Feed The Network

Vintage storefront

Put this on your daily “to-do” list: Who Can I Send Business Today?

Every day, think about how you’re going to feed the people in your network who make things happen. In Boston, I’m on the lookout for ways to send the Colonnade Hotel business, because Christopher Lynn has supported a lot of the local social media scene. With regards to speaking, I’m looking to share gigs I can’t take with speakers I have worked with in the past (don’t mail me and offer. I’ll send them your way at some point). When I listen to people talking about their needs and interests, I listen with my own ears but also with the ears of feeding my network.

The Sharing Effect

Think about it. The more business you send other people’s way, the more they’ll be grateful. Your helping them gives them a chance to help someone else (or you) another time, because you’ve done something to bolster them, to keep them afloat. Pass on value. Give people in your network first crack at your business. Spend your money locally first, but within your network second.

What Can You Feed Them?

Like I said at the beginning of the post, I share business opportunities that I can’t fulfill with others. I share reporters looking to get quotes for stories. I share chances to be part of someone’s book, if it makes sense to pass it on. Sharing these types of things is pure gold.

Maybe you’re not tripping over opportunity. Know what else people need? Encouragement. Get out there and praise people for what they’re doing well. Leave comments on their blog. Share their posts on your networks. Make sure that great ideas get passed around. Tell them that you admire their work.

You can feed people information. If I see something on tourism, I share it with Becky McCray or Sheila Scarborough. If I read something about the Jets, I share it with Suzanne Vara. Sometimes, it’s just for a group of people, and I share it with that group.

Make This a Priority

Buy local. Buy also from those who support your causes. Buy from those that support the people you wish to see supported. Pepsi supported my friend Mark Horvath’s We Are Visible, so maybe I should buy Pepsi products over Coke. My friends (and clients) at GoToMeeting (and related products – Citrix Online) support a lot of causes that matter to me, so I do even more to support them.

Feed your network and the value of that effort will grow and grow.

ChrisBrogan.com runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Theme Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you're a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides you with the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

With automatic theme updates and world-class support included, Genesis is the smart choice for your WordPress website or blog.

Become a StudioPress Affiliate

  • GabrielleNYC

    Chris, I ask that question every day & and the “who can I connect… with each other ?” … AND act on it!

  • http://twitter.com/swoodruff Steve Woodruff

    Lots of folks question the business value of social networking. Well, this isn’t the only thing, but it’s a huge part of it! Great reminder.

  • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

    You most definitely should drink Pepsi products, silly head. Not only is it the superior beverage, but have you ever gotten to talk to Tom Moradpour? He’s the global director of marketing there, and, well, I’m lucky to call him a friend thanks to Social Media world! He’s a great chap. @tommoradpour. Drink his beverages, talk to his avatar.

    My name is Margie Clayman, and I approve this message.

    That was the point of your post, right? :)

    • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

      ok you got your comment in before me which means missy you are up early! I told him the same about Pepsi and thought of Tom too. Though Tom has not had the DP truck deliver to my house despite being a 25 years a loyalist. I mean 17 hours after having a baby, on the way bringing him home, I ensured that a stop was made so that I got my fix of DP. That has to have some clout or as they say now Klout, right?

      Are you running for office or just ensuring that this is the REAL Margie Clayman?

      • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

        Well, we’ll have to talk to Tom about that. Maybe you should dedicate a post just to him and make this point vividly clear.

        I am running for office – I just don’t know which one yet :)

      • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

        Talking about getting up Early what time was it when you wrote this comment? Have a great one.

        I thought I was the only one that became a Jets Fan to have something in common with you. I guess you might be right if Chris moves outside of Patriot Country he might finally admit that he is a Jets Fan.

        Have a great day!

  • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

    Chris

    That is because you are joining the movement to go green but cannot openly discuss that when in Patriots country. It is ok, your secret that you are really a JETS fan is safe with me =-).

    The sharing effect is what keeps businesses or possibly the economy thriving and that does as you say also include encouragement. Let’s face it, when someone is on a downer, they dwell, they focus and they are not someone we wake up and want to start our day with but we can encourage and stay on top of them to help. Give them ideas, walk the walk with them as turn around can happen.

    For those that are flourishing and have too much business or the client is not a right fit, refer it out as they will not only be grateful they will be appreciative and hopefully do the same. It is more than referring business back, it is referring business to someone else who can then refer business to someone else.

    Spending locally supports your community – the community where you live, the streets you walk and drive, the businesses where they know your name and look forward to seeing you, They matter.

    And yes, please support Pepsi as Diet Pepsi not only tastes better than DC but the more bought allows them to support Mark and help to get people off the streets! Hmh, support the green movement with going green with JETS, warm a heart while pleasuring your palate with Pepsi (meh I need to do better with that) but there has to be a song/jingle for that. (cc @margieclayman)

    My love of the JETS is extensive and is 41 years in the making but my love of friends is far more powerful. Thank you my friend for allowing me to see my name in bright lights again (sorry it never gets old and I am as giddy as I was the first time) and on any given 15 week (minus the bye week of course) Sunday you look. PS I will not tell Bill that you are more of a Rex. Really, the supermodel wife (of course he reads InStyle Mag regularly), the charisma, the ability to bring home a winner as the last seconds tick seems to be more of your style than the gruffy voice and soft spoken cut sweatshirt, “yeah we lost whatever” short answer is just does not seem to be you.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com Nick Stamoulis

    Great post here Chris! Feeding your network is so important it goes along with the “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” mentality. After all, that is the goal of great networking, to have a group of people/companies that value each other for this and that reason and support each other, fostering growth.

  • http://www.brianhamlett.com Brian Hamlett

    Very timely Chris! This is a good reminder to those of us that have something to give (and guess what… we all do… encouragement, thanks, praise, HELPFUL advice, support, etc.)

    As a business owner (or anyone really) if you focus on the negative, having someone come up and simply say “You’re doing a great job!” can completely change the person’s outlook. That one “gift” made the difference that day… and it’s something we can all give.

  • http://www.brianhamlett.com Brian Hamlett

    Very timely Chris! This is a good reminder to those of us that have something to give (and guess what… we all do… encouragement, thanks, praise, HELPFUL advice, support, etc.)

    As a business owner (or anyone really) if you focus on the negative, having someone come up and simply say “You’re doing a great job!” can completely change the person’s outlook. That one “gift” made the difference that day… and it’s something we can all give.

  • http://www.sharieorr.com Sharie Orr

    Great post. Great outlook.
    Definitely one that should extend far beyond the bounds of business.
    Every aspect of life is filled to the brim with opportunities to “feed” others
    with good things: kind words, a smile, opening a door, a referral, usable advice,
    and on and on.
    No doubt good things will come our way if we do. After all, quantum physics
    proves we attract back to us what we give out to others. :)

  • http://www.michaelvallez.com Michael Vallez

    Good stuff and thanks. I don’t have anywhere the reach you do, but you have to start somewhere :)

  • http://www.margaretadams.co.uk Margaret Adams

    Here’s feedback that the approach works.

    I spent yesterday afternoon looking at the websites of webinar services suppliers. Now I’ve seen you’ve mentioned a particular supplier, that’s the one I’ll speak to first. It doesn’t mean they’ll get the business, but it does mean they’ll get first crack at it.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      That is so cool. : )

  • http://damangmedia.com/ Matt Clark

    And really is that not the true essence of social networking? If we as you put it “feed our network” then without question they will do there best efforts to feed us back.

    I love it, I use to belong to a business group called BNI and this was the whole purpose, we would meet and learn about each others business. Then with that knowledge find them referrals. It was a great concept, now that I am in a new city maybe I will look this up. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      But think about it. There’s junk food and there’s food of value. Just chatting into a network isn’t exactly feeding, right? : )

      • http://damangmedia.com/ Matt Clark

        You bet. “Food Of Value” that is something we can all picture.

