Put this on your daily “to-do” list: Who Can I Send Business Today?
Every day, think about how you’re going to feed the people in your network who make things happen. In Boston, I’m on the lookout for ways to send the Colonnade Hotel business, because Christopher Lynn has supported a lot of the local social media scene. With regards to speaking, I’m looking to share gigs I can’t take with speakers I have worked with in the past (don’t mail me and offer. I’ll send them your way at some point). When I listen to people talking about their needs and interests, I listen with my own ears but also with the ears of feeding my network.
The Sharing Effect
Think about it. The more business you send other people’s way, the more they’ll be grateful. Your helping them gives them a chance to help someone else (or you) another time, because you’ve done something to bolster them, to keep them afloat. Pass on value. Give people in your network first crack at your business. Spend your money locally first, but within your network second.
What Can You Feed Them?
Like I said at the beginning of the post, I share business opportunities that I can’t fulfill with others. I share reporters looking to get quotes for stories. I share chances to be part of someone’s book, if it makes sense to pass it on. Sharing these types of things is pure gold.
Maybe you’re not tripping over opportunity. Know what else people need? Encouragement. Get out there and praise people for what they’re doing well. Leave comments on their blog. Share their posts on your networks. Make sure that great ideas get passed around. Tell them that you admire their work.
You can feed people information. If I see something on tourism, I share it with Becky McCray or Sheila Scarborough. If I read something about the Jets, I share it with Suzanne Vara. Sometimes, it’s just for a group of people, and I share it with that group.
Make This a Priority
Buy local. Buy also from those who support your causes. Buy from those that support the people you wish to see supported. Pepsi supported my friend Mark Horvath’s We Are Visible, so maybe I should buy Pepsi products over Coke. My friends (and clients) at GoToMeeting (and related products – Citrix Online) support a lot of causes that matter to me, so I do even more to support them.
Feed your network and the value of that effort will grow and grow.