Networking, and specifically online networking through social media is something so many get wrong. I cannot tell you the numerous invitations I have received to join a complete stranger’s network on Linkedin or eCademy, and for what? To boost numbers of friends and associates to show how many people he or she knows? In most cases the person after adding me has never contacted me again! This is relationship networking? Hardly!
Worse still, on occasion I have been asked to endorse individuals I have never met or may have only seen around the traps as a member of an association! Providing a personal endorsement of a person’s skills, character or expertise and introducing him or her to people I know and respect when we have no history of even speaking, just goes against the very core of personal or professional networking! (and my personal sense of integrity).
Instead of adding me to a network and never contacting me again, consider sending me a few emails, reaching out, helping me with a problem, or asking me for help first, so that the seeds of a relationship can be sown. The very core of networking should be building relationships and introducing people you know to benefit others. As a by-product, you benefit through their friendship and introductions in a circle of giving. Lately, online networking through social media seems to have become a competition as to how many people you can boast as friends regardless of how well you know them!