When your friends become your sales channel

Collaboration is essentially about connecting with people and then influencing/engaging them by creating a shared goal. In today’s world, we seem to have two distinct approaches to marketing.
connecting peopleThe impersonal approach where we bombard our networks with information relating to our professional activities and encourage them to become our sales and marketing channels. Often we do this vis linkedin, group emails etc.. so it’s personal but not personal. I’m guilty of this myself occasionally.
The personal approach where we are more targeted in how we create our communities but the starting point generally remains to be our own network, be it personal or professional. We specifically ask them to get involved similar to the “friends, fools and family” investment strategy.
The old cliche goes that we shouldn’t mix business with pleasure. In the world of crowdfunding (particularly “rewards based” crowdfunding), this mix is not only key but in many cases, it’s a prerequisite.
That raises the question of how this mix will impact existing friendships. If I keep communicating to my personal contacts about my professional activities, will that annoy them off at some stage.Please like me
Previous blogs have been about the “power of the community” and the development of “local” business”. In both cases, there is a strong chance that the line between friendship and professional will be crossed as the local business will try to engage their local network (in many cases friends) in the development of their business.
How do you feel about that? Does it drive you nuts that you are often asked to endorse facebook pages of friends looking to leverage you to develop their business. What actual impact does it create by them sharing or “liking” your page? Are you comfortable with it as it enables you to support the things and people you believe in rather than some unknown business which has no relationship with you.

I try hard to keep my friends and professional contacts separate through different social media tools. Doing so puts a line in the sand so that the people I’m in contact with know if they are friends, professional contacts or both. I met my wife at work so there is a lot to be said for

business and pleasuremixing business and pleasure. Get used to it… It is the direction we are heading in. There are certainly some things you can do to help you manage this new dynamic so that your friends don’t get sick of you and your business relationships don’t start inviting themselves around for dinner.


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