Scarlett Letter #147: Want to charm new people in your network? Try this.

Recently, I received a letter from a non-competitor in my industry (architecture/engineering/construction). It turns out that we are just ‘one degree of separation’ from one another. To quickly close the gap, she decided to dig around—just enough to uncover any commonalities that we might have with one another.

But then, rather than selecting the most obvious, ‘safe’ commonalities, she opted to pick some that were esoteric: shared artistic outlet; shared interest in a specific signature architect; shared passion for animals; shared history of wanderlust.

There was no selling. No pitching. Just some off-the-cuff commonalities that endeared her to me. I couldn’t help ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin

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May 31, 2012

Scarlett Letter #146: Desperately seeking inspiration (for content)!

With all the (high quality!) content that we strive to produce to satisfy our AEC content marketing efforts, many of us find ourselves staring at the dreaded *blank page*. We fret about what to write, to share, or to comment on….all in an effort to create online engagement with future and existing clients.

We desperately seek inspiration!

Some writers will argue that ‘writers block’ does not truly exist. Rather, the writer can surely write, but s/he may write a lot of crap! And with the abundance of information overload—and outright ‘noise’—online, we want to make sure that what we provide in our AEC ...

Tags: linkedin

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May 25, 2012

Scarlett Letter #145: Hard and Soft Social Media ROI. Return on Investment (and Impressions!)

In preparation for an upcoming NEOCON presentation, I recently calculated my social media ROI from 2012 YTD contracts. It was encouraging to discover that—relative to 2011—Scarlett Consulting’s overall business has indeed grown from leads that originated online.

This straightforward calculation included only those opportunities where:

1. The lead originated completely online. {Even if a prospect did research and became ‘convinced’ to talk with Scarlett Consulting based upon our online presence, I did not include them if we had any sort of real-life connection.}

2. Real fee proposals were requested.

Upon spending approximately (educated guess) 25-30% of my business development time engaged in online activity—blog posts; Twitter; LinkedIn; community forums—our numbers ...

Tags: AEC social media and online marketing, AEC soft and hard ROI, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, social media ROI

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May 17, 2012

Scarlett Letter #144: Re-tracing the steps of how you won a client

In this current frenzy of content marketing to boost social media/online marketing engagement, AEC marketers often talk about ‘crafting a story’ or ‘developing a narrative’ to make their content more compelling. That’s terrific, as it encourages our peers to present their opinions, insights, and company with extra thought and increased audience-centric consideration.

It does make me wonder: Is this same story-telling approach utilized internally?  When was the last time that you shared thoughtful stories with your staff?

Perhaps you’ve talked about how the project challenges (antagonist) were conquered (action and result) by your project team (protagonist/hero). That’s good stuff!

But what about digging ...

Tags: AE content marketing, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, client development, linkedin, professional services sales, relationship between AEC marketing and operations, Social network, story telling, team building

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May 14, 2012

Scarlett Letter #143: “Yes, and” self-talk worked for me!

As seasoned professionals, we’ve all developed our own methods for coping with stress and negativity. This quarter, unusually high stress reared its ugly head in both professional and teaching situations. And no matter how many chill-out techniques I tried, I couldn’t conquer my tension. I finally decided to try the ‘Yes, and’ exercise, but with a twist: instead of building off another person to energize and create a momentum of positivity, I had to do it alone. READ: self-talk.

So, here’s my latest self-talk strategy. In the eleventh hour, right before I enter a room of {fill in the blank: unreceptive ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, anxiety management, linkedin, meeting facilitation, presentation skills

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May 10, 2012