If you were born in the age of bell bottoms like me, you probably have played at one time or another the old parlour game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” or, “Six Degrees of Separation”, which suggested that any two people on earth are six or fewer acquaintances apart from each other, from Kevin Bacon, or from any other movie star for that matter. In other words, if you pair up any two people in the world, you will, on average, create a link to any other person, within a string of six or fewer acquaintances. Sounds great, right? Well, if you feel today that you are six degrees away from anyone, you are stuck in the 80s baby! In the new world of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and all the other social sites, we are now just ONE degree away from anyone in the world. Welcome the brave new world of ONE DEGREE, and it’s changing the way everyone does business.
I own several real estate offices. Last year, I noticed that one of my colleagues in California had listed the home of boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard. I tweeted the listing out to the world and guess who picked up the tweet. Yup, Sugar Ray Leonard himself, who re-tweeted it. Ten years ago I would have guessed that I was six acquaintances away (six degrees) from Sugar Ray Leonard. Today, we are one degree apart and he has the ability to know if I am talking about him via social media and he can share, comment on, or reply to that message.
Knowing that there is only one degree of separation between you and anyone in the world means there’s a whole new set of rules on how to build an amazing business utilizing social media as your gateway to the previously “untouchables” of high-society and c-level suites.
1. Go Blog or Go Home: Every expert, entrepreneur, or sales professional in the world has a blog. If you don’t, you should create one ASAP. A blog is your proof of how amazing you are in your line of work. Here’s just one way to use this strategic marketing asset to land new clients. Interested in getting a sales or business appointment with a business owner, C-level executive, or just about anyone? Ask for an interview and publish it on your blog! Everyone has an ego and nothing nourishes it like someone wanting to interview you. Once you get that appointment make sure to pick their brain to get all the juicy details of how they got to where they are today. Just remember, never try to sell anything at the interview appointment. That comes down the road once the relationship is solidified.
2. Facebook, What Big Ears You Have – 99% of companies use social media to talk. They yap away about how great they and their business are. BORING. You can find real value in social media if you just shut up and listen. We live in a world where people crave attention from anyone that will listen, use that to your advantage. Your client just had a baby? Send a card and gift. Your employee’s son just made honor roll? Send a card, gift, or even just call to congratulate them. They’ll be thrilled you did. Social media is an opportunity unlike anything we had twenty years ago. We get this amazing ability to see into the lives of the people we work with and the ones we want to. Don’t waste that opportunity. Listen. Act.
3. Happy Birthday – Social media has enhanced the opportunities available to business owners. Why? Ten years ago, a person might get all kinds of cards and phone calls on their birthday. Social media has stifled that personal touch to a point where most people and businesses think that a Facebook Happy Birthday wish is totally sufficient. We rarely receive cards now. Phone calls on our birthday have become almost non-existent. This means that there is a monumental opportunity for anyone looking to make their mark. Want to impress your clients? Pick up the phone and wish them a Happy Birthday, or even send a card. Six months from now the receiver of your birthday wish will remember you, unlike the other 200 people who plastered a canned greeting on their Facebook wall on their special day.
So, be sure to use this new world of one degree to your advantage. Think about ways to stand out from others using social media as your research tool. And hey, I just tweeted a message to Kevin Bacon. Will he respond? Who knows! I do know that he will receive my note and I didn’t have to weed through six acquaintances to get to him. Social media has created the One Degree World and those that realize it now have the opportunity to create colossal momentum in their business. Are you in? I hope so. Stay in touch, ya hear!
ABOUT STACEY ALCORN
Sales & Leadership Expert, Stacey Alcorn, is the Owner of RE/MAX Prestige, the third largest real estate firm in the state of Massachusetts. A serial entrepreneur, Stacey Alcorn, J.D., is a Real Estate Broker, Attorney and Founder of MyLittleBlackBox.com, a fashion mail-order company.
Stacey Alcorn mentors businesses of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, on topics of employee management, hiring, franchising, mergers and acquisitions, sales and leadership. Stacey has been interviewed by Fox News, The Boston Herald, and is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “The Road Map to Wealth”, which airs across the country and on WBZ Radio in Boston. Stacey is also a leadership columnist for The Huffington Post.