Social Networking by Being Social

I’ll never forget my first day of college. It was a bright and sunny day at the University of Cincinnati in mid-September. The narrow streets of uptown were packed with overflowing family sedans, pickup trucks, and moving vans. People were everywhere. For a 19-year old kid, who was homeschooled and grew up in rural southern Ohio raising chickens and goats, the city was a big change for me. However, I couldn’t wait to get started. My family helped me move into the dorm that the freshmen residents would later know as the Dirty-D, an old brick building with minimal rooms, tiny windows, and a breezeway that went underneath part of the building. Classes kicked off a few days later. After four years I changed my major three times and graduated with a bachelor’s in English.

Post-collage, the job market was competitive for a C-average college student with a liberal arts degree and no work experience. I set out to make a name for myself online. While working by day, as a part-time bank teller and by night as a freelance blogger/copywriter, I was introduced to a man who owned his own computer consulting business in a craft beer tap room. Every Friday night for weeks we talked about brewing beer, IPA’s, how the Bengals were going to play that Sunday, and technology.

One week, he asked me if I wanted to interview with his office manager for a job at his company. He wasn’t planning on hiring anyone at that time; nor was I planning on working for him. He knew I was looking for a job – in the writing space – but asked me anyway. I interviewed a few weeks later and was offered a job as a computer networking consultant for a local client. I never had any formal IT training, but I knew my way around a keyboard, was good with a screwdriver, and had some familiarity with Linux systems. Since then, I’ve worked in technology and haven’t looked back.

I brought value

I was offered the job because I had established an authentic, personal connection with him. I knew he owned a business, but I wasn’t being social just because I wanted him to offer me a job. I was social because it was the right thing to do. I brought value to him by just being myself without an agenda.

Now for another story, one not so positive, I’ve been focusing on building up my Twitter following. It’s staggering how many people, that when I follow them back after following me, they have an auto-responder send me a private message, attempting to sell me a service or product. They know nothing about me and have not even said, “Hi, thanks for following me!”

The people who liked your Facebook business or fan page aren’t there to be spammed, “Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book,” every two hours with an auto poster. Engage with them. Talk to them. See what problems they have and how you can solve those problems.  They want contact with you, reach back to them. Have you ever met someone who didn’t love to talk about their problems? Me neither.

be social in your social networking groups

Today’s takeaway is, be social in your social networking groups. It doesn’t matter if you’re a C-average student without a highly sought after college degree, graduated summa cum lade from Harvard Business school, looking for a job or not. Always be social on your networking platforms or at events. Don’t be the business person who auto responds just to sell something or hands out more business cards than conversation. Engage, be real and be deep.

 

Thank you for reading this Daily Download. Please like, follow, share.

Question: How did a social experience play out for you, good or bad? Did the interaction sign a new client or did you lose one?

Please comment below.

Until tomorrow.

Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/tree-structure-networks-internet-200795/

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