"The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals." ~ Melody Beattie
Copyright © 2018 by Sue Seward. All Rights Reserved.
So are you good, bad or ugly when it comes to social media? It can make a huge difference in building real long term relationships with people you meet online so it pays to be good and most of all considerate of other people's interest and view points even when it's not your own. It's ok when we get a little bad with like falling off our eating or fitness plan but when it comes to social media it's just not good to be ugly or disrespectful towards other people. Notice I didn't say tolerant I said considerate. It doesn't matter what type of business you are in, it's always better to stay on the good side when it comes to social media. What's that saying about catching more flies with honey? hee hee..
Here's why making positive connections with people can be a valuable resource and some ways to become a relationship building champ if you'd like to be good with social media. It's possible, anyone can do this and besides you’ll make more real friends this way. The question is how many people actually take the time to think about and serve others first? Especially when on Social Media. One of the first things we do at our church One Chapel here in Austin, Kyle and Lake Travis is put on our ‘name tag’ so people get to know our name. We’re always stressing how important it is to connect with people, first by knowing their name, then welcoming people and helping them to feel at home.
Network Marketing too has always been a people business. It's all about people and what they are interested in. It's not a good thing to be ugly to people online either but we've all experienced it at some point in time. It's sort of like when people are driving their cars right?
When we don't find out what they want by connecting with them it can be quite frustrating. We can easily find out what they do and what they are interested in by simply taking an interest, asking, then listen to what they are saying. Really genuinely listen. Connect with people and find out what their desires and dreams are. What's their why for a specific product, wanting to earn some extra money or even perhaps starting a whole new career? After finding some things out, offer to help by plugging them into a plan and a system they are comfortable with to achieve their specific goals.
In order to become a better connector it takes networking with lots of people including people in our own industry that may be involved in other companies. Building relationships with other networkers is a good thing because we never know when someone we meet may be in the looking zone for something different. It makes more sense that people would contact someone they've connected with, feel comfortable with and built a trustworthy relationship with.
How do you make connections with people you’ve never met or just met? Personally I've been doing this for over twenty years with people by building relationships with people I meet through the Internet, phone and locally, especially with Facebook in the last nine years. I've met many people personally and have spent time with them and their families at company and other industry training events around the country. I appreciate each and every one of them. I have enjoyed local networking with people at business networking groups.
Always keep an open mind because as business professionals we have the opportunity to make connections with all sorts of people where ever we go. If we stay closed minded and only connect with people in our own company or industry we could be losing out on some valuable resources to help us grow ourselves and our business. Recently I met and connected with a local Chiropractor at an event we both spoke at. He gave me some valuable insight into nutrition which helps me in my business and I shared my personal experiences with him. It was a very good connection that in time who knows what could transpire.
Connect with people by asking questions and keeping things simple. The more questions we ask the more answers we receive and a natural conversation starts to develop. When all we do is tell, tell, tell, we don't get any answers because we're not likely connecting with someone where they are at the time. It's our job to find out where they are and what they are interested in. For instance at a local networking event it's important to reach out to someone asking what they do, who would be a good contact and/or customer for their business? They will most likely reciprocate.
Where do these connections take place? When we're out and about on errands, shopping, volunteering at schools, at church, jobs, on airplanes, in airports, on vacation, with realtors when we're looking at property, at social functions, at family gatherings, in online marketing forums, company events, training events. Even when someone is reading an article they are looking to connect with the person behind the curtain. Does this mean to shove your business and product on someone? This is one of the worse things anyone can do to push someone away. You are connecting with a person and looking to form a possible relationship. That means asking about them and genuinely taking an interest in what they are saying and what they are not saying. So it's about listening and learning. By doing this it's easy to find out how to actually help a person and determine in which direction they are looking to move forward. When you are talking about your product, company, etc., and someone changes the subject just go with the flow. Stop talking about you and focus on them. It’s much better this way, trust me.
