I just found out that thinkspace is a finalist in the fifth annual Seattle Times NWjobs.com People’s Picks contest for the small business category for Coolest Office Space!  In the letter that the Seattle Times sent to us, it stated that we’re “in an exclusive group of organizations that are setting the bar for positive workplace culture in the Northwest!”.  The nice thing about this distinction is that we get to share it with all of our thinkspace members as we’re providing office space to 200+ members both physically and virtually!  It’s also kind of nice to be the only one named in our industry!

My team is surely flattered and honored to be in the mix with these other great companies: 24 Seven, Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle, Artitudes Design, Creature, ExtraHop Networks, Groundspeak, One Eighty, Projectline Services, and Zaaz (winner).

SMCSeattle Education Workshop – “Personal and Small Business Branding in the Age of Social Media”
WHERE: Thinkspace Offices 8201 164th Ave NE Redmond WA 98052- 3rd floor

WHEN: Friday: November 5th, 3:00 p.m.

Having a strong personal brand is important in any economy, but especially now when individuals must stand apart in a competitive job market or avoid being a victim of downsizing. Times are hard but the good news! Social Media makes it easier than ever for people and small businesses to build and sustain a great brand …as long as we take the time to understand HOW to do it. With Social Media however, we all have the added responsibility of managing our brands, whether we like it or not.
[ Ed events are our smaller content rich events. Do NOT confuse it with our bigger SMCSeattle monthly networking event!]

SMCSeattle Education brings you a compelling 2 part branding workshop that will take you all the way from understanding the basics of branding to implementing it using social media.
Silicon Valley Branding expert Karen Kang will lead an in depth personal branding workshop to help you identify and jumpstart your brand. Maya Bisineer will follow by leading the discussion of how YOU can take your brand to the next level using the latest social media strategies and tools.


Special thanks to THINKSPACE for hosting the event.
Thanks to JONES SODA, we will have a soda tasting bar with full bottles of soda for everyone.
Coho Cafe is sponsoring the afterparty by providing a large sectioned off space at their Redmond location. Happy hour pricing menu and with some apps too!


Part 1 –  “The Power of Your Brand : Personal and Small Business”
Workshop lead – Karen Kang

In part 1, you will learn how to

·      Identify the rational value and the emotional value of your brand
·      Understand the importance of the personal brand ecosystem and how to work it
·      Jumpstart your own personal brand with proven tips
·      Guide your portable brand in an era of social networking and media
·      Take charge of your professional destiny through unique personal branding

Part 2 –  “How to Accelerate your Branding Efforts using Social Media”
Discussion lead – Maya Bisineer

In part 2, you will learn how to

·      Apply a framework to accelerate your brand building efforts using social media
·      Use online tools to monitor your brand
·      Develop a strategic plan of action for your personal brand for the short and long term.

Lets face it- the way we live and work is changing rapidly. We are clocking into the office less and are trading in corporate positions to start our own businesses. We are working from home, in coffee shops, and during our bus commute; our laptops are our new desk! Working virtual has amazing perks, however, our image suffers from not having the traditional office. We, at thinkspace have solved this problem by creating a way to maintain the flexibility of a virtual workspace while maintaining a flexible, secure and supportive, cost effective, environmentally friendly professional presence and space for you to grow your business. We are offering you a professional Redmond business address, fully staffed phone answering services, and an established and respected business infrastructure. Do your business a favor, introduce it to virtual office space!

1. Professional Presence: Establish yourself as an industry leader with a business. Present yourself as an invested, respected, professional and reliable business.  A business address allows you to look established and permanent.

2. Flexibility Our virtual office provides mobility and freedom! Our fully staffed receptionists ensure that you never miss a call. Work from anywhere and appear to have multiple locations (we have Redmond and Seattle office addresses). Don’t worry about having to sign long-term leases.

