Sunday, December 30, 2007

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 12/30

A happy 2008 to all! The New Year starts of to a bang this week, with discussions on ethics, predictions and forecasts, networking, contracts, and (of course) taxes. I've listed the next two weeks of events, to give you a chance to plan ahead a bit. There are even more activities coming up in later in January, so I invite you to take a quick look at the calendar of networking events, in either Google or iCal format, and get your calendar for January mapped out.

See you around!

Wednesday, 2-Jan-08
Womens Business Forum -- Manage Your Clients to Better Manage Your Business
8am - James Lorah House, Doylestown

Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce -- Camden Chamber Networking Luncheon
12 noon - Pub Restaurant, Pennsauken

Thursday, 3-Jan-08
PIPCA -- Current Issues in Professional Ethics
8:30am - PICPA Education Center, Philadelphia

CFA Society of Philadelphia -- John Neff's Market and Economic Outlook
12 noon - Union League of Philadelphia, 140 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Friday, 4-Jan-08
ASTD Consultants' Forum -- Networking for Success
9am - Strayer University, 234 Mall Blvd. King of Prussia, PA

Saturday, 5-Jan-08
The Hacktory -- Microcontroller experiments for artists and makers
9am - Nonprofit Technology Resources (NTR)

The Hactory -- Fab Lab Buildout
11:30am - Nonprofit Technology Resources (NTR)

Monday, 7-Jan-08
Greater Valley Forge Human Resource Association (GVFHRA) -- Career Networking Group
5:30pm - Right Management, Berwyn PA

Tuesday, 8-Jan-08
PIPCA -- Preparing Corporate Tax Returns for New Staff and Para-professionals
All day - PICPA Education Center, Philadelphia

Non-profit Subgroup, GPSEG – Meeting
7:30am - The Desmond

LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

Flaster/Greenberg 2007-2008 Entrepreneur Series -- Value in Business Contracts
11:30am - Flaster/Greenberg’s Conference Center

Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce - Power Networking Luncheon
12 noon - Coastline Restaurant, 1240 Brace Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

Greater Valley Forge Human Resource Association (GVFHRA) -- Rev Up Your Search Engine: Tools & Tactics to Improve Your Search Skills
2pm - Villanova University, Connelly Center Cinema, Villanova, PA

Entrepreneurs' Forum of Greater Philadelphia EFGP -- Capital Access 2008
5:30pm - Federal Reserve Bank, 7th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, PA

The Innovator's Club -- Chuck Sacco,
6pm - The Great American Pub, Fayette Street in Conshohocken

The Hactory -- Hacktory Mtg 3
7:30pm – TBD

Wednesday, 9-Jan-08
Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society -- Trends In PR: The Many Faces of PR
Time and place TBD

PIPCA -- Preparing Individual Tax Returns for New Staff and Para-professionals
All day - PICPA Education Center, Philadelphia

ExecuNet -- Networking in Philadelphia
7:15am - Maggiano's Restaurant, 205 Mall Boulevard, 2nd Floor, King of Prussia, PA

Knowledge Management Group of Philadelphia -- Meeting
7:45am - TBD

ExecuNet -- Philadelphia Senior Executive Roundtable
9:45am - Maggiano's Restaurant, 205 Mall Boulevard, 2nd Floor, King of Prussia, PA

Society for Marketing Professional Services -- Healthcare Facilities: A Response to Industry Trends
5pm - Downtown Club

Thursday -10-Jan-08
PIPCA -- The Complete Guide to Preparing Limited Liability Company, Partnerships, and S Corporation Federal Income Tax Returns
All day -- PICPA Education Center, Philadelphia

Philadelphia Ad Club -- Annual Outlook to 2008 Panel Event
8:30am - Union League

BOMA Philadelphia -- Amy Walter, PA Convention Center (lunch)
11:30am - The Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 108 A/B, 12th & Arch St., West Entrance

CFA Society of Philadelphia -- 2008 Forecast Dinner
5pm - Union League of Philadelphia, 140 South Broad Street, Philadelphia

Financial Executives Networking Group FENG -- Monthly meeting
6pm - KPMG LLP, 1601 Market Street, 36th Floor

Saturday, 12-Jan-08
Career Transitions -- News You Can Use: Identifying job opportunities in the Philadelphia Business Journal
9:45am - Strayer University, 234 Mall Blvd. King of Prusssia

Baiada Center's Entrepreneurial Breakfast Series -- Business Plan Development Workshop
10am - Baiada Center 3225 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19104

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tips for Productive Networking

While updating the calendar of Philadelphia networking events, I ran across an interesting little post on the "Emerging CPAs" site -- "Tips for Productive Networking," by Phyllis Sisenwine of Powerful Solutions.

As I did in one of my earlier posts, Phyllis counsels people to move beyond the hand-out-business-cards-at-a-cocktail-party networking to start thinking strategically about the sorts of relationships you are building as you network. Her specific advice:

  • Create a Commercial to Introduce Yourself
  • Pair Up with a Buddy
  • Build Relationships
  • Form Strategic Alliances
  • Organize Your Contact Information
  • Nurture Your Network
  • Develop a Positive Attitude

One of the better strategies for handling "networking events" is to pair up with a buddy. Not to hang around with (like you were at an 8th grade dance) but rather to have someone who can sing your praises while you are out singing theirs.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The "Little Kindnesses" Matter in Networking

For the holidays, I thought I would share a thought-provoking story about kindness to all, even in the little things, and how it can pay back in ways you could never imagine.

Those of you who know me personally might know that I have a passion for history. A lot of strange and wonderful things have happened in this world, and I sometimes find an event or story from the past has resonance with something that's happening today. That's so with today's story.

One of my favorite books, Paul F. Boller, Jr.'s Presidential Anecdotes, tells a story about William McKinley, a dour-looking man who has a lackluster reputation these days but was a consummate and charming networker in his own time. It was said he could refuse a man a favor but make him a friend for life. Anyway,

One evening President McKinley was having a hard time deciding which of two equally competent men to appoint to an important diplomatic post. Suddenly he recalled an incident that had occurred on a stormy night many years before. He had boarded a streetcar and taken the last empty seat at the rear. At one point an old washerwoman carrying a heavy basket boarded the car, and stood forlorn in the aisle. One of the men whom McKinley was now considering for the post had been sitting right in front of the old lady, but shifted his newspaper in such a way as to seem to not see her. McKinley went down the aisle, picked up the basket of washing, and led the old lady back to his seat. The man with the newspaper, looking down, did not see this. "The candidate never knew," said McKinley's friend Charles G. Dawes, who reported the story, "that this little act of selfishness, or rather this little omission of kindness, had deprived him of that which would have crowned his ambition of a lifetime."

It is the little actions that often mean the most, and the person you least expect might end up being the one who holds the key to your future. In your networking, treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect, not just the people you think can help you.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

This Week in Philadelphia for 12/16 and 12/23 (TWIP)

This is actually a "The Next Two Weeks in Philadelphia" posting. After the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks, things seem to be settling down a bit. The week of Christmas is especially light, so I've combined the next two weeks together. I'm going to skip posting this coming Sunday, which might give me the time to shape up the directory of networking groups and update the calendar of networking events (in Google Calendar and iCal formats) that I use to drive the TWIP postings.

Things pick up quickly right after the first of the year, so I invite you to take a look at the calendar of networking events to plan out the month of January. Not every group has posted their 2008 events yet, but enough have to make for a very happening calendar.

Sunday, 16-Dec-07
MakePhilly -- Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain of Monome
3pm -University of the Arts, 333 S. Broad Street, Anderson Hall, 4th Floor

Tuesday, 18-Dec-07
LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

BOMA Philadelphia -- Annual Holiday Party
5:30pm - Crystal Tea Room, Wanamaker Building

Wednesday, 19-Dec-07
Penn Club of Philadelphia and Georgetown Club of Philadelphia -- Young Alumni Happy Hour
5:30pm - The brand-new Rittenhouse lounge

Thursday, 20-Dec-07
Bagels and Business -- Email vs. Direct Mail: Which Works Better?
7:30am - The Mansion at Cabrini College

ASTD -- E-Learning Special Interest Group (E-SIG)
12 noon - Penn State Great Valley

White Horse Pike Chamber of Commerce Connection
5:30pm - The Pufferbelly, Lindenwold, NJ

United Community Fund Drive -- Art Gives Hope
6pm - Community Center of the Arts, 1331 O'Reilly Drive, Feasterville, PA 19053

Friday, 21-Dec-07
Likemind -- Likemind meet up
8am - Benna’s CafĂ© 1236 S. 8th Street Philadelphia
(confirm before attending, this is the usual time for the meetup, but it's not on the site)

Wednesday, 26-Dec-07
Philly IGDA Meeting
7pm - University of Pennsylvania in Levine Hall room 307
(confirm before attending)

Friday, 28-Dec-07
GPSEG -- The ancient ritual of BoNenKai
7:30am - Doubletree Guest Suites, Mt. Laurel

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Proving Your Worth and Personal Branding

To me, professional networking is all about personal branding. That's why I was pleased that Jason Jacobsohn at Networking Insight pointed to this nice post on The 10 Immutable Laws of Personal Branding by Donald Latumahina at LifeOptimizer.

...a brand is a promise of the value people will receive when they use a
product. So, your personal brand is a promise of the value people will receive
when they come to you. A promise gives certainty, and it makes people come again
and again.

Note that this goes far beyond having a good elevator speech. It involves how you live, act, and interact. Your words set the framework for how others see you, but it is your actions that make it real.

All 10 laws are things to pay attention to, but the two that struck me the most:

1. Find your unique value proposition -- What is the value you can offer
that can’t be offered by anyone else? The answer to this question is the
foundation of your personal branding effort.


7. Prove your worth -- While the way you sell yourself is important, the
content is also important. It’s useless to have many people come to you if they
find that the value you offer doesn’t meet their standard. They won’t come
again, or, even worse, they will tell their friends not to come to you. So be
sure to deliver on your promises.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Strategic Networking, from Get More Referrals Now!

I've been reading Bill Cates' excellent book on referral marketing, Get More Referrals Now! It's obviously more about using referrals that drive your business growth, but I recommend it as a "companion" for those who are looking to infuse the value of professional networking into their relationships with clients. Cates sees "strategic networking" as an important part of building a referral-based business, and there was one particular passage that I thought was apropos to this blog.

I'm not sure I buy into every word of this, but I like the idea of seeing your network of relationships as an ever-strengthening series of wheels within wheels, where the relationships grow stronger as you move inward through the circles.

"Lynne Waymon offers these distinctions as a way to determine those with whom you should spend your time. She says, 'Think of a bull's eye with concentric circles. On the outside of the rim are Acquaintances, one the next inner ring are the Associates, then come the Actors, then the Advocates, and finally the Allies.'

"Acquaintances: There's no circle around these folks because they barely know who you are. You bump into them from time to time. You're not in their network, and they're not in yours. An acquaintance is usually a non-productive relationship. To create productivity with these people, you must upgrade them to associates.

"Associates: You see these people regularly because you have chosen to join a group that brings you in contact with them, or because you are pursuing contact with one another outside of any formal group. Since you are meeting regularly, you have the opportunity to get to know these people in your respective areas of competence. As you begin to know and appreciate one another, opportunities for referrals and other help begin to emerge. Mutually beneficial exchanges will flourish as you and your contacts become associates.

"Actors: Think of actors on a stage. They are in a dialogue. Something's happening between them. Actors are the people in your life with whom you are actively exchanging valuable information and resources. Over time, as trust grows, you become interested in adding to each other's success. When you really tune in to what your contact is looking for, you move him or her from an associate to an actor.

"Advocates: Advocates are people who go out of their way to find opportunities to refer and recommend you to others. They are so confident in your abilities and your integrity that they are willing to put their good names on the line to promote you. Advocates make sure the people you want to meet hear about you before they hear from you.

"Allies: Think o these people as being your very own board of trustees. They care about your success. They give you advice that you respect because they have become experts on you. They cheer you on in every arena of your life. They give you a nudge when you need it most. They celebrate your successes with as much enthusiasm as you do theirs. You won't have time to cultivate too many relationships at this level, so you must select these people carefully.

"Lynne adds, "One word of warning: You'll be labeled a nuisance networker if you violate the natural progression of networking contacts. You must allow the trust to develop comfortably for all parties.'"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 12/9

A couple of last-minute events with some interesting guest speakers popped into the calendar for tomorrow. I hope you are able to adjust your plans if you are interested.

There are also events where you can learn about patents, talk about knowledge management and human resources, party like it's almost 2008, and just plain network (speedy and otherwise).

Monday, 10-Dec
Mid Atlantic Consultants Network Events -- Kyle Cassidy, guest speaker and author
7:30am - Merrill Lynch, 724 West Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087
Philadelphia Social Media Club -- Geoff Livingston: PR/Social Media guru and author
6pm - Independents Hall, 32 Strawberry St

Tuesday, 11-Dec
GPSEG Nonprofit Subgroup meeting -- Making the Successful Transition to Entrepreneur
7:30am - Desmond Hotel/Conference Center, Malvern
LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am - Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia
Flaster/Greenberg 2007-2008 Entrepreneur Series -- Patenting Your Inventions - Including Business Methods: Strategies for the Start-Up
11:30am - Flaster/Greenberg’s Conference Center
Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce -- Power Networking Luncheon
12pm - Coastline Restaurant, 1240 Brace Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Penn Club of Philadelphia -- Holiday Toy Wrapping
6:30pm - Children's Crisis Treatment Center, 1823 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia

Wednesday, 12-Dec
BNI -- New Hope Visitor Day
7am - Cock N Bull Restaurant, Route 202 & 263, Lahaska, PA 18931
ExecuNet -- Networking in Philadelphia
7:15am - Gregg Conference Center, The American College, Bryn Mawr, PA
Boost Networking Group -- Boost Morning Meeting
7:30am - The Philadelphia Building 11th Floor Conference Room 1315 Walnut Street Philadelphia PA 19107
Knowledge Management Group of Philadelphia -- Burning KM Topics You'd Like to Discuss: An Open Space Session
7:45am - SolomonEdwardsGroup, LLC, 1255 Drummers Lane, Wayne, PA
Philadelphia Ad Club -- New Business Pitches to Better Engage, Differentiate and Close
8am - Clear Channel Radio Corporate Offices, Red Conference Room
Entrepreneurs Forum of Southern New Jersey -- Issues with Human Resources
8am - Riverwinds Community Center 1000 RiverWinds Drive Thorofare, NJ 08086
ExecuNet -- Philadelphia Senior Executive Roundtable
9:45am - Gregg Conference Center, The American College,
Philadelphia Human Resources Planning Society (PHRPS) -- Networking Program and Holiday Affair
5pm - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Ten Independence Mall
Society for Marketing Professional Services -- SMPS Giving Back Holiday Bash and Silent Auction
5pm - Triumph Brewery, Princeton, NJ
Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society -- Holiday Celebration
6pm - Location unknown
GPSEG -- Holiday Reception
6pm - Flourtown Clubhouse of Philadelphia Cricket Club
Women's Business Forum -- WBF Holiday Party
6:30pm - Bucks County Country Club 2600 York Road Jamison PA 18920

Thursday, 13-Dec
PPRA and PBPRS -- Off The Record with the Nutter Campaign!
8:30am - City Hall, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA
PhillyCHI -- PhillyCHI Holiday Party
6pm - 707
PANMA Holiday Party
6pm - Deuce Restaurant, 1040 N. 2nd ST., Philadelphia

Friday, 14-Dec
Breakfast Club of America -- Speed Business Development, Holiday Style
12pm - Tangerine, 232 Market Street, Philadelphia

Saturday, 15-Dec
PACS -- Spyware and Malware
8am - Upper Moreland Middle School

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Speed Networking in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Saturday's Philadelphia Inquirer included a story on a speed networking session hosted by eWomenNetwork. I saw the story on Saturday, but I didn't have time to post it until now. It's the second mention of networking in the Inquirer this past week, and it quoted Steve Smolinsky among others.

Full disclosure: I've never been to a speed networking event, or at least not to anything that positioned itself as a speed networking event. I'm also not one to pontificate on things I haven't experienced myself, so I won't step into the obvious controversy between those who think speed networking is the best thing since sliced bread and those who relish the idea of fresh-baked, hand-sliced sprouted whole-wheat bread, thank you very much. Both have their uses, and it's a matter of personal taste as to which is best.

I will agree with Steve that networking is all about relationships, and it takes time to develop a relationship. Speed networking is just the first step, and if all you are doing is collecting business cards, then you are missing a lot of opportunity to add significant depth to your networking relationships. So, you just met 7 or 8 people at a networking event. Before the event is over, review who you met, decide on one person that you want to know better, and go ask them if you can follow-up next week. Maybe you have a question you want to explore. Maybe you have some resources or contacts you can offer them based on what they told you during their pitch (remember, networking isn't about you, it's about them).

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think you have to meet someone three times before you start really developing a networking relationship with someone. Nothing speedy about that.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

This Week in Philadelphia (TWIP) for 12/2

photo by Jef Poskanzer

There are no less than nine holiday parties this week, not to mention the two awards galas and the two bowling events (but, alas, no bowling galas). There are also educational sessions on a whole range of topics, from entrepreneurship, to finance, to legal contracts, to strategic planning, to taxes.

