That’s right, if you want to stay alive, breathing is not an option. Your body needs oxygen to survive and breathing is such an automatic process that your body does it for you without you having to give it much thought at all.
If only networking were that easy. Just like breathing, your business needs networking to thrive. Unlike breathing, networking is not an automatic process for most business owners. And, most folks pay about as much attention to their networking efforts as they do to their breathing … which is not much at all.
When was the last time that you consciously sat with yourself and examined your breathing techniques? Do you notice how many breaths you take in a minute? Do you notice whether your breathing is quick and shallow, or long and deep? Yoga and meditation instructors would be the first to encourage you to pay attention to these things and they would be eager to explain the health benefits to you for creating awareness around your breathing.
And, today, I’m wanting to encourage you to be aware of your networking techniques. Are you building relationships? Are you going for the quick and the shallow? Or are you focusing on taking long and deep strides in your networking skill set?
Here are some comparisons of networking strategies:
The Quick and the Shallow have lots of profiles scattered all over the Internet and none of them give much detail or information that would allow another person to get to know them by reading what is posted.
The Long and the Deep have placed their profiles on sites with a strategic plan to be where the traffic is, where their current clients are, where their potential clients are, or where their referral partners are. And, these profiles are thorough and complete providing an environment where folks can learn about them, their business, and how to be in contact with them.
The Quick and the Shallow have profile photo’s that often look like the one above. How many of you would be willing to refer business (or do business) with someone who cannot be bothered with providing a photo of themselves? If they can’t even complete their own profile, doesn’t it make you wonder what else they can’t finish? Would you talk to someone at a social (face to face) event that had a bag over their head? Isn’t this sort of the same thing?
The Long and the Deep always provide a current head shot which makes it easy for people to recognize them. These folks realize that relationships are built person to person and know that putting your face out there allows for repetitive brand building with each post and with each visit to their profile.
The Quick and the Shallow rarely leave comments for others and when they do, their comments are – well, quick and shallow … like “nice article, keep up the good work” or “keep writing more like this.”
The Long and the Deep make time to leave thoughtful posts for the folks in their network. They spend targeted time, reading other people’s blogs or articles and then they build relationship by sharing how the blog or article impacted them and made them think and or feel.
Over time, what you begin to realize is that the Quick and the Shallow want to have a presence in your network because they want you to be interested in them. And the Long and the Deep want to have a presence in your network because they are interested in you.
Every day, in many ways, you have opportunities to build relationships with the people that you come into contact with. I hope that you’ll consider making the time to breathe deeply and connect just as deeply for networking is a long haul operation. Your network will be much stronger for your attention and for your deep interaction with others.