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Help others to help yourself

The best way to build your social network and to win followers and advocates is to reach out to support others in whatever way you can. Do the talking for them and there’s a good chance they’ll reciprocate.

When you say positive things about other companies, you help to bolster their reputation and build up their brand. For example, re-tweeting or sharing what others in your network say, especially if you’re highlighting their unique skills or offering information about what distinguishes them from others in their particular market, is a good way to help promote their business. And, not only does it enable you to connect with the company you are promoting but this seemingly altruistic action will have lots of lovely benefits attached. In the process of promoting others you’ll be indirectly promoting yourself because the more you say nice things about others and highlight their accomplishments, the more they’ll love you for it and the more likely they’ll reciprocate.

So why does this happen? Well, think of it this way, if you go round telling everyone that you’re great at tennis, they’ll be inclined to think you’re bragging a bit and will likely want to see the proof before they believe you, (and even then they’ll think you’re a bit conceited). But, if one of your acquaintances, colleagues or buddies goes around telling everyone you’re great at tennis, they’ll more likely be believed, right? And you’ll be known as the guy or gal who’s great at tennis. So, any endorsement or approval of others that you offer will come across to third parties as more genuine than self-promotion, and the company in question will be eternally grateful.

I like to think of it as ‘credits in the bank’, very few people will walk away if you’ve helped to bolster their reputation, instead you’ll find that the majority of people will be only too pleased to help promote you in turn and form a mutually beneficial alliance. It’s a win win!