Is keeping in touch hard for you because you don’t know what to say?
Do you sometimes wonder what to share with people in your network?
You know that keeping in touch is essential for your business and life in general. Where would you be without the continuous support from partners, affiliates, peers, clients, colleagues and most importantly, friends?
I, most certainly, would not be where I am today without the people I truly care about and who care about me.
In this article, I will show you seven things you can share with your network to keep in touch.
Important: It may be that you have people in your network who drain your energy instead of energizing & inspiring you. If this is the case, you need to solve that problem first by developing your Red Velvet Rope Policy and applying it to the people you have in your network.
Work through the Communication Excellence Workbook first, if you are in that situation.
Why Sharing Things With Your Network is Essential
When you share your opinion, an article or anything else that is highly relevant, you build your reputation as an expert.
When you share an article from Tony Robbins or Seth Godin, people remember that context.
Why is this important?
I always ask my clients why they hire me. I want to know what made them decide to hire me instead of somebody else. Many times, the answer is “Because we seem to think alike” or “Because we seem to admire to the same kinds of people”.
We express our values by what we buy and what we talk about.
Don’t Send Me Irrelevant Stuff
I love when you send me an article, from somebody you and me admire, that talks about something than can bring me a step further because you know exactly what I am up to.
However, I’m not particularly receptive to yet another 10 Top Tips to Build Your Online Business from a huge media site that simply re-produces articles over and over again.
If you share information with somebody in your network, you need to do your homework first.
What does the person care about?
What does the person believe in and value the most?
What key interests and passions does the person have?
What goals does that person have?
These are all essential questions you need to know the answer to and they are just the tip of the iceberg.
Send Highly Relevant Information
If you can send somebody information that is highly relevant, you are creating value.
Let’s say you are reading an article on how to double your coaching rates and you love it. It makes you think differently, inspires and entertains you and it gives you a few ideas on where to start.
You immediately think of your friend who owns a coaching business and always complains that she works 14 hours a day and has clients on waiting lists.
You send her that article with a short note why you think it’s highly relevant to her situation.
What do you think will happen when you do that?
Your friend will trust you one bit more and see that you do your homework very well.
Send Highly Relevant & Timely Information
Relevant information is great when it brings the recipient a step further in thinking or doing. Better yet, if you can add the timeliness attribute to the information, you create even more value.
Let’s say you are reading an article about changes in the tax system in Switzerland that especially affect owners of a GmbH. You immediately think about all your friends who are self-employed and own a GmbH in Switzerland.
You prepare an email to all of them, use Contactually to make this as easy as possible, and include a short note why this is timely and relevant to them.
Many times, they won’t have read about this, especially if it’s brand new information. Your friends will be more than thankful that you have saved them from paying more taxes than they have to.
Now, let me show you some ideas about what kind of information you can send to people in your network.
1. Articles From Other Experts
This is probably the most obvious one. I regularly receive emails with links to articles people recommend to me and I generally appreciate that.
Why just generally? Well, because sometimes, people don’t to their homework.
Do your homework before you send out irrelevant information and always make sure it’s at least highly relevant and if possible, timely as well.
If you wonder where to find articles from other experts, follow influencers on LinkedIn, subscribe to blogs or newsletters and read magazines.
2. Book Recommendations
I regularly receive recommendations for books. My reading list is probably filled for the entire 2014, however, I still love receiving highly relevant book recommendations.
I recently wrote two blog posts where I gave book recommendations to you and the response rate was great. One was 9 Books to Help You Create a Career or Business on Your Own Terms and the second was My Top 10 Career, Networking & Business Books.
3. Physical Books (Yes, they sill exist)
A day before Xmas 2013, I received an express delivery package from one of my coaching & mentoring clients. I opened it and it was Gary Vaynerchuk’s most recent book “Jab Jab Jab, Right Hook” with a hand-written personal thank you note from my client.
This is an excellent way to create value for your network. I usually only buy Kindle books because of my intensive travels. Probably 95% of the physical books in my book shelf are gifts from people in my network and I highly appreciate every single one of them.
Every time you read a great book, make a list of people you could send a copy as a gift. When it’s birthday time, order the book to your home first, add a personal note to the first page and send it.
4. TED Talks
I can’t express how much I love TED talks. I watch them all the time and include many of the most inspiring ones in blog posts I write.
Sharing highly relevant TED talks with people in your network is an amazing way to keep in touch.
We don’t have a lack of How-To or What-To-Do-Guides. What we crave for is inspiration and human connection.
If I want to take my business to the next level, I don’t only need to know more stuff but I mainly need to change my thinking. TED talks are great at inspiring to think differently.
When you watch that TED talk about Finding & Doing Work You Love, share it with somebody it can bring a step further or who thinks alike.
When you watch that TED talk about Starting With Why, share it with leaders and aspiring leaders in your network.
When you watch that TED talk about Why School Kills Creativity, share it with somebody who challenges the status quo of the educational system.
5. Picture Stories
Very recently, two people in my network sent me links to picture stories. I don’t know how I could not know about them. I absolutely love the art people produce there.
A picture says more than a thousand words, ever heard of that? It’s a wonderful way to express what you believe in and to share that belief attached to highly relevant information.
6. Your Knowledge
If you are writing blog posts on How-To topics, share them with people in your network who can benefit from your knowledge. If you are not yet writing blog posts, start now.
It’s a great way to become known as an expert in your network. Obviously, don’t spam people and only share your writing if it’s highly relevant.
7. Your Opinion
If you are writing blog posts based on how you see the world and what you want to see in the world, share it with your likeminded friends. If you are not yet expressing yourself in a big way, start now.
It’s a great way to pick up a discussion you had with somebody.
Sharing your opinion publicly is some of the most important and difficult emotional work you have to do to succeed.
How to Implement the “Sharing What You Know” Strategy
You know that the only way to get results is to implement. No thinking about things or planning will get you results. They are important, sure, but if you don’t do things, nothing happens.
So here is your 5 step implementation process.
1. Subscribe to Relevant & Timely Information Sources
Subscribe to blogs from people you admire, experts and inspiring people.
Subscribe to magazines based on interests you share with your network.
Follow influencers on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Follow sources on Youtube that publish inspiring videos.
Keep a list of books you want to read of have read.
This will make sure you never run out of information to share.
2. Make a List of 10 Relevant Information Pieces
Write down 10 of the most inspiring, exciting, entertaining or useful pieces of information you have read over the past week.
These will be the basis for your next outreach effort to the people in your network.
3. Go Through Your Network One Article at a Time
Take the first article on the list and go though your network. Select all the people you want to share this article with.
4. Send the Article
This is where most people fail but you won’t, because you already have everything you need in place.
Write a personal message to everyone you want to send the article to and hit “send”.
I do this with Contactually to make it easy, fast and personal.
5. Turn Step 1-4 Into a Habit
It’s time to repeat. You should do this as regularly as possible. If you can do it every day in 15 minutes, do it. It will become a habit faster if you do it every day.
If you want to do it every week, schedule 30-60 minutes in your calendar and never miss the appointment.
Over time, this becomes a habit and you won’t need to be so rigorous with your organization. Until then, do everything it takes to develop it into a habit.
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