Today you can find virtually anything you want to know on Google. You can search for anything you want to learn about anything. Google has become the major resource for information and connects people to one another as a result from all over the world.
In some regards it’s a networking tool. It networks one person with a problem, need or question to those who have the solutions or answers. For business website owners Google represents the pinnacle of online success; lots of free traffic and more money in your pocket. But let’s be honest, that’s not going to be everyone and it probably isn’t you.
So the real question is how do you position yourself so that instead of you relying on Google to grow your business and online influence, you can become someone else’s Google and do that for them while at the same time building your influence and online opportunities?
Remember, Google makes their money being the connector. That’s the genius of their business. Who says you cannot do the same? In the end, they are a networking company.
In my CORE Networking group, the co-owners and my friends Susan Bierly and Tim Kerin came up with the question “are you someone’s Google?” when you are networking. Of course the lights went on in my head (it can get dark in there sometimes, lol…). We all understood immediately exactly what that meant when we heard it. The concept is brilliant!
How Most People Use Google or Any Other Search Engine
Just the other day my best friend and I were troubleshooting an issue he was having with synching his phone with his calendar. After playing with it for five minutes guess where I headed? Exactly I went to Google and I asked the question.
Instead of paying someone a lot of money to replace a set of $15 brake pads on my car guess what I did several years ago? I went to Google and I did a search that took me to a YouTube video that walked me through step-by-step on how to replace my brake pads on my specific car.
In the last few years have you bought a TV, car, or other item and when you decided what you specifically wanted you went to Google and did a search to see what the reviews said about it so that you felt validated by your decision?
Google networked you to resources to help you make your decision.
Are You Someone’s Google?
So let me ask you a question; are you are trusted resource for your readers? Do you offer your readers more than just your own insights by connecting them to news articles about your subject, other bloggers, or experienced people who know what they are talking about as it relates to your context?
As a business owner, are you a good networker offline?
If not, you need to learn to be. The skills required in that area are the same skills you need to be successful online.
One of the things that I love about CORE Networking and Tim and Susan is that they are proactive networkers. Tim has built several multi-million dollar businesses exclusively on networking. No ads, no internet marketing and blogging.
He shares how he built his businesses and the hard part about building a business as an instructor with the Small Business Administration and through his mentoring company Learning Lessons in Business.
Tim has taught me the value of being proactive in meeting business owners, identifying really fast what they are about and what they do and then connecting them with other people that can help them with their needs.
He is a trusted, networking resource for the people he comes across. Like I said, his multi-million dollar businesses were grown from networking. That includes long-term contracts with the Washington Redskins and Boeing, among just a few large corporations. It wasn’t advertising or marketing that got him the contracts, it was networking!
Susan speaks often of the need to observe, listen for, and identify what is going on around you at all times so that identify how to ask insightful questions that lead to offering referrals instead of waiting on her clients or prospects to tell her there is an issue they have and does she know anyone.
Both Susan and Tim are proactive in helping people upfront and then connecting people together who buy from one another.
So let me ask you again; are you someone’s Google on Your Blog and Social Media?
Are you a giver or a taker? I’m sure you already know what I mean by that but I’ll explain anyway.
Takers want traffic, referrals to their sites, mentions, comments; etc.; but they don’t want to give any out of fear that their tiny audiences will abandon them and buy from someone else. They live in a place of scarcity and fear.
Givers on the other hand are not easily threatened by competition and love helping others by connecting people and businesses with one another. They understand the importance of connecting with people who serve the same audience they serve but in a different way.
Great bloggers understand that in order to grow their online influence and business they have to reach new audiences and increase their traffic to grow regular and loyal readers.
As such, they become connection points to others. They network others together and become influencers within the communities that they create online.
In her most recent article, Donna Merrill talks about the importance of connecting within your niche, but she also shares how important it is to do so outside of your niche as you become an influencer with those who have different perspectives and ideas that you can share with your readers. She has a great quote about how you can become someone else’s Google:
“…how are we going to keep ourselves in the know about things that have little to do with our tight little niche? I dare to say, to accomplish this, you must get out of your niche from time to time. Read people’s blog post in related areas, and learn from them. This is how you are going to expand your relationships. “
Are you being intentional about connecting with others? Are you being intentional about sharing what others have to say? Are your being purposeful about building your community that will help you grow your online influence and business?