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    I think I started to support my network when I started my own business. I suddendly realized that some people where not interested in doing business with me because I no longer belonged to a a major consulting firm.

    I became even more grateful with those people that supported me and my few clients.

    I usually pass business along to other people in my network of trust.

    I do agree you might not need to just feed them with business just sharing something that might be interesting with your contacts.

    The few last projects I have closed was actually feeding a few contacts information that was valuable to them. Later on they came to me to solve some of the issues I could really help them with.

    This post will actually make me brainstorm to see who else can I share something with that might need might help.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      You’re a good man. I agree with you. the moment YOU end up needing work, you end up needing a network.

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    I think I started to support my network when I started my own business. I suddendly realized that some people where not interested in doing business with me because I no longer belonged to a a major consulting firm.

    I became even more grateful with those people that supported me and my few clients.

    I usually pass business along to other people in my network of trust.

    I do agree you might not need to just feed them with business just sharing something that might be interesting with your contacts.

    The few last projects I have closed was actually feeding a few contacts information that was valuable to them. Later on they came to me to solve some of the issues I could really help them with.

    This post will actually make me brainstorm to see who else can I share something with that might need might help.

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    I think I started to support my network when I started my own business. I suddendly realized that some people where not interested in doing business with me because I no longer belonged to a a major consulting firm.

    I became even more grateful with those people that supported me and my few clients.

    I usually pass business along to other people in my network of trust.

    I do agree you might not need to just feed them with business just sharing something that might be interesting with your contacts.

    The few last projects I have closed was actually feeding a few contacts information that was valuable to them. Later on they came to me to solve some of the issues I could really help them with.

    This post will actually make me brainstorm to see who else can I share something with that might need might help.

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    I think I started to support my network when I started my own business. I suddendly realized that some people where not interested in doing business with me because I no longer belonged to a a major consulting firm.

    I became even more grateful with those people that supported me and my few clients.

    I usually pass business along to other people in my network of trust.

    I do agree you might not need to just feed them with business just sharing something that might be interesting with your contacts.

    The few last projects I have closed was actually feeding a few contacts information that was valuable to them. Later on they came to me to solve some of the issues I could really help them with.

    This post will actually make me brainstorm to see who else can I share something with that might need might help.

  • http://www.coopersbarnyard.com Frankie Cooper

    Pepsi is my favorite soda. This post is helpful to me helping me realize how important it is to support other people through networking and in return they will help you. Great informative post.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Thanks, Frankie. I really appreciate it.

  • http://twitter.com/frankie_cooper Frankie Cooper

    Pepsi is my

  • http://twitter.com/thedailyrob Rob Brock

    Thanks for this post, Chris, and for the encouragement to encourage others. I think encouragement is not something I do naturally, and I’m not sure why it is hard for me sometimes. I look at someone’s work, like your blog, or a colleague’s presentation, or my son’s high school English essay, and I think, “Wow. That’s awesome.” So why don’t I just say it? I’m not sure, but I’m trying to be better about it. I think my hesitance is partly because I am more naturally introverted, and I rationalize to myself, “Hey, that was so good, they probably don’t need me telling them it was good. They know it, and they’d probably just think I was kissing up, or something.”

    So, without pretense of kissing up… Great job, Chris! I found your blog within the last few months and I recently added your feed to my Google Reader. I appreciate you sharing about how you do your work and how you think about what you do. Articles like “How to write three blog posts a day” are golden, and very helpful for me. Keep up the good work!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      It can be hard, but imagine how great it feels when you share that with someone, eh? I agree.

