Being There When It Counts with Rick Itzkowich
In this article I share three specific tactics you can use to help you build and strengthen your relationships while social networking.
Social Networking is all about building relationships through conversations that create trust. The premise is -- if you build relationships and trust, profits will follow. The Internet provides us with tools to help us build the relationships. However the reality is that it’s the people who build relationships not the tools. The purpose of this article is to help you focus on being human. By doing so, you’ll do just fine in Social Networking.
Starting conversations is the easy part. Every Social Networking site makes it very easy for people to start talking with one another. Whether you ask someone to join your network (LinkedIn), be your friend (Facebook) or you decide to follow someone (Twitter), you can start hundreds of conversations with the click of your mouse. Plus, you’ll have others doing the same to and for you.
However, these conversation starters will not lead towards building the relationship unless they continue. And in order for the conversations to continue, you must have a strategy – and some tools.
To use an analogy, think of playing tennis with someone. You must hit the ball back and forth for it to be any fun. Social Networking is like that. You must engage people to continue their conversations with you and vice versa. So how do you go about doing this?
One of the ways to continue conversations is by having a “give to gain” mindset. You must be willing to help or give something of value to benefit others. When you do this, others will want to interact with you.
Here are three proven tactics to put this “give to gain” strategy for building relationships into action:
1. Act like a host.
Imagine arriving at a party where you don’t know anyone other than the person who invited you – and they are not even there yet! As you walk in, you’re apprehensive since you’re about to be in a setting with a lot of strangers. Imagine what a relief it is when someone walks up to you, introduces himself/herself to you and makes you feel welcome. They tell you a few important things like where the refreshments / restrooms are, and they also take the time to introduce you to one or two others to ensure that you are not alone. Is this someone you would want to get to know better?
The same is true in Social Networking. Joining a new site or online community can be daunting. So having someone welcome you and help get you started is something that most everyone would appreciate. I know this has been true for me. Most Social Networking sites have some feature where you can see who has recently joined the community.
By acting like a host and welcoming new members, you are providing a very valuable service to both the new members as well as the SN community as a whole.
2. Invite people to connect with you.
Once you get the conversation started, the next step is to select the people that you would like to have in your network and invite them to join it. After you identify a person, read their profile and find something that you have in common or that you find interesting about them. Be sure you comment on this when you invite them. This will make your invitation much more personal. Once you are connected, it is time to go to the next step.
3. Pay it forward.
My wife is from Sweden. In her country it's very common for people who visit other people's homes to always bring a gift. This custom is not about gifts per se. It is about expressing gratitude. If someone is inviting you to their home, you express your gratitude by bringing a gift.
In order to apply this mutual hospitality mindset to SN, after I add people to my network or vice versa, I offer them a gift. Now, this step is a little tricky. The reason being is that often salespeople use gifts as a sales tactic, and people are wary of these kinds of gifts.
The solution to this is to avoid offering gifts that are directly connected to your product or service. For example, if you are a massage therapist, you should refrain from offering a free massage. Or if you are a printer, avoid offering things like 250 free business cards.
I offer two gifts that meet the above criteria. One is a PDF eBook that includes useful articles to help the person with Social Networking. The other is an email product called QuoteActions that delivers inspiring or motivational quotes with an action designed to brighten their day.
Since neither of these “gifts” are directly related to my core business of Personal Development Seminars, people don’t feel like I’m trying to sell them anything. They are for the most part very open and appreciative of my offering.
Another important element in this tactic is that I offer the gift and ask them to respond to me if they would like to receive it. While I could include the gifts in my email, I have found that having them respond to me that they want it is much more effective. It is the equivalent of having a double opt-in system with emails.
I have covered three ways to build relationships and trust by starting conversations while Social Networking by: acting as a host; inviting people to connect with you; and paying it forward with a gift.
This month's QuoteAction is by 14th Century Mystic, Julian of Norwich
"A cheerful giver does not count the cost of what he gives. His heart is set on pleasing and cheering him to whom the gift is given."
Your action is to give a small gift to someone and notice how you feel afterwards.
Enjoy an Extraordinary Month!
Click *here* to find out more about QuoteActions and some of the other innovative products and services offered by THE NATIONAL NETWORKER.
The LinkedIn Guy
As the creator of QuoteActions, a unique relationship building system, Rick Itzkowich finds his articles, podcasts and blog messages regarding keeping your brand "top of mind" in high demand.
His, latest productLink Power Coaching Program, is a must for those people wanting to earn money using LinkedIn.
Rick is also the Co-founder of Productive Learning & Leisure, a personal development training company for corporations and individuals.
Rick can be reached at email@example.com
For more information, please visit Rick's TNNWC Bio.
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