This past week one of my clients paid me the highest compliment when I walked in for a meeting. She looked at me and said,
You’re my new favorite person
I asked her, “Why?” and she responded,
Because you were introducing people to each other last night, and no one ever does that.
You see, the night before, my client’s restaurant was hosting a party for another of my clients. In fact, I think at least 6 or 7 of my clients were represented at the party. Some of them knew each other, because Lancaster is a small city, while others hadn’t yet met each other.
Add to this collection of people the fact that I’m a connector. I’ve always been one. I love connecting people. Someone needs a job and someone has an opening; I connect them. Friends with similar interests; I connect them. Random friends that I think would benefit from meeting one another; I connect them.
What I haven’t figured out yet is how to monetize my ability to connect, but that’s beside the point. What my client was pleased about was that I took the time to connect her with other folks in town, and several interesting business relationships began that evening. I’m excited to see how they turn out. One of the things that I’ve learned is that by connecting people, and businesses, I am often facilitating some form of collaboration, and I love when that happens.
This is what makes social media exciting for me.
On one level it’s about relationships, but on a deeper level, it’s about connecting, and the two go hand in hand. Word of mouth and referrals aren’t just for businesses or products. They work with people just as well. Just the other day I got an email from my friend Andi in Virginia. The email was to me and a musician friend of hers, and she was introducing us to one another because she thought we might hit it off. Nothing more, nothing less. And now he and I are going to chat sometime in the near future. There’s nothing like the recommendation of a mutual friend to bring two people together.
Hey, Ken. You and so and so ought to connect. You’d really hit it off
It doesn’t work every time, but more often than not, a connection is made, and a relationship forms. This is how I met Canadian musician Deni Gauthier. We haven’t met in person, but we were introduced by another friend, Michael Krahn, and now we’re friends. This is how I met Dan Portnoy, My friend Lori from Biscuit PR connected us online, and while we’ve never met in person, we are now friends.
I bet if I went through my Facebook friends list I’d find hundreds of examples of people with whom I’ve connected because of someone introducing us online. You see it works the same online as it does offline.
Some of these are purely personal relationships, while others might turn into business relationships. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I’m a richer person for it, because people took the time to make a connection. They took the time to bring two of their friends together for a reason.
The social web is built on sharing, and this is a form of sharing. Sharing our friends with one another, in much the same way we share content.
How are you connecting people and businesses?
Take the time this week to introduce two of your friends to one another, based on some common interest, or mutually beneficial purpose. You’ll be doing a good thing, and your friends will thank you. And you never know when they’ll turn around and do the same for you.