  • Dayngr

    Just wanted to stop in and say that though I rarely comment these days, I am a subscriber and read daily via my mobile phone. Keep writing cause we’re reading – even if we don’t always comment.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Thanks. I’m glad you’re still here. : )

  • http://www.newsocialinfusion.com Karl

    Thanks for the triggers Chris. I stopped halfway through (I did read the whole thing though) and started thinking about all the people I know and do business with and why I work with them. Then I began thinking of who I know that can benefit from their services. I think it all really comes down to that, who can benefit from whom?

    As always you make me think and thats one of the biggest benefits I get from you…THANKS!

  • http://www.newsocialinfusion.com Karl

    Thanks for the triggers Chris. I stopped halfway through (I did read the whole thing though) and started thinking about all the people I know and do business with and why I work with them. Then I began thinking of who I know that can benefit from their services. I think it all really comes down to that, who can benefit from whom?

    As always you make me think and thats one of the biggest benefits I get from you…THANKS!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Well that is great! I’m so happy to that. : )

  • http://twitter.com/Colonnade Colonnade Boston

    Chris – we’re honored by the mention. Social Media is such a powerful medium to network and meet potential guests, businesses and friends. Thanks for the outstanding content that you continue to provide (much of it complimentary – we might add!) As a locally owned Massachusetts business, we’re proud that you’re a resident and making a difference.

    • Michigan Home Inspector

      Ran across Chris’ blog on a home inspector friends Face Book post. My wife and I have been to the Colonnade while visiting our daughter and were highly impressed. You run a fine establishment, Great location, great rooms and the service your staff provided was impeccable. We will be coming back EVERY time we come to visit. Please let your staff know their professionalism and efforts are appreciated.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OC6RPMEY45TNIBQJIPIDKGMMLY Johny Haseman

    More and more companies are sending other people’s resources, have been more grateful. Help them to give them a chance to help someone else for the second time, because you did something to support them, keep them on the surface.

    apartments madrid center

  • Pingback: Hooey » Blog Archive » Feed The Network

  • http://mydarabell.com/ Dara Bell

    I have been doing this for years it works. To me it goes beyond what is Tribes, perhaps to gift giving in Linchpin. To me I look at it project terms, on a project by project basis.

    So you help people with their project and eventually you get help with yours. The waiting can be a bit nervy but that is the fun. The network grows and your reputation grows beyond your project. Sets you up for the next project. In a Making Your Own Game way!! Your reputation is improved every time you do it, so it can be buzz and talkable dynamite.

  • http://twitter.com/saraoliver_prmk Sara Oliver, LLC

    Great blog post. I do this all of the time. I have a group of friends that are all entrepreneurs and we all act as this web of connections for each other. It’s a great way to build relationships because people know that when they ask you for something, you will always deliver whether for not you can do it yourself.

    When you’re done scratching your own back and start scratching others is when you really start to grow.

  • http://twitter.com/saraoliver_prmk Sara Oliver, LLC

    Great blog post. I do this all of the time. I have a group of friends that are all entrepreneurs and we all act as this web of connections for each other. It’s a great way to build relationships because people know that when they ask you for something, you will always deliver whether for not you can do it yourself.

    When you’re done scratching your own back and start scratching others is when you really start to grow.

    • http://www.nwxne.com Trelawney

      I love your additional point, Sara. By having great people to refer, more people feel comfortable coming to you with what you need.

    • http://www.nwxne.com Trelawney

      I love your additional point, Sara. By having great people to refer, more people feel comfortable coming to you with what you need.

  • http://twitter.com/MargaretMolloy Margaret Molloy

    Chris: Excellent reminder. I’d add that we must invest in our social capital bank before we withdraw from it.

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Super topic Chris.

    You can never “Pay It Forward” too much. Never forget we’re all connected. Each kind act prospers the whole. The personal benefit is obvious. People who share freely never seem to be lacking. If they do lack it’s because they are poor receivers.

    Give freely for the sake and giving.

    Thank you for sharing and have a powerful day!

