2. Let people know you care, without a hook.
When you send a thank you card, email, tweet to people, just say thanks. Don’t follow up with another “ask” of how they can support you or join with your “movement.” There are times to build the movement, but mainly we should look for ways to build people. A thank you note with a follow up hook becomes a hook, not a thank you. The thank you gets washed out with the tide of networking, which claims its victims daily.
3. Stop asking people to help you and start asking how you can help them.
Don’t get me wrong, there are key moments to ask people to join you, to support you, to work for you, but those should be rare, appropriate moments. If you go around asking everyone how they can “get on board” all the time, you are probably overdoing it. Instead, ask people how you can help them. Or even better, just get together, listen, care, show respect, act out authentic, selfless love. This will probably draw more people to “join you” than networking ever will produce for you.
4. Stop waiting for everyone to comment on your facebook post and start commenting on their posts.
This is even more practical, and maybe even too close for comfort. I’ve heard too many people who feel “exhausted” by Facebook, but are probably just tired of hearing about everyone else’s life and longing to be heard more themselves. Our selfishness gets in the way of this, but instead of waiting for friends to validate you, be a person who generously validates others. Favorite tweets, comment on people’s posts, comment on facebook posts, and tell them how much you genuinely care and are excited for their lives.
5. Regularly check in with friends when you don’t have something to ask from them.
The challenge for our crazy-busy, hyperproductive world is that we typically only have time for people when we need something from them urgently. So we check-in, always only with a request. The needed solution is to check-in with friends and “contacts” on a Facebook message, or card in the mail, or text just to say hi and show you care, and tell them you hope they are doing amazing. This will be a great start. Let’s try to redirect our lives this way and see how it works!