December 01, 2015
/ by Jeff Barrett
It happens. What is “it”? It is when you mean to stay in touch with someone but haven’t. Now six months have passed and you need to email them about a client, an article, a possible business deal. Sound familiar?
It’s so much easier if you’ve had an interaction, any interaction. Providing value in a relationship, even the smallest kind, is important. Staying top of mind is also important.
Yesterday, I dropped a few bars and spit hot fire on Twitter.
Why is that important? It allowed me to reintroduce myself by quoting Hov’ (Jay Z). The tweet itself was not important. But by the end of the day I was featured in Time, Slate, Complex and a dozen other outlets.
How did that happen? I used the second-highest trending hashtag on Twitter at the time and crafted a tweet that fit the audience. Ninety percent of the time, I use a Top 20 hashtag in my posts.
A lot of my content may seem silly but there is a purpose. I’m showing my network and potential clients that I know how to create traction and timely content. It also helps me stay visible and creates opportunities to stay in touch.
It’s hard to stay in touch without a system. I’ll share with you my system and if you like it, great. If you don’t, send it right back.
I almost never write anything down. Don’t follow my lead on that part. But I do, in the back of my mind, always remember to ask myself two things about every person in my network: (1) How can I help them? (2) How can we work together?
I’m constantly focused on being able to create value for my network. It comes down, really, to four C’s.
This is the easiest part. When I have down time, I will quickly view content created by the people in my network. I’ll give them a heart, a retweet, leave a comment, something. I’m just letting them know that I’m aware of what they are doing and I’m digging their content. It’s genuine. LinkedIn makes it really easy to keep tabs on job changes in your network. Cision has a great tool if you need to find influencer content quickly.
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This is a little harder but you have to do it to provide value. Not every person in your network wants a cheerleader. They want to work with a peer – someone who is creating amazing content at their level. It allows them to trust you more and opens up new opportunities inside your network.
As mentioned above, I make sure my content has the largest audience possible. I’ll write specifically about this later this month, if you would like, because I could talk for days about content creation.
I look for small ways to work with people in my network. I contribute to something they are already doing. I provide feedback. You’ll be able to sense when someone needs help. I try to be there. In PR, we all have those days where we have to beg, borrow and plead to get something done. I always remember the people that help me during those days.
People in my network may need something I can’t provide. But I still provide value by connecting them with someone else in my network that can help. I learned early on in my career that you should focus on doing one thing exceptionally well – and leave the rest to someone else. I work under the philosophy that if I’m a good connector, if I’m creating good value in my network that opportunities will come back my way. It’s worked so far.
I hope that helps. I’m always happy to answer questions. It’s common sense but we all need the reminder periodically. The more active you are with your network, the more action you will see.
Images: Muhammad Taslim Razin, Nick Saltmarsh, Håkan Dahlström (Creative Commons)
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