So 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.
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?