Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

“Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a match. Find me a find. Catch me a catch.” Feel free to sing along; come on, you know you know the lyrics.

Did we suddenly fall into the middle of a Fiddler On The Roof performance? No, you needn’t change the channel. We’re still here talking about networking. How though, does introductionbeing a matchmaker relate to networking, if at all?

Building a strong network of connections is good for business, right? Won’t this will allow me easier access to more people who may be potential clients, customers or employers? Being a savvy businessperson, I already know the answer to that question, so let me get started right away by making sure my connections know about my products, website, skills, services, unique pricing structure,? and list of highly-placed references. Gosh, I wonder how long it will take before the results and profits comes rolling in.

Obviously, I’m being facetious here, but don’t we all know people who seem to take this approach?? The “me first” approach isn’t successful in winning friends and gaining trust in any aspect of life, so why would we expect different results when it comes to our business networking efforts? A network of people who don’t know and trust us is nothing more than a collection of business cards which are destined to collect dust in the corner of our desk; completely useless.

Earning the trust of those in your network only begins to happen when thinking of their needs before our own and offering assistance where possible to help them more easily succeed in meeting their own goals. One of the many ingredients in a successful networking strategy is to facilitate introductions among and between people? in your network.? You know that Joe, one of your LinkedIn connections, is very interested in learning how his company might be able to use Second Life as an innovative platform for training its employees worldwide. You also know that Maria, with whom you recently connected, has a great deal of experience working with companies interested in using Second Life for training and advertising purposes. Why not offer to introduce them to one another – even if they haven’t asked you to do so? Imagine how you might feel if one of your contacts reached out to connect you with someone who might be a valuable resource to you for no other reason than to help you succeed. Would you appreciate such a gesture? Would you remember it?

On LinkedIn, our network is clear. We are either connected to someone or we’re not. LinkedIn has a well defined process for facilitating introductions. On Twitter, the connections are less clear because it isn’t necessary for both parties to mutually agree to the connection. How then do we tell others about about a Twitterer we feel would be worthy of the attention of our network (a.k.a. followers, in Twitter-speak)?? One way to do this would be to post a message (a.k.a. tweet) including the name of the person we feel is consistently bringing valuable content, along with the reason for your endorsement. If we all tag our tweets with #favpeep, it will be easy to track these recommendations and find wonderful, new people to add to our own network. An important side note would be that this should never be used for increasing numbers of followers or connections. Doing so only serves to dilute the intended purpose and does not reflect well upon the person making the introduction or endorsement.

Which of your connections would benefit from knowing others in your network? Are you prepared to share why you feel the connection would be to their benefit, rather than your own?

So, what do you think? Are you ready to be a networking matchmaker?

14 Comments

  1. Joy Montgomery January 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    I’m ready to be a networking matchmaker. I’ve been doing it for at least three decades. It’s WAY easier to make connections with the Internet and easier for people to find me to ask for connections.

  2. Joy Montgomery January 12, 2009 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Oooh! You gave me such an ugly face! Green and angry.

    • Irene Koehler January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      Joy, Not sure this will be of any comfort to you, but I do not select the avatars. They are randomly assigned by the software. I don’t think it looks angry at all; seems very determined to me. 🙂

  3. ClaudineRenee January 12, 2009 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Great post! And I love #favpeep.

  4. Loren Fogelman January 12, 2009 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Hi

    Thanks for the post. Found it on Twitter. Insights on how to be a better twitter is always welcome.

    Thanks
    Loren Fogelman

  5. Patrick Allmond January 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Don’t really see the point in this. Tagging someone as favepeep does not tell me why I should know them or what value they have to me. Seems like an attempt to shortcut the whole recommendation process. I applaud the effort, but let’s not dilute the whole value of a recommendation or a relationship by thinking we can just add a tag and our work is done. Building relationships and trust is work. Don’t ever forget that.

    • Irene Koehler January 12, 2009 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      I agree that if one uses the tag without any information about why they are recommending another person, it is useless. Building trusting relationships absolutely does take time and consistent effort, which is why we should always be on the lookout for how we can help one another. There is no one-step solution to building and nurturing our network. Still, this can be viewed as one piece of the larger strategy. Doing this alone, without networking with integrity in other areas will accomplish nothing.

  6. Jennifer Larson January 13, 2009 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    I love the idea of tagging people #favpeep and telling people why they are one of your favorits. One question; how do I find these people with the #favpeep tag?

    • Irene Koehler January 13, 2009 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      Excellent question, Jennifer. If you go here: http://tr.im/39tk you will be able to view all of the tweets marked #favpeep. If you read through these tweets, you’ll like discover many incredible new people to follow.

  7. vbright January 23, 2009 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    I loved your post. I knew I would. I just wanted to pop by and say thank you for not being one of those “experts” who spend all day tweeting about their latest cruise or how they have all day to snuggle with their children and still make money. Now YOU I connect with. 🙂

  8. Jesse Luna January 25, 2009 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    The #favpeep idea is great. It’s no wonder the #followfriday meme followed suit.

    Also, I’m tagging this here blog. Totally optional of course but here’s the Tagged post on my blog. http://bit.ly/RsAA

  9. Napoleon (P0_P0) March 10, 2009 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Good stuff, Irene. Recommendations are only good if they are followed by the reasons. Too many twitterers just give a list of @’s on #followfriday – no reasons, just a list. That doesn’t make me want to click on anyone’s @.

    Most people DO give reasons for #favpeeps though.

  10. Maureen Sullivan Stemberg July 27, 2009 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Irene,

    What a great idea…People helping people online. Goes back to your column of today where I posted. About, online *etiquette.”
    I am so happy I found you on Twitter

    • Irene Koehler July 27, 2009 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      I’m happy you found your way here also, Maureen. It’s a delight to “meet” you.

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