If you’ve received and read any of my New Year’s messages during the past few years you’d know I go about different ways to share some of what I’ve learned, or things I’ve learned from relating to my own development as a person and a professional.
One year I included an “eBook” copy of the old classic Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill which I continue to read and reference regularly.
Another year an eBook copy of Dr. Stephen Covey’s magnificent “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”
Of late I’ve been on a rampage of sorts to all of my friends, colleagues, clients, seminar attendees etc about “keeping in touch”….
The phrasing “keeping in touch” is one I used specifically simply because the term “networking” scares some people, puts off others and is not well practiced by many others….even though they do try.
I’ve always believed and then taught that “networking” is nothing more than common courtesy… for example:
-Wish people “Happy birthday”
-Congratulate them on the birth of a child
-(Console them on the passing of a loved one)
-Send someone you know who likes music (great vocalists in this instance) a link like this…
-Send them a newspaper article that reminded you of them at some point in your lives
In my (empirically based) opinion, “staying in touch”, aka “networking” ( a phrase I don’t particularly care for…SEE BELOW) is as important and vital to you and your personal brand as nearly anything else you do outside of the scope of your day-to-day work!
The world is far, far more connected than ever before………..Facebook, a 7-8 year old company has a valuation of some where between $50-$70 BILLION has grown rooted on the single concept of connectivity.
In the business world, people check your LinkedIn profile long before they ever check your references in many cases. (You know the expression that you are “judged by the company you keep”.)
Imagine a job search or any other business transaction coming down to you and 2 others and you’re connected on LinkedIn to 3, 4, or 20 people and your competitors are connected to several hundred and then think through who may get more attention……
If none of this has an impact on you then I apologize for wasting your time.
If, however, you think your cyber presence matters but are not sure where to start, “strategically,” I urge you to consider downloading a document on effectively using Linkedin written by a gentleman named Joe Bartling……
I’ve not met Joe, nor do I have any affiliation with him whatsoever but am grateful to him for writing the piece. I did not know what I was doing on LinkedIn until I read, re-read and continued to educate myself on the in and outs of this amazingly powerful tool
Don’t let the title of Bartling’s piece fool you either; it’s hardly just about “doubling your income”, in fact it’s equally about developing your brand, people’s awareness of your brand and awareness about you in general.
I read a report by a gentleman named Chris Baggot on how people communicate and otherwise find one and other these days….78% use “social media” (He also wrote a piece in his blog titled “In Tough Times You Better Be Easy to Find” ….sage advice!)
I’m old and all for staying in touch the “old-fashioned” way, but I’m coachable as well. If this is the way things are going …and it would be hard to argue otherwise then consider all that’s suggested here.
If you looked at it with time as a consideration, both the people with whom you keep in touch and your own. Tools like LinkedIn are the next best action (“NBA” as we call it in our seminars)
The choice is obviously yours, I’m simply sharing something I probably should have shared a while ago, but, better late than never I hope!
Share it with a friend, progeny or colleague if you like….Bartlett shared it with me.
My best always,
P.S. A CFO friend I shared this with said, “Barry, I get it; I learned a long time ago to not wait until you need money to reach out to your banker.”
P.P.S. My network on LinkedIn is open…if you’re interested in my sharing it