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Building Community Wherever You Go

Building Community. I wrote a post called How much Twitter Input can you Handle? There were a number of people who commented on that post.

One of them was Christine Livingston, a new friend from the United Kingdom, who is a Coach for Work Change.

When I woke up this morning, my comment section had a trackback from Christine’s post, The Virtual Office of Selected Colleagues. She had been ill and was commenting how nice it was to get well wishes from her Twitter friends both when she was ill and after she returned.

She linked to my post, remarking that “But being ill made me realise that there are individuals in my network whose unique lights shine out for me more greatly than others:

whose blogs I particularly enjoy reading and contributing to; whose tweets I especially look out for because they’re normally interesting or engaging;

whose comments I love reading here. It was these people I both heard from when I was ill and/or missed because I wasn’t around to see them.”

She’s getting it that relationships are important for her.

Then she asked: How you turn that into profitable online business, I haven’t yet cracked, and if anyone has any golden nuggets on this, I’d love to hear them.

Here’s my answer, Christine (and anyone else who is listening) When we build relationships, people care about us and they wish us well and then when they see a need for our services, they say “Hey, my friend, Christine, can help you with that.”

An example of building community

Let me give you an example — Hurtis Heating & Air’s team is putting in a new furnace for me. I met Jim Hurtis back in 1998 or so when I was creating Spotlight magazine’s content for Coy Sawyer with 89Q. Jim came back and we put together an ad for the publication and we talked. I liked his way of sharing that his faith was important to him and that Christian business principles were important.

Flash forward a few years.

Coy invited me to join the Christian Business Leaders Breakfast. Jim Hurtis was at the first session I attended. Our little monthly breakfast group is very important to me. I care about the members and they care about me. Building relationships.

So back last fall when my gas fireplace in my office failed, who was I going to call? Jim Hurtis!

Actually, I asked him at a breakfast if they did fireplaces too. The fireplace warms my office and was a great decision. Our furnace was entering its 18th year, the combined rebates and tax credits made sense for us to invest in the replacement, I called Jim. Do you know that you can’t tell if the new furnace is on or not by the sound? It is warmer than before.

Relationships, Building Community

That’s a real life example but I hired other connections across the country and around the world. Many times I met those I hired on social media and the same way other people hired me. You build the relationship, just like I did with Jim.

People will find they want to send business your way. It doesn’t matter if you are in the same town or across the ocean. If you can provide a service they need and they know you are a person of integrity they can trust, they will come.

This is the same concept I teach to job seekers.

I often get the glazed look when I talk about the power of social media and networking in general. It comes down to my Hurtis example. You build community wherever you go:

  • In real life
  • on the phone
  • Through Twitter
  • on Facebook
  • with blog comments
  • through caring about other people

And people remember. Networks need nurturing. So… on your way, go nurture… and come back anytime to tell me your success stories. See you soon!

Ready to get your job search on track with a new resume and learn about building community through my unique collaborative resume writing process using Zoom and screen sharing. You and I talking through your resume writing and career marketing project, start-to-finish. Let’s talk!

Featured photo credit: Andrew Plath

6 Comments

  1. Christine Livingston on February 26, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Wow! It’s amazing to see the spark of connection catch fire across a number of blog posts!

    I think I’m starting to get how it all works. You build trusting relationships and stuff flows on the basis of your being known, trusted and respected. I think what’s funny for me is that, this is how I’ve always won business, but have come to social media imagining there was some magic that had to do with big numbers of followers and the viral power of the web. What I’m starting to understand is that that “magic” doesn’t necessarily work for me, meanwhile I’m learning to do what I best enjoy – ie build relationships – using social media. I think I must now just sit back, be patient and trust the process!

    Phew! I feel that I’m making a big leap forward. And, indeed, a new friend in yourself.

    Thanks so much!



  2. Charles Pellicane on February 26, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    The power of social media should absolutely not be overlooked by jobseekers. I have been told by numerous recruiters that they appreciate that my linkedin profile link is on my resume. As well, whenever I need to look up information such as a phone number or e-mail for a friend or acquaintance that I do not have on hand, facebook is the place I look first. When I am attempting to contact someone I have not talked to in years, I search facebook before google. The more you see the people around you using social media, the more you can bet employers are using it too.



  3. Debbie Yost on March 1, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Hi Julie,
    I found you through Barbara Swafford’s blog. I agree with you completely. I have been blogging for a couple years now and I have many “friends” on Twitter and Facebook. Some of them I have never met in person and probably never will. I have found help on my personal blog and the company blog I recently started because of these contacts. Many have helped me out at no charge and I know it is because we have created a personal relationship. I would not be as far as I am today in blogging or writing if it had not been for them. Even though I am no longer exploring freelance writing, I still cherish many of the contacts I made during those pursuits and keep those acquaintances close. In many of these incidents, it goes beyond the business connection into a more personal one.

    It’s nice to have friends who will help you out and give you well wishes when things aren’t going well.
    .-= Debbie Yost´s last blog ..Forgiveness =-.