I totally understand that you need hard work, some reach, connections and relationships to grow a business. But all I’m saying is that it can happen really fast and may not require the kind of travel we needed to do earlier.

So I have 5000 friends and I promised myself to make it a point to get to know each of them. This single decision of mine changed my business forever. I started sending personalized messages and videos to a few people on my friend list every day and the message went something like this.

Hi Andrew,

Loved your post about Relationships with your parents! I am 41 and every day I speak to my parents as they need it and so do I and when we talk about making relationships around the world then why not take care of the ones we already have. Well said and thank you for your post. I see we have a few common friends and common vision in life on some aspects, what would be a good time to connect over a quick call to get to know each other and our respective missions in life. I am in the Pacific Time Zone. May we set up a mutually convenient time to chat? Look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks Andrew.

Avi”

Or it could be

“Hi Angela , Avi here. I totally understand Facebook ads with videos may be getting more engagement but I would like to add that the long form text posts are doing equally well. In my last workshop I had my students analyze their top ten posts and eventually videos long form posts whatever was most relevant and got instant engagement found its way to the top. Love your views on social media; it gets me thinking every time I read it. I would love to get together on a call sometime to chat more about this.

Look forward to setting up a mutually convenient time to chat.

Thanks Angela!

Avi”

So 10 minutes a day, 3 messages a day, 75 to 90 a month and I hear back from 50 percent of them and then I schedule a Thursday or Friday every week for these calls.

We talk social media, life, relationships, about personal stories and eventually the call ends up with us asking each other how we may help each other.

I end up saying I am a social media consultant and run Internet Moguls and always looking to help entrepreneurs with strategy for success online. And from the other end I may get I am a health coach and seeking people who want to change their lives using best practiced health techniques and I try at the end of every call to note their details.

And then work diligently to introduce them to at least two people either through tagging them in a post or doing something like this:

“Hi all today I woke up and my 9 am call was with this amazing lady Angela who is a health coach in California and trains entrepreneurs who have no time to go to the gym over Skype calls. I saw her profile and how she finds 40 minutes slots to help people who may look for a quick workout while travelling from their hotel room. I thought this was really amazing and I wanted to introduce her to you guys on my Facebook.” And tag Angela and her business.

A few of them would reciprocate by doing something similar. The one important thing I should mention is I don’t go about counting who reciprocated or not. I love to tell them my story, do what I thought was right and move over.

In a short span of doing this regularly, I find myself being introduced to people looking for social media consulting, CEOs looking for strategy, which agency to hire, how to and whom to hire, how to measure KPIs. I get blown away because most of the time my selling has been done by the amazing humans who introduced me.

Other things like an email or a Facebook message saying, “Hi Avi, Angela told me about your awesome story and your dog rescue passion or your book you co-authored with your kids, may I request to set up a time to chat sometime. Or may I invite you to speak at our local event or could we get you on our podcast to share your story.”

Amazing things happen when you connect with people on a personal deep real level every day with a template that says I will help the people I spoke to today succeed using my social media network and then leave it at that.

The other thing is we all need support for our events, our workshops, our posts at every step. One nudge sometimes is enough to help another person to keep marching.

So I spend time not scrolling through Facebook but seeing what they are up to, how they are doing, what event they need help with and then comment or tag people or share so they get the help they need.

Another thing I suggest is except a few really good friends online whom I regularly reach out to share my social media workshop ideas I almost never ask these new connections for favours.

I guess it happens automatically and there is a sense of your cheque not being chased if the favour remains unasked.

From being invited to speak at EO, to being a keynote speaker at the Social Media Mastery in Canada to training digital agencies to grow a huge chunk of their revenue has come from connections who referred me and we all know once you are referred you are already half way there and seen as an expert. So investing time in informing, educating your own friend circle on Facebook about what you do is equally powerful than going to networking events for years in a row.

The personalized video:

I sometimes use my office studio but mostly on my way back from the gym or while walking Benji, I would pull out my phone and create a few personalized videos for the people I am friends with or follow and send it to them on Facebook over messenger, however it’s always preceded with a note saying why I am sending this.

Now if the person is not a friend then I comment on his post about the details of the post and then say I have sent you an inbox message please have a look.

Guys I cannot tell you the power of one to one connections, how it gradually builds up and true story is mostly when I do a video call with them I am wearing my Internet Moguls jacket and shorts and sitting in my home office. Imagine the time it saves me.

So is facetime dead? Not at all! There is nothing more powerful than a human connection, a handshake, eye contact or a hug and visually hearing your story in person but this is step two and when this happens after the above step one the connection is of another level.

One last important suggestion, occasionally clean up your list of friends. Those who don’t engage or are not who you feel vibe with you at this time should not be in your circle. Always be cleaning so you make space for other beautiful people and opportunities to come into your lives.

I try to follow celebrities that inspire me (the rock + will smith) and be friends with those who are on a journey like me. Those who are already at huge levels of followers they may add me as a friend but may not have time to cultivate that relationship that I seek.

This for me is a lay man’s guide to networking online, but it’s also the practice that got me to get more done in less time as now after doing this for a while my network helps me more than anything else.

The business and revenue that follows is also of another level dear readers and that’s why on yet another long distance flight where I was actually supposed to practice my keynote speech I looked at my inbox found one new invite to attend an event as a panelist because of being referred by a Facebook friend, I had to drop my speech for now and write about how powerful one to one connections are on Facebook by using your personal profile.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Avi Arya

Avi Arya , a street car racer discovered the internet in 1995 and grew his family’s small hotel into a thriving boutique hotel business.

Ranked the Top 100 Digital Icons by Impact , He founded Internet Moguls , a social + digital agency in 2009 and grew it from 4 to 155 people in 4 countries.

After 82 awards for his work , Avi And Internet Moguls help individual entrepreneurs and businesses like the Mariott Starwood Hotels & Thai Airways and over 600 + small and large Sonia neha world wide.

He conducts social media workshops online and offline to help business and and in the last two years over 8500 + students have taken his social media success courses.