Make It Happen
My Tipsheets are chock full of ideas. They are all aimed at translating knowledge into a quick, action-oriented 60-second nugget.

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Consider these Tipsheets: there are over 350 of them, and they certainly don’t “sell” anything.  Each week, I give away a small nugget of information, and tie it to an immediate action.  These non-salesy Tipsheets, like the vast majority of blogs, are designed to credentialize expertise and build trust, slowly over time.

Interestingly, I recently received an email from a reader saying that he was about to unsubscribe, but he wanted to give me “a chance” and explain why, in person.  As this reader was in the same city as I was, I took him up on his offer to meet for a coffee.  Social Networking translated into real-world networking.

Beyond the introductions and pleasantries, what I received was a high pressure sales pitch for their marketing services.  As the service wasn’t needed, the meeting ended relatively quickly.  There was no follow-up email post meeting.  And a few weeks later this person unsubscribed.  (It’s ironic – he is the one that needs to see this post!)

Lessons learned:

  • Developing relationships takes time, both in the real world and in Social Media.  Trying to make a quick sale over coffee is great if you’re selling coffee, but bad if you’re selling something more complex – like anything.
  • Bait-and-Switch is a bad networking strategy.  If the invitation to meet is for one purpose, don’t trot out something different.
  • A blog is a great place to develop and explore ideas over a longer term.  And in so doing, a blog is also a great place to develop trust.
  • Follow-up after a network meeting is critical.  Like the blog, a real-life meeting and a follow-up email are merely steps up the relationship curve.

Social Media can be used to sell, but one of the most effective strategies has to be Give to Get;  the sale will take place, but only when you’ve demonstrated your expertise, earned the trust, and the buyer is ready to buy – which may take years.

This week’s action plan:  Where does your blog fit on the sell/no-sell continuum?  If you’re not happy with it there, make a change.  If you don’t blog, look back at your favorite blog (besides this one!) and evaluate it: where does it fit on the continuum?  And how would you feel if it was changed?

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

The Authentic Me

by Randall Craig on May 10, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management

Tagged as: , ,

Have you ever listened to a presentation and thought it sounded fake?  Or met someone for the first time, and thought they were different in person when compared to their emails?

Too often, we think that we need to be different people to different audiences:  the stern parent, the loving spouse, the “professional” businessperson, or the potty-mouthed armchair athlete.  As there is only one of us, when we take on different personas, we are actually making life difficult for ourselves – and confusing for others.  They think we are hiding something from them – which is correct: we are trying to be something we are not.  (No more so is this true than on the social web, where for years, people could hide behind the veil of anonymity, and “be” whomever they wanted to be.)

Writers have long worked hard at developing what they call their authentic voice. They realized that to be an effective communicator, they had to be consistent, and that their style of writing – and their content – had to be a personal reflection of who they were.  There was only one of them.

Of course, not everyone reading this is a professional writer.  But still, everything that we do write – from a Facebook comment, to a LinkedIn status update, to a blog post – is archived forever.  Not only are the words archived, but so is the personality who wrote them.  Speakers sound fake if they are not the same on and off the stage.  Writers write poorly if they are not the same in person as they are on the page.  Being the authentic you means being the same no matter the situation, or mode of communication.

This week’s action plan: Are you the same person at work, at home, and when posting in the Social Media?  Odds are that you aren’t; this week strive to become more authentically you – you’ll make a far  better impression, and it’s far easier.

Bonus observation: Too often, the gap between the resume/cover letter and the candidate who shows up for the interview, is huge.  Being authentic applies everywhere, but during the job search process it is especially important.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders


Blog Intentions

by Randall Craig December 22, 2010

With so many people and organizations getting on the blogging bus, it seems that blogging must be very important. But why? Deciding on a strategy helps clarify the underlying purpose of the blog itself, and helps give focus to the writing. Here are some of the reasons that we’ve come across; do any sound familiar? […]

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Don’t Feed the Monster

by Randall Craig October 28, 2010

Have you ever found yourself in an email argument with someone? Or a flamewar, where there is a public, angry disagreement between you and someone else that goes on without end? If so, you’re not alone. Each minute that is spent is both agitating and unproductive, so it behooves us to extricate ourselves from the […]

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by Randall Craig October 19, 2010

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an author of a book, but you can’t see yourself ever finding the time to make it happen? If so, you are exactly like the vast majority of authors, before they write their first book. How do they start? Some authors book time away, […]

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Remember First, Second, Third

by Randall Craig October 13, 2010

Many blogs I read I don’t like – the posts have no interest to me. Have you ever read a blog posting or listened to a presentation where the topic didn’t resonate, or where you felt excluded? If so, the writer made a common mistake: “you” were squeezed out by “I”. John Smith had travelled […]

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No Blog Pressure

by Randall Craig September 29, 2010

Have you felt the pressure to write a blog? If so, you’re not alone – many people (and businesses) succumb to the pressure. This results in a sparse, poorly written blog, disconnected from strategy, and which is eventually abandoned. Of course, the embarassing initiative is preserved forever somewhere on the internet, even if it is […]

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16 Blog Topic Ideas

by Randall Craig September 8, 2010

As an expert, writing a blog is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and perspective. It helps prospective clients (or employers) understand how you think, and how you can solve their problems. If you are a marketer, a blog begins to create a community around your products and services. Blogging is one of the […]

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