Dunning

Deal or no Deal!

DC Scottish Chambers

Photo credit @David_Cameron

The invitation to a Business Leaders’ Breakfast Event said the speaker would be a VIP Senior Cabinet Minister of the UK Government’. It didn’t need a rocket scientist to work out that the politician in question is aka as David Cameron.

My countdown is set to the start of the XXth Commonwealth Games in Glasgow at 19 days to go.  However the PM has his sights set on the Scottish Independence Referendum in September, so it was no surprise that the theme for the breakfast event revolved around the arguments for Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom.

David Cameron told us that there are four key business reasons to retain the Union:

  1. Solidarity
  2. Opportunity
  3. Certainty
  4.  Scale

The PM then answered questions from the floor on a broad range of topics including: Oil and Gas, Poverty, Infrastructure and Education

With all this said David Cameron could not better his announcement yesterday of a City Deal for Glasgow and the region.  City Deal means that £500 million will be injected in to Glasgow and the surrounding area to strengthen the economy.

With the Scottish Government matching the £500 million pledge and local authorities in the Clyde Valley area contributing £130m, a £1.1billion infrastructure fund will be created to support the much needed city centre airport rail link and major improvements to the region’s roads and bus network.  The City Deal is scheduled to create 28,000+ new jobs over the next 20 years.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce said of the pledge We endorse the principal of City Deal on two counts.  Firstly it will involve investment in economic infrastructure across the local authorities that make up the real Glasgow economy to promote economic growth.  Secondly it requires firm discipline in agreeing the projects giving the local authorities a genuine incentive to choose projects that improve the economy and create jobs”.

Financial pledges for Scotland like this are very welcome anytime no matter what party they come from.

Are you fully leveraging your LinkedIn network?

If you’ve invested time in setting up a LinkedIn profile then you want to make sure that you optimise your chances of gaining the best possible advantage from the network you build on the platform don’t you?

I hear you say “The obvious answer is yes” but you’d be surprised at the number of people who undermine their profile and online standing at the first hurdle!

Let me expand a little, to do this I need to provide you with some hard facts:

Monthly Invites

Last month I received 39 LinkedIn invitations to connect and, as I advise during my LinkedIn training sessions, I am discretionary about the invites I am prepared to accept.  I have broken down the 39 invites into categories in the chart below.

LinkedIn-1

Default Invite

Of the 18 default invites received I only accepted 2, which is just over 11%.  The senders are in the same locale, we share mutual connections and we can all hit connect button in error. Therefore, I gave these 2 people the benefit of the doubt and accepted their invite to connect.

Done Business With

I accepted 100% of the invites from people who said they had done business with me – because they had and very recently. These invites came from people who have attended my LinkedIn for Business training course.  I am glad to say that my advice hadn’t fallen on deaf ears and they were well crafted and personalised invitations.

Friend

I accepted 50% of the ‘Friend’ invites because half of them came from people I have a connection to, however I have followed them up with a few tips on how to use LinkedIn to prompt their future endeavours to be more personalised – after all that’s what you do for friends isn’t it!

It doesn’t take much to greatly increase the chances of your connection invites being warmly received:

Personalise Your Invite

As is evident from the figures above the majority of people just don’t do this.

Handing over the initiative to the recipient is a risky strategy. Hoping that the potential connection will recognise your name or connect on blind faith alone is a sure fire route to undermining your digital profile and online standing.

The fact that so few people personalise their invites means that when you do you will stand out from the crowd.

Adding a personal note on every single connection request will massively increase your chance of building your network in a credible and likable way.  It’s very refreshing to receive an invite that someone has so obviously taken the time to tailor specifically for you.  This tip isn’t just about being unique, it’s also about building rapport and engagement. By doing this you make it easy for the person you’d like to connect with to accept your invite.

LinkedIn-2

Be Explicit

LinkedIn only allows 300 characters in an initial invite, so always be succinct.  Be clear about how you are linked no matter how tenuous, is it via:

  • Work
  • Colleague
  • Follow them on Twitter/Blog
  • Met at a networking event
  • Friend
  • Shared connections
  • LinkedIn Group

LinkedIn-3

Let them know why you want to engage, this is more relevant if you have never interacted with the person. If you go the extra mile to explain how you have found them and why you think they are interesting the person on the other end of the request will want to connect with you.

If you want to optimise your profile and grow your network to leverage LinkedIn to your best benefit come on our LinkedIn for Business training course where you will learn how to:

  • Generate more leads
  • Increase customer share
  • Engage targeted industry professionals
  • Build credibility
  • Research specific market sectors
  • By-pass the gate keeper

More information about our courses is available here 

Chartered Institute of Marketing Graduation

Claire-CIMIt was privilege and honour to be part of the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Graduation Ceremony in Westminster on Saturday 23rd of November 2013.  As a vice chair of CIM I was lucky enough to be part of the platform party procession along with the Academic Senate, our president, chair, CEO, senior examiners and sponsor Reckitt Benckiser plc.

We proudly watched the next cohort of students graduate with a professional marketing qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.  In today’s dynamic business environment achieving such a qualification demonstrates commitment to marketing professionalism and is an important differentiator in today’s competitive marketplace.

Graduation day is one to celebrate however I believe every day should be a learning day and it is a perpetual journey.  The CIM helps members keep their knowledge and expertise current through our Continuing Professional Development Programme.  It provides a framework to manage personal development as well as setting members on a path to become a Chartered Marketer.  Although I completed my CIM postgraduate in Marketing in 1991, was amongst the first Chartered Marketers and have graduated to the position of Fellow of the CIM I continue to use my marketing skills and knowledge on a daily basis.

I enjoy graduation because it is invigorating to see so many people share my passion for the marketing profession.  It is refreshing to sit amongst the marketing directors, business leaders and chief executives of the future and catch a glimpse of the business world to come.  The network of professional marketers continues to grow and I congratulate all the graduates on their success and wish them the best in the exciting, dynamic and inspiring career of marketing.