Learning to network

December 4, 2008

Growing by blogging

Filed under: career, Learning, Manage my network, Publishing, Self-marketing, Social Media — Tags: , , , , , — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 5:15 pm

Inspired by a discussion with Karin H. on her 1 plus 1 makes 3 blog about using blogging to grow, I started to think about all the things you can grow with a blog:

  1. To grow your own personal understand of a subject.
  2. According to Yogi Tea “To learn, read. To know, write. To master, teach” – in other words the act of writing what you have learned consolidates it in your own knowledge. And of course in blogging the fact you share it with others is simply an act of generosity

  3. To grow your own personal awareness of the world
  4. This starts from the similar point 1 above, except that it leads blogging from monologue into dialogue. Your participation in the blogosphere, groups and lists means that you are interacting with the topic of your attention, and with other sharing similar interests, so your growth of understanding is accelerated.

  5. To grow a community of like-minded individuals
  6. This extends from point 2 to focus exclusively on a given topical area, and many people share the podium instead of one. This either becomes a group blog or it could be based on other media such as mail lists.

  7. To grow your own individual career
  8. Rather than focussing on self-education under point 2, this becomes more informative and the conversations exploratory.  This is of course the art of personal branding, where you turn yourself into a thought leader in your chosen subject by sharing your wisdom (at least that which you’re prepared to give away for free) and nurturing communications with people in your same field

  9. To grow your own business
  10. This could be similar to 1 or 2, but the objective is more commercially oriented.

  11. To grow the market’s awareness of your business proposition
  12. Like the personal branding in point 4, this is the commercial branding that helps get your message out.

  13. To grow a community around loyal customers and interested prospects
  14. Perhaps this is the true way forward for growing your business by blogging. You give your prospects free information to help them make their choice. This encourages you to distinguish yourself by making your proposition more enticing or even “remarkable”. And at the same time you nurture a community that includes existing customers as well as potential customers, who can all give you very direct feedback about what they want, what they have liked, and what they would love more of.

Of course all this potential for growth relies on people making time to share their ideas with others, so there is a cost. But if you think about the nature of the relationships you can build within the micro-communities that form around you, that sounds like an excellent investment in your future.


January 9, 2008

Leading the pack from within

Filed under: career, Learning — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 4:11 am

I know this is slightly off-topic, but Brandon Henak’s guest post in Personal Branding Blog gives a description of leadership that really resonates with me currently…

Find something you are passionate about and learn what it takes to lead by interacting with people who have similar beliefs. Gather the thoughts, opinions and goals of the group, combine them with your vision and help the group achieve them by planning a strategy with them, not for them. Your passion to lead change, in any group whether political, academic, athletic or otherwise, is directly translatable to leading in the constantly changing corporate environment.

December 12, 2007

Wave around your personal brand with eight arms

Filed under: Learning, Self-marketing, Uncategorized — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 10:38 am

Dan Shawbel has developed a model of eight prime areas of activity within the realm of personal branding:

  1. Social media – your brand’s communication channel with the world
  2. Entrepreneurship – your career is your business, who else will manage it for you?
  3. Human resources – as potential consumers of your services this is your target market
  4. Public relations – you can get your message across using new and old media
  5. Self-marketing – primes you with the raw material for any conversations
  6. Forming relationships – networking allows you to transact with people who may be interested in your brand
  7. Search engine optimization – improving your page rank through publishing techniques that can often complement your content

Not only does <a href=http://personalbrandingblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/10/personal-branding-octopus-model-of-relevancy/>Dan’s article</a> explain this more clearly than my clumsy paraphrasing, but it also comes with a free Octopus.

May 29, 2007

Realising the value – THE END of the beginning

On the 19th February my online business networking paid off.

Well, by the time the invoice got sorted it was much later than that, but the point is that an ex-colleague of an ex-colleague to asked meet me, then offered me a busy role that kind of didn’t allow time for learning to network.

