#toeselfieSo I just got back from a beach business getaway to Antigua (you might remember my telling you about it a few weeks ago).

OMG, it was awesome.

As is the new normal during any getaway that involves sun, sand, surf, and excellent wi-fi, there were lots of #toeselfies (yes, this is a thing) posted on social media. Like the one you see here.

Which invoked mock threats from various friends of, “If I didn’t like you I’d hate you right now,” and the like. 

And as much as they led to tons of good-natured teasing about being “Ms. Toes” (even my pastor got into the act yesterday after church!) they were also instrumental in my continuing to network … even while I was abroad.

How?

1. When I checked/responded to email (this was a “business” getaway, after all!), some of my contacts had sent good wishes for the trip. 

I thanked them and told them to friend me on Facebook if they wanted to follow along with the pix. Quite a few did. 

And in just a few clicks, what started as a cold or relatively lukewarm connection (e.g. from LinkedIn), moved up a notch, at least to the realm of “friendly acquaintance” … because they could laugh over the #toeselfies.

2. Because I cross-posted a few photos from Instagram to Facebook and Twitter (mostly FB), and got creative with hashtags, people I already knew IRL started following me on Insta, as well as people I didn’t know.

And I found the Insta accounts of many of my IRL friends, about which I had absolutely no clue prior. 

In both cases my connections/friends started to see a side of me they might not have otherwise, and vice versa.

Which brought us a little closer together than we had been before… making us more than mere “connections,” but real people getting to know each other better, in a fairly undemanding setting.

This is really important as you build your network. 

Because I firmly believe that the more you are open with people and let them into your life –with the right safeguards in place, of course – the greater the chances you’ll start to find common ground.

You will start to understand what makes the other tick. You’ll start to have what I call “people chemistry.” And at some point, that could lead to a really great work opportunity that adds value to both your lives.

It also might not lead to anything work-related … but if the worst-case scenario is a more solid acquaintance or friendship, hey, I can live with that.

I’ve said this a number of times over the years and I’ll say it again: people do business with people. 

So the people and/or organizations who will employ/hire/contract with you will not do so only because of your #madskillz but because they believe that your values and approach aligns with theirs.

Just like anyone considering doing business with me, e.g. my new 1:1 coaching program (btw – have you checked it out yet?) – will do so because intrinsically and at our core, we are simpatico.

So while my #toeselfies were a bit over-the-top (I freely admit it!), they were also a great way to start conversations.

And a great conversation is how any relationship – including a business one – gets started. Right?

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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