Social Media

Entrepreneurs, Beware This Terrible Way Of Networking On Social Media

Approaching someone you don’t know to ask them a favor doesn’t work online any better than in real life.

There’s a trend emerging on social media. Someone you don’t know but who may be connected to some of your friends or your network sends you a friend request. Shortly after, they send you a private message or email telling you what they want from you.

Every single day, I get these type of friend requests and messages. Someone’s first interaction with me is to ask me to write about them or their company, or they want to pick my brain about how to book paid speaking and consulting gigs internationally. No “hello,” no small talk. They just get right to what they want and how it somehow benefits me.

This is a terrible way to network and will never make a connection with fellow entrepreneurs. Social media works a lot like real life. You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger, say “hello” and then try to kiss them. There are three things you should understand in regards to networking.

1. Lead with value.

Human nature is to focus on what we want and what will help us. Networking done right leads with value for the person you’re approaching.

I’m not going to give you the old-school advice to tell people you will work for free just to get their radar. It can be as simple as sharing a book suggestion or a helpful article that complements what that person has shared on social media. It’s not about a grand gesture, it’s about finding some way to approach that person with value.

Also, understand that trying to get them on the phone right away is too much. They don’t know you, a phone call right off the bat is not a great ask. Your asks should not exceed the realities of your relationship.

2. Do your research.

It amazes me how many people lead with the message “what do you do?” Hello, have you heard of Google?

If you are trying to get to know someone, start with their social media posts. Google what they’re up to and read their website. Do your research before you approach a person with a silly question. You don’t want to be that person whose first impression gets them ignored forever.

When you’re doing your research, look for something that interests the person you’re approaching and use it to get their attention. I’m not telling you to be a stalker, just do some light research to understand the person and what they do.

3. Realize there is no silver bullet. 

A lot of times, entrepreneurs want to connect with an “influencer” or someone they follow. They think they’ll get some magical “answer” that takes them to their goal. Just about 100 percent of the time, it’s not. A conversation with the right person can unlock some strategy piece in your mind but there are 10 other steps that go along with that conversation.

The reality is that you are your key to creating success. You are the one who has to do the work that leads to results. It would be great to connect with someone who can help you move faster, but it’s not necessary. We have all the tools, technology and access we need to begin building a successful business without connecting with someone else first.

You can make good business connections that lead to joint ventures or collaborations but only if you approach the conversation and relationship in the right way. Lead with value but don’t go overboard. Spend a few minutes doing some research and send a message that shows you respected the person enough check out what they’re up to. Understand that you, more than anything, are the key to your own success. Even if you can’t connect, you can still build on your own. Here’s to you and networking in a way that helps your business.

By  Kimanzi Constable. Image Credit: Image credit: Shutterstock

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur

Vladimir Putin Takes Icy Plunge To Mark Orthodox Epiphany
Vladimir Putin Takes Icy Plunge To Mark Orthodox Epiphany [Video]
Uproar Over Watches Threatens Thailand’s Ruling Generals
Uproar Over Watches Threatens Thailand’s Ruling Generals
Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister Announces First Pregnancy [Video]
French President Emmanuel Macron and Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May
UK And French Leaders Reach Border Deal, Disagree On Brexit [Video]
Bitcoin
U.S. CFTC Sues Three Virtual Currency Operators For Fraud
Did The Bubble Burst
Did The Bubble Burst? [Podcast]
US Sheriffs Welcome $1.7 Million After Students Plead Guilty To Stealing 5,400 BTC
US Sheriffs Welcome $1.7 Million After Students Plead Guilty To Stealing 5,400 BTC
ICO Spotlight Ink Protocol, Fluence
ICO Spotlight: Ink Protocol, Fluence [Podcast]
Highly Effective Ways Of Using Reputable Online Workers
Highly Effective Ways Of Using Reputable Online Workers [Infographic]
6 Loopholes To Stay Alive
Facebook News Feed Armageddon Survival Guide: 6 Loopholes To Stay Alive
6 Free Twitter Marketing Tools
6 Free Twitter Marketing Tools [Infographic]
How To Be Insta Famous Without Taking Off Your Clothes
How To Be Insta-Famous Without Taking Off Your Clothes [Podcast]
Instagram's Adding Some New Tricks, Including Text-Only Stories Screens And GIFs
Instagram’s Adding Some New Tricks, Including Text-Only Stories Screens And GIFs
WhatsApp
WhatsApp’s Rolling Out New Business Tools Via A Dedicated App
Facebook Updates
Facebook’s Adding The Ability To Post To Stories From Desktop
Linkedin
LinkedIn’s Putting Renewed Focus On Groups, With New Tools And Options
8 Techniques To Reduce Stress In 15 Minutes
8 Techniques To Reduce Stress In 15 Minutes [Infographic]
How To Wake Up Early
How To Wake Up Early [Infographic]
Low On Motivation
Low On Motivation? 7 Psychological Hacks To Get Going
How To Stop Perfectionism From Controlling Your Life
How To Stop Perfectionism From Controlling Your Life [Infographic]