It’s not what you know but who you know that makes the difference. Networking online is as important as networking offline to give your personal brand or your business a presence.
Someone who knows how to do this right in both worlds is networking expert and principal at Shadow Inventory Solutions Sasha O’Leary, and here are 5 tips from her you don’t want to miss.
#1 You Meet Everyone For A Reason: Stay In Touch
Every time I meet someone I think that I have met them for a reason. I feel that everyone I meet is important and I add every person to my database of contacts. And when I put them into my database, I also take some mental notes and I ask myself “how often do I want to be in touch with this person?”
Once I have put all their contact information into the system, I set up automatic alerts to remind me how often I should contact this person to stay in touch with them so I’m not hitting people up basically when I need something.
#2 Reframe Your Approach: Form Trust
When you’re asking someone for business the odds of them giving it to you are not very good. Someone who is in a position where he or she wants to help you because they trust you and have a relationship with you is going to be constantly trying to advocate business on your behalf and it works all the time.
I focus what I do on helping other people, for me it is not “How can I generate leads, How can I try and get more business” or anything like that. I start at a place of contribution “How can I add to you, How can I help you with your business, your personal life, whatever it is”. When you come from that angle, you’re not coming from a place of “I want” or “I need”, it’s not about you, it’s about the other person, and when you have a relationship like that, when you come from an angle like that, you formed that trust.
#3 Connect Others With The Right People – Be of Service
When you’re being of service when you call someone, you find a way to add value. The biggest way to add value is by connecting them with someone else that is going to help them benefit, or with an opportunity, or an event that they can go to — there are so many different ways to connect.
I like expanding my sphere of influence and meeting other people, because eveyone needs to interact with everyone else. I like being that person that can meet someone and say “hey, you know what, you know who needs your service, you know who would love to talk to you, you know who could really really help”, and puting them in touch with that person and then both people are happy. That is the way that successful business people are doing business today.
#4 Industry Leadership is Changing – Do Social Media
The social media tools that we have today have opened huge doors. Being able to access people that you couldn’t access before is huge, who doesn’t love that?
You go on LinkedIn and look up someone’s name and you can literalily see how many people away you’re from someone. When it comes down to it, you can almost get to anyone today whereas before we didn’t have that tool. When you’re trying to reach people and contact specific types of people, social media has changed the way business is done.
You look at the business world and at how much it’s changed, and how much technology is changing every single day, and one of the big things you realize is that many industries are still ruled by 40, 50, 60, 70 year olds, but they are going to phase out, they are going to retire, and this whole tech savvy generation that is used to social media, for whom social media is the way that they connect, is going to be taking over, and if you’re not involved in that, you don’t get it, you’re going to be at a huge disadvantage.
#5 Be Social Online & Offline – Master Both Worlds
Because so many young people are used to communicating via Facebook or any other social media avenue, or text messaging; a lot of them have problems communicating face to face.
I think if you can find the perfect combination, between having great interaction on social media but then killing it when you walk into a room with someone or you have a meeting with someone, you’re going to be unstoppable.