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How a DJ builds a business in 2014

Say hello to Shammy Dee, Contactually’s new favorite DJ

I first talked with Shammy in late May. Even without having met him, I liked him immediately. He was vibrant, genuine, and had an infectious energy. He was also a proactive Contactually user. By our second conversation, he had already used Contactually to follow up with a contact and book a gig.

“If you don’t use your network, there’s no use in having it,” Shammy told me. “The ability to bucket each contact given the wide range of worlds that I’m in allows me to compartmentalize everybody and allows me to say, “Oh, I know somebody, let me refer you.” [Bucketing] gives me the chance to revise all my relationships and not let them go for a year or five years [without my talking to them].”

Hence the gig he landed. read more…

4 Things Private Equity Firms Look For Before Acquisition

So what IS a private equity firm, anyways?

You’ve probably heard a lot more about private equity — or “PE” for short — in the news recently, as a number of well-known companies have been snapped up by PE firms over the last few years.

 4 Things Private Equity Firms Look For Before Acquisition

Lululemon is a well-known, troubled brand that has been tied to private equity rumors.

So what do these PE firms do, and why are they buying all these companies? Well, the goal of a PE firm is the same as any other company – to make money. To do this, PE firms buy a (typically) majority position in a company, leverage their networks and resources to help make the target more successful, and then ultimately resell the company (or take it public) for a profit — usually after 3 to 7 years. This process can be likened to someone buying a classic car, restoring it, and then banking the proceeds when they sell it.

read more…

What the Zillow – Trulia merger means for real estate

There’s a new celebrity couple in town–Zulia, or Trullow, or whatever you want to call the Zillow Trulia merger. This alone is not news to anyone that Zillow homepage 300x225 What the Zillow   Trulia merger means for real estatefollows markets or who is in the real estate industry. However, the more interesting question is what this merger means for how people buy and sell homes, and what role real estate agents will play in those transactions. Will this be the disruption that online travel sites cast upon the travel agent?

The realities of consumer behavior

90 percent of home buyers now search online as part of their buying process, according to a 2013 report from the National Association of Realtors and Google. In the last four years, real estate related searches on Google more than tripled.   read more…

Why personalized content matters

Out-bounding is dead. Long-live Personal Content!

When it comes to developing strong relationships in your professional network, “Personal Content” is king. This has has never been more true than in today’s quickly evolving business world, where there is an ever increasing torrent of mediocre content. In short, as out-bounding is dying, Personal Content is taking the throne. read more…

How to Streamline Your Everyday Processes for Increased Productivity

The things you do over, and over… and over… and over…

If you don’t work in sales, you may not even know what the term “pipeline” refers to, but don’t worry — it’s not complicated.

Mario Warp Pipe McDonalds Toy 240x300 How to Streamline Your Everyday Processes for Increased Productivity

No, not that kind of pipeline.

A pipeline is usually just a process; almost always one with identifiable steps, and something you (or your organization) will repeat multiple times. In many fields, we just call this “work”. When I used to make salads in the crowded kitchen of an overpriced steakhouse (there, I said it!), we had a lots of pipelines. We made every shellfish platter the same way, with the same ingredients, the same presentation, and the same process. In fact, most of our mistakes and slowdowns came from someone freelancing or improvising. If you open those oysters before the ice is on the tray, you have to stash them somewhere on your tiny counter, your cousin knocks them over with a serving tray, and before you know it the two of you are screaming at each other and washing dishes for half the money.

We should have had a pipeline. read more…

How to meet people and expand your network (even as an introvert)

The first steps towards expanding your network

If you were to meet me today, or be involved in the regional technology community, you might consider me to be a “power networker.” Over the years, I’ve amassed a substantial number of both strong and weak connections. It’s rare that I walk into a room and not instantly know a handful of people (or for someone to know me). Whenever a startup, regardless of stage, is brought up in conversation, I normally know a few people there, and often know the CEO personally.

I say this not to boast, but rather to contrast it to who I used to be – a self-labeled nobody, and the type of person who would walk in and out of a room with no-one noticing, primarily because I was too shy/introverted to engage with anyone. Heck, I was the person who, in my freshman year of college, seriously considered going home on weekends to avoid the social scene.

How do we connect the dots? Your mileage may vary, but here’s what I ended up doing to (inadvertently) go from a zero, to a heavy connector. read more…

5 ways to turn a bad day into an okay one

Greetings from Murphy’s Law

You are having what we call a bad day. You forgot your umbrella in a rainstorm, you missed the train by 30 seconds, you spilled your coffee all over your shirt. Hello everyone, I’d like to introduce you to what my Irish mother calls “Murphy’s Law”. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Oh, and on top of that, you have to go to work and be chipper. Awesome.

a.baa Ruff Day 5 ways to turn a bad day into an okay one

Hang in there, champ.

Despite our best efforts to make life easy and simple, it’s not. I’ve used my 2.7 decades of knowledge to compile a list on how to get you through your bad day while still being nice and exemplifying the person your Mom thinks you are. read more…

The easy way to share useful content with key relationships

(Editor’s note – This is the first post on the site we’re aware of that includes a member of the Contactually team playing the ukulele and singing. You’re just going to have to read to the end to see Elizabeth showing off some serious talent, heretofore unknown to the editorial staff of the blog.)

Meet the Force-Friender

I am gathering increasing fame, and perhaps even notoriety in DC. This is because I am what my friend Meredith describes as a “force-friender”. I meet people, I decide I want to be their friend, and I follow up to make it happen. My success rate is scarily close to 100%. It may even be 100%. I’m a power-friender. I guarantee that every one of the people I follow up with remembers exactly who am I. And will still remember, six months, one year, and two years from now.

2d3894d93b2f5423fcc37f83c8a6a41853e7cc8cc1fc8075002cdd40a4a87471 The easy way to share useful content with key relationships


“Now wait,” you may be thinking. “This follow-up thing. Isn’t that too simple? You can’t even get your Great Aunt Sally to remember which one of the fourteen cousins you are, much less dozens of high-level executives and big whig leads that could help you grow your career

Here’s the secret: It’s not just any old follow-up. It’s content. read more…

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