Well, I have still carried on networking when feasible, but I have not had time for the luxury of researching and reporting on the topic. However I have learned so much by sharing this experience that I am determined to apply many of the publishing and marketing skills on something that is close enough to my day job to make it compatible and feasible


Look me up on




February 5, 2007

Download a great online business networking book for free!

Filed under: Learning, Manage my network, Publishing, Social Media, Technologies — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 3:53 pm

Tidying up some odds and ends I came across this link. “Oh my goodness!” … I can’t believe I never posted it here before. I have just checked, and although I have mentioned Scott Allen and a couple of his blog posts, I have never mentioned his book “The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online”.

This is a great introduction to online business networking, and it carefully explains a whole range of social networking tools and techniques. For the beginner it is a valuable companion, but even if you already know about “web 2.0” tools, his summary of the features and benefits still helps put them into perspective, and maybe give you a new view on something you had previously taken for granted.

And the best thing of all is that, for the time being at least, he has published the PDF to download for free. Well worth the read – Get “The Virtual Handshake” Free!

December 22, 2006

Zero Effort Networking (part II)

Filed under: Learning, Manage my network, Technologies — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 6:41 pm

Following on from my previous post (How to keep tabs on your network with almost zero effort) here is an explanation of just how easy it is to set up a group to help you with your networking.

If you remember, I decided to create what those networking pros call “an alumni group”. In plain terms we invite the people we worked with on a major project, and subsequently our colleagues in the same company, to join a mail list to help each other keep in touch. Setting up the group is a real doddle, so I won’t dwell on it here – go to Yahoo! Groups, sign in with your Yahoo ID, create a new group and choose the type (in my case Business & Finance > Companies > Former Employees).

The real fun is in the creative bits – the name and some basic materials.

December 9, 2006

Choosing the right mike

Filed under: Learning, podcasting, Publishing, Technologies — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 6:28 pm

In my local computer store the other day I was browsing for a stereo headset with a mike. I suddenly realised I was not equipped with enough knowledge to make an informed choice, so held back until doing some research.

My 2.1 speakers kick the music out nicely, and with my little cheapo boundary mike sitting under my screen I can happily skype away to distant friends and colleagues. However, I thought it would be good to be able to switch over to a more private and intimate chat, from time to time, and I am planning on starting to record audio streams ready for podcasting, and didn’t want to pick up so much ambient noise on my tracks.

Fortunately I found some excellent advice on the Web Audio Advisor site. (more…)

December 6, 2006

7 simple steps to share your soul safely

Filed under: Learning, Privacy, Publishing — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 5:49 pm

(I am still drafting this post – please excuse any hiccups)

One day this paragraph will magically turn into a short but irrefutably compelling piece of prose that will convince you that even your pet dog should be writing regularly to a web log. Then you will be ready to dive into the steps I offer below.


November 11, 2006

A button for my blog

Filed under: Learning, Social Media, Technologies — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 11:41 pm

Now there’s a sign of the times – I didn’t think people still used 56k dialup connections to the internet, except when they were desperate. Ashish C. however is constantly constrained by this throttled bandwidth. Still, like Cubans (who are generally deprived of what we westerners consider normal modern “necessities”) he has turned this into a creative opportunity, eschewing high bandwidth graphical links for simple yet effective buttons.

He gave me the tip to visit Adam Kalsey’s button maker, and this lurid combination is what I created for myself.

Oh, and of course this was also a handy chance to try linking to an image I have created in the flickr account that Markus Angermeier suggested I set up. Hey, this Web 2.0 meme certainly seems to have a bit of mileage in it!

Questioning myself constructively

Filed under: Learning, LinkedIn, Self-marketing — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 10:31 am

So far I have been at a bit of a loss on how to market myself properly – I haven’t been able to get past that “traditional CV” view of my experience history. Well, just to prove to myself that networking IS intertwined with knowing-thy-self, I have had a mini revelation (well it was news to ME, even if it is obvious to you 😉 ).


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