Generosity As a Strategy

Generosity in Theory

Helping your fellow man is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Unlike traditional monetary exchanges, both parties leave the transaction richer. A Win Win.

It feels as good to give as it does to receive.

Generosity is cultural. We mirror the behaviour of those around us. Generous acts are contagious. Generosity is infectious. Kindness begets more kindness.

Keith Ferrazzi argues not to keep score in his best seller “Never Eat Alone”. It’s so true. To be truly generous it can require you to be less rigorous on how you filter – we need to let more ideas and options into our world so you can be more generous. Not every transaction is designed to bring immediate value. We don’t know who people know, or where a single new connection may lead. Generosity has a lens all of its own. Generosity is a growth strategy, but you need to be committed to generosity for the long haul – don’t expect quick returns.

Ted Rubin has it right with his Return on Relationship #ROR mantra. Investing in relationships pays dividends.

Whilst we should not keep score, we all ultimately have to place some limits on our generosity. We can’t all be generous all day long. We have to somehow choose how and where and why we are generous. We all need to make generosity a strategy. We need to be conscious about how we invest.

Generosity in Action

This week something really special happened that we just had to share.

If you follow our blog, you’ll know we recently created the “content audit” and have since completed audits for 100 top blogs. We have plans to do many more audits, with 30+ requests for audits outstanding (We’ve been offering a free audit for anyone that likes and comments on this slidedeck.

Well, this week I got into a dialog with Jackson Middleton of a kilt wearing Canadian Mortgage Broker from Regina. He had some technical questions about the image customization.

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 5.21.50 PM

The photo hides the fact that Jackson is a fervent wearer of kilts.  Here’s what’s not show in the picture above. I think that’s pretty cool.

Jackson-middleton-kilt-generosity

I apologized that his audit was not ready yet. He was being very complimentary about our content audit project and offered to help complete some audits.

It’s funny, but when people offer, you often don’t take them up on their generosity (we often think people don’t really mean what they say – or we don’t want to feel obliged). I didn’t disbelieve Jackson for one minute, I just didn’t quite get the full force of his intent.

2 minutes later, he reiterated his offer and so I accepted. I dropped what I was doing and shared a batch of blogs and the instructions to complete an audit.

I was truly appreciative and he was only too happy to help. Win-Win.

What happened next was unexpected, intriguing and really rather charming.

Soulati noticed the list he’d made to audit her blog and wrote a post title “Use List.ly For Gifts And Curation” about how it was a gift.

soulait

I know Soulati  via social media and I know Jackson via Listly and prior exchanges., but they didn’t know each other. They got into an exchange. In social there is nothing better than connecting your customers.

It’s funny how it happened as it wasn’t my intent, but connecting customer and cultivating community amongst Listly users is high on my agenda..

This dialog was not planned, and yet this is what social networking is all about – you have to let serendipity into the building. You have give chance a chance.

Very shortly after, I noticed Merlin Ward was in a dialog with Jackson too. It turns out Jackson’s audit list of Merlin’s posts was Merlin’s top referral source for the day. I’ve know Merlin for ages, but Merlin and Jackson had not previously connected.

merlinuward-83_600

There’s a trend happening here. It turns out that auditing people’s content is social. Both these connections came about because of a generous act.

Creating engagement is hard and yet here was Jackson making it look like child’s play

Jackson also got into an exchange with a brokerage magazine about a list he’d made of the top influencers in his field as a Mortgage Broker at First Foundation.

Top Mortgage Professionals in Canada - Ranked by Klout

Top Mortgage Professionals in Canada - Ranked by Klout

Here is a list of the top Canadian Mortgage Brokers/Personalities/Companies ranked by their Klout Score. The list was created on May 30th 2013, however it will be updated periodically. Last complete update was on Aug 15th 2013. Last update for the top 5 was on Sept 3rd 2013. Know someone who should be on the list? Let me know. Please note, I have only included people with scores 40 or higher.

