Are you making the most of your network? Take this quick test to see where you can improve your connections and generate more leads!
In every facet of life, it’s important to build a network and identify your best resources. These elements make up your “sphere of influence.” There are several ways you can use your sphere of influence to establish yourself in the community, build brand awareness and generate leads. Take this quick test to see whether you’re making the most of your connections — and get some tips for putting your sphere to work!
1 Can you identify who and what are in your sphere of influence?
Take a moment to list real people and organizations you’re connected with (or would like to connect with) in your community. Here are a few examples to consider:
- Real estate agents and property managers Vendors and suppliers
- Local professionals who perform related work Local businesses
- Local schools and organizations Non-profits and charities
- Past and present clients
- Friends, family, neighbors, hair stylists, etc.
2 Have you connected with this network on social media?
Social media is where people are connecting, communicating and sharing information. If you haven’t connected with your network on social platforms, this is a great place to start. Add or follow every person, company and organization you’d like to have in your network.
3 Do you interact with this network on social media?
If you’re already connected with your network, how often are you engaging with their posts? Rather than refreshing your own page, wondering when the likes are going to roll in, see what your network is up to – and like, share and comment on their content! This puts you on their radar, and it might encourage them to engage with your content in return.
4 Are you mentioning your network in your content?
One great way to engage with your influencers is to tag or mention them in your content. What does this look like? Here’s one example:
- Write a blog about a great experience with a subcontractor, supplier or client.
- Share the blog in your newsletter.
- Link to the blog from social media – and tag the influencer!
You can do these things regularly, whether it’s in a blog or a quick shout-out on social media. Your influencer is likely to share that they were featured, and your connection will strengthen.
5 Do you interact with this network offline?
The largest portion of your sphere of influence is likely to be local, so it’s important to engage in real time out in the community. There are several ways to do this:
- Sponsor a local sports team, community event, parade or fund drive.
- Participate in volunteer efforts, charitable events and community initiatives.
- As a company, try to use local businesses and find opportunities to cross-promote (see next point).
As an example, you can volunteer to purchase and deliver soil for a community garden, buy a plot and work in the garden wearing your branded shirts, and mark your plot with a branded sign!
6 Do you cross-promote with this network (both online and offline)?
If you have connections to local businesses, contractors and organizations, there are several opportunities to cross-promote with things like coupons, referral codes and mentions of each other on your social platforms.
You might give your clients a coupon for a free drink at your favorite local coffee shop, for example — and the coffee shop might include a “5 percent off” coupon for your services on the bottom of their receipts!
7 Do you carry business cards everywhere you go?
Your business cards are your entry into new relationships, so you can grow your sphere of influence. In case you run into a real estate agent while you’re sprucing up a neighboring lawn, or you meet a property manager while standing in line at
that favorite coffee shop, you want to have your business card ready! Just be sure to include your website on the card, so that people can easily find it and connect with you on social media!