The way we do business or even think about business has changed. You have a budget and financial plan, a task list, a project plan, a diet plan, no matter what your goal is and the plan associated to do it, the main question you have to ask yourself today is: “WHAT IS YOUR PEOPLE PLAN?” In today’s competitive market, products out there are the same, people come up with new product everyday, what makes the difference is who you or your company is affiliate to, associate to, volunteer with, partner with. Yes, that’s true for business, and it’s true for your personal branding as well. It’s true also for your personal goal whether it’s to find a significant other, someone to go and practice with…The one million dollar question is WHO DO YO”U KNOW?
Yesterday I was on Skype with a great friend of mine who just got an executive position at a bank in London and we were doing some catch up because we didn’t the time to really talk last time at my wedding. As we were talking and I told him about the new products my company Act2be International, LLC was getting ready to launch in Africa he started telling me about some of his close relatives who have executive positions in the government and major banks in countries like Gabon, Cameroon, and Central African Republic. He started giving me some names and we dug in the feasibility of the connection.
Here are some tips to start investing on your social capital:
- Define your goal and have a clear knowledge of what you need from people.
- Go over your cell phone and mailing list and start writing the names of people of your network.
- Rate those from 1 to 5 stars which represents how strong your relationship to the person is.
- Start sending a nudge to the person and request a catch up meeting either on phone, Skype, chat, at dinner…
- Ask yourself how you can help the person. What valuable service can you provide to the person? Why would that person connect or reconnect with you?
- Follow up and keep in touch with the person (birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter…)
- Don’t forget so say PLEASE and THANK YOU for each service to everyone, no matter how important is the service and no matter what the person social rank is.
I strongly believe everyone first job today should be to work oneself by developing a personal brand, by understanding what make you unique, by having something of value to offer to others, and by developing and investing in the people on your network: your social capital.