How to Build a Solid Writer’s Platform, From the Ground Up – Part Three
This is the third part of a series on building a writer’s platform.
Cooperation = Reciprocation
Where Attention Goes, Energy Follows
If you want to build cooperative relationships, your focus cannot be on yourself, what you are going to get out of the relationships.
Your focus has to be on your connections.
What is it that you can offer them? How can you help them? What do you hope to provide to them?
Your relationship with your connections must be reciprocal. This is the backbone of the cooperation economy. It’s just like the internet. Information must flow both ways in order to be of any use. In other words, if you want your connections to do something for you, you also need to be prepared to do something for them. And they need to be assured that you will reciprocate.
Make sure you keep a good track record. Be consistent and reliable.
In social media terms, it’s like this: If one of your followers retweets you, make sure to always thank him or her for doing so. Why is this important? Because, besides being the polite thing to do, that simple act, in and of itself, increases that follower’s presence and visibility to the rest of your network, thereby increasing their influence or clout (more on clout and Klout in a later post). You could also reciprocate with a retweet of something of theirs.
If someone likes your page on Facebook and they also have a page, like theirs back. If you are friends on Facebook and they like one of your posts, read theirs and find one that you can like in return. You get my drift. Give back, give back, give back.
These practices are especially valuable while you are growing your network, but don’t stop doing them once you’ve reached a certain goal.
Please note, I am not recommending that you support something you don’t believe in. In fact, the things that you show support for on any of your networks are going to reflect back upon you. So be careful what you “like.”
Always Be Authentic
Above all, build your relationships while being authentic. Don’t like something that you can’t stand behind—don’t just like things for the sake of liking them. Build real relationships.
It is the strength of the cooperative relationship that you have with your followers that will get you to where you want to be. You have to provide value in the relationship.
If you’re running around gathering followers just for the sake of having followers, you’re really not doing yourself any favors at all.
Ultimately, if you don’t build a cooperative network, you’ll end up just a decoration on someone else’s trophy wall, and the only value you will provide to them is the value of a head count. That is a false value.
Never underestimate your impact on others.
I believe in the power of connections to change people’s lives. You always have an impact on others, whether you realize it or not. Sometimes a single smile, warm hello, or a “thumbs up” from you can change someone’s day for the better, without your even knowing it.
Think about a time when a smile or a kind word from someone else has changed your mood and brightened your entire day. See my point?
Remember, it’s not just the number of connections you have that makes your network valuable, it’s the number and strength of your cooperative network that matters. Consciously grow your cooperative network by building relationships with your connections. Think about what you can do for them. Reciprocate when they do something for you.
And above all, be authentic.
Now, go out there and engage with your connections in a way that will build your cooperative network!
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it: Go find 5 new people on Twitter (or your social media network of choice) to follow. They should be people whose main focus is in the same area as yours, e.g. if you’re a writer, they’re also a writer. Follow them, then find one of their tweets that resonates with you and either retweet it or, even better, comment on it. Be authentic and positive, and then see what happens. Maybe you’ll make a new friend out of it!
Stay tuned for the next post in the series, Understanding the personal brand.
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