I help professionals and firms become the Go-To-Expert. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (75 five star reviews on Amazon- and read the 1st chapter for free here) People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 100 partners, coached and trained over 1000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices.
I’ve always loved a challenge which is why I have solved the problem in my next book, which has perplexed many consultants, lawyers, surveyors, architects and accountants – ‘How to make partner and still have a life’. (Published by Kogan Page in November 2012)
The Excedia Group was founded by myself and Jon Baker to bring clarity, perspective and knowledge to help our clients achieve their business goals. Over 75% of our work comes from professional service firms - both large and small, helping them get more clients via referrals utilising networking and social media. Over 50% of the Excedia group’s clients are small professional practices of between 1-50 employees.
My work splits into about 50% Executive & Business Coaching with Partners, Practice Owners & Potential Partners, with the rest split between training, consultancy and writing.
I adore writing, (as well as helping others achieve their goals without having to sell their soul) which is why I blog regularly at Partnership Potential, Joined Up Networking, How to make partner and still have a life and venture-Now
2011-08-18 09:51 - 627 reads
Networking, I mean. Why what were you thinking about?
My first time networking as a business owner rather than an employee was an eye opener. I was a month into my life as an executive coach, and was very naive and green. All I knew was that ‘networking’ was going to magically help me find referrals, leads and ultimately new clients for my business. But, rather crucially, I didn’t know how!
I clearly remember being there about 40 mins early, and catching up on some phone calls in the car, before very nervously making my way in – and not wanting to be the first one there! When I scanned the attendance list at the chamber of commerce event, my heart sank – nearly a third of the list were coaches of some sort of description. Not likely to be any clients here for me...
There were so many ‘regular’ networkers there, who seemed to be totally at ease circulating around the room. I honestly knew no one, but had syked myself up to ‘press the flesh’ so to speak. I wondered whether I would ever know enough people that I would be one of those few who seemed to confidently glide around the room.
2011-08-03 09:01 - 3042 reads -
We all think that successful business networking is down to focus, discipline and very often the preparation you do before an event. However, successful business networking is more than just this. I’m sure we all know that how you look on the day matters as well – but how many of us give our footwear another thought? Something as trivial as the footwear you have on, can have a big impact on your state of mind and attitude when meeting people.
Let me explain:
It was 18:00 in the evening, and I’d seemed to have crammed a week’s worth of stuff into the day – and the working part of the day was not over yet. Even though I had carefully chosen comfortable footwear, my feet hurt. Two little blisters on my toes meant that my ‘comfortable’ flat shoes for walking between locations were anything but comfortable. So I changed into my heels for the last part of the days – these are ‘every day comfortable shoes’ according to Clarks...
2011-06-16 10:48 - 970 reads
I read with interest one of those posts on a LinkedIn group, which went something like this...
“we should all be connected on this group, let’s connect”
Which then led to a dutiful stream of people handing over their personal details, what their business was about, and saying let’s connect.
It feels friendly and collegiate... BUT, don’t do it. Let me explain...
It’s the social networking equivalent of saying “let’s do lunch”, without any meaning to it. In fact it’s just another way which we (even me) fall into the trap of gathering followers, connections and friends just for the sake of it.
Successful social networking is NOT about kissing the most number of frogs, but deciding what type of frogs you actually benefit from kissing, and then selectively kissing them and progressing to a second, third and even fourth date as you build up a relationship.
At best you waste some time participating in those discussions, at worse you come across as a sales person and lost credibility with group members.
2011-04-26 20:11 - 1058 reads
What’s your goal when you go networking? Is it a positive goal which will help you target, focus and engage with the people you are meeting – whether in real life or online?
I recently heard one business owner’s first attempts at setting goals to make is networking more focused. Like many of us, he felt uncomfortable networking – so set himself a goal to make sure that he went and got some value out of the event.
His goal was to gain 15 business cards. A little while later, he realised that he may as well have just put 15 business cards in the bin, and saved himself the time he had wasted going out to the event.
2011-04-13 10:51 - 1179 reads -
I recently attended the #Lex2011tweetup – which was very well attended by nearly sixty tweeting lawyers and tweeters connected to the legal profession. Thank you so much to the organisers Brian Inkster and Linda Cheung. As a result of the event, I got to finally meet so many people I had been tweeting with for months and months...
As a result of this event, I thought I would write my guide to organising a successful tweetup. (i.e. a ‘in-person’ meeting of people on twitter)...
1. Involve others
Getting people in one place at a certain time requires energy and commitment. So, find some other co-organisers to help spread the word and the message. The more people who are well connected on twitter who get involved, the easier it is to get people to come along.
2. Pick a time or place where lots of people are going to be about