Are You Networking Online Like a Jerk?

Networking events and via social media platforms can be either a great way to meet new people and build business relationships.  Or it can be a good way to look like a jerk and ruin any chances of doing business with prospects.

This post was actually inspired by a message I received on LinkedIn.  Don’t worry I’ll protect the guy’s identity but there are a lot of lessons to be learned from this message.  I’ll post it below and then we will go over the lessons.

If you feel the need to say that your message may seem strange, it’s probably a good idea not to send it.  That’s the first point to be made here.  I do agree that Linkedin and other social media platforms can be a great way to connect but what this guy is essentially doing is asking me to sleep with him before the first date, please pardon the somewhat crass analogy.  So rule number one, if you feel it’s strange to write an email, which he does otherwise he wouldn’t write anything about it being strange, don’t write it.

Also if you feel the need to say “I hope this isn’t too forward” it’s a clear sign that yes you are being too forward.  You may be able to ask someone you’ve actually met and have only exchanged one-way social media messages with to do business with you if you sell office supplies or something low key and impersonal, but not something like financial advising.  Or chiropractic care.

And you know what?  Every single time you throw up a Facebook ad with a $21 exam and adjustment offer without any sort of relationship being built first you are marketing like a jerk.  Just like the Linkedin guy above.  Don’t be a jerk.  This translates to our offline networking as well.  If you go into a networking meeting or visit surrounding businesses to network and all you do is hand out cards and ask for business you are a jerk.  So here are some tips for offline and online networking.

Add Value First

Mr. Financial Adviser would have had a much better chance of getting my business if he had added value to my life first.  He could have sent a few articles with tips about money and retirement planning.  He could have complimented me on some of my posts.  He didn’t do any of that.  He went straight for the kill, and it killed his chance of doing business with me.

So in your online networking or marketing add value first.  Right now I’m instructing my group coaching clients to create engaging and helpful video content that they then push to a targeted demographic.  People only do business with those they know like and trust.  By adding value with videos and other content you are beginning to build that know like and trustability factor.

Do Some Research

Don’t be like this guy.

I actually feel like this gentleman meant well enough, but a little bit of research could have saved him from looking silly.  I’m all about Facebook marketing and digital marketing.  Research your prospects.  Show that you know about them before you meet them or reach out to them on Facebook.  Again networking and establishing business relationships is best done by serving and putting their needs ahead of yours.

Combine Offline and Online

When you do go out and meet someone give them some social media love.  For instance, after I visited a local running store I posted this on my clinic Facebook page.

You lend them your audience and chances are they will do the same.

Follow Up

The cliched saying is, “The fortune is in the follow-up.”  It’s cliched because it’s true.  You need to follow up regularly with your contacts, online and offline.  Don’t be a stalker, but follow up and practice the above-mentioned rules time and time again.  It’s just one aspect of becoming a local authority and building an unstoppable practice.



For trainings like this and much much more, check out my Facebook Ads Mastery Course and Group Coaching subscription.  Combine these two products for the best in digital marketing in chiropractic.

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