You probably use social media for a lot of things. Or at least, you’ve heard that you can. For me, it’s about establishing top of mind. It’s about using all the tools available to me so that I can be me as loud as I possibly can. And sure, that probably drives droves of people away from my blogs and Twitter account, but it also helps me find my audience and consistently reminds them that I exist.
Essentially, I’m always looking for ways to break free from the noise and be remembered.
I had a funny story I wanted to share with Rae yesterday morning. It centered on an individual that we both met during Affiliate Summit East. I know we both met said person because we were side-by-side when the introduction happened. Only, I couldn’t share the story because Rae didn’t remember her. Rae meets a lot of people during the course of a conference and this individual didn’t do that great a job of being memorable. And as a result, the conversation was lost. The individual couldn’t be placed and unless they follow up with an email, the relationship will never be leveraged. It’s as if the handshake never happened.
If you want yourself or your brand to stand out from the noise, you’re going to have to do a hell of a lot better than that. You need to create ways to be remembered, both online and off.
How do you create a memory?
When you meet someone, be genuinely excited about it. Be grateful it’s happening, be open to the connection, and really take time to get to know the person. There aren’t words for how infectious this can be. So many people spend their time trying to share their misery, that we miss out on really great moments. We don’t engage enough, we don’t ask the other person how they are, what they’re doing, what they’re excited about. If you’re the person who’s shaking their hand with a light in their eyes, hanging on every word, you’re going to be remembered. You’re the person who’s not dead inside. Believe me. You’ll stand out. If you’ve ever met Joanna Lord, she’s the perfect case study for this. It’s why she’s adored and always remembered.
Lift up others
During his keynote presentation, Peter Shankman mentioned that he spends the first 5-10 minutes of his day wishing his Facebook connections a happy birthday. He doesn’t go crazy or overnight balloons to their house. He just shoots them a quick wall message, email or DM to say, “Happy Birthday, it’s your day, have a great one!”. It does nothing for him in the moment. They’re not going to run off and buy his book, but he’s feeding that connection. That person who just smiled because of the message he sent – they’re going to remember him. Find little ways every day to lift up the people in your network, to check in and to inspire smiles.
Spend time growing relationships
How many people are you connected to on Twitter? On Facebook? On LinkedIn? Through your IRL Rolodex? Probably a lot. And how many of those people do you talk to on a regular basis? Five? Ten? Maybe twenty? It’s funny. We work so hard to build our networks, to get the friends/the followers/the sheep…and then we outright ignore them. There’s no sense asking someone on a date if you’re just going to make them talk to themselves the whole night. Break out of your bubble and find ways to engage your entire network on a more consistent basis. You don’t have to talk to everyone every day…but you could probably be doing a lot better than you are to connect and help people remember why they friended/followed you in the first place.
Be a connector. Thanks to social media and IRL networking events, our circle of contacts is bigger than it has ever been. Connect those in your network who should know one another. This is something I’ve noticed a lot about the people I look up to in business (I can’t even believe I just typed that…), they’re constantly connecting others in their network. By doing so, you help two people find one another and open new doors for everybody. When you’re helpful “just cause” and you’re not looking for anything in return, you feed your karma. And if you weren’t aware, we’re big fans of karma around here.
Find ways to say thank you
If you’re a small business or a nonprofit, when you secure a new customer or someone makes a donation, send a note to say thank you. Not an email. Not a phone call that’s going to interrupt their dinner. A quick, handwritten note that says, “thank you, we noticed and we appreciate you”. As Andy Sernovitz noted, good manners make a difference. They put you back in top of mind and help associate your brand with warm and mushy. Who doesn’t want to be associated with hugs?
The more outposts you can create for yourself on the Web, the better. And you really don’t even have to be be everywhere as much as you have to appear to be everywhere. Post on your blog, post on other blogs, leave quick comment on social media channels, be on Twitter, tweet about conferences you’re not even at, create your LinkedIn profile, start a Facebook group…and then integrate them all into your Web site. The more places people see you, the more you’ll be ingrained into their heads and the more they’ll remember you. You’ll also instantly increase the trust you have when they do remember you.
Nothing in this list is groundbreaking. It’s nothing your mother never told you. But for some reason, they’re lost in our rush to promote ourselves and our own business. Trouble is, people don’t care about those who only care about themselves. They care about people who help them. If you want to be remembered, be the connector who’s focused on everyone else, the one who lifts and helps others. It’s the best way to be remembered and how to be remembered.