Playing the role of reporter by interviewing a member of your network for an article or while doing research on a subject he’s familiar with, for example, is a great way to elicit information and advice from members of your network.
How can this benefit you? The reporting approach benefits you in two ways. One, you learn more about your network member. Two, he appreciates the visibility you give him. Also, he will probably be more willing to meet and cooperate with you in other situations, thereby strengthening your relationship, and others will seek you out as an authority or ask you to do articles or research on them. People in business like exposure, especially if it’s free.
Here are some tips on how to properly begin playing the role of reporter and getting more from your network:
- Interview your subject to get information worthy of being publicized–something he’s doing or has achieved, or simply his opinion.
- Take pictures of, and with, your subject when appropriate.
- Publish the information for its largest possible audience in school, church, community, local or national publications.
- If appropriate, offer to include your network member’s name in any article or research to which he has contributed information.
- Distribute complimentary copies of your articles or findings to people important to your targets.
- Make no guarantees that what you write will be published.
After you’ve interviewed one or two of your network members and gotten some exposure for them, come back and leave a comment letting me know what occurred as a result of your efforts. I’m betting you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. 🙂