You cannot Succeed Alone
No matter how great you may perform in certain areas of your life, you will still need people to assist you in other areas, where you are not very strong. We all reach a chasm in our lives or businesses where we feel unable to proceed without the support of someone else. This is where effective networking will help us and accelerate our progress.Trying to build a successful business without networking is like carrying a heavy suitcase at the airport without any wheels to help you. Effective networking on the other hand is like walking along a travelator at the airport with a perfectly balanced suitcase on wheels. When you engage in proper networking it will feel like someone has put a travelator under your feet, helping to transport you to where you need to go. When you connect with the right people they serve as a catalyst that accelerates your ability to achieve your goals.
The Dunbar 150 theory states that we can only realistically have 150 meaningful relationships. The average facebook user has around 130 friends. So this theory seems to hold true even with social media. There are ways to expand these connections and by using customer relationship software it is possible to connect with significantly more people. Remember these are tools that will help you to keep track of your extensive network. They by no means are a substitute for real face to face contact and relationship building. There are great tools available like Gist.com, rapportive.com and plaxo.com that make managing your social networks easier and more streamlined.
Treat everyone you meet like a VIP.
Ensure that you have their express permission before you add them to any mailing list or newsletter. At live events it is always a great idea to collect as many suitable business cards as possible. Never ever add these people to any mailing list or mass emailing system without getting their permission. You will very quickly alienate people if you follow this reckless strategy.
You build meaningful relationships by making people feel special
It is crucial that you take a real interest in everyone you meet and that you strive to treat them as VIP’s. Always try to go the extra mile by glancing at their bio on LinkedIn, Facebook or twitter. It is always great to have something to comment to people about when you meet them. Things like, it is great to meet a fellow engineer etc.
There is one word people love to hear more than any other, their name. Use people first names as often as realistically possible in any communication with them. This applies whether you are speaking to them in person or if you are communicating with them via email or on any of the social media sites. By using the sweetest sounding word in their vocabulary will build great rapport with everyone you interact with. Please make sure that you pronounce and spell peoples names correctly.
Connection is Crucial
Get out of the idea that you must always be in broadcast mode. No one likes to interact with people that only push content one way. Respond to as many people within your social media network as possible. I try to comment on at least 3 targeted people’s blogs every day communicate with 5 targeted people on facebook everyday and join one or two targeted twitter conversations a day.
Strive to be someone that always adds value, helps and connects with properly targeted people daily and you will build an effective social media network. These contributions must never be made with a hidden agenda. You will be completely transparent; people will know when you are not being authentic. As you build your social equity you will attract the right type of people into your network. The law of reciprocity will most certainly be activated and you will form great long term sustainable relationships with people that matter.