Giving Back – Share the Benefits

shareI’m not one to give with an expectation of getting.  In fact, I’m not a very gracious “getter.”

So I was recently befuddled when I received this lovely recommendation after giving a presentation at Podcamp Ohio:

“I attended one of Deborah’s speaking sessions and she is amazing! I learned a great deal from her regarding social media marketing, organizing my time better and walked away with a lot of tools. She is engaging and fun as well!” June 20, 2010

Sheila Clover English , Social Network Committee Chair , International Thriller Writer’s Organization

I didn’t know Sheila.  Has that happened to you?  Someone gives you a recommendation on LinkedIn and after you accept it for your profile page, you are automatically given the opportunity to do the same in return.

Only problem is – I don’t know Sheila to give her a recommendation.

So I emailed and said thank you and said – I’d love to return the favor – any thoughts?

She responded back – yes – I have a radio show, would you be willing to be a guest and then you can see what I do and if you are so inclined – you can give me a recommendation.

I was thrilled.  Absolutely.  Just tell me when and where.

Sheila’s online radio show airs on Thursdays and she offered me the date of August 12, 2010. And then she gave me the best birthday gift ever…

“Would you be willing to be on a panel with Chris Brogan?”

Would I????  You betcha!  Bonus.  The giving just keeps coming back and back and back.  It is a sharing of opportunities that benefit both parties.

For the six of you in the world who don’t know Chris Brogan (My Mom and kids were three of them.  I was jumping up and down and they didn’t understand the magnitude of my joy), Chris is the owner of New Marketing Labs, his blog is ranked #3 in the world on the top 100 Marketing Blogs and he has over 140,000 people following him on Twitter. Best selling author – noted speaker – he is a gem in the industry of marketing and social media.  His THREE WORDS are a classic strategy to focus your year and I’m a big fan!

This all happened because Sheila GAVE me a high compliment with a recommendation.

I wanted to GIVE BACK to her and wasn’t sure how.

She GAVE me the opportunity to help her and in turn provide a way for me to GIVE her a recommendation.  Bonus!

– Chris agrees with me about giving recommendations but only to those you can actually vouch for.  He wrote this today on his blog:

Only Recommend People Whose Work You Can Vouch For

I’ll say this once: if you recommend someone and can’t really vouch for their work, you’re just setting your own reputation up for a blow. Don’t do it. LinkedIn and I disagree in the area that I’ll link to anyone (are you and I LinkedIn? Connect with meand use linkedin @ chrisbrogan . com as my email address). But I’ll never recommend someone whose work I don’t know enough about.

However, just like my experience with Sheila – just because you haven’t worked with them doesn’t mean you can’t in the future.  A simple email of “help me know how I can learn about your business so that I can recommend you” has led to a new friendship, business relationship and the chance to meet Chris Brogan over the Internet! 

How can you reach out to someone today to make a difference and build that relationship in further?

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