We talked yesterday about a person who was totally focussed on taking on their competitors by imitating them. We told you that the RIGHT thing to do was to focus on finding innovative ways of connecting with people rather than simply doing what others do.
So how to connect with other innovators.
Step 1: Find them.
Hang out where they hang out. Learn to separate the ones that are doing all of the “talking” online from the ones that PRODUCE. This can be difficult to tell sometimes because some blowhards talk a good game, but really work at discerning it.
Step 2: Do something nice for them
Like what? Well, sending them a compliment can be something nice. A REAL compliment not buttering them up for a favor. Another thing to do is to find something that they need and provide it to them. If they are a small business, oftentimes that is as simple as giving them some positive publicity. That kind of nice this is TABLE STAKES. Not for you being able to ask them for something, but simply to start a relationship.
Step 3: Do something else nice for them
Most people these days are fairly cynical. They will tend to ASSUME that the first effort you make is just to butter them up, even when it is not. So with the second attempt, you will get a much higher response rate. Guys, if you are trying to get a girl to notice you and she does not smile and start a conversation right off the bat, do you stop there? Seriously, do you?
Step 4: Start a conversation
You can then proceed to the second part of the relationship building. Start a conversation. Often times this is as simple as letting them know that you gave them some positive publicity and then asking them how you can better assist them. This along will usually get the ball rolling and get you in the game.
Ok so now you are building relationships with other online small businesses where they can help you and you can help them. It is a good starting point.