… even the ones you think are “just social”.
Many clients tell me that they are reluctant to join Social Networks for business because they do not want to bump into old high school and college acquaintances. Well… let me tell you… I’ve been hired by both. So don’t pass up an opportunity to connect with anyone because you never know where it will lead.
Set up some rules: Anytime someone from my past or current social circle connects with me, I let them know that my primary purpose for being on a network is for business. While I don’t mind some “personal” interaction, I have a very well defined line. If anyone crosses it, they get an email warning that says something like “I appreciate you wanting to share, but please don’t put anything like that on my wall. If you want to relive those memories, feel free to send me an email.” If that doesn’t work, I will disconnect (aka unfriend) them with a note that says something like “I told you so”.
Our old college and high school friends have grown up, moved away, expanded their knowledge base as well as their position in life. As such, they are an excellent referral source and it is just a ton of fun to reconnect and BS for a while. I’ve been given several such opportunities and feel truly blessed for them. My former college roommate has enlisted my help in her social media marketing campaign and a former high school buddy passed my name on to someone for an opportunity that I would have otherwise never had access to.
Whether or not either pans out is almost irrelevant (to me), the idea is, I reconnected with old friends, enjoyed the experince and perhaps gained some income as a result.
So… the moral of the story is… do not discount any connection as unworthy unless they prove themselves to be via spamming you, or treating you poorly online. Life is full of surprises and some of them are much closer then you think!