Three skills we need to constantly hone and develop now before they are “needed”.
1. Develop Integrity
Never, ever do anything in your personal or business life online or offline that would cause people to question your integrity. Credibility means everything to your networking success. I encourage you to do a personal inventory and assess how effective you are gaining and maintaining credibility with key influential people and using social media tools to portray that personally and professionally. Be sure to study your online profile—know yourself and how you are being perceived online. What makes people credible in the world of social media? Of course, it helps to have a large number of connections, friends and followers—but that’s just a start. People who build and maintain credibility in the digital world have numerous high-quality relationships with respected people . . . who respect them. When it comes to building credibility on social media, be selective in the connections you make, categorize, and personalize. You’ll soon have a respectable network.
2. Demonstrate Expertise
Become a Domain Expert on a given topic. People will look to network with you because you have stood up for something and know a particular subject matter better than others. Show up. Be seen. Be engaged. Be engaging. Be willing to serve. Be present. Social media gives each of us an unparalleled opportunity to have our expertise and knowledge seen and be appreciated by thousands. Join LinkedIn Groups, Google+, and Facebook pages where those of like mind can come to know you and the skill set you possess.
3. Build an Online Community to Develop a Stronger Communication Strategy
To communicate openly and effectively with others and form a basis of trust, remember to stick to your Principles but abandon your Assumptions. As I connect the dots from year to year, from opportunity to opportunity, it becomes obvious that the opportunities I have been given are attributable to relationships that have been grown or established through simple interactions via technology. The fuel has been my love of people; technology has simply been the means to communicate with them. Everything in relationships is personal—even in business. Facebook is the definitive place to learn more about potential business partners, customers, and clients. Use it to communicate directly by sending private messages using the Facebook platform. When you send a personalized message as opposed to just a like or a comment, your chances of a deeper connection increase. Use social media tools and email to ensure you remain linked up in useable ways with your connections. Let me add that with all of these twenty-first century tools of communication, you should and can always be networking. Master networkers are individuals who realize that networking is a life skill, not just when you want something for yourself. In order to succeed at building your network, it is important to show up at events, link up with them in a meaningful way, follow up, and keep in touch. Leaders and other winning business professionals are exceptional at staying linked to others who might be great contacts today, tomorrow, or down the road. David Bradford, “The Bottlecap Kid”, is Executive Chairman and former CEO of HireVue, former CEO of Fusion-io, and a member of the Utah Technology Council Hall of Fame. David is known for accelerating the growth and performance of game-changing organizations by utilizing his “UP Principles” which he outlines in his new book , UP YOUR GAME: 6 Timeless Principles for Networking Your Way to the Top. His last two companies, HireVue and Fusion-io are two of the fastest growing tech businesses in the U.S. Learn more about David and UP YOUR GAME at DavidBradford.com.