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  1. 1
    0 Voting...
    Jackson Middleton (KiltedBroker) on Twitter

    Jackson Middleton (KiltedBroker) on Twitter

    I am wearing a kilt right now. I have consumed coffee today. Family Man. Innovator ~ Executive Editor @firstfoundation #OwnGrowProtect blog ~ Western Canada
    Regina SK · kiltedbroker.ca

  2. 2
    0 Voting...
    Scott Dawson (sdd) on Twitter

    Scott Dawson (sdd) on Twitter

    Business Development Manager at Verico Paragon Pacific Mortgages Inc. Also addicted to Golf. (778) 668-9320. Vancouver

  3. 3
    0 Voting...
    Peter Aceto (CEO_INGDIRECT) on Twitter

    Peter Aceto (CEO_INGDIRECT) on Twitter

    CEO of ING DIRECT Canada. I'm here to chat anything money, social media or leadership. Your feedback and questions are always welcome! That's #ForwardBanking. Toronto

  4. 4
    0 Voting...
    Cindy Freiman (DLCPR) on Twitter

    Cindy Freiman (DLCPR) on Twitter

    I'm the Director of Public Relations and Communications for national mortgage brokerage Dominion Lending Centres, a proud Mom, avid reader and hockey lover. Ontario, Canada

  5. 5
    0 Voting...
    Veronica Love-Alex.. (VLAlexander) on Twitter

    Veronica Love-Alex.. (VLAlexander) on Twitter

    VP for Canada's Mortgage Company, Events Planning Pro, Marketer, PR Trained, Sponsorship Manager, Mother, Wife, Soccer Player, Runner, Volunteer, etc :). Aurora, ON Canada

  6. 6
    1 Voting...
    Gord McCallum (gordmccallum) on Twitter

    Gord McCallum (gordmccallum) on Twitter

    President of First Foundation Residential Mortgages and First Foundation Insurance. #Habs #Riders #Esks #YEG, #ShPk. I have lots of kids. http://t.co/6qujIG4D. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

  7. 7
    2 Voting...
    Nick Bachusky (Bachusky) on Twitter

    Nick Bachusky (Bachusky) on Twitter

    I help finance homes, love all sports, love city planning, volunteering, social media, great food, music,architecture & Co-Host the LunchOutLoud #Ottawa podcast. Ottawa, Ontario

  8. 8
    0 Voting...
    Keith D Andrade (KeithDAndrade) on Twitter

    Keith D Andrade (KeithDAndrade) on Twitter

    Goofy Husband and Dad. Dynamic Communication Specialist. I'm the guy you want in your shadow. Contributor to the #OwnGrowProtect Blog.
    Regina, SK

  9. 9
    2 Voting...
    Rob Campbell (therobcampbell) on Twitter

    Rob Campbell (therobcampbell) on Twitter

    Mortgage Agent. Dad. Guelphite. I want nothing but the very best for people. I also work with Canada's #1 Broker Network. Guelph, Ontario

  10. 10
    2 Voting...
    CMT (CdnMortgageNews) on Twitter

    CMT (CdnMortgageNews) on Twitter

    Real-time observations on the Canadian mortgage market... By Robert McLister, Canadian Mortgage Trends. Canada

  11. 11
    0 Voting...
    RateHub.ca (ratehub) on Twitter

    RateHub.ca (ratehub) on Twitter

    We compare mortgage rates so you don't have to. Tweets by @KL_McAllister!. Canada

  12. 12
    0 Voting...
    Paolo Di Petta (DiPettaMortgage) on Twitter

    Paolo Di Petta (DiPettaMortgage) on Twitter

    Hi! I'm Paolo Di Petta, an avid runner and mortgage agent in the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario. Call me at (416) 900-6635 or (519) 900-5505. Toronto, Ontario

  13. 13
    0 Voting...
    Michael Ellenzweig (MichaelMortgage) on Twitter

    Michael Ellenzweig (MichaelMortgage) on Twitter

    Canadian Mortgage Industry Expert. Toronto

  14. 14
    0 Voting...
    Joel Olandesca (JoelOlandesca) on Twitter

    Joel Olandesca (JoelOlandesca) on Twitter

    MORE than a Mortgage Specialist :: Hello Calgary :: Family guy :: Random conversationalist :: Volunteer :: Technology, Car & Travel enthusiast. Calgary, AB #YYC

  15. 15
    0 Voting...
    Michael Mullis (MT_MikeMullis) on Twitter

    Michael Mullis (MT_MikeMullis) on Twitter

    We shop major banks and mortgage lenders to get you the mortgage that's in your best interest. Our service is free!. london, Ontario, Canada

  16. 16
    1 Voting...
    Michael Cameron (axiommike) on Twitter

    Michael Cameron (axiommike) on Twitter

    Passion, Pride, Purpose. Father. Business Owner. Lover of Life. Hope to inspire others to reach their goals. Oh ya, rookie triathlete #challengepenticton. Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

  17. 17
    2 Voting...
    Jamie - Invis PG (JamieInvisPG) on Twitter

    Jamie - Invis PG (JamieInvisPG) on Twitter

    Blessed to have 2 beautiful kids, a great husband & a great career as a Mortgage Broker. Let's have a coffee! (250)552.4727 http://t.co/IVbCCmPCVT. Prince George

  18. 18
    1 Voting...
    Daryl Harris, AMP (wpgsbestmtg) on Twitter

    Daryl Harris, AMP (wpgsbestmtg) on Twitter

    Daryl Harris, AMP(Accredited Mortgage Professional) I tweet on mortgages, hockey, football, golf and things Winnipeg. I am a Rider Fan. Wpg Jets fan. Winnipeg, MB

  19. 19
    0 Voting...
    Brett Nodwell (BrettNodwell) on Twitter

    Brett Nodwell (BrettNodwell) on Twitter

    I own & manage a real estate company & a mortgage company. Love baseball and sports in general. I call Guelph, ON my home. Guelph, ON

  20. 20
    0 Voting...
    Jerry Schindelheim (WhyRENTinOttawa) on Twitter

    Jerry Schindelheim (WhyRENTinOttawa) on Twitter

    Mortgage Broker. Soccer Coach .Why rent in Ottawa, simple! Need a mortgage solution, rental mortgage, refinancing, I can help - call 613-222-8129. ÜT: 45.286228,-75.718937

  21. 21
    0 Voting...
    Ingrid Menninga (JOLTmarketing) on Twitter

    Ingrid Menninga (JOLTmarketing) on Twitter

    Incredibly effective lead generation training for Realtors & Mortgage Brokers. Clients are out there...we show you how to make them yours!. Toronto, ON

  22. 22
    3 Voting...
    First Foundation (firstfoundation) on Twitter

    First Foundation (firstfoundation) on Twitter

    We tweet mortgages, insurance and other cool stuff - Head Office: Edmonton AB - Social Office: Regina SK - account managed by @kiltedbroker & @gordmccallum. Western Canada

  23. 23
    0 Voting...
    Victoria Mortgage (JamieGale) on Twitter

    Victoria Mortgage (JamieGale) on Twitter

    Industry leading Mortgage Advisor, lovin life in beautiful Victoria BC. Proud Odd Fellow, devoted husband and dog owner. #yyj #ioof #mortgage. Victoria, Canada

  24. 24
    0 Voting...
    Cori McCaw, AMP (MortgageRateBC) on Twitter

    Cori McCaw, AMP (MortgageRateBC) on Twitter

    Mortgage Expert with DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts. Offering mobile service on Van Isle, Weekends & Evenings are ok! Hobby farm owner, veggie grower, dog lover. Cowichan Valley, BC

  25. 25
    0 Voting...
    Mark Kerzner (Kerzner) on Twitter

    Mark Kerzner (Kerzner) on Twitter

    President of TMG The Mortgage Group Canada, mortgage professional, industry expert, customer advocate

View more lists from Jackson Middleton

He’s done an awesome job of customizing his images for the list. Doesn’t this list look great.

Generosity creates more generosity. Notice how Jackson’s list is a list of other people in his field. He’s shining a light on his peers and having some leaderboard fun into the process – ie yet more generosity designed to create social dialog. He’s top of the list due to his high Klout score. A high Klout score generally means you are a conscientious networker and you are doing all the right things in social. Jackson certainly knows how to network and create engagement.

The article in Mortgage Broker News brought Jackson a lot of visibility, judging by the high level of click through traffic we saw on Listly.

I also found the result of creating the audit to be highly social too. It created a lot of engagement and I deepened many of my existing connections, whilst making many new ones too.

What kind of study could you perform for your niche? Do you have a target list of people you’d like to get to know. Have you thought of ways of getting into a dialog with them?

The content audit does a good job of creating engagement and it’s universally applicable in an age where content is king. Would you like to create an audif of 20 bloggers in your domain, city, niche etc.

We all want to discover ways to enhance our content creation machine. The best feedback I’ve heard about the Content Audit is that  it’s highly actionable. It makes it easy to see your content gaps and take action to fill them.

What Does This Mean for You?

You could:

  • Take it local e.g. Canadian Bloggers or San Fran Bloggers
  • Take it vertical /niche e.g. Compare the content of 20 top email marketing providers (pick a segment relevant to your business)
  • Take it local and Vetical/niche e.g. Denver Travel Blogs

What’s your impression? What you you learn from Jackson?

Image Credit :  katerha via Flickr / Creative Commons

 

NIck Kellet (102 Posts)

Nick’s ventures range from a visual segmentation tool sold to SAP, to an award winning board game. