network tickling to build brand equity

The tides have turned and quality relationships are back in style! Thankfully gone are days when people were viewed as revenue generators, numbers, bean counters and head count. We can thank the Great Recession for making us aware of the value of self-awareness. Today with a wealth of phenomenal people and services available, it’s the quality and the how of what you do rather than what you say. Get out a mirror; take a hard look and ratchet up your self-awareness.

Case in point, today’s blog post by The Ladders and Personal Branding guru Dan Schawbel, “2012: The Year of the Personal Brand – Create relationships one action at a time to increase your brand equity — and your bottom line.” They speak of utilizing social media as intended, socializing and continually educating you. I agree wholeheartedly. A truckload of contacts is useless if when you walk in the room no one recognizes you.

To increase the quality of your relationships consider your Rolodex, Outlook, CRM or Facebook contacts. How often do you personally touch each person? Both business and personal relationships take nurturing. If your efforts go stagnant to the point of the person not recognizing you at hello, it’s time to delete that contact.

Tickle File
Set yourself up for success to keep relationships active and authentic. With each new contact you meet, set a task for 90 days out called “tickle appointment.” Keep new contacts engaged and revive stagnant contacts by picking up the phone (no cheating with emails, that’s 63% less effective than a phone call and 93% less effective than a face to face conversation). Be authentic and share you have a policy of touching base on a quarterly basis and as you haven’t been fortunate to see each other recently, they are the lucky winner! Make it an exciting treat to learn more about each other. Set a lunch date or coffee (budget friendly) and show up to listen.

There’s no agenda. As the conversation unfolds, your stories will naturally weave in and ideas be sparked that create value for both parties. When the date is done, enter notes into your system and reset the tickle 90 days out. Tickle away.

Clare Hefferren

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