Much of the time we talk about ways to be connected, referred, recommended and advocated for. From logistics, strategy and tactics, there are many valuable tips and posts! Yet, there’s a basic question that we often fail to address and that is – am I fun to advocate for?
When someone speaks positively on your behalf, engages their contact sphere, and lends their credibility to you to move and inspire their connections to action, do you make it fun for them?
I don’t mean gifts, contests or giveaways or even a ‘happy dance’ on their behalf. What do I mean by fun? I mean do you make it enjoyable to them. Does advocating for you shine a light of positive energy on them? Do you make it easy? How do you make them feel? After all, they are the one risking everything on your behalf.
The following goes for career transitions, too. It’s not just close friends and contacts – being fun to advocate for also applies to those who recommend you or approve of you in one step up to a promotion, position or project.
It is fun?
Be timely. If someone opens a door for you, then you must be ready to go through that door swiftly. Delays or, worse yet, just plain forgetting to follow through only stops someone from advocating for you again.
Be genuine. Someone advocates for you on Twitter with a great #FollowFriday shout out and so many of their followers begin to follow you and as they do they receive a spammy auto-response direct message stating “thanks for the follow – check out my ebook at http://somepromostuff”. Or, on LinkedIn, someone advocates and connects you with one of their connections – so you send an invite to that person with the wording “since you’re someone that I trust. I would like to connect with you” and you have not even met this person. Those all feel false and will leave the contacts of your advocate with a negative feeling that will only reflect poorly on the person who spoke positively for you.
Be on brand. Be who that person who advocated for you said you are. Do not change for someone else yet be the best version of your personal brand. Someone advocating for you is looking for their words to align with their contact’s experience with you.
Speak positively about who advocated for you. This is not the time to tell stories of embarrassing moments or to express “finally he connected us together – I’ve only asked for this for months now”. When someone advocates for you, it is your job to make sure that the entire experience makes them look good to their connection – after all they are risking their reputation for you.
Provide feedback. Let them know how the connection is going or how everything turned out. Not knowing how something is going or feeling excluded, can leave someone feeling devalued or even taken advantage of. If you have made contact with their contact, let them know. If their contact is traveling and unavailable, let them know that, too. Keep them in the loop and they will feel right about advocating for you again.
No stalking. Do not stalk who they are connecting you with nor stalk the person who did the advocating for you. If their contact is unavailable, for any reason, let the person who advocated for you know just in case they might have additional information or can intercede in your behalf. Then, the ball is in their court. Do not stalk them by leaving them with the feeling of obligation or regret that they wish they would have never advocated for you.
Be grateful. Not enough people say thank you and there is so much to be thankful for when someone advocates for you.
The feeling you want to leave them with is that it was fun to advocate for you, it made them look and feel good and it’s most definitely something they would do again.