… It may resemble you, and it may sound like you. But in the end, your social media is only a very thin sliver of who you actually are. The real you is far more robust and interesting.
The truth is that social media was never meant to be a replacement for live, in-person handshaking and networking. Instead it’s a complementary tactic, a supportive endeavor — at least on a local level.
Don’t get me wrong, you can attract a good amount of business from well-conceived social media efforts — especially when you’re sharing relevant info, or having a dialog on the social media channels where your customers spend their time. But if you’re a company that does business locally, at least to some extent, you can still get a fair share of clients from in-person networking. Of course, you’ve got to know which groups to network in, which may take some trial and error.
Avoiding the Hungry Wolf Syndrome
Have you ever been to a networking event where you’ve seen someone suffering from “hungry wolf syndrome?” Have you ever suffered from it yourself?
Classic signs are a tad of wildness in the eyes, a bit of a snarl — even some drooling might be seen — where someone is so desperate to make a sale or land a customer that they come off looking like a hungry wolf who’s only concern is finding his next meal. Avoid this syndrome at all costs, because people will see you coming from a mile away!
You’re much better off going to a networking event with one simple goal in mind:
This is the same philosophy that goes into the creation of a successful blog, website, social media or email campaign. Some of the relationships you develop will lead to learnings, some to friendships, some to customers. When your intention is to develop relationships, you can be your authentic self, not your “selling self.” And if you’re developing healthy relationships, when someone you know needs a service or product you provide, there’s a very good chance they’ll come to you. You might even get a recommendation or two.