I give out with no expectation of return. Most people can’t even begin to imagine this concept. It is so foreign to them. We are trained to be transaction oriented. We must show results immediately. Results are measured and we are held accountable. We are often judged by our performance. Some would like to give, but don’t know how. I have often equated this phrase of giving to get with hunters versus farmers and abstract versus concrete. Another example might be those who enjoy relationships versus those who thrive on transactions. More crudely, the takers and the givers. The marketplace is wide open for those who practice my art – giving. It is an art. Maybe it can be taught, but you may need to reconfigure your mindset first. This is an article for those of us who practice it and those who would really like to practice it. Maybe it will finally bring conviction, the key ingredient previously missing or validation, so you can move forward, knowing you are taking the right course of action. There are people in this world that will plant seeds in our fertile soil to grow life – whether it be plants, trees or food. Others will jumpstart the process and buy already grown, ready to plant and soon to harvest. They cannot wait.
I have been practicing business networking on a full time basis for almost three years now. I was always a rainmaker. It comes naturally. People call me a Master at it. Beginning in early 2002 and for eighteen months, I shook hands with and collected business cards from 3600 people. I worked morning, noon and night and spent a lot of money doing it. It was tiring. I was always home on the weekends only to catch up on paperwork. From the 19th month on, I went from being proactive and aggressive to passive and steady. I would not work the room like I once did. I would wait for it to come to me and they did. I earned it; I had my base or so I thought. I have now come to realize that giving to get and networking are inter-related and because there are so few who practice it effectively, you must be constantly developing new people. Much like cold calling or any other transaction based system, you must go through so many to find the crown jewels, the pearl in the oyster.
Take a look at my logo; it was designed for “what’s inside?” Back in February, a good friend, Victor Urbach, introduced me to online business networking. He called it in his February 2004 Urbach Letter, “electronic schmoozing.” Because Victor has creditability, it caught my attention. I didn’t have time to focus on it, but it went to the front of my radar screen. When my contract expired producing a fundraising event on April 15th, 2004, I decided not to continue this line of work. I wanted to go in another direction. I love to speak and always wanted to write a book about networking. For the month of May 2004, I rested, relaxed and worked every day learning about online business networking. It is called social networking and plays off the traditional business-networking model. Because I am great at it, it was easy for me. Plus, it helps to be computer literate, having been in the Internet space since 1994 having understood Viral Marketing and its power for years now. Viral Marketing and the Internet are a potent chemistry combination. So I employed the laws of three a day. I wanted to do three things in a day and three of each item. I always write three pages for my book, I strategically post my articles in three locations and develop three new relationships – everyday. I keep a diary. My plan is to do this for the next 365 days. So what do I mean – giving to get. It is my belief that in three short weeks, I received more than I gave. Remember, I gave first. It is probably because I went fishing where the fish are, had a worldwide stage to play on, and had a constituency of members in these online networks that practice what I preach. I had a bigger base, a global one. Local face-to-face networking in the New York area has been eroding for quite some time now. It isn’t as easy as it once was. Over 18 months I met an average of 200 people a month. I have established relationships with almost 450 in one month. I may have 25 new opportunities. I truly don’t believe I would have attracted this abundance had I took first and gave –as an after thought – or, if at all. But don’t let me kid you networking takes effort. Let me explain with a few examples. I first joined Ryze back in February and didn’t do anything until May. I had invited some, but never really focused on it.
When I decided to change directions on how I earn a living – speaking and writing a book, I saw LinkedIn as a marketplace that could help me. My friend Victor had developed 221 contacts and had developed considerable influence. I invited people in my sphere of influence - about 1200, and established 100 of my own. I updated my site, refined it, and copied others I visited. I was looking for well-connected people like I always do. I am very good at developing keywords and started to test those words by searching and seeing what they brought. The search returned nothing but quality and lots of them. Victor gives. He was the one who introduced me to LinkedIn. While developing LinkedIn, I noticed a tele-seminar ad on top. I clicked through and found Scott Allen of Online Business Networks. He also had an e-book called “The Five Keys to Building Relationships” online. I registered for his course and bought his book, read it and contacted him to compliment him. The book was most helpful. Relationships take time. I am never in a rush. It is like dating. Let us go out before we decide to marry. Let us take longer for children, etc. You don’t do it all in one day, yet people expect this with networking. It can be successfully argued I gave to Scott – I purchased two products from him and Victor gave to me. From early May 2004, I became focused on Online Networking. I am a teacher. I was looking for that push. Online Networking was it. It plays into all my strengths and can achieve all my goals. I sent 1000 invites, yet only 100 responded. Now wait a minute that is a 10% response, you may say. Direct mail returns 1%. But my list generally returns 25%. I told you viral marketing is pretty powerful. I know people don’t know what they don’t know. My job has always been to be looking out for them. There I go giving again. Besides, if they join, my base grows and the value to my network as a whole grows greater. So I wrote an article about Linked In. I liked it. It was all true and was complimentary to all in its entirety, especially LinkedIn. It mentioned Victor Urbach. It mentioned Scott Allen’s book. I gave to three. If the people on my list would read my article, they too would become members. From February 2004 to May, just three short months, LinkedIn grew from 50,000 members to 600,000. I sent it to LinkedIn. Within 12 hours, I received a nice thank you note from Konstantin Guericke, their VP of Marketing. What do you think would have happened if I called Konstantin and told him I was a writer and wanted to write an article about his company? Would he have taken my call or my e-mail and responded favorably? Some may have looked for an economic benefit. Isn’t that the way it works? I