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Connecting with Purpose and Intent

planning prioritisation Jul 22, 2019

Networking and social media are either something you love or hate. But we all need to partake, right?

If we want to be recognised, attract clients, secure that perfect job, build a brand, sell more widgets, connect with our ideal clients then we have to ‘put ourselves out there’!

But… do you have a strategy or is it just random? 

Do allocate dedicated time or do you lose hours in your day after getting sucked in to one or more of the social platforms? 

Do you randomly attend networking events - free or paid - or do you understand who the audience is and why you are giving up precious time to meet people in person?

Lets start with social media…

I loved reading Sandy Colombo’s article a few weeks back OMG LinkedIn Overwhelm. I could relate to so many of the points raised but I really appreciated the Top Tips and I guess the one that hit home was 

“Remember: Social media is about SEE ME, TRUST ME....then let's start a conversation.”

If people are to see you and trust you, what is the message you want to portray? Have you considered this recently? Has it changed? Or are you randomly posting whatever is on your mind at the time?

And this can be ok too. If it is part of your plan to be personable and open with everything going on in your world. 

But if you are a professional, connecting with and attracting a fellow professional audience, you are probably looking to enhance your credibility. Your engagement could be more useful and engaging to your clients and fellows if it is sharing value-add content. At least as the larger proportion of your posts.

I tend to share what is on my mind, or what I’ve been inspired by, from books I’m reading, courses I’m taking, or things that have triggered a thought that I feel could be explored further. 

Often these come from conversations with my clients - if this is relevant to them then it is probably relevant to others too.

That is the power of social media - you really have no idea how far it reaches and who it may touch.

But I am also conscious that I should have a more defined strategy around how how things I share relate to my courses being launched, or key events that are happening locally that could be useful to my clients, potential clients and my wider connections.

I love sharing my thoughts and I hope that adds value. I hope that they inspire someone to consider something and make a positive change in their life. Perhaps one day they will become a client, or refer a client, but far greater for me, is that I have added something that might be really helpful to at least one person - it might be life-changing, ground-breaking, but I will probably never know… That is the power of social media - you really have no idea how far it reaches and who it may touch.

I also need to be more specific about the time I spend on the various platforms....

To summarise - the key points here are:

  1. Start with a clear focus on audience, objectives, purpose of engagement and desired outcomes as aligned to your business strategy. 
  2. Don’t go everywhere, all the time… Be specific. Which platform is engaging with which sector of your market - who is your ideal client and where will you find them? What are they looking for when they are there?
  3. You can use the same content but tailor it for the audience - make it engaging and worthwhile reading.
  4. Define your objectives and include these in your goals - weekly, monthly or 12-weekly. 
  5. Be very clear on the tactics you are going to employ and then stick to these 
  6. Allocate specific slots in your day/week to engage with others posts, research potential new clients, connect with new people, write your own content. Scheduling is key to successful use of time - Dr. Kahkshan Ali shared a great reminder.
  7. Set your plan, take action, measure your results, assess the outcome and adjust as necessary - the link back to your goals and tactics!
  8. Be authentic. Keep it honest and positive. Support others and encourage. This is about social interaction, for some this is the only way they get to engage with others, be mindful.

And then there are the networking events..

In many ways the same basics apply, as above, in defining why you are attending and what your objectives are - make sure they align and support your overall strategy.

There are some extra things to consider:

  1. What sort of people attend? What are the group objectives? Do they align with you and your objectives?
  2. How frequently are meetings held? Are you able to commit and be consistent?
  3. Attend a few meetings and don’t be afraid to admit that this might not be your tribe. This is your time, effort and often money - be discerning.
  4. Research the networking events being held in the location, or professional sphere, that works for you. Talk to others - listen to what they have to say but make your own judgement. Remember to thank them for their input… they have just given you some of their valuable time!
  5. If you register for an event, attend it… Wow, did I actually need to spell this out? So often people register for an event, especially a free event, and then don’t pitch, and don’t send an apology. This is rude..!..! Obviously things can happen and at the last minute you can’t make it but notify someone or at least contact the organiser as soon as you can afterwards and give your apologies. The organisers will have gone to great effort and expense to secure the venue, refreshments etc and a non-attendance from a registered ticket holder is really unfair (rant over…)
  6. Before going to the event spend time thinking about who you would like to connect with. How can you orchestrate this? Prepare. Think about your message. What are you offering? What are you seeking?
  7. At the event, engage, engage, engage… Be interested in others. Establish rapport. Ask what they are looking for, or needing. Are you able to help? Do you know someone you could connect them with? Be very clear about what you do - the elevator pitch, and make it relevant to the person you are talking to.. Be even clearer about what you are needing right now! This person might just be the contact you need, either directly or via a referral. Be clear. Be friendly. Be honest. Be genuine. Be YOU ;).
  8. After the event, follow up with the people you connected with. Thank them for their time and provide the connection, reference, that you promised. Set up a further meeting if it is relevant. This is why you went to the networking event after all - isn’t it?

Build relationships, build connections and build new friendships. Life is about connecting. Do it with purpose and intent. Do it with respect. Do it with love. Be open. Be honest. Be genuinely you!

Manage your time. Align it with your goals, strategy and purpose. Set your objectives and tactics. Schedule connecting into your diary. Make it real. Make it happen.


Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below as I would love to hear from you!

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