Telling others how great you are rarely works
People just don’t believe you when they suspect self-interest is involved.
And yet most marketing programs are based on exactly that – telling the world how great you are.
On the other hand, nothing is more powerful than an army of people naturally and enthusiastically recommending you in their conversations with your potential clients. And unlike expensive marketing programs, it costs you nothing!
Sounds great, but how do you achieve that?
1. Build a tribe of high-value partners
2. Equip your partners to build their tribes
Great networkers usually understand and reap the benefits of Step 1 but fail to understand that Step 2 is far more powerful than any marketing program.
When you are doing all the work to grow a network, it’s a lot of work!
What if, instead, you found others who also saw the value of growing a small group of high-value partners?
Then the workload is shared, and the benefits for everyone in your extended network are immense.
Suppose you have an exponentially growing group of people who know, like and trust and will advocate for one another. In that case, you have a very powerful solution for most of your problems – including marketing!
Are you thinking: This sounds perfect, BUT I don’t have time right now (how many times have you heard the good old “Yes But”)
How can you proactively and easily build your network with other high-value partners who will do the same?
The standard way of building our networks is by introducing people we already know to relevant others.
However, the list of like-minded, high-value people you already know is usually very limited.
Also, many of the people you know may not yet see the value of proactively meeting new people to build their network.
Once you have reached out to the people you believe could collaborate with you in building their networks, where do you then look for more great candidates?
The best place to look for attitudinally aligned people is on LinkedIn.
However, examining endless LinkedIn profiles to find the few who are on the same page can be extremely time-consuming and tedious.
As such, it is very difficult to stick with a consistent habit of regularly examining and reaching out to people on LinkedIn.
Equally, relying on a strategy of creating influence purely by creating content on LinkedIn can also be a lot of work for relatively minor results.
The good news: There are far better ways of quickly identifying those who have profiles you’d love to have a “virtual coffee” with. Let’s cut the banter on LinkedIn and arrange to meet like-minded others as soon as possible for an authentic live conversation.
These conversations are likely to be much more successful if you do the following:
(1) Include words to the following effect at the top of your “About” section on LinkedIn
“Although you and I may not be able to do business directly, it is highly likely that I will know people who will be great contacts for you. I’m always happy to help others who also have a pay-it-forward attitude”
Important: It’s not about the number of people in your immediate network that you can refer to others.
It’s way more powerful than that.
It’s about the people that your trusted collaborators can refer them to.
The first step is a conversation – you are unlikely to refer anyone to one of your trusted partners or seek help for them until trust has been established.
(2) Only suggest an online meeting with people who have profiles with aligned values and attitudes
Industry and roles are far less important than attitude and values – unless you are using LinkedIn purely for lead gen.
The stats show using LinkedIn purely for lead gen is highly ineffective, and you are likely to be annoying to the vast majority.
For example: if a profile contains the words “My goal is to make a difference in the lives of others” in addition to other attributes you admire, there’s a good chance you’ll have a great conversation when you do meet online.
The best way to find great candidates on LinkedIn is to speak with those who are using a process that makes it easy and effective.