The more things change, the more they are the same!

There is a lot of hype about how “Social Media” such as Facebook, LinkedIn and every other variant is changing the way we do business.

It’s coming to the point where you feel inadequate if you don’t have hundreds of friends on Facebook, LinkedIn and now, Google+!

True, social media allows you to reach out to people you ordinarily might never come across – and often reduces the “six degrees of separation” down to one or two.

However, it’s what you do after you connect that really hasn’t changed.  People are people and it’s relationships, not money that makes the world go round.

And that’s where many a person comes unstuck in their online social efforts.

In the mad frenzy of continually inviting people to “connect”, I think one thing has been forgotten.

It’s not how many connections you have, but what you do with them.

Social media and networking is (at least in theory) about forming relationships.  It’s about interacting and getting to know people.  Really know them.

And that generally doesn’t happen by just acquiring “friends” and “connections”.  You have to actually do something to foster the relationship.

It comes down to the old axiom, “I don’t care how much you know, until I know how much you care”.

So just madly “adding friends” without going deeper into the relationship is frankly, a monumental waste of time.

So the obvious question is how do you form better relationships?

The simple answer is you give before you get.

I’ve had a recent example of what (in my opinion) not to do!

I recently connected with a well known futurist on LinkedIn.  I don’t know him personally, but have colleagues who do.

So imagine my surprise when he accepted the “connection” and immediately asked me for a testimonial regarding his work!

This is what he wrote…

Thanks for requesting to connect to me on!

Now that we’re connected, would you write a brief recommendation of my work as a Speaker, Author or Mentor?

Of course you’re under no obligation to do so – but if you do know my work and appreciate it – could you write just a line or two?

And if you don’t have a copy of my ebook, you can download it here – no cost just tweet about it here:

(link removed to protect the guilty)

Thanks so much for your help.  I hope I can help you in the future!

Don’t know about you, but it sort of left a sour taste in my mouth.

I don’t know the guy personally.  I’ve never read his stuff.  And if he really wanted to give me his free ebook – send me a link directly and if I like it, I might well pass it on.

Relationships take time and effort to develop.  There are no shortcuts.  Trust has to be earned.

Contrast that with this response I got today…

G’day Rashid and thanks for asking to be connected.  Here is how I see we can support each other.

1. Can you see something in my profile, skills and background that is of interest where you feel you can learn OR have a question?  Then please ask!

2. With the combined connections we have (I am sitting at over 2500 right now), is there someone specific with whom you want to connect at 1st level?  Then please ask!

3. Can you suggest something specific in your experience that you feel would be of benefit to me?  Then suggest it please!

If you want to really grow your Social Media presence click here – (and he provided a link to his product, which I checked out)

First he offered to help – then he sent me to a link to a product.  Almost, but no cigar!  He doesn’t know if I’m in his target market and even if I was, I still don’t know him enough to become a client.

So here are some things I suggest you do instead.

Most people undertake networking to get business for themselves.

I suggest you reverse that.

Find out more about the person you’re connecting to and how you can help them first.  Go out of your way to connect them with people or opportunities that could benefit them.

For example, recently met a chap at a function.  Once he told me what he did, I immediately thought of 2 people in my network who could use his services.  He didn’t know them, so I made an introduction.

With connections, speak on the phone and where possible and appropriate, meet physically.  There’s nothing quite like eyeballing someone and getting a physical vibe and seeing if the chemistry’s there.  And if there is, keep in regular contact.

So take the time to build relationships.  Names on a list without a meaningful connection are worthless!


Share this...