There are usually two kinds of social networkers I cross paths with:
1. The Smart Beginner, usually an inexperienced solo-entrepreneur who is intelligent and eager to learn how to use blogging and social media. Because of their lack of experience, they tend to NOT know exactly who they want to attract, and usually spend their first six to 24 months FIRST trying to figure what kind of value they can offer.
2. The Leader, usually an experienced professional with an “itty” business that consists of two to ten people and understands his/her value. They just don’t understand the platforms, but they fully understand the value they offer. They spend three to nine months optimizing the way they deliver their value in the social space.
When I speak with these two types of folks, I say the same thing to both if they ask:
“There are two kinds of networking…”
The kind of networking where you give your business card to lots and lots of people, show up at a lot of “cocktail parties,” friend a lot of people on Facebook, follow a lot of people on Twitter, etc.
I say, “Nowadays that’s close to worthless. Not absolutely worthless, just not worth as much as you’d like it to be.”
(Those days are way over.)
The other kind of networking…
The kind of networking where you help people achieve their goals reliably, consistently and repeatedly so that OVER TIME people have an interest in helping you achieve YOUR goals because they end up having a connection with you in some way or another.
BTW: You can do that offline too in the same way you’d do it online: help people; refer people; set people up; teach people how.
Of course, you can do it online by leading a group (a.k.a. tribe, community); connecting people; giving people access to the information and resources they need because OVER TIME they’ll do the same thing for you, or come to you because you’re a “happy habit.”
Just remember that you’re not doing it to receive, you’re doing it because the act is beneficial.
My question for you today:
What kind of social networker are you?
Let’s use Facebook as an example, are you systematically friending people on Facebook that is akin to handing out 500 post cards a day simply to run the numbers, or are you actually being beneficial?
The reason I first told you about the two types of social networkers is because before the smart beginners were smart beginners they were neglecting the important task of learning what value they could offer to a specific group, community or tribe.
They were focused with useless social networking – the kind where they rummage through leaders’ Facebook friends for more people to follow.
Leaders always focus on developing their value: both mindset and skill set, and they essentially “sell” that as a resource and a reference (backed with a focused opt in plan).
This makes them attractive and they don’t make as many attempts to friend or follow masses of people because so many are already “friending” them.
What is your opinion? Leave a comment below. How do you network? What’s your style?