Imagine you’re at your kid’s PTA meeting.
One of the dads approaches you to make small talk. You know he’s in finance. But because you’re looking to build your network with healthcare professionals, you just half-smile, give him a thumbs-up, and continue scanning the room for other doctors.
Nobody would ever do this in person.
But it’s exactly what I did when I began building my presence on LinkedIn!
In 2019 I did what every other aspiring entrepreneur does: market my business on social media.
LinkedIn was my platform of choice.
Every day, I would publish self-serving posts. Posts that made me look good. Always with a clear CTA because that’s what my “guru” at the time said. And when someone commented, I’d first read their title and tagline, or check their profile before engaging and only responding to those who were “my target audience”…
I’m still shocked that my connections did not decrease in those two months!
Networking is not about me
The only people who were following this “strategy”, were those of us who had been conned by the guru of the day.
And it wasn’t working. Worst of all, I was not enjoying it. It felt like I was out to take something from people. Wasn’t I there to serve them?
“Is this what those used car salesmen felt like…?”
There is a better way
Spending time on the platform led me to others who were growing their followers and businesses in a natural, engaging, interesting, and valuable way.
They acted like social, human beings! That was it. These people had somehow managed to bring their in-person behavior to the social media platform. Shocking!
They created content that was valuable for their audience.
If it got them a new lead, great. If it didn’t, great.
They also were not there “yelling” at their followers. They were socializing. They engaged with other creators’ posts. If someone commented on their posts, they’d reply. Often thoughtfully and with even more valuable insights.
Since then, I’ve shifted my intent toward social media. It’s been 100% upside.