I am a big believer that content is nothing more than the currency of relationships.
I’m not dismissing the value of content, any more than I would dismiss the value of words at an offline networking event. Without words how could you engage others and get to know them?
But I’m not going to measure the success of my words or my content, like others do, by whether I used the right words (the ones that ranked) and how much traffic my words got. There has to be something more.
When I read a good post or article, whether from a blogger, reporter, columnist or business person (lawyers included), I look to meet the person. Online and maybe later, offline.
If someone can add value to my life with what they’ve had to say online, maybe there’s something more to be gained through getting to know them.
What do I do?
- Share their piece on Twitter, giving the person the appropriate attribute by including their Twitter handle at the end of my tweet. This lets them know I appreciate their thoughts and that I wanted the world to know it was their piece, not mine. The person then gets both an email and a notice on letting them know that I shared their piece. (Another good reason you need to use your Twitter in your name if you write.)
- I look them up on other social networks and look for ways to connect. This morning I came across a piece by Gretchen Reynolds, “Phys Ed” columnist at the New York Times, about a study which found that running has a positive impact on brain neurons and can delay the onset of dementia. I run every day and my father died Alzheimer’s, I liked that Reynolds regularly writes on running. I looked her up on Facebook and was disappointed that she did not use Facebook as a way to engage her readers. Facebook enables me to get to know people, professionally and personally, in a real and authentic way. Facebook, through its algorithms and my Fabian friends is also a wonderful way to get news and information that’s valuable to my life.
- With some people I’ll ask to connect with them on LinkedIn. I use LinkedIn in my travels to look up people I may want to meet.
Everyone wants to post content. Some, so much so that they’ll have others write it for them. But that content is only valuable if it leads to building a name and relationships.
Take advantage of this and get out and engage and network with those content producers — especially those you’d live to meet.