Credibility: Your Most Important Ability


Do You Have Credibility with Your Network?

You may have many skills and abilities, but if your credibility suffers or you have no credibility: you have a problem! If your credibility is called into question people will not hire you, will not refer you and will do all they can to avoid you.

Your Credibility Is Key to Successful Networking

Whether you are meeting someone face-to-face, through a Social Network or on-line using Skype or Google+; you must be able to quickly begin establishing your credibility. If your new connection doesn’t see you as credible the relationship doesn’t have the necessary foundation to blossom.

Face-To-Face Meetings

If you are meeting face-to-face; you may be able to create credibility by simply being a good listener. Many people like to talk and being a good or great listener can get you far along the path of credibility. Of course, you may leave the conversation with a not-so-great impression of the other person; but you have done your part to sell yourself and that is important!

Meeting Through Social Networking

When you are meeting someone through social networking the content of your profile must carry the load for you and allow people to draw a positive conclusion about who you are and your values. Your profile must establish your credibility!

Your credibility is established with your headline, picture and summary. Your credibility is enhanced by the completeness of your experience, education, skills, interests, recommendations (given and received) and skills.

An incomplete or sketchy profile leaves questions in the mind of the person viewing your profile. Depending upon the reason for the visit a poor profile may cause them to leave and never return. Are you prepared to run the risk?

I have read many profiles where the intent appears to be convincing the reader of the profile owner’s credibility; that’s the wrong way to go about it! You can’t tell people about your credibility; you need to show actions which allow people to come to their own conclusions either on their own or with input from others; if you are depending upon your ability to convince them… Good Luck!

Meeting On-Line

When you are meeting on-line you must be prepared and present yourself properly; again this is your chance to make a great first impression and start establishing your credibility. This is not the time to be in sweats, curlers, pajamas or anything other than business casual to professional attire.

If you are meeting on-line, you also need to ensure all of your technology is working properly and you know how to use it correctly. This is not the time to be learning. I’m speaking somewhat from experience. I was doing an on-line meeting and I wasn’t prepared; fortunately it wasn’t our first meeting so I had been able to build some credibility; it suffered a little from the fiasco, but I was able to eventually recover. These are mistakes you don’t need; especially with a new contact.

Your Focus Must Be on Building Your Credibility and Success Will Follow

When you have credibility you can often overcome missing skills, experience, education and other characteristics. Having all the characteristics, skills, experience and education, however, cannot overcome a lack of credibility!

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How to Be a Great Networker and Stay Top-O-Mind


How to Be a Great Networker and Stay Top-O-Mind

The other day I made a profile change adding a current project. It showed up in the news feed of over 1500 people; yet, only 4 people made a comment or clicked “Like”. My issue isn’t wanting more attention. The issue is are you an effective networker. LinkedIn provides you many opportunities, which take a minimal amount of time, to acknowledge members of your network. Don’t miss out on those occasions!

Be Part of the .3%

Have you ever wondered what it takes to stand out with your network? The simple answer is paying attention! The four individuals who responded are .3% (that’s 3 tenths of a %); 99.7% of my network paid no attention!

You want to be part of the .3%; not the neglectful 99.7% and you can stay Top-O-Mind.

Nightly Notices from LinkedIn

These individuals knew I had changed my profile because LinkedIn told them in their nightly update! The update sent directly to your primary email address. It is so easy to be a more effective networker and acknowledge your contacts. Take a chance!

You can be Top-O-Mind with your network and your contacts provide you the opportunity every time they do something on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or any other Social Media Platform. All you must do is be in tune for the opportunities to acknowledge and stay Top-O-Mind.

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Is Your Business Network Operational, Strategic or Social


Is Your Business Network Operational, Strategic or Social

In my research I have identified that there are three types of networks: Operational, Strategic, and Social. The question is where does your network fit within those categories?

Operational Networks

Operational networks contain the individuals that help you and your team solve your day-to-day issues and challenges. The operational network is comprised of people within your organization who belong to support groups: accounting, finance, HR, IT, customer service, marketing, research, development, sales, support teams, vertical industry teams, etc. The internal people who help you overcome day-to-day issues.

Operational networks will also include relevant vendors, possibly customers that do alpha and beta testing, consultants, contractors, advisers, industry specialists, etc. These are the external people who help you understand how you are doing, what others are doing, and may offer answers and solutions.

What does it take for you and your team to get your day-to-day tasks completed? Do you have ready access to the necessary individuals? Can you find the answers in a timely manner?

If you cannot answer those questions relative to the people in your network; you must rethink your networking process and who is in your network. Your network can be a valuable asset, but only if you have the right ingredients.

Strategic Network

Strategic networks take you to the next level. Strategic networks include individuals who can help you see what is coming, who help you prepare and be prepared, and who offer insights into the future to help you determine your course of action.

Your strategic network will include visionaries from within and outside of your organization. They will be business and industry specialists; including industry lobbyists; local, state, national, and even International elected officials; government agencies, competitors, consultants, researchers, financial advisers, attorneys, and numerous other disciplines. The common thread is these individuals all have the ability to contribute perspective or help you develop perspective.

Your strategic network helps you set your course and avoid possible pitfalls and problems. These individuals assist in developing the 3, 5, and 10 year plans for you and/or your organization.

Social Network

Your Social Network consists of individuals you care about, you may even be interested in the games they play, the food they eat, the movies they watch or the restaurants they patronize. As the name implies these are your social contacts. Those who you do not expect to show up with opportunities or new business; they may, but that is just an added benefit.

Your Network

If you are like most networkers; your network probably leans toward the last type: the Social Network. The truth is these individuals are much easier to connect with and talk to. You are not as self conscious because you are not as worried you will say the wrong thing or offend someone.

Become an Effective Networker

If your desire is to become an effective networker you must be restructure your network objectives to include the operational and strategic components. The reality is that the higher up you go in an organization the more strategic your network will become. You must maintain an operational component, but the purpose will be to have the connections you need to support and help your team when it gets in a jam, faces a problem, or requires cross organization support.

Effective managers are effective networkers.

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve! Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out our career site at http://toyourcareersuccess.com and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Fundamentals of Professional Networking – Part 1


Fundamentals of Professional Networking – Part 1

This is the first in a series on the Fundamentals of Networking.

Networking Definition

Networking is the process of connecting with individuals with whom you can have a mutually beneficial relationship.

Networking Strategy

Before doing anything else pertaining to your network you must have a networking strategy. To figure this out you must be able to answer the following questions:

  • Who do you want in your network?
  • Why do you want these individuals in your network?
  • What value do you expect to give your connections?
  • What value do you expect your connections to bring?
  • Where will you find your connections? and
  • How much time are you willing to commit to your network?

Having a strategy is key to developing a mutually beneficial network where there is an equal exchange of value.

Who Do You Want in Your Network?

When we speak of who; we could be talking about specific individuals, jobs or positions, the company or companies where they work or the connections they have. Your reason may be one of these or something totally different. The point is you need to know the answer to have an effective networking strategy.

Personally I am building a network of people who have been temporary employees. I’m not looking for recruiters or those working directly for the temporary agency; I want the individuals who have been the contractors on the front lines of work as part of my network. As you can see I am very specific when it comes to this network and it makes my process of connecting very easy. If you are a temporary or contract employee connect with me here

Why Do you Want These Individuals in Your Network?

What is your reason for wanting to connect with these individuals? You may want people, but you need to really be focused as to why you want them in your network. It would be very difficult to convince someone to join you when you don’t know why you want them to join.

Going back to my network of temporary employees my reason is I believe we have experiences to share which will be mutually beneficial. I want to hear their stories and share mine. The number of temporary employees is on the rise and there are no current outlets for temporary employees to share and learn.

What Value Do You Have to Offer Your Connections?

This doesn’t mean monetary value, although it could. What it means is networking value which could be a large network of your own to share, valuable insight and knowledge, perspective, willingness to share what is shared with you, support, admiration or any number of other things the connection you want would see as a benefit to them.

With the temporary employees I have 15 years’ experience as a temporary employee working with several different firms and for myself. I’ve learned a great deal about negotiation initial hourly rates and negotiating increases in my hourly rate. Many temporary employees are unaware they can get raises or negotiate; I feel I can assist in their understanding.

