This is a special guest post by Scott Bradley, Gen Y entrepreneur, marketer and blogger of Networking Effectively. Scott will be SixFigureStart’s special guest on the Oct 7, 7p EST teleclass on Networking At Career Fairs. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register and get the call-in details.
In the world of the social web anyone can “add a friend” or “make a connection” but everyone who just thinks that they can use this as a strategy to “network” are horribly mistaken.
Below is a short list of what I have found to be the most effective things to do to help you build a “following” and get people to like you and listen to what you have to say on the social web…all the while creating win/win partnerships at the same time!
1) Get social!
I am serious! Stop worrying about the numbers of friends you have and start thinking of ways to engage with the “tentative audience” you have already built. I call new friends the tentative audience, because when you first “add them as a connection” all they have seen is a profile and your name…and if your lucky maybe your website.
For the experience and exposures to be effective, find out ways to actively engage with your new connections to move them from the tentative audience category to life-long friends and business partners. The only way to do this is to BE SOCIAL on these sites. If you have a good link to share, share it using the posted items feature in Facebook! If you found something interesting or a cool tip that you learned that day, share it in your status. There are so many ways to share good things with your contacts on these sites if I actually took the time to list them all it would take up the entire page! Get creative!
2) Help others before helping yourself
Always look to be of value to other contacts that you connect with through the social web. The “I scratch your back, you scratch my back” phenomenon is seen everywhere on the social web, because when you WAKE UP to the fact that you need other people to help you to be an online success and a great networker…you will see that the only way to accomplish this is to think about others first before thinking about yourself.
Before you scream, “But I want to just go on there get what I need to get done, and make sure that I am the most productive with my time,” let me put it to you this way. Say that you are person A and you have person B come to you and say, “Do you know anyone who ________?” would you help person B find who they are looking for IF THEY NEVER HELPED YOU to begin with? EXACTLY!!! You wouldn’t!!! Seriously ask people how you can help them in messages you send back and forth. This activity is definitely worth your time because if you help another person, you can come back to them in the future and ask them for a favor you may need. I guarantee you they will gladly do it.
3) Be Genuine
From what I have found, people appreciate others who are not only honest but further are genuine in their communication with their “tentative contacts.” If you are on the social web just to promote yourself and sell products, you are not going to last very long because people will see right through you and what you are up to. Being genuine can be as simple as responding to a posted item one of your contacts put up, and giving them a really thoughtful response. Think about it, how would you feel if someone you never knew commented on one of your articles that you posted to your Facebook profile…pretty cool huh! Now flip it…how would it feel if you were to comment on someone’s posted item and then they came back and thanked you for your comment! That is pretty cool as well!
The more genuine you are, and the more transparent you are, the better it is for you and your contacts on these sites going forward. Trying to be someone your not, only to sell products in my opinion defeats the entire purpose of these social networking sites.
When it comes down to it never lose sight that on the other side of the computer is a live breathing person. They are not a number, or a robot, or an animal…they are a live breathing person just like you. Treat them how you would want to be treated and truly the sky is the limit to leveraging the sheer power of these social networking sites.
Filed under: career coaching, career coaching, Networking Effectively, Scott Bradley, SixFigureStart, teleclass