I have a big network. Approaching 40,000 followers on social media seems like a lot to me. I am not a Kardashian and don’t want to be. Money is not a motivating factor in my activities here. I have been clear on this from the beginning of this adventure, see my post on Raising Your Social Profile. I am pleased with every connection I make, and you should be too. Being helpful and educating with no expectation of a return is my mantra. Doing so will redouble your return from any effort expensed by you. It just works that way on social media. That is one reason why so many just don’t get it; it’s counter-intuitive.
Your network is powerful, but the magic lies in the very center of it: the core connections. This is where old media and standards come into play. It is here where the new media and technological change we are living with today combine for results. Like a handshake and personal relationship, the core connections make all the difference. Chances are you have shaken hands or talked on the phone with many at the core of your network. I would guess you have not with those on the outskirts of your connections. These are the “long tail” connections, which have their own place and value proposition in your network. They are super special, but here we are talking about the core — the heart of your social experience.
Think hard about who is at the core of your network. Think more about how the list today compares to the list one year, three years, or five years ago.
Has it changed?
Next, consider your satisfaction with your career success. How is that going? Any dislocation between the two may provide a reason why things are going well, or not.
I believe having a growing network with a level of consistency of your core connections is critical. Over time your core should grow at a nominal rate. Your long tail connections should grow at an exponential rate. I connect with more than one hundred people a day on social media. They serve the outer edges of my network and over time feed the core, the core that is the magic of social networking.
At and near the core are the people who will help you solve personal problems or business issues. They will provide the one and only thing that is important after family: opportunity — the chance to help others, give back, make a difference. To make something, solve a problem, create an experience. Experiences are lasting impressions we make on one another. We can remember and draw on them for a lifetime. They are so powerful that others will remember them and draw on them forever.
So here is the painful part. At some point you have to reconsider and reassess your core connections. If you believe in Jim Rohn’s premise that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” as I do, this exercise is critical. I don’t get hung up on the exact number being five. I favor a small percentage or fraction thereof as my core. Next, I think about how much time I am spending with them. Sometimes I pare my connections if I feel I am not giving and receiving what I expect from this area of my network. I know this is going to have some shaking their head. This has worked well for me. It served to strengthen my network in totality and the core, specifically. It follows Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory.
I recently began writing less frequently on some large media platforms. I had been used to thousands and tens of thousands of views. I wanted to control my own content. So I launched my website and blog – christianjfarber.com – with the help of a friend. My social media mentor, John White from Social Marketing Solutions, added his expertise as well. We went live last month, and we’re basically starting from scratch. Today I have about 500 followers and I couldn’t be more pleased. Having a smaller audience allows me to be more intimate with them. It offers a way to talk about my work differently. The site is a combination of my career experiences and desires. It serves as a platform for me to teach from and to work out what I want to do next with my career.
I recently left my last employer as I had done all I could do for them. So, I am currently in transition. See, I give and get like I said earlier. The goal is to reach 1000 followers, which I expect in early summer. Of course, this will only happen if I continue to post quality content.
So I have made my network a little tighter and my reach much shorter. I hope to be closer to those I can help and who might help me. I have reviewed the roster of my followers, and there is a super strong core. I expect great results. Give it a try. Review your core, trim if you must, or change your audience and reach. It can be very rewarding.
My best, Chris