wrote and submitted first, and he responded. I am now a person with knowledge who backed it up with results. We have had dialogue. Not sure where it will go, but we are clearly in each other’s pipelines. I am interested in the relationship. Business will come as a result. I give to get. Konstantin sent the article to Scott. He already knew about it when I sent it to him. Konstantin gave. So I was already online and started to establish myself with Ryze and LinkedIn and noticing Scott is pretty connected and well placed. I also noticed Thomas Power, Chairman of Ecademy wherever I traveled virtually. I decided that Ecademy would be my next stop. I also wrote Scott and asked if he had an affiliate program. After all, I know a lot of people who would buy his book. I need to feed my family. I give to get. I wrote about him and bought two of his products. I never assume. I ask. This is a concrete world we live in. Some people may not think of it. What if I didn’t ask and he did. He replied with the code and a thank you. So, I have offered myself to Scott three times, the latest as an affiliate and now it is win-win. I joined Ecademy and immediately posted the LinkedIn article I wrote there. What nerve, some may state, posting an article about a competitor. Givers don’t think that way. That might be the takers argument, who don’t know how to give. Giving to get. I gave information others didn’t have. It may have been a validation, an agreement for them. Some of the most connected people on LinkedIn are connected on Ecademy. Perhaps they could use this for my original intent, to get more people I know to see what I see. Dialogues started within 12 hours and my first contact with Thomas Power came as a result. He is the most connected on both, having close to 3000 connections. Everyone showed appreciation and the viral floodgates opened. I stated to my lovely wife of thirty years Terry this morning that it became overwhelming. Within a week, my connections grew by 60 and they were so connected the base grew by 250,000 people. My network was now able to tap into 250,000 more people. I was developing relationships with 60 of the most connected people who knew how to network all because of one three page article I gave away. I bet I will do something with at least 25 of them. Not sure when or what. This is another thing to takers. They must have immediate results. So after three days, I wrote about my initial experience on Ecademy and posted it. Once again, I mentioned Scott and gave him a plug. Within one week, I climbed from the 33,000th newest member into one of the most connected on Ecademy.
All I did was give myself and six pages of content. Comically, when I was speaking with someone about what happened, she remarked she would have never done that. She only sells her articles. It takes her six months and countless rejections to get a new article published. All I did was give immediately and open myself up to countless possibilities. Thomas Power, Ecademy’s Chairman and I are discussing doing something in New York. I spoke about time. It is my friend. I am not smart enough to determine how long it takes. Joe Rosenberg and I met almost two years ago. We only started a dialogue this past month. He was the first person I found online I knew. I thought Ryze was junior at best. He convinced to take another look. He was right. So I wrote about Ryze too. Scott, Victor, Thomas were again mentioned. Joe was too, along with Andrew Kraft, VP for events at Ryze. Ryze is populated with a diverse culture. Many are home-based business owners. They are well suited for many of my products. I found a few more spots to place the articles in. Remember, I find three new spots every day. Scott was helpful with sources. All of sudden, my website hits started to rise; my contact list started to grow and downloads of the article started to explode. The newest “want” of everybody (why not?) is to get first page placement on the number one search engine Google. People are paying thousands of dollars and waiting months and months to get this favorable ranking. To my pleasant surprise, this morning I woke up to see my three articles on page two when typing in Ecademy, Ryze and LinkedIn separately. I wrote those articles only four to ten days prior. What is the value of a three-page article and what is the cost of a second page placement for three significant keywords. It is all because I gave, knew where to give, how to give, and who to give too. Did you ever hear the rich get richer? Social Networks or online business networking are the hottest “new thing” on the Internet. Much like Amazon, E-Bay, and Yahoo they are probably here to stay. People have been married. They work. Relationships – both business and personal develop. On Ryze, I am developing relationships with other connected people. Because a giver associates with or has a knack for associating with other givers, I have been surfing for other well-connected individuals. I look for the people who have the newest membership and the highest amount of profile hits. They become my evangelists and I become theirs. Two that come to mind are Jordan Lozott and Ally Hill. We are starting to develop a nice relationship. Read what Jordan said about me in one of his posts. To review, over one month, I proactively wrote three articles with Scott Allen favorably mentioned, buy, read and comment on his book, attend his tele-seminar and become his affiliate to help him sell more. I visited the networks he created on Ryze and Ecademy (they are open to public view). Since he is so respected, I figured if he could develop a relationship, so could I. Likes attract and other significant players hang together. I see Melody Campbell’s name mentioned. I never heard of her. But Scott knows her. I noticed that morning she joined Ecademy. The following day, 60 people joined Ecademy, all because she said too. I take notice and see that she is a small business guru. I sign up for her newsletter. I received an e-mail invitation to attend one of her tele-seminars on affiliate marketing. She has drawing power. People listen to her. I have never made contact with her. Maybe a plug like this will get her attention. Who knows? It doesn’t matter. I give to get. I don’t demand anything from Scott’s list because you won’t get anywhere. Another thing takers don’t understand. They would have been spamming the list from the get go. No one even knows as I am taking my time. Letting the viral marketplace do it’s work. Sunday, I wake up with my mailbox full of activity the Internet brings while you sleep. I found a gift from Scott. His blog entry, “When a Master Learns a New Skill” was waiting for the world to see. I was and still am truly touched. His response was 1) It’s all true and 2) You earned it, both through your actions in general, and through your actions with me. The next day, H Dean Hua, a gentleman I have already developed a relationship with, contacts me with something in mind. He is the leader for Ryze, Washington, DC and he wants me to write about networking. The viral nature of networking has now landed me in our Nation’s Capital. I must go and catch up on all the newfound opportunities – all because I give to get.