The Zen of Value Exchange (i.e. Networking Basics)
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Networking is your short-cut to:
- Increasing your influence on the Internet
- Gaining valuable feedback by experts
- Developing unique and powerful content
- Creating a support system for ideas
The fundamental element of the networking process comes down to value exchange.
The exchange is your ability to deliver something of value to an individual that, in turn, aids in their business; this comes around full circle when you’re in need.
This article, though short, will come packed with information related to the process of networking and why you need to make it an integral part of your affiliate business if you wish to grow beyond a single-person operation.
Networking is no different than the process of building a friendship.
Friendship is primarily built on your ability to identify with an individual and bring some kind of joy in their life whether that’s a great conversation, someone to visit, or just being there to hear their opinions. We all seek friendship from those that have similar interests and passions.
Networking, in the business sense, follows this same route but there is generally an underlying end goal for the connection and this is growth.
You build connections with fellow business-types in hopes of gaining an edge on the competition.
To build this network connection you need to approach each and every interaction as if you’ll give 200% value to the individual (that 2:1 ratio). You should approach the interaction as if you were to receive nothing in return but the satisfaction of lending aid to an individual.
People take notice.
Give aid and support to a business owner and they will return the favor. Each exchange you have with this networked individual will swing the pendulum of value to each of the parties and it’s through this that you can help one another grow.
Consider the scenario (and example):
Affiliate Marketer #1 notices #2 asks a question about creating content and steps in to share their expertise and insight on coming up with ideas, creation, and promotion. Affiliate Marketer #2 finds this information truly valuable and its implementation is effective. In return, #2 takes action at the opportunity to help #1 when they are stuck; this goes back and forth a few times until the two are essentially working together as partners to see each other succeed.
Connections are all around us if we attune our attention:
- Contact a website owner through their contact form
- Have a discussion over Skype
- Get active in Twitter discussion groups
- Follow and comment on an individual’s Facebook page
Just be present, let you voice be heard, lend aid, and they will take notice.
Symbiosis of the minds
As noted: the end-goal of creating connections is to gain some form of business value.
Let’s expand on the topics covered in the opening of this article:
- Influence – Working together will build your brand due to association. Individuals that are already well-known or doing big things will have an established community and it’s through this connection that you can introduce your work to this fresh set of eyes.
- Feedback – Who better to explain and give opinion about your work than the very same type of individual that have found their way into the same market? Those networked individuals will give critical opinion and insight which will have a fantastic impact in shaping your goals and improving what you have to offer.
- Content – Tap into your network to create compelling content. Use their feedback and responses to create list posts or conduct interviews!
- Support – Get to know these individuals on a personal level and you could find yourself with an individual that will listen to your troubles and goals; this will give you the much needed boost in motivation and drive to keep going for the big wins.
Now, take each of those items and flip them around – deliver them to whom you network.
Work on doing this with a dozen individuals and you will see a greater gain on your online impact than spreading it across thousands of followers that barely respond and take action. You’ll have created a network, a mastermind group, that will work together to see one another become successful in their respected projects.
So, here’s what it comes down to:
1. Find individuals that are like-minded in online projects, niche, and industry
2. Create rapport and begin to connect with them on a real level
3. Do everything you can to bring value and aid to their work
You can’t always expect to get the favor in return but it’s always worth lending a helping hand to those in need because it will almost always come back twofold. Let the Zen take over and hope that your good deeds come with good karma.
Now … get out there and network!