The Way to Become a Successful Networker Online
To be an influential networker, in my opinion you have to stop worrying about Google. Remember it’s your job to be proactive. Google is reactive.
Like Tim and Susan, and you have to understand your audience, your surroundings, and connect people with one another.
For them, it is easy because they have made it a part of their lifestyle. It’s who they are at their core (no pun intended).
Many website owners refuse to link out. They think it’s bad SEO.
Yet, at the same time, they want everyone else to link back to their site as much as possible.
But think about it.
If you don’t link out to people then how on earth can you expect people to link back to you?
Links are the very lifeblood of the web. By including them in your own content you help your readers. You enhance their experience by providing valuable additional resources.”
What about on your social media? Like many blogs, is it littered with stuff that’s only about you?
The principles are the same across every networking application. Let’s think about it for just a moment…
You go to a live networking event. Maybe it’s with a chamber or a Meetup group. You see that one guy making the rounds and pitching himself. He never asks the person he’s talking to what they do with sincerity. His goal is to turn it quickly to how he can help them by selling his product or service. Admit it, we all cringe when we see it.
Now, let’s flip it. There is this guy that comes week after week. He spends five or ten minutes learning about someone’s business and thanks them for sharing. He talks to another and another. He never talks much about himself or what he sells, unless specifically asked. But there is never an ask for a meeting or for you to buy something, at least not directly.
As he’s listening to you talk about your business imagine for just a second that he says something like this;
“I was just talking with …, you should get to know them. She is just over there. Let me introduce you. You offer exactly what she’s looking for.”
Which approach will serve him better? Which approach will earn him respect? Which approach will offer him an opportunity to meet more people who actually need and want his services?
Here is a really big question: “How many people in the room don’t need his service or product but because he built so much good will they know people who do and want to introduce him?”
You just discovered the power of the online world!
Being Someone’s Google is About Connecting Others While They Interact with You!
I hope you caught that last big question. Not everyone needs what I offer. But what if I’m helping great bloggers and business people connect with one another? People like Donna Merrill, Adrienne Smith, Kevin Carlton, Tim Kerin, and Susan Bierly. What if they all connect online and learn how they can benefit one another?
Best part, guess where they all met? They will never forget that if the relationships becoming meaningful to one another.
If people see that you’re giving and not taking with a sincere motive they will want to become a part of your online community. They will want to give back when they receive.
You want to be someone’s Google, then stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about how you can benefit others.
When you do these basic things your traffic, influence and business will dramatically improve as a result. Your offline experience will be better when those folks learn how influential you are online.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in.
How do I Really Network Online?
While the specifics for everyone may be a little different, here are some basic things you can do:
- Write relevant stories to those whom you want to do business with by solving their problems. Here is a tip; write to one person. You can be assured if one person is having the problem many more are also.
- Remember to include others in your article and when you share it on your social media add them in an appropriate tag that says something like: “Included or mentioned in this article is …”
- After you post your article, don’t just share it to your social media pages. Share it also to:Social media groups where you engage with others and leave meaningful comments on their posts.
- Blogging directories where you engage other influencers such as:
If you want to learn from a few great bloggers I recommend you consider reading the following men and women who are brilliant in the blogging field and I read and comment on frequently:
There are so many more I will share in another post on another day. So keep coming back and learn who you can read from.
Today you’ll notice I didn’t get into your website. That wasn’t the purpose of this article. While design, messaging, and the strategies behind your website are critical, I wanted to focus on networking as an online strategy today. I’ll come back to websites in another post.
So, I come back to the real question:
Are you ready to position yourself so that instead of you relying on Google to do that for you, you can become someone else’s Google and do that for them while at the same time building your influence and online opportunities?
Learn how by visiting my Begin Here page for more information!
If you have a question or comment, please leave it below. I would love to engage with you!