How to Create Authentic Connection in Work and Life
This is a guest post by Eli Trier.
Have you thought about who you want to connect with this year?
People are the lifeblood of your business, whether they're clients, referrers, supporters, or opportunity providers. And whilst meeting people organically is wonderful, having a connection strategy is the smart way to make sure you're connecting with your 'right' people.
If you’re new to the idea of creating a connection strategy and think it sounds a bit over the top, then let me explain…
Whilst it’s true that the right people often show up in your life at exactly the right moment, you can increase the chances of that happening by making a rough plan and making the first move with the people you want to connect with.
So how do you go about it? Here are a few questions to get you thinking:
Let’s start with you:
What's your favourite way to communicate?
There’s no point making a plan to connect with people on social media if you hate being on social media – it won’t stick! Likewise, if phone calls give you the heebie-jeebies you’ll avoid making them at all costs. Know your favourite ways to communicate and find a way to make them work.
How will you follow up with people and maintain your relationships?
For me, it’s all about Instagram DMs and email, with the occasional video chat thrown in for good measure (especially if you’re at the beginning of a relationship with someone). I set reminders in my CRM to reconnect with the people on the edge of my circle, but mostly I just reach out whenever someone pops into my head.
How many conversations do you need to start in order to achieve your goals?
If you want more clients, more collaborations, more referral partners, or whatever, then you need to know your numbers. If you know that you need to have ten new connection calls to land a new client, you become able to reliably predict your income based on your calendar. Personally, I try to connect with twelve new people every week.
Now have a think about the people you’d love to know:
Who would you like to connect with, and why?
Is there anyone who springs to mind immediately? Great. If not, think about the kind of people you’d love to attract – would you love to meet more vegan health coaches, for example? Or maybe it’s people who remind you of your business bestie, or make you feel inspired. Start honing your Kindred Spirit Radar and tune into that little ‘ping’ that happens when you find your ‘right’ people.
Then think about why you want to connect with them. To get more clients is an okay answer, but to work with amazing people doing awesome things who also feel like friends is a better one. To meet more people is an okay answer, but to connect with a group like-minded women who lift each other up is a better one. Get specific.
What sort of person/business are you not interested in connecting with?
This question is equally important. If you know who definitely isn’t going to be a kindred spirit, you can give yourself an easier time when you’re looking for people to reach out to. On the other hand, people can surprise you, so stay open even you’re not actively pursuing connection with those people.
Are you looking at people outside your own demographic?
It’s so easy to get stuck in an echo chamber, especially online, where everyone we know looks like us, thinks like us, and has the same sort of ideas, relationships, and values as we do. It would behoove you, and the rest of the world, to actively seek out diversity in your connections.
Next, have a think about the practical details:
Where are your people hanging out?
There’s no point you hanging out on Twitter if all your favourite people are on Instagram. Similarly, there’s no point trying to find people online if all your peeps are eschewing the internet in favour of IRL meetups. Go to where your people are and meet them there.
How did you meet your favourite people?
Think back to where you met your biz besties. Was it on Instagram? At an event you both attended? An introduction from a mutual friend? A mastermind group you were both in? A random email out of the blue? See if you can spot any patterns and if you recreate those circumstances to find more kindred spirits.
Just be your lovely self
I hope this has given you a few ideas for finding and growing your community this year.
I want you to know that the point of this exercise is to find a way of connecting which works for you, regardless of what anyone else is doing, and whichever way you decide to connect, make sure it's enjoyable and sustainable for you, and as always, be kind, sincere, genuine and friendly.
Eli Trier lives in the wonderful city of Copenhagen, Denmark and is a community builder for Quiet Revolutionaries. She helps introverts with big dreams to get connected and build thriving, engaged communities around their businesses, so that they can make a massive impact, find their dream clients, and make their corner of the world a better place. A long-time business owner, Eli knows first-hand the power of human connection to build a business, and her unique approach got her featured in The FT Guide to Business Networking. She specialises in creating powerful, strategic online community projects and loves every minute of her work (even the boring bits). When she's not working you can find her curled up with a book, painting, or hanging out with her fiancé Lars.