We’re in a bit of a strange place. We can have access to more people than ever before, thanks to social media, but the quality of our actual relationships is declining. That is because while we can contact more people, we aren’t connecting with them. Not in a meaningful way. If you do anything online — run a business, promote your books, look for consulting clients, etc. — you’ll need to change this dynamic in the year ahead.
That is because our Twitter feeds, inboxes, Facebook pages, and other points of contact are being filled with messages we can never read or respond to — and really aren’t all that interested in — because we don’t know the people sending them. Sure, they may be on our friend list, but they are no friends.
Check out that old philosophical question: If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?
Now relate that to your experience: If you send an email and it sits unopened in an inbox, did you really send it?
You have to do more than contact people. You have to actually connect with them. I began to realize the truth of this as I grew my business. It wasn’t about knowing a lot of people. If I had 100 people on a contact list but they weren’t interested in engaging with me in any way, what benefit was it to have them on a list? On the other hand, if I connected with 10 people who were interested in what I had to say, then that was far better.
I was fortunate to have a platform where I developed a lot of relationships. I wrote a newspaper column that got tons of responses every week. I was able to turn many of those contacts into connections who supported my other projects, including the first book I published in 2002 (now available as an ebook) and my business. Some of those people remain connections and friends today, so many years later. I am forever grateful for those relationships, because they helped me move my business from a wish to a reality. In fact, our company celebrates its 11th year in business this month, and that has me thinking about what has helped me launch, establish, and grow a business in today’s economic climate. I give a lot of credit to relationships. I didn’t come out of college with any special contacts or influence. But through my relationships, I’ve been able to gain access to much of what I’ve needed to succeed in business. I’ve gained access to knowledge, funding, new clients, and more, all through relationships. All through connecting.
Turn your contacts into connections
You too can gain access to the resources you need to launch, establish, or grow your business, if you just turn your contacts into connections. You don’t need to have the biggest network of anyone you know. Nor do you need to be the socialite who is at every party, networking event, or social function. That is the beauty of taking your contacts from just names in a database and turning them into meaningful connections. It’s not about the quantity of your list of contacts, but the quality of the connections.
If you’ve been focusing on simply building a bank of contacts, change your tactics. You’ll need to, if you want to make significant improvement in your career or business this year. You’ll need to connect to succeed in 2013.
2013 is about connecting, not just contacting. If you’re confused about how to do this, or wonder if it’s even possible to connect on a meaningful level with the people you see on Twitter, Facebook, or at networking events, I want to show you how. You can turn those superficial, meaningless contacts into true and real connections that can help you accomplish your goals and provide meaning for what you do. It takes a different approach than the one you’ve been using. Do it properly, and you’ll send emails that get read and leave messages that get responded to. You won’t be just somebody on someone’s contact list. You’ll be a connection. Maybe even someone they are happy to do business with, help, or invite to their events.
Sure, we are in a strange place today. We can contact more people than ever before, but we aren’t really connecting with them. Authors, writers, Internet marketers, business owners, and others are dumping tons of hours into chasing contacts, when they should be making meaningful connections. They wonder why nobody is responding to their messages, calls to action, and promotions, but it’s because nobody is listening. Because they haven’t bothered to connect. That is the place where many people are, maybe where you are. But it doesn’t have to be the place you remain.
Get better results
Be different. Invest in your relationships and get a better return on the time you are spending at offline networking events and online social networks. You can grow your small business, freelance business, or contracting service when you view your relationships differently.
Want to know more about how you can get a better return on your relationship efforts in 2013? My latest book, Connect and Conquer: How to Nurture Your Business Through Online and Offline Relationships can help, and it’s coming soon. Be among the first to hear about it when it’s published. Join our Writer’s Living mailing list at http://eepurl.com/n1quL
Let your relationships take you places. Connect.