It seems that few business owners and creativepreneurs who climb aboard the social networks realize one of the most incredible benefits. The networks are open source. What I mean is that before social networking came a long unless you were in a networking group like Powercore, BNI, or Ali Lassen’s Leads and you met weekly and saw the network face to face, your colleagues and your competitors networks were closed to you. These were unseen, unknown databases of contacts that you might have to go through twelve degrees of connection to access. Today that is all changed.
On Twitter, one of the simplest and best ways to find an audience and followers is to find someone with similar interests and talents to you (don’t be so surprised they do exist!) Look at both who that individual is following and who their followers are. You can easily, simply, and quickly follow the same people. Now clearly for them to follow you back requires providing consistent value in your communication and interaction, but what a revolutionary way to leap ahead.
On Facebook, the same applies though the process is a bit more time consuming and restricted. Find those who are sharing your type of audience and check out their circle of friends (this is very rarely restricted.) Then, since Facebook only allows you to invite up to 20-25 friends a day, take a minute to check out specific profiles and send personalized (this is vital) invitations. We all get the generic requests; it is those persons who truly take the time to craft a personal message even when brief that will often have the greatest influence.
On LinkedIN, you can view anyone’s network, (yes you can restrict viewing if you prefer not to allow anyone to see yours.) Accessing is a little trickier but the idea that you can generally easily view their contacts is certainly something that can make your climb to the top much faster. Once you know who is the gatekeeper for the connection you desire to make, it can be as simple as crafting a well written request to be connected. Just saying you want to meet is rarely adequate. Most of us on LinkedIN take our role as gatekeeper to our network seriously and only want to connect those who are authentic and genuine and not pitching or spamming. In fact, on LinkedIN, you can see clearly how many degrees of separation exist between you and your desired contact and the best immediate connection to introduce you.
Open source is revolutionizing how networks are built and business gets done. Create your strategy, learn the tools, and implement your success. It really can be that simple and certainly beats wandering aimlessly amongst the networks searching for contacts. Get targeted on who you want to meet, learn who has similar interests, focus and talent and mine the gold that is so readily available.
Your comments are invited and appreciated!