In his popular book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell presents an interesting view of how people operate. The Connector is one of three personality types – the one I relate to most closely (you, might, too). Connectors are super social creatures, those of us who love to match people with people, interests, resources. We are probably more “two degrees of separation” than six, getting a thrill from being helpful and relevant. (Not to be confused with being the knowledge gatekeeper or know-it-all, which can put off a completely unsavory vibe.)
So, how do you unleash your inner connector and become known as a thought leader in your area of interest or expertise? Why might that thought leadership be a benefit to your colleagues and clients? Even if you’re not the extroverted type, in today’s sharing economy fueled by social media prowess and information access, it’s not only useful to offer up tools and information people crave, but a necessary part of doing business.
Follow Your Interests
When you’re passionate about certain subjects, you naturally convey interest and enthusiasm in your conversations, through your social media posts, and in your work. People notice. Maybe you’ll spark the same interest in someone else. What a great opportunity to share what you like, offer up something new to inspire others, and gain new insights into what you’re already stoked about.
Match Make – Your New Networking M.O.
Think about how much data you consume every day. Chances are when reading an article (or attending a workshop or participating in an event) you’ll remember a related comment someone made in your midst. Here’s your chance to continue that conversation. Send on a blog or video link, pass on the book title or website, introduce like-minded souls. In doing so, you’re also fostering goodwill (especially with clients). Consider your own reaction to an email that begins: I was just reading a post from The Atlantic that reminded me of our conversation Thursday night. Thought you’d get a kick out of…) BAM!
Share the Wealth
Bet you do some of these things already. Why not step it up and hone new habits? This week, challenge yourself to connect someone you know with someone they need to know. Provide a resource to someone who’s interested in the same topic. When such practices (which take little time) become a part of your daily repertoire, people will begin to ask you for more. Et voilà. Your go-to persona established!