My name is RDWatkins and I am a Serial Social Profiler. It is a shame that I need to write this entry to myself and those like me on the internet. Penny Power, founder of Ecademy with her husband Thomas Power, created this video as part of an introduction series to online business people who were in the process of creating their profile on the Ecademy site.
I took it as an effort to educate those of an older business model mindset and transition us to what we really should be doing and saying in our online presence, i.e. personal branding efforts. Well, watch the video and see if it doesn’t call You to action to reassess your online conversations and profiles.
Having watched this video I realized, I personally have this tendency to compartmentalize all I do in my business and separate it from my personal activities.
Having recently gone through a tragic passing in our family made Penny’s mention of a recent funeral of particular importance to me. The importance of people, family and having complete integrity within ones own character seems to have ticked up a notch. This serendipitously coincides with my crossing back into the life stream of contacts involved in evangelizing Relationship Capital (RC) and the benchmarking business relationships with principles and practices I have been taught since childhood.
Stay tuned as I go through this process and progress towards an even more transparent online presence, authentic personal brand and singularity in my online profiles and communications. Notice in the Business Model Canvas (image at right) that all of the key elements of planning involve relationships; not just the project tasks and time lines for accomplishment.
I’m wondering how Plaxo expects me to build relationship capital… It seems I have exceeded Plaxo’s maximum number of connections. I remember a day when Plaxo was pushing their new “Pulse” platform. At that time there were no connection limits because it was to their benefit to have die hard social net-workers recruit early adopters to this platform. Then they exceeded their capacity to support the onslaught of users. Just my opinion but, this looks like poor planning that still has not been resolved to the benefit of those who built much of Plaxo’s user base.
I really did like their address book for capturing and retaining updated and accurate information on my contacts with a minimum of effort. I even upgraded from the standard free account to the premium account to support my networking efforts. Then they were acquired by Comcast and the communication from support became very lean. They were often evasive when I asked questions regarding this “maximum connections limit” and then began to blame it on their new owners.
From a customer’s point of view, shutting down the communications and transparency were more than I could tolerate. As it relates to customer management, this is a fine example of setting stakeholder expectations and then failing to negotiate any change to those expectations.
It is highly likely that your projects have changes on a constant basis that need re-negotiating with your stakeholders. Inherent in any expectation there are commitments that build trust which in turn increases relationship capital with the customer. In this case, that hard earned capital has been erased from the balance sheet. Successful projects and life are filled with value derived by both parties, and increasing trust built on precise communications and renegotiating of commitments and expectations as reality and circumstances dictate.
In search of the “Relationship Economy”… Since March of 2007 I began work to build network connections that could cushion the blow when consulting contracts expire. At that time, I was on the final leg of a contract with Unilever in Trumbull, CT. I knew that I had to grow my contacts in the industry quickly so I could find additional work in the near future. Once I discovered how much it fit my personality, I really started to get serious about it.
I started with LinkedIn and Plaxo to support my growing address book and follow-up with contacts to whom I thought I had some value to offer or that were of immediate value to my jobs search. I then started a bit of expanding the range social networking sites to afford me wider exposure and inbound invitations from others to avoid having to stop connecting to others when I reached the network limitations. Read More…