Being a writer and working in social media can be a solitary endeavor despite the fact that you're communicating all day and working with people. How can you tap into the power of people and maximize your relationships? Stay connected with others meets several of Maslow's hierarchy of needs: love and belonging, respect for and of others as well as self-actualization at the top of the pyramid. We are social animals and in order to reach our full potential, we need other people. Let's look at how you can build your social media platform by boosting others.
Social media is based upon reciprocity and having people who you've built a relationship with and trust makes this easy. I have a group of blogger friends whose content I continually share because it's good quality but also because I want to help them succeed in their efforts. I don't feel in competition with other writers, I try to do my best and provide value with what I write hopefully making it worth sharing for others. If I feel that others aren't reciprocating, I may eventually stop sharing their content. It needs to be a two-way street. Continually connecting with others and creating a synergistic relationship helps both parties.
Infrequent writers or inconsistent networkers have a habit of writing something and then asking people to share their article sometimes even contacting “big name” folks to tweet or share. If someone I haven't talked in months or have never talked to sends me a direct message with the post to share, I won't share it. I spend a lot of time building my network and 99.9% of the time, these people haven't spent the time to build a relationship with me. This practice doesn't even make sense to me.
Connect with people when you don't need something and build the relationship, chances are you won't even have to ask them later to share. If people give you permission to send things to them to share, by all means do, but don't take advantage of their generosity by not reciprocating. It's not hard to see when people are just trying to use you and only push, push, push themselves.
Here's a few ways that PEOPLE can help you grow:
P = passion
Sharing your passion with others in conversation can have a snowball effect and really launch an idea or project. It's hard not to become enthusiastic about something when the other person is very passionate about it.
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
― Albert Einstein
E = energy
“I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. ”
― Oprah Winfrey
O = open-hearted
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
― John Lennon
P = partnerships
“You are in a partnership with all other human beings, not a contest to be judged better than some and worse than others.”
― Wayne W. Dyer
L = like-minded
Working with people who think like you can reinforce your goals and plans. Bouncing ideas off other people and getting feedback from them is invaluable if you listen and learn from what they say. Receiving a critique on your work is never easy but for those with an open mind, it can make your final product better.
E = excellence
“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”
Being helpful to others helps you because there will be a time when you need a favor and having helped others, you'll be in a position where you can ask without imposing on the other person. And it just plain feels good to help other people. I rarely ask for help on projects but this week I had two situations that I felt a second opinion would help so I called on a few friends whose opinions I trusted. Listening to their suggestions, while still maintaining my original intent, made two things that I was working better quality than if I did it alone. I appreciate those friends and the time that they spent helping me. Many thanks to my angels this week: Aida Boucheron, Kelly Lieberman and Tara Kusumoto.
I put it out there for my friends and tell them to let me know if they need anything from me, they ask when they need something occasionally but not very often. I just like them to know that if they do need something, I'm there for them. Building your digital tribe takes time and effort but there is nothing more important that you could be doing to grow.
Bottom line: be helpful and generous to others while you build your tribe. Share your passion with others and let your natural energy boost those around you.
Are you willing to be open and ask for suggestions or help when you need it? Are you nurturing your network and being generous with your friends? How do you build your tribe?
Photo credit bitzi ☂ ion-bogdan dumitrescu via Creative Commons.