Small Donations Add Up
Winning friends is certainly a social grace, but for the moment, consider the 2008 presidential election. Obama began running for the Democratic nomination for president against Hillary Clinton, who already had all the big Democratic donors in her pocket. Like the waiter in the previous example, he needed to raise a lot of money, ideally even more than Hillary Clinton! We know now that he did just that, and it was largely because he used the Internet extremely well as a networking tool. He went beyond traditional friends and supporters to generate new revenue and used all the social platforms to make bridges. Instead of getting the large donors, Obama raised enough money to outspend Hillary Clinton by seeking the small donors. And, as we now know, he was successful. Everyone wants a friend that will give them a break, but it isn’t always about an introduction or who you know; in fact, it is as simple or as complex as making a friend. How does one go about making friends?
Well, in the online community, there is a strategy that, again, is very similar to dating. In the business world, when you want to get some- one’s attention, you think to yourself, “What do they want?” So if you are in the business of selling golf balls and want to reach the organizer of the U.S. Open, you have to figure out what they want. Perhaps in this case, the organizer of the U.S. Open would like more sponsors, or maybe you have researched this person well and notice on their Facebook page or in the news that they have an interest in watching birds or some other hobby. One of the ways to get to this person is to ask him or her a question about birding or tell them a bird story. Does that sound strange? It is human nature; we are interested in our own ideas, hobbies, and dreams, and if someone else asks us about them or helps us, we become very interested in that person.
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