3. Cost Effective Let us provide all of the staffing, don’t worry about expensive monthly rent, or tenant improvement costs, cleaning and maintenance fees or maintenance of office equipment. Have an overall lower monthly overhead!

4. Administrative Support With our virtual office, you have complete administrative support. Let us handle the calls, the mail and incoming packages, the faxes and scanning, and odd jobs and administrative projects.

5. Security- Don’t use your home address or a P.O. box! Using a home address appears very unprofessional, and can be a security risk to you and your family. Using a P.O. box shows your potential clientele that you do not have company head quarters. This can break a close before you even have your first meeting.

If you are interested in hearing more about our virtual offices, contact me at Barbara@thinkspace.com, or call (425) 629-6206. To view our website CLICK HERE.

Thank You Shannon Evans, author of The Definitive Twitter Guide: Making Tweets Work for Your Business, for her willingness to be our guest author for today’s blog post. Shannon has hit the Twitter and Social Media scene like a freight train, she’s everywhere! We are so lucky to have her as a friend of thinkspace, and and the author of today’s post. If you would like the chance to hear Shannon speak at thinkspace at November 16th’s 3-5pm Thinktank Symposium workshop, please email frontdesk@thinkspace.com. The event is $45. If you are a member of thinkspace, we will buy your ticket!

The following content was written by and belongs to: Shannon Evans

Twitter…140 characters of what? Push marketing from spammers? Conversation with friends? Intense negotiations between partners? What is this Twitter thing and how does it fit into the small business owner’s toolkit?

Twitter is an effective marketing tool and listening post for businesses both large and small. The perception is that in order to get any return on the tool you must invest huge amounts of time and energy. Others believe the larger the following on Twitter the more diminished the return. Other than staying connected to social communities many just can’t seem to find the real value in Twitter as a marketing tool. As a stand-alone marketing tool they often question its value.

What value is to be found other than social connections? Unlike email marketing campaigns where the return yield is so small, a highly targeted Twitter campaign can have a much higher rate of return if you have done your homework ahead of the campaign! In other words, you have to invest time in the community and established relationships before you begin the campaign! So many small business owners are limited in marketing time and energy and so they automate everything they can. Honestly, that contradicts the meaning of social media. The word social, by definition, means engaging with others through dialog and listening and continued interaction, so automating your work on Twitter and syncing it with your Facebook posts is actually counter-productive unless your only purpose is creating promotional channels. Twitter is a great place to collect and act upon cultural and brand as well as competitor intelligence. Think of it as a pulse point on the internet for testing the health and stability of the market place as well as way of participating in a community for building trust and likability for your brand.

If you only want to use Twitter to deliver a conventional direct marketing – fuhgetaboutit! Think about the last social gathering you went to and you got stuck talking to the blowhard who attacked you with unsolicited advice or tried to sell you on how wonderful they were…you know the blowhard types! They are so desperate for attention that they latch on to you and bore you to tears or royally piss you off. Honestly, no one likes to be sold to and your followers are the same way! They want to be informed, inspired, entertained, and excited about things relevant to them. They really could careless that your gadget is on sale FOR THE NEXT TEN MINUTES ON TWITTER! Thoughtful conversation, the sharing of ideas and participation is what gets your brand noticed.

Twitter is not about the quick hit on a link, it’s about engagement. The key to Twitter is establishing your brand in a community of like-minded interested and interesting people. Never lose sight of the fact that the key to any social media action is sharing what people are interested in reading. Make sure the message you put out is right for your audience…and that you are cultivating the right audience. If you were dog food company you really would not be seeking cat owners to talk about your product, dogs, etc. Get your message out to the people who need or want to hear it. Find others who are talking about your topics and add to the conversation. Listen, engage, and listen some more.

This is not rocket science! We all have some level of social skills or we would not be in business long. Test the waters, find what works, rework, revise, revisit, and test some more. But get out there, introduce yourself, and listen and learn from those in your community. Twitter really is that simple!

Follow Shannon on Twitter!