In the process of building and maintaining your professional network, you are bound to have a lot of conversations. Some of them will be perfunctory,
In the process of building and maintaining your professional network, you are bound to have a lot of conversations. Some of them will be perfunctory, others will be casual; some will be difficult, and others will be comforting. Each conversation you have will inform the next, as you evolve in the way you engage with people, present yourself, and communicate on behalf of both yourself and others.
However, in-network conversations are not simply internal, self-contained apparatuses for connection. Collaboration can mean that you publish these conversations for the benefit of your wider network, your clients, and the cataloguing of your personal and professional history.
Publishing interviews on your blogs, social media, or other publications can be a great way to demonstrate not only the scope of your professional network, but your passion for engaging with those in your field, building relationships, and taking your knowledge and expertise to the next level by consulting and conversing with others.
However, make sure that your interviews always come from a place that emphasizes your own experience and skill. You do not want to portray yourself as a first-time learner or an amateur. Instead, set the stage for a mutually beneficial conversation between equals, where ideas and your appreciation for them can be shared, not just each other, but with each of your clients.
One of the most amenable places to start is with the proprietors of local businesses. Publishing conversations with these individuals can give you a sense of community involvement, and can also be very informative for the people who engage with your content. In fact, it can be very educational for you, as well!
These types of conversations give potential customers the chance to see what kinds of recommendations you might make in person if they choose to work with you. They show your clients what kind of things you investigate and appreciate about your community, and offer a great launching point for small talk that can evolve into larger conversations.
You also get the opportunity in these contexts to work in evidence of your own expertise or other information you may want clients to be aware of. You can talk about the walkability of a downtown area, the family-oriented culture of a neighborhood’s restaurant circuit, or any number of things that show that you care about the concerns of your current and future clients.
Peers and colleagues
Interviews with peers and colleagues can serve you well because it establishes you in the eyes of your clients as someone who has connections and takes them to the next level. Get conceptual with the professionals you interview. Talk about how essential both real estate agents and, say, interior designers are to making a new house a home. Compare and contrast your resources and how you each go the extra mile for a client.
Round out these interviews with anecdotes and banter that don’t rely too heavily on jargon. The goal is not to alienate your clients, but to assimilate them. By getting a taste of the professional collaboration involved in creating a new home, they can look at the process not as a daunting task but as a club they didn’t know they’d been waiting to join.
Just for fun
You can also, for a more personal touch, “interview” your friends, your family, old bosses and professors and mentors. This is a great way to organically show where you’ve been, and to get a more down-to-earth picture of yourself to share with others.