Ever adopted a methodology as a way of finding out whether it suits?
Well, that’s what I’ve done over the past 12 months. I started out wanting to know how to reach people who wanted to learn. At that time, it was learning how to avoid the traps of ageing that our society encourages us to follow. The teacher I found, who appeared to be successful using the model she taught, said that you need to have one on one clients first. This wasn’t what I wanted but, I went along with it.
I don’t know how many people are successful with that model and it doesn’t matter. What matters is the platform. See, Facebook loves people who are connected. If you show interest in a person’s posts, then their posts will show up in your feed more. It doesn’t mean your posts will show up in their feed. This is purely one sided.
The topic of dissertation for my masters degree was on small business networking. At the time there wasn’t much written about networking and relationship marketing. This was in 1994, so quite some time ago.
I created a model of networking, ran workshops to educate fellow business owners and tracked their successes or not over the next year. Did the model make a difference?
The upshot was yes. We need both density and diversity for our business to grow. Density means we need to have a group of people who knows us and each other. They then create momentum around word of mouth. Now, facebook is very good at density. It loves that we are interconnected. It is not so good at diversity.
Diversity is where we meet other people who may not be connected with everyone else. Think about one of your colleagues referring someone from their own network or attending a conference and meeting people totally new to you. These connections are vital for business growth. As you grow a new ‘network cell,’ the density increases and momentum builds. Unless you run a group or run ads, it is hard to find and nurture diversity. Instead, the posts you see are increasingly those you are connected to and their close associates. Fun if you want to build a social network, not so fine if it is also a business network.
This started me thinking about raising the diversity side. Over the past few months, I looked at Pinterest, Instagram and Linkedin. Even though, I have a presence on these, my efforts are really on approaching owners of networks either with blogs or podcasts and being a guest.
This means I create my own flock from the diverse environment and create density through community building. This may not be the best route for you. Think about it though, if you think differently or your services are different to the run of the mill, it maybe what is missing now. I know we all feel that what we bring is special. What I trying to explain and possibly doing badly is, we can be special with how we help people with weight loss, confidence, law of attraction or business growth. These are established areas that people understand and are looking for the person of best fit.
On the other hand, there are those emerging areas such as parenting, ageing, grief, mindset (and ‘emotionset’) where there is an aspect of education. We can do that two ways, educate our current network and build momentum that way. Alternatively, we can send our message out to a larger audience in order to attract those who are already searching for answers. This is where I am directing my attention.
I am grateful for meeting all the people, making friends with several and with some having a real impact on my life. Without the last year networking, it would have been much lonelier.
Are you changing how you are marketing and networking in 2019?