What Value Do You Expect Your Connections to Bring?

Again we aren’t necessarily talking about monetary value, but there could be opportunities to monetize. What is being discussed is what connections, experience, knowledge, stories or other information which might be helpful might they bring and be willing to share.

With the temporary employees I want to hear their experiences and find out what they have learned about being a temporary employee and working for a temporary agency.

Where Will You Find Your Connections?

When you know who you want, why you want them, what you have to offer, and what you expect of them; you can start your search. Whether you use LinkedIn, web searches, Facebook or whatever you have a set of criteria which can help you be specific with your search.

For my temporary employees I can search for individuals who have worked as contractors for specific temporary agencies. My strategy makes it very easy to build a search criteria.

How Much Time Are You Willing to Commit to Your Network?

The last question is what time are you willing to commit to not only building, but nurturing your network? Effective networking takes time and effort. It’s not a 40 hour job by any stretch, but it may be 15 minutes to an hour each day depending upon your goals and objectives.

With my temporary employees I will easily spend a couple of hours each day identifying the people I want in my network, sending invitations, thanking them for joining and communicating with them. My network is important to me and hopefully to them.

This is the first article in the series be watching for more and please give me some feedback below.

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Tom Staskiewicz writes on employment issues and has a special interest in temporary work. With over 15 years experience as a temporary employee working for multiple agencies and businesses he has a great perspective on what it takes to be successful as a temp. He has negotiated better starting pay and periodic raises for himself and others as temporary employees.

Check out the website Temporary Employees for more ideas and to sign up for his Temporary Employee Newsletter and his website on Networking.

What Can You Do with an Email Service


What Email Service Is Right for You

Have you thought about using an email service to stay in touch with your customers and prospects? I’m sure you have, if for no other reason than the intensive marketing being done by Constant Contact.

Before You Select a Service; Know What You Want to Do

The truth is that all email services are not created equal. Some have features that others do not. Some charge based upon the number of emails sent and others charge based upon the number of subscribers you have.

How Many Subscribers Do You Expect?

Knowing how many subscribers you will have and how often you plan on contacting those subscribers can make a huge difference in the cost.

How Many Email Lists Will You Have?

Another factor is how many email lists will you have? Will you have both a list of active customers and prospects? Will it be a single list? Will you have a list for customers of each type or category of product or service you offer?

Are You Going to Do Email Campaigns?

Maybe you are asking what is an email campaign, so I will give you a brief overview. A campaign is typically a series of emails sent to subscribers.

The campaign starts with a letter of invitation to join the list (usually an opt-in or double opt-in) process to make sure you have the correct person.

Following the opt-in there is an immediate follow-up with the additional promised information. A few (7-10) days later there is another follow-up to ensure that they received the information and provide a second promotion. 12-14 days later there is another follow-up typically with some type of incentive to sign up. That may be it or 60 days later there could be one last follow up. It’s really up to you.

Some email services support email campaigns, some do not, and others only limited email campaigns or a limited number of campaigns.

To Opt-In or Not; or Will You Spam

Opt-In basically says do you want to participate and lets the reader know that they can opt-out at any time.

Do you want an opt-in or double opt-in process where the people signing up must go to a sight or respond to an email and confirm that they want to be on your list. If you don’t have an opt-in some, maybe many will report you as spam and can get you blacklisted; opt-ins are preferable to blacklists. Unless you are closely monitoring the service you won’t know that your emails have been blocked.

If the service isn’t offering an opt-in option that can be a problem. Maybe you don’t irritate the users but that doesn’t mean that someone else using the service won’t irritate their recipients and the backlash can hit you!

Opt-ins protect you as much or even more than they protect your recipients.

Will You Have Mini-Memberships?

A Mini-Membership has people sign-up typically paying a fee for a limited-term-membership (compare it to a four – 12 week class and sometimes up to one-year). Each week or month they will have the next part of their course delivered to their email box.

Some email services support this and some do not. Some will support several limited-term-memberships and others will support only one.

Before you select a service know what you services you are expecting them to provide.

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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.