Tonight we will celebrate the end of 2009 and herald in a new decade. From private parties and entire city celebrations to safe home celebrations, we all have our own way of saying “goodbye to 2009”. Somewhere in the activities you are bound to hear the song “Auld Lang Syne”. It’s an old Scottish poem meaning “times gone by”. So, should be forget acquaintances from times gone by? Not if we hope to be successful in the new decade.
Extracting your brand is important. Expressing it in a way that is authentic to your personal strengths is vital. Yet, without cultivating and nurturing your acquaintances then who and how will anyone know of you or your brand attributes?
Starting 2010 right
First, if you don’t know your brand attributes and if you have not taken the time or effort to develop a communication for your brand – then do that first. Having a great communication plan makes no difference if you don’t have a strong brand message or understand your unique promise of value.
Second, clean out your database. All of the people in your contact list or whatever program you use to house people’s contact information needs to be reviewed. People change jobs, get married, get divorced, move or get iphones and change their numbers! Clean your existing database and make it your focus to add all those additional business cards to your database and get rid of that clutter! Business card scanners, a neat receipt scanner and even a virtual assistant can help get this done quickly.
Next, decide who and how you would like to stay connected with your contacts. Not sure who, maybe starting with the basic 18 connections you need to be successful would give a basic structure to who to put on your immediate list of contacts.
You never know who someone is, who they’ll become or who they influence. Staying in relationship with people will make you memorable since common behavior is to lose contact and only rekindle that connection when you need something. Yet, the sincerity of the connection will determine how you nurture, develop and motivate that relationship. Relationships with people are vital to any of our success plans – personally and professionally. You are built by your associations – more than you know.
Keeping touch with acquaintances
With just a few hours left in 2009, it’s time for you to make some decisions. What worked for you in 2009? Where do you want to be in 2010?
- Could it be that you want to create a community?
- Start a Twitter chat?
- Create a Facebook Fan Page?
- Become better at networking and follow-up skills?
- Craft a system to stay in touch?
- Better organize your contact list?
- Begin a blog?
- Start a eNewsletter?
- Begin a vlog?
What will you do differently to make those things you want happen? Make a list of what you want to happen. Write specifically “how” or what aspects would make you feel successful. After writing that list, take each item and break it down into 7 actionable steps. Start crafting a plan to take specific actions that will make your goals inevitable.
Maria Elena Duron | chief buzz officer, speaker and coach. Share your greatest personal branding challenge in the Brand NOT Brag Contest to win a strategic 5-point personalized plan to create positive word of mouth for you!