What I learnt this week… the art of connecting people

Building new partnerships

Last week was really exciting as I finally met two amazing people I’ve known from Twitter for a long time.

I first came into contact with Minal and Sam when I was working for an agency and they both worked for another company. Since then, we’ve all moved on and started our businesses, but we stayed in touch via Twitter – and on Monday I went down to London to have a coffee with them both!

It’s only recently I’ve realised that social media friendship doesn’t have to only stay virtual. Sometimes it’s enough to Skype with people, send them emails and tweets, but nothing replaces face-to-face meetings and a selfie opportunity.

In situations like this one, I always think of Brian Fanzo’s saying that social media can ‘turn handshakes into hugs’ and he’s absolutely right!

Sharing my learnings

Later in the week, I participated in a Mastermind session designed to help freelancers and small business owners solve their challenges. I’ve been joining similar sessions since I started my own business and I find them really helpful and supportive. The whole idea is to brainstorm someone’s challenge, learn more about the issue and offer unique solutions from individual perspectives.

It’s not only a great way to get some support for your business, but also a chance to offer your helping hand and expertise to a fellow business owner. And even if it’s not your challenge or you don’t have this particular problem in your business, you still can learn a lot.

My biggest realisation from the session was how much I’ve actually learnt over the past 18 months. I remember coming to the first session with a really basic challenge – how do I get more customers. Since then I’ve solved many of my business challenges and can help others deal with their issues more efficiently.

The art of connecting people

Through all these experiences, I’ve realised that my business (and personal) focus has shifted. When I was getting ready to deliver an online ‘Networking Masterclass’ session, I wrote down 3 taglines:

I still want to help people grow their businesses by using social media the right way. In addition to that, now more than ever I feel that I want to help people connect and build lasting relationships (in person as well as by using social media).

It’s the strong and long-lasting relationships we forge in business that often drive much of our success. From the people around us that we work with to our customers and prospects, our relationships are a definitive factor, always.

I truly believe in the power of social media and I also see the benefits of networking. Now imagine that you do both! BOOM!

Book Corner

This week’s book recommendation is Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. I’m often being asked by my clients to ‘make their video/post/product/offer go viral’. That’s why I was really curious to learn what the research actually says about shareability of different types of content.

This book captures lots of interesting ideas and points about word of mouth, virality and sharing. For me, the most memorable quote was this simple one:

“Marketing is about spreading the love.”

Have you read this book (or any similar books about sharing)? I’d love to know what were your favourite learnings!