As long as people do business with people and business is built on relationships, networking will be important. Online and offline networks are both important, but it’s online networking that’s powerfully driven the need to know who to connect with. After all, with the world at your virtual fingertips – who do you spend time with thousands to choose from?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have some sort of predictive way to know who the best connections are? Knowing who the influencers are in your industry is valuable and so is knowing who of your customers would make (or who already are) great referral sources? How valuable would it be to know who of your connections are a perfect fit to be someone who can refer business to you?

When was the last time you assessed your referral strength? This is important intel and vital to managing and communicating your personal brand.

Speaking of personal brand, here’s what we featured last week:

From these posts, here are seven takeaways (golden nuggets):

  1. Regardless of position type, company or title, employers want and pay for people who are difference makers. (Author, Ken Sundheim)
  2. The “blue ocean strategy,” the untapped vein, is to write and share the advanced knowledge that most of the other “experts” aren’t even aware of, let alone talking about. (Author, Erik Deckers)
  3. The “blue ocean strategy,” the untapped vein, is to write and share the advanced knowledge that most of the other “experts” aren’t even aware of, let alone talking about. (Author, Leslie Truex)
  4. It may be the era of texting, multitasking and communicating in 140 characters or less, but when it comes to finding a job, cover letters still matter. (Author,
  5. An emotionally mature person realizes that if you really want a certain job you’ll impress the interviewer in the following ways: Show genuine interest in the business’s mission and an appreciation for wanting to fit in and contribute to its success! (Author, Beth Kuhel)
  6. It’s simple. Master the ability to Keep Confidences. It is your Secret Weapon for Success. (Author, Jeff Shuey)
  7. Networking demon? There’s no such thing. There’s people who collect and throw away business cards. There’s people who put you on a list. But people who can really help you? They are the people who know you. (Author, Nance Rosen)

To assess your referral strength, take a look at your current connections and find out:

• Who has referred business or connections to you already?
• When was the last time someone referred business or a connection to you?
• Do your connections serve your same target client and in a non-competitive industry?
• Do you have connections in your industry that would be considered competitors but have strengths or focus on areas of the industry or business that aren’t your favorite tasks?

Let me know in the comments of any hints or tips you have in assessing your referral strength.

For next week, here’s our highlights:

• The shrinking job market.
• Second impressions.
• How to place a value on your brand.
• The importance of your LinkedIn profile.
• Focusing on benefits and buyer motivation.
• How to become an ideal workplace.
• Eliminating the “it’s not my job” attitude.
• Assessing if personal branding is your second job.
• Researching if personal branding should matter to baby boomers.

As always we appreciate your readership, comments and focus on personal branding.


Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks– a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand.  Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.

Are you busy? Here’s some quick and easy tips on Social Marketing for busy people.