Most people hate the word networking. It just doesn’t feel right to them. It feels like a bunch of people trying to push their own agendas in order to get ahead in the world.
Put in the mix important influencers and suddenly it feels more like junior high as you strategize what it’s going to take to get a chance to sit at the cool table during lunch.
The good news is there’s a different way.
So, what’s the fastest way to grow your network as a blogger?
What if, instead of helping yourself, you decided to help others?
Be the Biggest Giver in Every Relationship
I first heard those words a few years ago from my friend Dennis McIntee. For the first time, I saw networking as a joy instead of a drudgery. Growing your network by helping others just felt more natural to me.
Not only does it feel more genuine, but it’s just way more fun too. There are things you know how to do that others do not. This is true with big influencers as well.
Many of us mistakenly think that successful people have it all together. They don’t. They face the same technology challenges and business challenges that we do. If you become a good listener, you will find the areas they need help in.
Just to be clear, the goal is not to keep score, but to freely help others.
Your opportunity stream widens when you begin to help others.
As Zig Ziglar always used to say, “You can have everything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”
What are some practical ways we can connect with other influencers?
1. Share your audience with them.
A great way to connect with an influencer is by promoting them to your audience. You might be thinking that your audience isn’t big enough, but most influencers see it differently. They are grateful when other people share their message, product, or service with any size audience.
A great way to personally connect with an influencer is to invite them to your podcast for an interview. What’s great about this strategy is you’ll have time to chat with them personally before and after the interview.
If you don’t have a podcast, interview them via video over Skype or a Google Hangout. You can then share it on your blog or on YouTube.
2. Help them overcome a challenge.
If you listen closely, you’ll discover the challenges that other influencers are facing. Sometimes it is as easy as reading through their past tweets on Twitter. I’ve seen many major influencers turn to social media when they are trying to solve a problem. Reaching out to them with answers is a great way to connect.
3. Introduce them to other influencers.
Become a people connector whenever you can. You never know the type of long-term connection and friendship you might help make. They will always remember you as the person who brought them together.
If you interview an influencer, as I mentioned earlier, simply ask them if they know [insert name of other influencer]. If the answer is a no, then connect the two of them via e-mail.
4. Buy their products and services.
This is a terrific strategy most bloggers don’t take advantage of. When you purchase a product or service from an influencer, you have a better chance of connecting with them personally.
If their product has a forum, go in and serve their customers well by generously answering questions and you’ll create a top-of-mind awareness in the mind of that influencer.
In the end, you have brought value to their customer and made their product more valuable in the eyes of that customer. Also, purchasing products and services places you in a smaller community, which usually allows more personal interaction with the influencer.
Are you beginning to see that networking can be fun?
Be the biggest giver in every relationship.