Tweetups? I don’t get it – a bunch of techno-geeks getting together over a beer with the only thing in common is that they tweet? I get the beer part, you don’t need an excuse for that, but tweeting? Okay, I’m finally starting to get what a lot of people understood a long time ago. It’s not about Twitter but it’s the relationships and connections you make along the way and what you’re able to do with them.
I find the connections fall into a few groups:
- Direct professional connections – I meet people who have a product or service for something I’m trying to solve. They can help shortcut the development process and I can use them as a supplier.
- Direct source of best practices – I may not need that person’s service but they’re doing some really cool things that I should be doing, too.
- Indirect source of best practices – The person may be doing a bunch of cool things that are totally unrelated to me or my business, BUT if I can figure out why it’s working I can create a new concept which I can use.
- Personal connections – I may find lots of non-business reasons to connect with people because common interests.
I find the first two connections very simple to get value from. I have something I’m interested in and this person has some ideas that can help me with them. The third one, is probably more common if I’m meeting a bunch of people which I may not have common ground with, yet. However, with a little more work, I can connect the dots and come up with novel ideas that I may not have thought about for my business. If I can find those hidden links, the solutions can be much more satisfying and valuable.
Connecting the dots can be tricky. Most times the value of an idea is not obvious or the connection would have been apparent. I like to figure out what is the core concept of the idea and why the idea works for the audience. Strip away the tactics and keep the essence of the idea. Then figure out how to build around that core for my projects.
Digital and social marketing is constantly changing. Finding creative ideas are important to stay ahead of things. Put yourself in unfamiliar or challenging environments and look for ways to connect the dots of unrelated ideas.