BETTER NETWORKING 101
Five Simple Metrics To Help You Grow Your Influence & Your Connections
((Guest Blog Post By Rob Brown))
Social media is great but it’s basically a form of networking, which should be one of your critical business skills. However good a networker you are and however good your network of business connections is, everyone can improve. Most people do that naturally and organically, usually by simply doing more.
Only a few of the very strategic (and usually most effective) actually track and measure this for their networks and connections. Yet you have access to such an array of tracking tools, data and measuring mechanisms, you can even measure the growth and power of your network.
Here are five useful metrics or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you may wish to focus on in the vital area of your business connections.
(1) Reach. Simply put, how big is your network? How much do you want it to grow? While people will say it’s more about quality than quantity (and they’re right), it’s still a fact that the more people you know, the more people know you and can connect you to their networks. Look for % growth in your tribe, followers, list size, connections, fans and friends. A healthy growth rate indicates you have networking momentum.
(2) Influence. Your Klout Score is as good a measure as any of your influence. It’s primarily online and draws from the engagement (shares, views, likes) you generate on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. This tells you if you’re saying the right things and having the right conversations with the right people.
(3) Conversion. A network is just a bunch of names unless you can serve it, leverage it and convert it. That could be measured in leads, sales, referrals, introductions, recommendations or testimonials. A good network should be giving you plenty of opportunities to sell either yourself or your stuff. So getting people to buy from you and sell for you are great metrics to measure.
(4) Activity. How many face to face networking events do you want to attend this year? How many hours a week do you want to spend on LinkedIn? How many blogs, articles or newsletters do you want to write? Relationships are a factor of time spent in, on and with people, which means directing your activities towards the right people and platforms with maximum strategic force.
(5) Performance. How good a networker are you? What’s your benchmark or foundation? If you don’t know this, you won’t see how much you could improve and in what areas.
You’ll know that what gets tracked and measured, gets done. Rather than seeing networking as a soft skill and relationship building as an intangible activity, start thinking more strategically in growing yourself a network that will deliver your career, influence or sales objectives.
Author Rob Brown is an international speaker on building and leveraging powerful networks for greater influence and more business opportunities. He is the bestselling author of How to Build Your Reputation and according to LinkedIn, is the most recommended networking expert in the world. He is founder of the world’s most comprehensive online training resource for high level networking - the Networking Coaching Academy. Rob has expertise in the areas of trust, likeability, referral marketing, reputation building, executive presence, word of mouth, LinkedIn and profitable business networking. His clients include major banks, a range of professional firms and thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners.