Introducely provides a tool to help you leverage introductions and social capital to enhance personal development. Keep reading for the whole story plus tips for putting this tool into action.
Understanding the Theory of Social Capital
Social capital theory is the idea that your interactions with other people have value and that you can trade in that value. Because of this, your interpersonal connections can positively impact all types of outcomes, including your personal development.
You can think of social capital in a similar way as actual capital. You trade in money, goods and services all the time, swapping money for something you want or providing products another person needs in exchange for payment.
Under social capital theory, you don’t trade in tangibles like money or products. You trade in favors. Doing something for another person earns you goodwill or “social credit,” and that becomes a resource you can leverage in the future.
That doesn’t mean you’re “using” people in the negative context of that phrase, and it doesn’t make your interpersonal relationships less personal, caring or sentimental. Social capital theory simply recognizes the reality that people can help each other and that the more value you create, the more value you may be able to receive.
Networking and Social Capital Go Hand-in-Hand
If social capital theory holds true, then who you know really does matter. And the more people you know, the more people you can trade in social capital with.
That’s where networking comes in. Building up your personal circle is important because:
- It adds more opportunities to trade in social capital.
- You can find people for specific social capital exchanges that best meet your needs.
- It lets you discover opportunities to help others to potentially build more social capital.
One of the best ways to build your network is via introductions. Whether you’re trying to advance your career, seeking some financial advice or looking to talk to an expert in your new favorite hobby, introductions can connect you to the right people if they aren’t already in your circle.
The Struggle to Build Your Network on Your Own
Unfortunately, going solo in building your network and seeking out introductions is hard. It’s time consuming and can be frustrating — and it doesn’t always work that well.
First, you must find the people that match your needs. That means ferreting out leads, doing research to find out if those leads actually match what you’re looking for and then finding contact information so you can reach out. It might take months of work, and there’s not even a guarantee that anyone will respond or agree to meet with you.
So, what about social networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn? Isn’t this one of the reasons they exist? That may be true, but social networks aren’t always effective for getting introductions and building social capital because:
- Those people don’t actually know you, so they don’t generally have a strong reason to be motivated to say yes to a meeting or phone call.
- Not everyone spends that much time on social media. LinkedIn users only spend around 17 minutes a day on the platform, which means you have a small window during which you can connect.
- You may be competing for someone’s attention with hundreds or thousands of other people.
When you approach people you don’t know on social media, it’s akin to asking for a loan. You don’t have social capital to trade on, so you’re asking them to do you a favor “on credit.” Not everyone is willing to do that — or if they are, you may not be close to the top of their priority list.
How Introducely Levels the Playing Field
Introducely was designed to make it easy for anyone to build their network and gain access to the exact introductions they need for more positive personal development outcomes. Learn more about how we use social capital to foster more introductions and how the platform expands your access to introductions without creating more work for you.
Personal Introductions Build on Existing Social Capital
The platform matches you with verified users who are connected to people you want to meet, and personally introduces you to them in exchange for incentives. The people making the introductions are called the Introducers, and we ensure they’re verified so you know they’re able to introduce you to people they actually know.
That’s important, because one benefit of Introducely is that it enables you to trade in other people’s social capital.
For example, you may want to be introduced to an environmental law professional because you’re interested in making a change from corporate law. But you personally don’t know an environmental attorney, so one doesn’t have a reason to say yes to a meeting with you.
But one of our Introducers might have a brother who’s an environmental lawyer. They can use their social capital to make the introduction, and because of that social capital, the lawyer is more likely to engage with you.
Introducely Lets You Reach Larger Circles Quickly
No more scouring LinkedIn or paying high prices for networking events in the hopes you’ll run into the type of person you need to meet. When you post a request on Introducely, it goes out to our entire list of Introducers.
Which means you effectively have access to all of their networks. That makes it highly likely that the person you want or need to meet is now accessible. You can request introductions based on job title, location, industry experience, company size or even by the name of a specific person.
And you can do that with confidence that someone is likely to have a connection that can be leveraged.
Introducely Is an Actual Marketplace for Social Capital
We make it even more likely that you can walk away with the connections you need by making it possible for you to offer a reward for successful introductions. After all, if you’re looking to gain value from the social capital that someone else has built, it makes sense to provide something of value in return.
You decide how much to offer for the introduction, so it doesn’t have to break the bank. And you can also customize your offer to match what you believe the social capital to be worth.
For example, perhaps you want to be introduced to someone with years of experience making jam because you want to start a new hobby or are considering a jam-making business from your kitchen. A lot of people likely know someone with jam-making experience who might be willing to pass on some knowledge, so you might start by offering $10 for the introduction.
However, if you’re looking to be connected with the CEO of an automotive manufacturer, the options are much more limited. And depending on the reason you want to meet, there’s less of a chance someone may be willing to share such a contact or that the CEO will be willing to meet with you. In this case, you may need to offer more as you could be purchasing a higher level of social capital.
Examples of Using Introducely for Personal Development
Personal development covers a wide range of areas. Some include:
- Growing your career. This can include seeking a mentor, developing skills and seeking new job opportunities.
- Enhancing parental skills. You might want a mom mentor or be looking for parenting groups in a new town after a big move.
- Stepping up hobbies. This can include finding and starting new hobbies, leveling up with skills or just connecting with people who are interested in the same things.
- Engaging in spiritual development. You might want to connect with a spiritual mentor, find a church group or connect with people who want to start a home church.
- Managing health and wellness. You may want a physical trainer, a nutrition coach or just someone to talk to about your weight loss journey.
Using Introducely for personal development is only limited by your own creativity. Within the bounds of the law, obviously, anything you want to learn more about or connect with others over is potentially a good topic for an Introducely request.
Tips for Success Using Introducely for Personal Development
If you’re ready to get introduced to people and start working on personal development, here are some tips to make the most of Introducely.
Make as Many Requests as You Need
You can make as many introduction requests as you want for free. You only pay a small request fee and whatever introduction reward you set after you accept an introduction. The more requests you post, the more you grow your network and your chances at enhancing personal development.
Align Your Requests With a Plan for Personal Development
Avoid wasting your time as well as the time of anyone you’re introduced to by working from a plan.
- Start with a personal development goal. Make it as specific as possible. For example, “Increase my skills so I can get a promotion in my field,” or “Learn how to grow a sustenance garden that can provide my family with fresh vegetables.”
- Create a list of who you need to meet to help you with these goals. A medical tech looking to become a registered nurse might want to meet a nurse educator and a nursing school admissions officer, for example.
- Place introduction requests. Make them as specific as possible so it’s easier for Introducers to understand if they know someone who might be a good match for your request. Instead of asking to meet “someone who gardens,” ask to meet someone who has gardened for more than 10 years successfully within 50 minutes of your location. This helps ensure they’re familiar with gardening in the same climate as you will be working in.
Offer Payment for Introductions
While you can make requests without adding a reward amount, you increase the chances people will entertain them if you offer payment. It doesn’t even need to be a lot in many cases. Offering a small payment lets the Introducer know that you appreciate what they can do for you and indicates that you will value the time of the person you want to meet.
Remember That You’re Trading in Social Capital
Just because you’re relying on someone else’s social capital for an introduction doesn’t mean you should forget the importance of personal relationships. An introduction may be the first step in a new relationship that builds value on both sides in the future. One way you can express appreciation for the value being offered to you is to say thank you. If someone agrees to chat with you online or meet in person, make sure to follow up with an email or a direct message in the platform that lets them know you appreciated their time.
When you’re polite, professional and enjoyable to meet with, people are more likely to keep engaging with you, which strengthens your network and sets up the chance to build some social capital of your own.
Get Started With Introducely Today
Introducely makes it easy to advance personal goals. Sign up today and start posting requests so you can meet people who can help you take the next steps in your personal development.