While social proof and social currency are real (people often find opportunities based on the trust and credibility of "real" numbers), I want to remind readers that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more started out as social networks.
It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of fixating on your metrics—likes, comments, views, shares, followers, etc. However, as in real life, don’t forsake the value of one VIP relationship for the "love" of many.
Today, I want to shift the focus away from social marketing (or self-promotion). Here are three tips to make things happen just as quickly and easily through social networking with one VIP!
1. Dress to Impress.
Like an offline networking opportunity, you need to make a great first impression. In order to win the friendship of a VIP, take some time to examine your social profiles through a stranger's eyes.
Use my Social Profile Checklist to learn more—but it’s about consciously curating your photo(s), bio, website link and latest post.
2. Find common ground.
Duncan Stewart has spoken twice in my annual Social Artist Training course. Both times he’s expressed that so many actors make the mistake of approaching him about work instead of establishing a relationship first. You’re more than a headshot. Be a human first!
Start an authentic conversation about food, wine, dogs, sports, etc. Inevitably (especially in America… where our identity is so closely tied to our occupations), the question “So what do you do?” will come up. Let the VIP offer career advice or assistance on their own accord. Don’t lead with the ask—offer value and establish a relationship first!
Beyond seeing if you can find common ground through mutual interests, see if you can establish trust and credibility through mutual relationships. Before you go after the people at the top of your VIP list, see if you can shorten the six degrees of separation! Getting a friend request from a stranger with 3 mutual friends is different than 30 or 300.
3. Give, give, give, give, give.
If you’ve ever read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, you know that getting others to show interest in you starts with offering them your time, energy and attention first. To translate this online, make sure that you’re supporting others.
Social media is a two-way street—not a one-way broadcast. If you spend time supporting others with likes, comments, shares, etc. it will come back to you. There is such a thing as social karma. It’s online reciprocity.
Everyone loves to get a heart or thumbs up online. Be generous (yet genuine) with your support of others—and watch it come back to you!
What’s your biggest social networking win? Comment below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.