I attended a workshop yesterday titled "Targeting Networks" hosted by partner-in-the-making* Basim Mirza, since we had helped him secure DMZ space after his first location fell through. I knew Basim was a good speaker and that he definitely knew a thing or two.
It got me thinking as to how our working relationship came about. I met Basim originally at a Canada Pakistan Professionals Association event, and we soon became Facebook friends after I had asked him to post something on but there was no real engagement after that. A few months passed and he mentioned he had finished writing his book, and I wanted to buy a copy. When we met up so that I could buy the book, Your Naked Brand, we got talking about what we were currently up to in our work.
What is interesting to note:
a) we had not developed a working relationship right away but we had kept in touch loosely, until I had said I wanted to buy his book because...
b) at this point in time then, we both had something to offer each other: I was able to offer SoJo to him as a platform to share his voice while he was able to provide me with content we can use - all of which benefits you, our audience.
This is exactly the win-win-win situation or 1+1 = 3 equation Basim was talking about last night - which is one of the best opportunities one can find when networking.
In addition to hosting his content on SoJo, when Basim's space fell through for the workshop, he called us and presented this as an opportunity for us to be at an event we normally wouldn't be at - and with potential users we may have not met otherwise (especially after that kind introduction!). This additionally has ensured that the efforts are reciprocal in nature... all of which has further fuelled the partnership we're building together.
People now have the tools to maintain loose relationships while seizing opportunities quickly when required, like social media. Often times though, people assume that networking involves meeting new people and continuously adding them to a rolodex or social media accounts - the more, the merrier. But great networking is also about using the networks you already have and building relationships from there, and we did just that.
So tell us in the comments below: what are your top two burning questions for social networking? Tell us and Basim will tailor content specifically to you.
* We have yet to get some material together though he's given us free reign to use his book too!