“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
That is absolutely one of my all time favourite quotes and sums up my networking and social media ethos.
If we would all spend more of our time being genuinely interested in the other person, rather than constantly trying to be interesting to them, all of us would have a much happier and more productive networking and social media experience. I talk about this all the time when I’m on stage and always follow it up with “the real opportunity is that most people won’t bother”. Because they won’t. Talking about ourselves and automating some social media posts takes so much less effort than actually doing what it takes to form real relationships and work through the Meet — Like — Know — Trust.
But that’s all abstract. How do you actually show people that you’re interested in them in 2018? And it isn’t by automating some tweets.
#1. Show up on social media personally. Be a person, not just your business. This involves time and effort, but I promise you effort is currency and allowing your personal brand to out on social media will draw the people to you who like and trust you.
#2. Read other people’s posts. A ground breaking idea I know, but if everybody is posting and nobody is reading, what’s the point? A load of you will say “yeah, but I would read other people’s stuff, but they never read mine so what’s the point?”. Read on friend, read on.
#3. If you like someone’s article, or post, or video, or podcast or whatever takes your fancy, then take the time to Like it, Comment on it and, if you think your audience will benefit from it, Share it. Do it genuinely, don’t set out to Like so many posts a day, that’s false. Actually spend the time being interested, genuinely, and demonstrating that interest in the 2018 way.
Rinse and repeat. Carry on doing this, day in, day out.
#1. LISTEN to what other people are saying in their 40 or 60 seconds, in their 4Sights and 10 Minute slots. Actually pay attention. Don’t just zone out and do your thing once you’ve listened to them. I used to know someone who, after delivering their own 40 seconds, would wander off and get more coffee. Don’t be that guy.
#2. LISTEN when you have a 121 with someone. Don’t just wait until your turn, mentally practising your pitch instead of paying attention to them.
#3. Take the time to Email the people you’ve met and listened to. Tell them what you liked about what they said. Send them anything you think might be useful to them or their business.
#4. Connect with the people you meet on whichever social media channels they are active on, and accepting connections on.
Rinse and repeat. I’ve been doing this for 11 years now.
Once you do this and keep doing and keep doing it again, guess what? People will reciprocate, people will take a look at your LinkedIn profile, people will take a look at your Facebook links, people will check out the content you’re putting out there (and now you need to make sure you are, obviously).
People do, in the main, like to reciprocate. Not everyone will, but then hardly anyone is looking at your stuff right now right? More people will show an interest in you, when you show an interest in them.
Dale Carnegie was right, it turns out, even though social media wasn’t invented until long after he died, he knew how to absolutely smash it.