How Do You Nurture Your Networks?

the-brand-you-50.jpgReading The Brand YOU50by Tom Peters, I am posed with nuggets of truth which sort of leave me thinking “Duh, why have I never done that?” Yesterday’s post, was about managing your Rolodex (known in the virtual world as your list of contacts and clients), and today we should look at how we can better attend to oru relationshipswith others via the internet and online social networking sites.

For people who understand the importance of personal branding, the concept of LOYALTYis nothing foreign. Loyalty is simply what you and YOUR BRAND need to convey to the people of your network – including potential clients, acquaintances, mentors, colleagues, and true friends (not just the ones online). Using the same scale rating your contact lists that I recommended yesterday, identify people with whom you need to nurture or improve your relationship.

The question posed to me by social networking strategist and guru Jay Deragon surprised and inspired me. “What can I do for you?” And he really meant it. He wanted to know what On the Mark Writing needed.

I’m certain that Jay would have provided me with leads, information, strategies or whatever else I requested, but since I only told him that I need clients, he delivered them to me, and provided me with a fairly steady income from clients.

So what’s the point?

The point is that the people with whom we all need to have the best relationships are those who are there when we have problems. And if they can’t offer a good solution, they’ll search their contact lists until they find someone who can be of assistance. These people are often called “connectors” or “connections” because they have lierally thousands of contacts in various industries.

Be LOYAL to Your Connections

We should ask ourselves if we would be there for so-called “friends” in our networks if/when something really bad happened to their business or in their lives (like divorce, death of a child, etc.). The answer for most of us would be a hesitant YES, but it would be qualified by “It depends on what kind of friend they really are.”

To get the reputation of a good connection, we must be there for ALL of our contacts. It shouldn’t matter whether we are contacted weekly, monthly or even daily by those in our networks; we should provide the utmost respect and LOYALTY to the members with whom we have connections unequivocally. And if you know someone who has a problem that is bigger than you can handle personally, one of YOUR connections can probably help or YOUR connection’s connections can. (Within six degrees of separation, the whole world is connected.)

Another way to enhance your BRAND YOUidentity is to send correspondence to people you meet. Sometimes just sending a simple email or making a phone call gives your connection that “warm, fuzzy feeling,” and therefore earns you some points in the “Connector” Category.

Being loyal to your connections, being there for them when the going gets tough, is paramount in the noble quest of creating BRAND YOU!

How ’bout it?

Explore posts in the same categories: networking, personal branding, relationship economy, social networking, social web, The Communications Factors, Web2.0

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