Dec. 1 – Your Holiday Card List (Your Network)

Internet Marketing Advent Calendar

This is an entry in our daily Internet Marketing Advent Calendar series. Each day your favorite marketing elves Kasi and Amanda will focus on a new topic to get your internet marketing in order before the start of the new year.

Making out holiday cards

This year has gone so fast! The turkey leftovers are just about gone and it is time to look forward to the holidays coming up. As I sat down with my address book to organize my holiday card list, I started thinking about the people I surround myself with.

Some big time bloggers have been chatting lately about how online you are only as powerful as your network. That doesn’t mean having over 10,000 Twitter followers or LinkedIn connections, but more how much gusto your network has. If your 50 followers on Twitter read all your posts, leave comments on your blog and share your content with their network, that beats more than 4,000 subscribers who give you nothing in return.

What happens when you need help? Real relationships shine through

What happens when you ask your network for advice?  For a recommendation on a flat screen TV, for a retweet, for feedback? Crickets? Or are you thankful for all the advice your network gives you? You should aim for the latter.

Doing the business card shuffle at events is not building your network. Following as many people as you can on Twitter is not building a strong network. Adding any connection you can on LinkedIn (even if you haven’t met the person) is not the foundation of a supportive network.

How to build strong relationships (your network):

  • Take it offline. Go to coffee, set a time for one-on-one lunch at a busy conference, go on a cruise with your online peers (oh wait… that was me) etc.
  • Make it less about you. Please stop just pushing out your message. You are missing out on the opportunity of new media. Use new online tools for listening and having conversations, not another marketing channel to shove your message out.
  • Connect on multiple levels. Like what someone has to say on Twitter? Then subscribe to their blog. See if they want to connect on LinkedIn. If the relationship grows, maybe you can connect on Facebook? Just don’t be pushy. Your social skills should tell you when enough is enough.
  • Don’t be a hoarder. Connect people with other people they will benefit from knowing. Don’t hoard all your information, share your knowledge with your network. Show that you are an expert.

Respect Your Network

Don’t tap the well till it is dry. Make sure you provide value more often than you ask for things. When it comes to asking for things you should really respect these connections and what they mean to you. If you abuse your network you will hurt individual relationships and over time your network will become quieter and less helpful.

Chris Brogan Tweet