Want to Expand Your Social Capital? Do These 3 Things…

1- Say “Hello from the other side!”

Given the reach of today’s digital world, anyone wishing to expand their Social Capital can do it easily just by following Adele’s advice, by saying “Hello from the other side!” What I mean by this is for you to use the reach and facility of social platforms to connect to anyone, anywhere, just by saying “hello” and introducing yourself.

Use LinkedIn or Facebook to identify persons across 1st and 2nd level contacts, who share a common industry or profession and reach out to them and ask for introductions to key persons in your field, sector, industry, city, or state. No matter if your business is Staffing, Insurance, Banking, Finances, or any other from services to manufacturing, join groups pertinent to your business. Once in these groups begin to interact using “Likes”, “Shares” and “Comments” to expand your contacts, which will eventually place you in contact with new business introductions, or obtain access to capital to potentially grow your business. In a similar manner, use Twitter to like, follow, and retweet on potential contacts, influencers, or even Client prospects.

So whether you do it like Adele and “say hello” from this side, that side, or the other side – it really doesn’t matter, just as long as you do it – reach out and say hello — to your Network that is.

2- “At least buy a ticket…”

There’s an old story of a Catholic priest who dreamed of winning the lottery. One day during his prayers he heard a voice from above inquiring…”Fergus”? Startled, he responded “my Lord, is that you? You’ve heard my prayers and are you going to award me by letting me win the Lottery?” The voice from above then responds, “Fergus…help me out my son…start by at least buying a ticket!”.

My 2nd suggestion is rooted in the notion that to expand your social capital requires a firm, personal commitment toward action from you – analogous to “…buying a ticket”. It requires that you personally and physically interact with your Network, going to trade functions, breakfast meetings, lead groups, luncheons, happy hours, and “Meet & Greet” events. It requires that you join a local chamber of commerce, which could also include ethnic or minority versions such as Indian, Asian, African-American, or Hispanic chambers of commerce, and attend them frequently and consistently. Unlike Fergus who wouldn’t even buy his own lottery ticket, you on the other hand, must buy a ticket, and then stick your neck out, attend, be participative, network actively, and follow-up with all your personal leads either with a call or Email. It’s hard work and can’t be done from your laptop or phone, but instead requires your personal and active involvement, because the only person who can build the relationships which will eventually lead to new opportunities for your business is you.

3- Do like your Browser and “REFRESH”…Yourself!

The “Refresh” button present on your browser tells it to reload the current website and by doing so, reproduces the entire page. Take this notion from your Browser and apply it to your digital profile — and “Refresh” yourself! Invest in a professional headshot and update the profile photo and banners on your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook pages. Rewrite your profile description, updating it with your latest professional accomplishments, positions, promotions, job changes, or publications. If you write a Newsletter, redo the background artwork with something and create a storyline to attract interest from your network base, both current and new. You’ll be amazed at the results this will produce for you. I recently did all these things in preparation for the August 15th launch of my book “The Success Factor – Unconventional Wisdom for Small Business Success” and the results have been astounding. I had >100% improvement in the open rates of my Newsletter, 30x increase in the click-through rates, 10x-15x increases in the number of followers on my LinkedIn profile and blog articles, and a barrage of personal responses from my Network. All this anchored to an event (my book launch, in this case), but clearly tied to my action of “refreshing” my profile by providing new, interesting content to my Network. So if your profile and social capital becomes stale, static, or “freezes up on you” and you’re at a loss of what to do, then act like your Browser… and Refresh yourself!

Maybe They Should Read My Book…

The Success Factor book by Ername Iung As a recently minted first-time author I am learning many things, well…for the first time (hence, the label). I am learning about editing, promoting, publishing, and of course, selling my soon to be released in August book “The Success Factor – Unconventional Wisdom for Small Business Success.”

As a businessman, the sales aspect is an area that I relate to well and know a thing or two about. So you can imagine my delight seeing my book for the first time being listed on the myriad of online sites which specialize in selling books in such faraway places like Canada (well not so far away, but remember, I now live in Florida)…Norway…Sweden…Japan (yup…surprised me too) in addition to the many U.S. sites we are already familiar. One by one, the sites listed my book, all adhering diligently to the retail price suggested by my wonderful publisher Morgan James Publishing – all, except one. This one site, which will go unnamed, chose to single-handedly reduce my introductory selling price by more than 33%…and this before it is even launched! Now I could understand if the book didn’t perform well in sales post-release, and a price reduction could be justified as a very conventional tactic for trying to accelerate sales. However, The Success Factor hasn’t even been released and this one site is already discounting the price! It’s so easy to cut prices – anyone can do it, but rather than choose to “swim upstream and create differentiation for itself” as I suggest in my book, this one site opts for the no-brainer strategy of cutting prices – a decision which negatively impacts them, my publisher Morgan James, and me. Additionally, it’s not just the negative impact from a monetary perspective, but worse, the harmful message a deep discount at pre-launch conveys to potential readers and buyers. This is clearly not the message we (editor, publisher, book retailer, and myself) wish to convey. It’s just the opposite.

As a small business owner, my suggestion to the retailer would be rather than discount prices and margins from the get-go, why not try to captivate and entertain potential visitors with an enhanced user experience through graphics, videos, blogs, or interesting background material on the witty author (me, in this case)? This way, they avoid just reaching into their grab bag and pulling out a hatchet and start cutting – prices that is. Call it what you like – price gouging, discounting, or promotional selling – it’s really nothing more than a bad business decision. Product margins are sacred and should be upheld as long as possible, since once they start their downward spiral they never come back.

So now it’s my turn to do my part. As a result of their shortsightedness in sales strategy, I have chosen to leave this retailer’s site link off my website and by doing so, will not endorse them for sales of my book. This is not a “tit for tat” business decision, but rather one which involves “practicing what I preach,”and as a smart small business owner (me again) choosing to only do business with persons and companies which value their partners, and at the same time avoiding those who engage in tactics like predatory pricing, which end up being a disservice to all involved, including themselves. As I roll-out my book website this week, see if you can guess who the retail villain is. And as I constantly remind my readers in The Success Factor, smart business tactics like mine are not so unconventional after all, are they?

The Success Factor is available for pre-order!

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