Becoming more of a messenger means not to push, shove, manipulate or force people into listening to what you have to say. A better way is to lead, guide, prompt and suggest to them, then it’s their responsibility to decide what's best for them and their own circumstances. Sometimes it may take longer to build a relationship with one person than another but it's up to them to decide.
Some of the ways to connect is through using technology. The Internet is an excellent way to connect with lots of different people by using email, online marketing systems, message forums and online social and business referral communities. Some of the communities to network, connect with people and exchange business referrals are Facebook.com, Linkedin.com, Twitter.com, MeetUp.com, mlmwoman.com, MyDswa.com, ReferralKey.com just to name a few. There are many other online communities so do a Google search.
Some of these are more social networks and not places for blatant advertising; they are a place to connect with like-minded people. Be sure to read the policies of each community or Facebook group and set up your profile with your business and personal information and your personal professional photo. It’s not polite or kosher to post personal business information on another person's Facebook wall without their permission. That’s like walking into a friends living room and putting your products on their coffee table without asking them.
Find out where each community or group offers advertising areas or times to post for your business. If you decide to join some of these online communities look me up and let's connect. If you set up a Facebook group be sure to always ask someone first before adding them to your group. You can also put in the group information that if they were added and your group doesn’t interest them it’s certainly ok to leave the group. If you do advertise your company, product on your personal Facebook timeline is to be cautious in not inundating people with too many posts on your timeline about your business. I post about my family, our dog Titan, lots of foodie recipes, scripture, and encouragement. Then once a day or so I put a post about my business and/or product and it’s usually in a blog post I’ve written and then post the link to that blog post on my FB timeline. When someone sends you a Friend Request find out what they do and even send them a personal message to connect and see why they are sending you a friend request. When I’m connecting with someone new on Facebook I start an actual personal conversation with them to see what they are up to instead of just posting my business link. It’s not only annoying when people do this it’s a sure way to turn people off big time so my advice is just don’t do this. Take some time to actually get to know someone, like read their profile.
When you do use technology remember turn the high tech into high touch by connecting and being genuinely interested in people. Ask what they do, where do they live, are they local to you, do they love what they do, what are their hobbies, are they married, do they have children, grandchildren, are they happy with how their life is going, are they looking for a change? Find out if a person is open to connecting and be careful not to force yourself on someone that isn't interested. It’s like bugging someone about going out on a date when they have absolutely no interest in dating you. Of course I haven’t dated in over 40 years but I still remember those awkward days.
Besides meeting people in person, the phone is and has always been an excellent personal way to connect with others. And I’m not talking about just text messages. Sometimes the written word can be misunderstood and you might miss out on a valuable connection with someone because of an email or a post on Facebook that they misunderstood. Use the phone often and use it properly by asking questions like mentioned above that will help you in connecting better with people. Using video like Facebook Live and audio messages is another excellent way to make a more personal connection with people online.
Making real connections with people could end up being the most important thing you not only do for yourself but when you are a good example to others that you are working with just think of the possibilities for everyone. When more people find themselves putting positive vibes out by connecting and actually helping each other find positive solutions to their problems, long term relationships are built which can be a real win-win for everyone in any situation business or personal.
Sue is a wife, mom and servant leader who has been networking, connecting and building relationships online since 1996. She is the Founder of Gluten Free Lady and created a full time career in Network Marketing over the last twenty years and lives at Lake Travis in Spicewood, Texas with her husband and Aussie dog Titan. Sue co-authored the Direct Selling Women's Alliance book ‘Build It Big' - 101 Insider Secrets From Top Direct Selling Experts & is a trainer on their Mentored By The Master Series CD. She has been a contributing writer for The Network Marketing Business Journal, Home Business magazine, MLMWoman.com, and TheNetworkMarketingMagazine.com and has been interviewed on several home business radio shows. Contact Sue on Gluten Free Lady if you'd like to connect or visit http://www.facebook.com/sueseward