    RB

  • Jimgenet

    The opportunity to provide a nugget of truth or a morsel of encouragement to a member of your SN community from your home office at 3am is an amazing example of the power this technology has placed in our hands. Use it well and the world becomes a better place one nugget at a time.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  • Jimgenet

    The opportunity to provide a nugget of truth or a morsel of encouragement to a member of your SN community from your home office at 3am is an amazing example of the power this technology has placed in our hands. Use it well and the world becomes a better place one nugget at a time.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  • Jimgenet

    The opportunity to provide a nugget of truth or a morsel of encouragement to a member of your SN community from your home office at 3am is an amazing example of the power this technology has placed in our hands. Use it well and the world becomes a better place one nugget at a time.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  • Jimgenet

    The opportunity to provide a nugget of truth or a morsel of encouragement to a member of your SN community from your home office at 3am is an amazing example of the power this technology has placed in our hands. Use it well and the world becomes a better place one nugget at a time.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://www.zmags.com/blog Christina Pappas

    Didn’t necessarily provide business to anyone…yet! But, I am ‘feeding’ a close friend who is in a tough work situation with resume hints and intros to recruiters. In this economy, I feel that helping someone with their job search is just as good as sending someone business.

  • http://www.nwxne.com Trelawney

    Chris,
    Thank you for including ways to help others for leaner times. When everyone’s schedule is full of projects and new ones are coming in, it is easy to see how to help out colleagues. I love your inclusion of encouragement, sharing links, and choosing where to buy in the list.

    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/AllanDouglasDgn Allan Douglas

    Totally agree and practice this. I learned to do this as a retail store manager with three competitors in town. When a customer came in looking for something I didn’t have, I’d call my competitors to see who did have it and sent the customer there. The funny thing was that when the customer I sent off to another store needed something, he came back to me first. After a time, the competitors began reciprocationg and the service to our customers was magnified for it.

  • Pingback: Blog Posts To Read Week of December 2, 2010

  • Valasie

    You just reminded of the Zig Ziglar quote that goes something line this:

    You can get everything you want out of life if you help enough other people get what they want.

    Not a quid pro quo but rather the end result when you genuinely care about people. it is obvious Chris that you care about other people even across the technowaves. It is the servant heart thing!

    • Valasie

      Typing on my iPhone at 5AM…should proof for spelling before posting, eh?!

  • Pingback: This Week’s Networking Boomerang « Connection Agent

  • Pingback: Network Predictor » Blog Archive » Netzwerk Denken 5 Dezember 2010

  • http://carebuzz.com Carebuzz

    Right on.. trying to convince clients to do exactly this.. I’ll send them to this post.. maybe then they will believe me.

  • http://www.openzki.com/In-house-mail-server Mail Server

    Great Stuff, I found your when I am Goggling, you had given very nice information.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OC6RPMEY45TNIBQJIPIDKGMMLY Johny Haseman

    That are booming and has a lot of business the client is not a good person, you see not only be grateful and thank you hope to do the same. It’s more than talk about new business, business relates to another person who then can refer business to another person.

  • Pingback: Rejunte de links por fin de temporada

  • http://www.kitchencourage.com/ Beth Morey

    Excellent post. As a freelance writer, aspiring novelist, and blogger, I’ve constantly felt the pressure to compete with my many, many talent peers. The idea of sending somebody ELSE business or an opportunity is completely foreign to me — and also completely revolutionary. The race to get published doesn’t have to be a negative every-writer-for-herself situation. Thanks for reminding me of this!

  • http://www.kitchencourage.com/ Beth Morey

    Excellent post. As a freelance writer, aspiring novelist, and blogger, I’ve constantly felt the pressure to compete with my many, many talent peers. The idea of sending somebody ELSE business or an opportunity is completely foreign to me — and also completely revolutionary. The race to get published doesn’t have to be a negative every-writer-for-herself situation. Thanks for reminding me of this!

  • Pingback: Introvert Networking: Start Here « Connection Agent

  • Pingback: Tech Tuesday Top Articles December 7, 2011 » Women In Ecommerce