The most effective networking
relationships are reciprocal. Both individuals gain substantial benefits from
the relationship. Unfortunately, some professionals view networking from one of
two extremes, either they cynically ignore the effort, or they pursue their
goal with Machiavellian tactics.
But what of the majority of us that fall
between the extremes? We show up for the dance, but spend a fair amount of time
observing from the sidelines. Of course there is nothing wrong with some
The warning signs were everywhere. But like a bull facing a red flag I charged
forward because I can’t resist a challenge, or revenue for that matter! The small nonprofit organization, funded by city
tax dollars, indicted that they were looking for a marketing change. But I suspected the odds of success were a
Resistance to change, by executives and
workers alike, is considered a central problem of most organizations. And LinkedIn provided plenty of evidence on
why a social change initiative would be difficult.
Free white papers and eBook’s, free seminars and webinars, free
assessments, free consultations, free demonstrations, free software download, free,
free, free. It sounds great, after all,
why pay for business advice and knowledge when you can get it for free?
But it’s not really free because every choice has cost. What we don’t spend in dollars, we spend it time,
attention, and effort. There is also “opportunity
cost” to consider. When you pick one
path you are losing the opportunity to explore another.
“Thanks for following! Let me
know if I can help!”
It appears to be a friendly welcoming, offering help to the receiver of
the message, but it’s not. In fact, if
you are using those ten words at the front end of your lead generation campaign then you are actually damaging your brand.
Here is why:
1. You delivered it through a direct message
automation application didn’t you? I
thought that was the case. Sorry, but
most people delete those messages without ever reading them.
No, probably not. In fact,
I’m guessing your company doesn’t even interview them for fear of the following:
1. When more
experience and skills are obvious from their LinkedIn profile or job
application it naturally brings the perception of added value. And added value brings the perception of
higher pay, even if the salary range hasn’t been disclosed. If that perceived higher salary is higher
than your budget for the position the application goes into the “overqualified”
It’s easy to spot self-absorbed brands on social media. What do they look like? It’s not what they look like; it has to do
with how they communicate.
· Learn more about us at blah blah blah.
· Be sure to “Like” our Facebook page!
· Did you catch our latest post?
· Hope you enjoy our tweets and posts!
· Please RT!
· Don’t miss our latest blah blah blah.
In addition, they rarely follow-back their audience. Which means it’s impossible to start a direct
message conversation with them.
My prime prospect is showing me their child pose. That’s code speak for “I’m not paying
attention now, so don’t bother me.” The
silence is deafening. What are my
1. Get busy with some loud broadcasting activity? You
know, blast them with all the channels including the phone, email, texting and social
media. Sure, I can wake them up and
force them to engage with me!
over them and watch to see if their current position shifts in the slightest. At that point I could quickly swoop in and
hijack their attention before they nod off again.
The process, or more
fitting, the mindset I recommend to individuals who want to start a business
should actually be implemented long before they hang out their shingle. Before starting a consulting firm or business
that depends on your personal reputation it’s to your advantage to make sure
your personal brand is already known, carries influence, and inspires trust. That means building and nurturing your
personal brand and network must be top-of-mind from the very beginning of your
career, even while you are still working for someone else.
“I’d like to connect and collaborate for mutual benefit.” Like
many of you, I’m often approached with that line on many social platforms. In truth, when that phrase is used within a
LinkedIn connection request from someone I don’t know it makes me cringe
because past experience has proven that they really mean one of two things:
I’d like you to accept my connection request so
I can immediately pitch you on the solution I’m peddling because I’m sure you
are a qualified persona.
“We’re looking for a lighter version of you.” In a business recruiting situation, they
probably don’t mean that you’re overweight.
Odds are they’re telling you that they think you’re “overqualified.” And overqualified is usually code speak for
1. You are too old.
2. You are too expensive.
3. The hiring manager would be uncomfortable
with your credentials. Perhaps even
4. They don’t have the forward thinking vision
to consider expanding the position, or to anticipate their future talent needs.