2 Tips To Turn Your Industry Acquaintances Into Personal Advocates
You, Amplified…for Free?
Personal referrals are the best marketing exposure for any business. But, how do we position ourselves to get that kind of free word-of-mouth publicity that can open the door to new business opportunities?
Convincing others to go to bat for us professionally requires a deeper rapport than what we make during initial meetings and interactions within our network. A recent article in Entrepreneur.com made clear that, “a good first impression is wasted unless you take the next step of building a relationship”. Undoubtedly, cementing a professional relationship is the first stop on the path to converting a business acquaintance into an advocate. And, doing that requires both mastering the art of following up and demonstrating that the relationship is mutually beneficial.
Opening the door for someone to feel comfortable enough to recommend you and your business/services to others begins by establishing trustworthiness and competence and by operating from a viewpoint of professional generosity. Here are two ways to cultivate the kind of credibility that can help pave the way for others to vouch for you when new opportunities arise.
2 Ways To Cultivate Credibility
- One approach to establishing credibility within your network is to become a connector of people and resources. Jill Leiderman, producer of such shows as ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, and ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’, says “[real] connecting is about using a genuine love of meeting people and making friends to engage and assist one another.” Connectors build bonds by bartering materials and time with other members of their community. They also make introductions between others in their network with similarly aligned needs or interests. By doing this, connectors position themselves to be at the forefront of the minds of those they help when new opportunities arise.
- Another option to gain credibility is by establishing yourself as an expert in a niche area. Everyone is an expert in something. Leveraging the knowledge hunting and gathering you already do for yourself can also benefit your network. Not sure what you might be an expert in? Start by taking stock of your personal interests, passions and pet-projects. Wherever your in-depth knowledge lies, turning your personal experience into a tool to help others though the sharing of information can raise your credibility and help others see you as trusted resource. Bonus, your expertise might also get you free publicity through traditional media sources. That’s right. Television stations, newspapers and magazines frequently include quotes from people who are knowledgeable about a specific topic. Try looking for media outlets that cover the topics you’re most knowledgeable about. Or scan the news for up-to-the-minute stories you might be able to weigh in on from an expert’s prospective. By utilizing sources such as HARO (Help A Reporter Out) you might be able to turn your expertise into an opportunity to get media exposure. HARO’s basic membership plan is free and what better way to bolster your credibility within your network than with a measurable track record of being an expert?
Regardless of whether you see yourself as a connector or an information sharer, in order to cultivate the kind of relationships that lead to new opportunities you have to give value and help people out as much as you’re expecting them to help you.
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How has operating from a place of professional generosity helped your career? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Tweet some love, share your thoughts on my FB page or shoot me an email. I am interested in finding new ways to provide support resources for your entertainment career.