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New Challenges and The Usual Ones

December 6, 2012

It’s a problem as old as time that businesses worry about marketing themselves properly so that potential customers will understand what services they provide. Recently, I wrote a post asking how I got myself pigeonholed, where people seem to have rigid ideas regarding what I do, and with some being incorrect:
https://outonalims.com/2012/11/15/how-did-i-get-pigeonholed/

LinkedIn Endorsements
Related to all this, LinkedIn has fairly recently rolled-out a new feature which allows us to “endorse” each other — to attribute certain skills and abilities to each other. Often, businesses wonder how people view them. This new LinkedIn feature allows you some insight into how people see you. It’s a way to better understand people’s perceptions of your business and abilities.

For example, while most of my work is development work in Thermo Fisher’s Sample Manager and LabWare’s LIMS, it surprised me that more people endorsed me for “software project management” and “project management” than for my programming activities. That, despite the fact that I don’t do any project management, these days. Less of a surprise is that the great portion of people endorsed me for knowing LIMS. The biggest surprise was that several people endorsed me for knowing something about “glassware.” I never do any glassware consulting, so this is truly an interesting turn of events.

Marketing Adjustments
The reality, here, is that my business now knows something about how it must adjust people’s perceptions of it. It is a challenge for me to figure out how to get more people to realize I have development activities to provide as services rather than project management. This is quite a challenge considering that I don’t happen to know how these perceptions were created.

An Aside
Now, I know why I get so many people calling me to provide project management services. Now, I know that it isn’t just that there are so terribly many project management positions that have been coming open. My goal, of course, is to make sure that everyone in the entire Laboratory Informatics world knows that my company, GeoMetrick Enterprises provides expertise in Thermo Sample Manager and in LabWare LIMS development, including the latest versions (10 and 6, respectively). I would truly like to get to the bottom of the problem with my marketing activities that appears to mislead people in this manner and that is my new goal, now that I know. So, I know the problem, I just don’t have the solution, yet, as is so often the case even with project work.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises
http://www.GeoMetrick.com/

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2012 3:27 pm

    That is interesting because I never saw you as a developer either. I only saw you as a consultant / PM. I hardly ever see you writing about technology or coding and see most all of your writing as related to process and management of that process.

    This is just my two cents worth but it might help explain why others see you in this way. The developers I know spend most of their time speaking about the tools of the trade

  2. December 7, 2012 5:01 pm

    It’s true that I seldom write about those things here in the blog or in my newsletter. I suppose I had thought that the work I do in some of the system-specific areas would be the most appropriate place for product-specific topics, for one, and really focused on keeping those types of responses in those areas. As I sit and think about it, I’m not sure that writing here with LabWare LIMS Basic tips is quite the right place for that over places like the LabWare LIMS groups out there. It’s more food for thought, though.

  3. December 7, 2012 9:44 pm

    I wonder if your perception in the marketplace is driven by your blog and postings on Linkedin. You would not think that folks in the labware groups would see you as being limited to PM stuff so I doubt that is the source of any confusion. So maybe the bulk of the market perception comes from this blog and groups where you do not discuss development tech. So segregating your discussions to distinct venues may exacerbate the market perception you are noting.

    I say play to your strengths and communicate all that you have to offer and do it in this blog. If you impose rules on yourself, I doubt it will work to your favor and no one else will really care about those rules except you. Also, you will dilute your efforts if you post things all over the internet but do not have one central content source for all that you post. This too will create distorted impressions.

    Anyway just my two cents.

  4. December 8, 2012 11:57 am

    You are making interesting points and this has gotten me to thinking more about what I write and where. In thinking about my blog posts, they do often reflect what’s really on my mind — the issues I run into on my projects, and discussions I have with people I meet or who contact me. The blog postings are kind of a view into my daily life as a small business and consultant. It’s not that I’ve setup particular rules for the blog, but just that I see the blog most particularly as an expression of my own challenges, fears, observations and successes. I’m not saying that I’ve got any rule that that’s the view I have to have, forever, merely stating that that’s what influences what goes into the blog.

    In any case, it has just now occurred to me to ask myself why I never think to write about, say, learning a new programming language or technology. I’ve realized that the reason is that learning a new language or technology is merely part of my job. It’s a bit routine and ordinary. At my experience level, the expectation is that I can step right in and learn a new software version or module, even a new language, quickly, without fanfare and in a way to deliver high-quality output. Also, in the programming world, our problems don’t seem to change, much. We get new tools yet we still run into some of the worst and unmaintainable code imaginable in our travels. Better tools still don’t create better programmers, unfortunately. Possibly, though, if I found a way to think about it differently, I might be able to come up with some interesting aspects to write about.

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