Thanks to social media, networking has never been easier. Unfortunately, as a result, the abuse and selfish antics of people have given networking a bad name.
While it may be hard to navigate social media to promote your business all the while trying not to cross the border into spam, it is easy to make a conscious effort not to by following these simple tips.
Be a Supportive Human
Whenever I meet someone I make a mindful effort to get to know them and understand what it is they do. I firmly believe it’s not always what you know, but who you know, that will get you that next job. By understanding other people’s passions, goals and the basics of their current needs – I am able to help identify ways I can help by providing my services and/or introduce someone who can help make their life easier. Showing this type of support to friends and family has not only helped grow their business but grow my own network through their reciprocated support.
Showing genuine curiosity about someone else’s life is the fastest way to building an authentic foundation for a long-term relationship.
Share Your Secrets
People are attracted to knowledge and generosity. They want resourceful people in their network because they know they have value. It may seem counterintuitive to give away your knowledge and experience to your potential competition, but this is how you become the expert in your craft. There is so no reason to try and limit your knowledge to the underdog, they will find it from somewhere else if it’s not you. For example, if you sell a physical product its likely you went through a lot of trial and error to get it right. I’m sure you wish you had the knowledge you have now. By sharing this wealth of information, people will come back inquiring about how to buy more or even forward your information when someone else may have a similar question or wanting to buy your products.
Gratitude goes a long way and providing the answer to a problem someone has been trying to solve for a long time will have its benefits. Give it a try and see for yourself, I promise it will have its rewards.
Karma, It’s Real
If I do a favor or see someone in my network looking to use my products – I hope they’d refer me to their friends and colleagues (of course if they feel as though I provided excellent service). But sometimes they aren’t thinking about it and that’s ok. Personally, asking directly for shout-outs or mentions on social media seems ingenuine and cheesy. Instead, I ask that they share with a few friends or if they know anyone who would be a good fit for my products and services. Your best clients will come from referrals. In turn, I try to keep a flow of people in my network that I can refer to clients for services I can’t provide. Creating good karma – someone helps you, so you turn around and help someone else – is a great way to build a network of supporters for not only your business, but your fellow peers. Most times if they’re busy, you will be to!
Let Your Network Come to You
This means not adding everyone and their mother to your email list, flooding people’s social media feeds, harassing people with your business card at first interaction, and ruthlessly pushing your business pitch with little to no care about the other participant in the conversation.
So how do you get people to come to you? Provide value. Make it clear what you and your team are capable of. Provide trade secrets, refer your network, and build your reputation of being a good human.