketing has existed for quite some time but few businesses have used it effectively until recently. If done correctly though, email campaigns, e-newsletters and online promotions can open up a whole new customer base that you never knew existed. Not only this, but because of email’s digital nature, you can actually gather valuable marketing data in the process. Email marketing provides so many benefits that I could write an entire post on the subject but I will stop with the few I have mentioned. A complete list of Email Marketing benefits can be found here.

Social Networking = Business Networking

A lesson that just about everyone in the business world learns at one time or another is that “It is not what you know, it is who you know”. So why wouldn’t you want to maximize the number of people are in contact with? You would be surprised at what a great resource a solid social network can be when promoting an event, looking for employment or seeking assistance outside of your expertise. My favorite social networking sites include Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.