Social network marketing: Help, not just anybody, everybody

NOTE — This is the fourth in a series on social network marketing. Previous posts gave an overview and focused on relationships and on understanding why you’re in business.

If you want to be successful in social network marketing, you have to find a way to form strong bonds with your business partners. One of the best ways to make those connections is to help them reach their dreams.
Creative Commons License photo credit: ♫Antoine
Remember, people tend to go into business with people they know, like and trust. The best way to do that is to get to know, like and trust other people.

This means you’ll get burned every once in a while, but the payoff is well worth the risk.

Think of your best friends. They are your friends because you know you can count on them if you need their help, and they know they can count on you. In short, they care about you, and you care about them.

Think back to the best teachers you had. Chances are they are the ones who took the time to help you understand the concepts they were trying to teach you. In short, they cared enough to make sure you got it.

If you want to be successful, you have to care about other people. It can’t be just a casual, “Can I help?” It has to be “from the heart” concern.

Express that concern during conversation on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites. But make sure that the discussion is always a two-way street.

For example, the other day, I sent out a tweet on Twitter that I had picked up a virus while at my daughter’s softball tournament over the weekend. I mentioned that I had a stomachache and a fever.

A short while later, I got a reply from someone that I didn’t initially understand. It included a link to software that promised to “scan, repair and speed up” my computer.

After a few seconds, I realized that the person had seen virus in my tweet and thought my computer had a virus.

Perhaps the offer was genuine, but I suspect the person did a search for “virus” on Twitter and sent their offer to all those people. It might sell a few copies of software, but it won’t make too many friends.

And that’s what you have to become — a friend.

Here’s a few ways to get started helping people and finding friends.

Ask. Sometimes it might be as simple as saying something like, “Let me know if can help you in any way.” More likely, however, you’ll have to move beyond that. Ask them about their two biggest struggles in business. When they respond, see if you know something that will help them. If so, point them to it.

• Be sure the person’s problem is solved even if the solution isn’t connected to your business. As a matter of fact, it’s better if it’s not. When you help people without any gain, they see you as someone they can trust.

• Help without an agenda. You must be ready to help people whether or not your business will profit from it. After all, that’s what a friend would do.

Listen. When you ask the right questions, you’ll usually get answers from which you can figure out if the person needs your help. Every once in a while, however, you’ll have to read between the lines a little. If needed, ask follow-up questions.

Pay attention. Look for the people who are looking for you. If you’re perceptive, you’ll notice people who need help. When you sincerely ask who needs help, they’ll raise their hand.

MLM organizations are built on trust. The best way to earn your potential partner’s trust is to always do what’s best for other people. If you want to find success in social network marketing, become known for helping people.

Steve DeVane

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