Seven Resolutions for 2011 Part 2 of 2

Here are the remaining four resolutions that should help you construct the framework for a prosperous year.  Nothing especially novel or profound is being suggested.  To the contrary,  I’ve presented nothing that you don’t already know.  Consider these resolutions to be  a gentle reminder.  You decide which deserve follow-up. 

4.   Revisit your networking  strategy

Get the most out of networking by following a basic agenda,  one that keeps you focused on the real purpose for being there and takes the experience beyond just a random meet & greet.  This agenda works best face to face,  but it can also be used when engaging in online social networking.  The recipe is:  Get a clientGet a referralGet educated.  In other words,  when you’re out there networking,  do your best to get something tangible.  At the very least,  get some information that might help you land a client or receive a referral.  Sweeten the pot for those whom you’d like to know better by offering them something of similar value,  to make helping you worth their while.  Networking flows best on a two-way street.  With this criteria  as a guide,  consider which social networking platforms you use and why you use them.  Is the ROI worth the time spent to keep up?  Next,  consider if you are participating in the right amount of face to face networking and assess the quality of your usual haunts.  How much time and money have you spent at these events and how has being in those rooms impacted your billable hours?

5.   Review your client list

Which clients pay you the most money?  Can you make that happen again this year?  From which clients might you be able to get more money?  Can you dare to raise your hourly rate or project fee for any of them?  Conversely,  which clients are more trouble than they are worth,  high maintenance headaches who do not pay enough to make up for the misery incurred?  Are there clients you should fire?

6.   Develop a prospect list

Who is your dream client?  It’s time to devise a strategy to reel in that big fish.  Identify your decision maker,  or key influencers who might get you in the door.  Maybe you know a colleague who can either make an introduction to the right person or tell you at which networking activities you could meet whom you need to meet?  Make a plan.

7.   Review professional development needs

Will enrolling in graduate school,  taking a seminar or earning a certification increase your credibility and make your services more marketable?  Is there a professional organization that would benefit you,  one that offers good peer networking and useful skills updates? Ask around.

Thanks for reading,

Kim

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