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Scarlett Letter #38: Clearing physical space for mental gain

Is it possible to truly leverage mental space (in your own mind) while you are working or living in a crowded physical space?

At times, we find ourselves confined—almost trapped—when we are working in tight, cluttered (even if well organized) quarters. Speaking for myself, it’s time to seriously purge. My office is located in a back room in my condo. Between all of the consulting and client binders, resources, my ‘library of business books’….not to mention all the materials for my modest travel photography business, I can’t breathe—much less intelligently think—in there anymore!

It occurred to me that perhaps I should lease ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, best practices for architects engineers, linkedin, organization skills, professional services marketing, professional services sales, remove clutter for business, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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August 31, 2009

Scarlett Letter #37: When defeat is a self-fulfilling prophecy

Daniel is an acquaintance that I encounter now and again here in Chicago. He is a sculptor, and he makes a real living at it! (A respectable feat–as many artists have to supplement their craft with another job or three.)

Over one year ago, Daniel submitted for a significant public installation design competition. If selected, it would have brought him increased notoriety, not to mention financial reward.

Now, most of us in the AEC industry can relate to how design competitions work. Sure, you may receive a small stipend from the client/decision maker, but your effort is probably 5-15 times more than ...

Tags: AEC self-help, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, self-help

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August 27, 2009

Scarlett Letter #36: Design and construction industry gets tech savvy

How refreshing to see the design and construction industry show true commitment to technology!

Check out Design and Construction Network‘s contest for the best website in our industry:

2009 Best Website Competition.

Congratulations to all of the finalists! A special Chicagoland shout-out goes to firms such as GREC Architects and SmithGroup, Clark Construction, and Woolpert–all with offices right here in Chicago.

There’s so much to say and assess. I loved the sor-tability of Clark Construction‘s site (by region and project type) and the outreach to new staff (with a big link entitled “My new career” right on the home page) by Skanska. Skanska also really ...

Tags: AEC technology, AEC websites, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, design and construction websites, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, Social network, website competition

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August 24, 2009

Scarlett Letter #35: So how do you know one another? Diagramming your network. Part II of II

In Part I, we talked about how it’s a good idea to share with your staff about how your firm secures its clients (by diagramming the network of people involved).

Because the economy remains questionable, it’s an exceptionally good time to revisit the contacts of your staff members, from all sources and walks of life. In the article Mining Personal Networks; All-hands-on-deck approach in a fluctuating economy., you’ll see step-by-step tips on how to go through this process. Step One is inserted here in this post.

Step One: Ask each staff member to prepare a list of ten or more contacts with ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, Networking, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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August 20, 2009

Scarlett Letter #34: So how do you know one another? Diagramming your network. Part I of II

When networking—professionally or socially—everyone always seems interested in knowing specifically how people know one another. And when you get asked the question, “So, how do you know so-and-so?” at a gathering, it’s possible that your response might be: from….university; childhood; work; neighborhood; health club; recreational sports team; spiritual or religious group; and so on.

Yet, other times, your response might be: “from another friend or work colleague.” From my personal experience of living in a very active urban community, there are many times when you might gain good friends or successful business connections through a friend of a friend. If ...

Tags: AEC networking, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, Business and personal networking, Business networking, Education and Training, Leadership, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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August 17, 2009

Scarlett Letter #33: Team building is still important! Try geocaching…

Summertime can mean different things for AEC firms: company picnics; summer hours; softball teams; group outings such as sailing trips, architectural tours, and ballgames; and special community projects. What do all of those things have in common? Team building and an overall esprit de corps.

This year, firms are conservative about their summer policies and plans. They are looking for more economical ways to accomplish the benefits of summer activities in the workplace. I have a suggestion to explore during the final few weeks of this summer and into the fall: organize a geocaching experience.

Website definition: Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is a ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, team building

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August 13, 2009

Scarlett Letter #32: To trust or not to trust. And when to let it go…?

Nearly all of us have had the ‘pleasure’ (uh-hem) of negotiating a car purchase. Even though the experience has greatly improved since the cheesy olden days, it’s still pretty trying.

Two weeks ago, my beautiful 2001 beetle conked out, once and for all. It came as a shock; I thought I’d get a good 70K more miles out of it before I had to put her down. But alas, this time the repairs exceeded the value of the car. I wasn’t anticipating the dreadful extra expense of a new car (especially since I don’t really believe in financing a car, and ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, B2B, B2B trust, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, trust, trust in business

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August 10, 2009

Scarlett Letter #31: Divine encounters when you keep your eyes open…

As I mentioned in Scarlett Letter #30 (Guerrilla Marketing), last week I was walking in my neighborhood looking for the muffin shop from the subtle ‘Maxine’s Muffintop’ sign. Although I never found the free muffins or even the free smells (!), I instead encountered a new and unrelated discovery. A New Leaf (an event space attached to a gorgeous florist shop), was hosting an event for a group called NFTE (National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship). Turns out that the NFTE often needs guest business people to talk to the kids, or to host the kids in their work environment. Just ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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August 06, 2009

Scarlett Letter #30: Guerrilla marketing–what are the B2B opportunities?

Guerrilla marketing, initially coined by Jay Conrad Levinson has evolved into many subsets, including undercover marketing.

Once upon a time, I knew an architectural firm with a hip intention–they were looking to change their image and appeal to a more urban client base–namely in the markets of commercial interiors, restaurants, and multi-family housing. Relative to their existing suburban portfolio, client base, and brand image, this would be quite a shift…and a fun, albeit challenging, undertaking!

The owner’s notion was to have the junior staff and summer interns collaborate to create and execute some guerrilla marketing tactics in order to raise intrigue and ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, B to B, B2B, Brand, business to business, Guerrilla marketing, Jay Conrad Levinson, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Viral marketing

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August 03, 2009

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