Networking is about meeting people you have commonality, synergy, potential and chemistry with. Linking is what comes next. You meet and link and connect one part, thing or person with another, and make a personal branding bond or tie.
According to the English Club, linking is very important in the English language. If you recognize and use linking in language, two things will happen:
- you will understand other people more easily
- other people will understand you more easily
Turns out linking people has the exact same benefit. We have the most amazing ways to do this in very engaging and personal ways today. It’s hard for some to imagine “getting personal” online, but the platforms, media’s and communication tools actually make this very easy and fun. Ultimately, it should all bridge to a real time, face to face or phone communication.
Identify who you want to link with, get to know and develop a relationship with and why. Be very clear on the why and be thoughtful about that in your messaging to them. Who do you know in common? What do you both do? Which groups do you both engage in? Make sure that you link with people who have a ”mutual mindset”, meaning it’s about helping each other and reciprocity.
Link IN with people. Joining groups and following people is only the beginning. Getting engaged and involved in people’s conversations, causes and missions, if you believe in them and support them is the best way to show authenticity in wanting to build a mutual relationship. Re-post, re-tweet, comment on a thread, start a conversation. Some of the amazing relationships I currently enjoy have taken months and even years to develop. People grow trust over time, by supporting each other through challenge and during change.
One of the most important aspects of building relationships and networking is connecting people in your sphere’s to each other. Make it a habit to introduce people to each other that you see commonality with. Be active in growing relationships, as they take effort and consistency. Think about who you can connect, and connect them in a thoughtful way. Promote and market your communities, clients and followers by linking their content, blogs and activity OUT.
Pick a few very specific groups where the right people are congregating and spend time in them networking and linking. Mining groups can be very fruitful in meeting great people local, far and wide. Here is a list of LinkedIn Groups, which you can customize with your own search on LinkedIn.
Integrate Social Marketing
Make sure you are promoting all your content marketing with a consistent integrated social marketing plan. Combine your email marketing, blog, podcast, social media’s, video, and promote across all of them for maximum exposure and reach! Check out these share tools used by the pros!
Make a list of 10 people who have you in common but don’t know each other yet and introduce them this week. Your goal? You’ve made 10 new connections with you as the catalyst, that probably will lead to a face to face meeting, Skype call, or phone meeting.
Are you on LinkedIn with a fully active and engaged profile? LinkedIn is by far the most important professional platform for professional advancement.
Network and Link Up, Link In, and Link Out and watch what happens!
Deborah Shane is Top 100 Small Business Champion 2012, Career Author, branding/media strategist, writer and speaker. She hosts her Toolbox Blogand a popular weekly Business Radio Show that has over 108K downloads! She is a regular contributor to SmallBizTrends.com, Monster, Blogher, PersonalBrandingBlog.com, Forbes.com. Her book Career Transition-make the shift is available on Amazon.com and all major book sellers. Deborah delivers smart ideas and solutions, which make her a popular go-to resource for CNN, CBS, Fox and Forbes.