Ah, August. A heat warning in effect. It is a hot, humid Sunday in New York City as I write this, delightfully the type of day that provides the perfect excuse to put everything on the “to be done list” to the side. It’s hot, why bother! Why even bother trying to move fast (or move at all) when the only guaranteed outcome is showing up flushed, sticky and sweaty? With those visions dancing with lazy enthusiasm in my mind, from behind your computer screen in your air conditioned space, I offer up:
Year Of Yes (Shonda Rhimes). Yes, I’m late to the reading Shonda game however, I’ve read it at the right time for me (yes, summer is a good time for inner reflection).
The Book of Joy (Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams). Surrounded by the constant noise of acrimony (not to mention FOMO social media inadequacy induced by the daily prodding of fabulous lives no one is truly living) these two wise, mischievous men unpack how to find joy.
Watch (or Listen)
I’ve stepped up (YES! and joyfully!) to be the guest host of a podcast. Check out my video interview with Business Builders Show host Marty Wolff where we spill the news, share a few laughs (humor is a key element of a joyful life) and riff on Build Your Dream Network. MY first guest interview? My friend and mentor, best selling author, Tom Peters. You’ll find it here on CSuite Radio.
Visibility has a funny way of multiplying: the hardest party is getting started.
I’ve had a few conversations with professional services firm types recently.
What’s top of mind for me and my “what you should review” recommendation?
I know, it’s hot, really damn heat-advisory in effect hot. You don’t want to think about content, creating content, the work (imagined or not) of producing smart content, you just want to sit. And do nothing. Maybe consume some content but definitely not create it (or EVEN think about creating it).
Let me make it easy for you (like a tall, ice-filled glass of whatever it is you want handed to you right now). Whether you think of it as “your content” or not, it is sitting at your fingertips waiting, patiently, to be put to good use: a firm newsletter, update or event; an article authored by you or a colleague (or perhaps an interview or quote in an post); a blog, article or video you found of use (pssss, a few examples right here); a conference you’re speaking at….the list of possible content goes on. It’s happening, it is right there in front of you (you see it, right?).
Here is the #BYDN thing: You create valuable CONTENT by simply passing it along (say, a Linkedin update or short, personal email) and by doing so, you create stronger CONNECTIONS (especially when you pass this information along without immediate hope of gain).
Take a gander at what my friends at Truly Social have to say about content (if you’ve got crazy making chatter going on in your brain about the “cost” of content). AND relevant old content can become repurposed new content (Marty and I talk about that in my interview) so does Chelsea Krost in this Millennial Minute video.
For the professional services types, why I really want to hit you over the head on creating and sharing content — YOUR CLIENTS ARE SEEKING IT.
A recent Robert Half Management Survey of 2200 CFOs (yeah, the type of executives who send you work) discovered that the top networking mistake made by executives was — NOT asking for help from their network (30%) followed by failing to keep in touch or only reaching out when they need something (23%).
NOT asking for help!
There is it — the client’s challenge or need (and their networking downfall)!
Their problem is not a lack of ball tickets or steak dinners or RFPs. They need help with the stuff they are NOT actively seeking help for. Stuff you know something about or stuff you KNOW they should be aware of. You are HELPING them out if you’re posting content or sharing information (in a “hey, this is why this is relevant to your job/industry/sector or could be helpful to the challenge you’re facing or news you should be paying attention to or have you thought about” sort of way).
Content is a way of anticipating a client’s needs — ’cause the Robert Half survey reveals THEY ARE FAILING TO ASK FOR HELP! — plus it is a whole lot EASIER to share an article than to draft a “hey, got any work for me” email without sounding like a complete jerk. Sharing content is being proactive (you know, that quality you’re always told to be in performance reviews) AND it is being generous, THE cornerstone of networking (and of joy I have discovered since reading the Book of Joy). The halo effect of a consistent content strategy?
- You get credit for being that expert (again, easier than sending pitches and bios trying to convince someone you’re THE expert).
- You get a reputation for being helpful (YO! between two equally qualified people or firms, don’t we all want to work with helpful people who know what they are talking about?).
- You increase the likelihood that clients will come back to you with more opportunities because you stand out from the crowd by STAYING TOP OF MIND.
Yes, I just turned up the heat on your networking.