Last month I conducted a radio interview about a networking modus operandi I value, ATP (Authenticity Touch Points). As a result, I was reminded of my 2009 ATP post, specifically as it related to navigating LinkedIn. It is time for a six month ATP review.
For starters, LinkedIn has grown by 15 million people and now is a worldwide business oriented community of 65 million registered users and still growing. Personally, I have made numerous new connections, some of which are not even in my immediate sphere of business. Regularly I only engage with a hand full of people. I even engage with an individual on the other side of the globe in Australia. Notice I use the word engage, versus saying that I am connected. That is the spine of why I wanted to revisit my concept of ATP.
I have lost track of my time vested in LinkedIn in the last six months, but this much I have concluded. There are two buckets into which networkers fall: Situational and Sustainable.
Situational networkers are driven by the “what’s in it for me” networking philosophy. They are looking for connections to either expand their personal or company’s network. Situational networkers have bought new definition to the word ephemeral. A typical example: I post a comment to an individual’s discussion in a group, they respond with a thank you, plus an immediate invitation to connect on LinkedIn without even knowing what business I am in. Once we are connected, I invariably receive one of their huckster solicitations. Oh by the way, I am amazed by how many of the situational networkers are coaching gurus with 500+ connections expounding “How to Build Your Business”.
The second bucket, about 10% of the people I have met via LinkedIn are sustainable networkers. People that value people relationships long-term, thus expend the energy to nurture these relationships on a continual basis. Nurturing takes engagement. That is where ATP (Authenticity Touch Points) comes into play. The initial step is to ask questions – classic phone calls or emails are a great way to learn about each other’s businesses, background, etc. Information exchange via articles/links is another element of ATP. Thanks to travel, I even have had the opportunity to physically engage live with LinkedIn connections over drinks or coffee, but unfortunately, Australia is not in my immediate travel plans.
I value being a sustainable networker. Thanks to experimentation, I have honed my ATP skills, which now serve as an excellent filtering tool as I selectively connect and then engage with new people in the LinkedIn community.
ATP Revisited is the first installment of my three blog June Alphabet Series. My next post is titled LGBT.