Archive for April, 2010

Construction Marketing Ideas

Construction Marketing IdeasThis past week I received a copy of Mark Buckshon’s new book Construction Marketing Ideas and I must say that I am impressed. It provides a comprehensive overview of not simply the basics of marketing, but truly how to leverage marketing to bring work in the door. Since I am a sucker for stories I have especially enjoyed the stories from others in the industry that have faced so many of the same problems that we all face and have found unique ways to solve those problems.

I definitely agree with Mark on the role of associations in building an effective marketing program:

Association marketing:  Your untapped gold mine

After attending a Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMSP) annual Build Business convention in Denver, Colorado, our family visited a small working gold mine. The miner, after years of low gold prices, had discovered a way to survive by selling site visits to tourists.  With gold prices soaring, the actual mining operation is now thriving.  Nevertheless, the tourist revenue continues to create an exceptionally profitable business. However, the miner doesn’t need to dress the place up as a tourist site; it is a working mine, after all.

Discovering untapped resources

From a marketing perspective, associations have similarities to the gold mine.  They can seem expensive, and while you can sometimes find nuggets on the surface, the best value is deep within your  participation.  However, unlike the mine, which (even if it can continue for decades) is a depleting resource, effective association participation results in increasing advantages until you hit the mother load of consistent, repeating opportunities.

It took me a long time to appreciate why associations are so valuable for marketing, and my research suggests that many people give up before they achieve success.  A senior SMPS member said the association struggles with people who join, then quit after a year or two.  “This turnover is disturbing, because the real value in membership comes with time and the networking and leads developed over the years,” he said.

A wealth of leads

When leveraged actively and consistently associations can provide a wealth of new project leads. More importantly for me has been that my involvement in great associations (such as the Society for Marketing Professional Services) have yielded true friendships. It is an amazing thing to enjoy going to work every day to achieve success with true friends.

Construction Marketing Ideas

If you haven’t already done so let me encourage you to pick up a copy of Construction Marketing Ideas by Mark Buckshon.

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I don’t like networking events

I don’t really like networking events. To be honest, I have been struggling with this over the past several months because no matter what I do it seems that networking has become, and is becoming, a bigger part of my life. I write about networking, speak about networking, coach others on networking, I founded a massively successful commercial network, I have even been a conference keynote speaker presenting on the topic of networking! So how is it then do I not like networking events?

I’m normal. That’s right; most people do not like attending networking events. According to Susan RoAne (Author of Face to Face) 93% of people self identify themselves as “shy,” and networking events are not a happy place for a shy person to be. I have finally come to the conclusion that the reason I have been successful speaking, writing, and building networks is that so many people struggle with the same things I struggled with. I had to work hard to figure out how to succeed at networking by building great friendships (something that anyone can do even without attending networking events). As a result it is really easy for me to explain to other people how to succeed at networking, because I have struggled with the same things.

You are an expert

One amazing thing about life is that our successes are the greatest in areas where we struggle the most. I have read a lot about networking and have come to realize that many of the “experts” are wrong. When I hear someone using “elevator pitch” and “networking” in the same sentence I run (if you are in sales you don’t need to run, these are great sales tools, they are just NOT networking tools). If networking hadn’t been so hard for me, I never would have understood why these things don’t make sense.

Your Turn

What are the areas of your life that you struggled with for years? Did you have to learn management, leadership, or graphics through the school of hard knocks? If so you are probably more of an expert than you ever imagined. If you are open to sharing, there millions of people that need to hear and learn from you, not from someone that was a “natural.” You many never be able to (or desire to) connect with millions, but can you start this week by sharing some of what you have learned with at least one person.