Sunday, 2-Dec
Greater Philadelphia Professional Network (GPPN) -- Annual Holiday Soiree
2pm, Triumph Brewing Company, 117 Chestnut Street

Monday, 3-Dec
PAMPI -- Jingle Jam 2007
5pm, ICE Nightclub and The Waterford Ballroom located at the Radisson Valley Forge

Women's Business Development Center -- WBDC Orientation Session
6pm, 1315 Walnut Street, Suite 1124, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Tuesday, 4-Dec
LeTip of Center City Philadelphia -- Weekly Meeting
11:30am, Dave and Buster's 325 North Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia

Temple University Fox School of Business -- Business Plan Competition Kick-Off Dinner
5pm, Diamond Club Mitten Hall Main Campus Temple University

The Hacktory -- December Meetup
8pm, The Walnut Factory

Wednesday, 5-Dec
Center City Proprietors Association -- The Breakfast Club
7:45am, Davio's Italian Steak House 111 S. 17th Street, 2nd Floor

Womens Business Forum -- Using Financial Statements to Learn About Your Business
8am, James Lorah House

BNI -- Brick Chapter Information Meeting
8am, Ocean Queen Diner, 906 SR-70 West, Brick, NJ

PAMPI -- Secrets of Super-Productivity: Start Creating Impact
8:30am, Pennsylvania Convention Center 1101 Arch Street

Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce -- Camden Chamber Networking Luncheon
Pub Restaurant, Pennsauken

Women's Regional Business Council -- Holiday Celebration
5:30pm, Margaret Kuo's, Wayne, Pa

Indy Hall -- Ten Tips to Technology Contract Drafting
6pm, Independents Hall, 32 S. Strawberry Street

Sustainable Business Network -- SBN Holiday Party and Craft Fair
6pm, Law Offices of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhoads, LLC

GPSEG -- Technology Subgroup Holiday Social
6pm, 333 Belrose Bar and Grill

Philadelphia Advertising Club -- Holiday Party
6pm, RAE Restaurant at Cira Centre 2929 Arch Street

Thursday, 6-Dec
Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs (PICPA) -- Greater Philadelphia Chapter Annual Philadelphia, Local, PA, & NJ Tax Update
8am, Springfield Country Club, Springfield PA

Eastern Technology Council -- 15th Annual Enterprise Awards
5pm, Kimmel Center

PRSA -- Pepperpot and Achievement Awards Banquet
5pm, The Academy of Natural Sciences 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA 19103-1195

Philly SHRM -- New Trends in Interviewing from the HR and Candidate Perspective
5:30pm, DeVry University Center City Campus

Penn Club of Philadelphia and the Wharton Club of Philadelphia -- Holiday Party at Fork
5:30pm, FORK, 306 Market Street

Baiada Center -- Entrepreneurial Skills Workshop
6pm, Baiada Center 3225 Arch Street

Philly Creative Guide -- Creative Mega Social
6:30pm, NorthBowl Lounge'n Lanes

PDMA -- Winter Carnival Nite for the Ronald McDonald House
6:30pm, Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, One Liberty Boulevard, Malvern PA

Friday, 7-Dec
American Society for Training and Development -- Strategic Planning For Independent Consultants
9am, Strayer University 234 Mall Blvd. King of Prussia, PA

Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce -- Annual Holiday Party and Auction
6pm, The Holiday Inn, Cherry Hill

Saturday, 8-Dec
Career Transitions -- Everyone is in Sales: Using Sales Techniques in your Job Transition
9:45am, Strayer University, 234 Mall Blvd. King of Prusssia

NIRI Philadelphia -- Charity Bowling
2pm, Pike Lanes, Southampton PA

PICPA -- WHYY Pledge Drive
5pm, WHYY

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Fun With Networking Profiled in The National Networker

I noticed a jump in traffic this week, so I went to see why. Ruth Gaitlin's article about me and the Fun With Networking blog was posted to The National Networker. Very cool. I recommend the article highly, and I also think The National Networker and its blog are a good read on networking and social media.

Oliver also has tons of entries that cover great general networking advice, and still other entries where he shares some of his valuable pr and marketing expertise. All of this wonderful information is right there for the taking on For anyone interested in networking in the Philly area, this site is a must have bookmark. For the rest of you who won’t be networking in the Philly area, this site is still a must have bookmark.
Since you're already reading the blog, I suppose you already know about all this.
Incidentally, I met Ruth through Adam Kovitz of the RNIA, who I was introduced to by Dr. Janice, who I met at a networking cocktail event I was invited to by Steve Smolinsky, who read a mention of my blog in a Purple Cow e-mail sent out by Jen Antonio-Lim, who I met at a seminar on salary negotiation by Ford Myers, who I was referred to by Beth Michener, who I met at a PRSA networking event.
I have to give Beth thanks for starting this very long and very successful chain of causality. I got the idea of doing a newsletter from Beth, too, which started me on the path to creating this blog.
Amazing how things work.