Reconnaissance: military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features
Fiasco: a thing that is a complete failure, especially in a ludicrous or humiliating way.
There are things I'd want to be known for, and things I don't want to be known for, and fiascoes are high on the latter list.
And a way to minimize the risk of being involved with a fiasco? Some good reconnaissance prior to engagement.
It's been a long time since I took off my Navy uniform, but a lot of the principles I learned in my 10 years of dressing like my co-workers still apply today, and in many different aspects of my life.
By making myself aware of the situation and the rules of the current playing field.
1) Ever go on Facebook and make what you think is an innocent comment and get blasted as all the posters friends come swarming? Bad intel on your part set up the situation. There are people I follow on Facebook because they take fantastic nature or travel photos. But politically we're pretty much living on different planets, so I enjoy the photography and try to ignore the rest.
2) I've seen similar things here in the Rain. Someone fairly new to the community comes in and starts DEMANDING. Do things my way. Make these changes. They kick some long time members in the shins. The noob totally failed to understand what makes the community tick, and didn't gain any intel on the history of the site before making their demands. The end result most typically? The usually warm welcome to new members is going to get warm alright...to the point of singed eyebrows.
3) In an age when information is readily available, I think it only prudent to do a little cyber-stalking of potential clients. Assuming they have a name a bit more uncommon than John Smith, there's a good chance I can find out a decent amount about them prior to ever meeting in person. What do they put on Facebook? LinkedIn details? General web search results? That reconnaissance may tell me: STEER CLEAR entirely, or that there are flash point topics avoid, or it might give me common ground (pets, travel, etc.).
4) And for direct business application to blogging and websites, what do you find with web searches?
What is your competition doing?
Is there an undeveloped niche, or are you trying to tackle an overpopulated niche? (e.g. there's no shortage of LUXURY real estate specialists in my area)
What are consumers searching for?
What are the hot segments of your home market?
What are the market trends for your area?
What can you find out about the sellers or buyers on the other side of your transaction?
A little time spent searching may be a significant benefit for you and your clients.
Some good reconnaissance can be the difference between success and fiasco.
Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,
Bill & Liz aka BLiz