Finding Your ‘Great Aunty Jean’s’

by Linda Parkinson-Hardman on July 16, 2014 · 0 comments

viral marketing

Your network is a unique mix of individuals who know, like and trust you. It won’t be the same as anyone else’s network as it’s made up of family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and other business buddies. It’s this diversity which makes each network distinct from any other and we should celebrate that fact.

However, it is also worth remembering that not every network is born equal and some are more relevant to particular areas of our life than others. For example, past colleagues and business buddies are often those we associate with our business networking activities. But that doesn’t mean to say the other groups should be ignored.

Sometimes, a business referral comes from the unlikeliest of sources. Great Aunty Jean’s nephew in New Zealand has an old school friend who has need of a service. Said nephew happens to be chatting on the phone to his great aunt and mentions the problem; she in turn mentions you ….. You get the picture!

What you didn’t realise up until this point is that Great Aunty Jean is the family matriarch. She knows everyone and everything. In short she is the glue that holds the whole thing together.

Your network will have many ‘Great Aunty Jean’s’ in it. The trick is to identify them and then nurture the relationships so that you are the person they think about when someone they know asks them the inevitable question.

But, how do you go about finding these network hubs? It’s not necessarily as hard as you might think and below you’ll find five simple ways to do a quick audit to identify the people you need to be spending time with.

  1. Write down the names of the people you would ask if you have a particular problem because you know they always have a solution;
  2. Next time you’re at a business event spot the people who have a crowd around them. Find out who they are and why the crowd likes them;
  3. If you’re on LinkedIn, you could have some fun with InMaps, a helpful utility which shows in graphical format the structure of your network (;
  4. Twitter and Facebook addicts should keep an eye out for the people who always get a response, are always chatting and who retweet everything.
  5. Identify the groups in your area who have lots of members and then find out who the organisers are. They are inevitably busy people who have a contact list as long as your arm.

Linda Parkinson-Hardman
Linda is social media strategist and trainer with Internet Mentor working with clients to help develop realistic, appropriate and sustainable uses for social networking sites like Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. She is an avid networker both on-line and off-line and loves meeting people to share her knowledge and expertise with.

Leave a Comment


Previous post:

Next post: