Make It Happen
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Location or Credibility?

by Randall Craig on December 28, 2010

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media, Time management

Tagged as: , , ,

With so many Social Media sites out there, where should you spend your time? In the “olden days” of just a few short years ago, it was fairly simple: For business, spend time on LinkedIn. For personal, use Facebook (or in the “real” olden days, use MySpace). If you have videos, then go to YouTube.

Nowadays, the choices are far more complicated. There are many more Social Media venues out there. There are corporately-hosted discussion groups, industry forums, third-party blogs, and Twitter lists. And so on.

Here is the general answer: It doesn’t matter how many places there are, you should be wherever your target audience is. If they spend their time in a specific LinkedIn group, then that’s where you should be. If they follow a particular person on Twitter, then you should do that too. And if they aren’t on Social Media at all… then perhaps you shouldn’t be either.

This week’s action plan: Do a search in every social media venue that you know of (and on Google): look for the communities that are actively discussing your interests. Instead of just reading their posts, consider how you can become part of this community. Each valuable contribution earns you credibility in the eyes of your target audience. Unlike the world of real estate, location doesn’t matter: credibility and reputation does.

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

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Enough Fluff

by Randall Craig on November 3, 2010

Filed in: Blog, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet

Tagged as: , ,

In today’s society, we are surrounded by fluff: low value information whose noise gets in the way of solid analysis, improved relationships, and personal excellence. Some of the fluff is mis-aimed advertising, some fluff is reply-all emails, and other fluff is “analysis” that doesn’t really analyze. We see fluff at meetings that go on too long, and ingest fluff at corporate presentations that are high on staging but low on content. It’s everywhere.

With such an indictment, how can we make sure that we ourselves aren’t part of the problem? How do we ensure that we are actually producing value? There are four main ways of doing this:

1) Target the audience: Whether you are making a presentation, posting a blog, or writing a simple email, consider who is receiving what you send. The more you can address what they care about, the more relevant your message will be. Relevance drives value.

2) Help people think: Another way to add value is to do more than just communicate facts: dig deeper and also present implications. A useful technique is to answer the question “and this means that…” for many of your sentences.

3) Focus on action: If the information doesn’t cause a change in attitude or behavior, then why was it communicated in the first place? (Often because of a need for personal recognition.) By helping others move from knowledge to action, you can grow the value of the interaction well into the future.

4) Call it when you see it: Help your colleagues increase their own value by coaching them through your information needs. And helping them develop targeting, thinking, and action skills.
(Consider sharing this Tipsheet with them?)

This week’s action plan: Most people know about targeting and action, but what about thinking? This week, take the So what? test to whatever you write: a blog, a simple email, or a major report. If you can answer the So what? question for each paragraph, then you’ll be adding value – not fluff.

Bonus action plan: Long-time readers may notice that the vast majority of these Tipsheets end with “This week’s action plan”. See for yourself whether this model works, and review the structure of past Tipsheets. They’re at

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

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Networking fundamentals

by Randall Craig June 17, 2009

With the change in seasons, the venues for networking may change, but not the fundamentals. Consider these five key networking concepts; are you doing them all? 1) Give to Get: Add value to your network by sending magazine clippings, web links, or other materials to them, without asking for anything in return. This concept – […]

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Get Certified

by Randall Craig November 4, 2008

There is no question that certification in your area of specialization provides enduring value. (In fact, there are a number of professions where you cannot practice without it.) Becoming certified differentiates you from your competition, and signals to others that you uphold certain standards and practices. These may include committing to a minimum number of […]

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Career Renovations

by Randall Craig March 18, 2008

As many homeowners know, every few years you look at your home, and decide that one room or another needs a renovation. You go through the work, perhaps re-painting, perhaps purchasing new furniture, or perhaps doing something a bit more radical. When the renovation is complete, you know that it will provide years of satisfaction. […]

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The Not-So-Secret

by Randall Craig January 1, 2008

Wanna hear a secret? If you just have a positive attitude, abundance will be attracted to you. How about this one? If you only wished you had that great job, it would soon be yours. And of course, if you merely repeat the mantra of “I am a successful person” (or I am thin, strong, […]

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by Randall Craig December 4, 2007

How much time have you “invested” in networking on web-based networking sites? While some people merely respond to connection requests, others are practically addicted. There is a preconception that networking is your connection to your contacts. While partly true, networking is really the positive act of strengthening these connections. By this definition, successful networking isn’t […]

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Cheap, Smart, and Trusted

by Randall Craig February 13, 2007

How do you compete? Why would someone buy your services? While we may not think of ourselves as “product”, we compete all of the time: for jobs, for acceptance of our ideas, and for personal approval. Tier one – Price: At the most basic level, you are chosen because you are the cheapest. This clearly […]

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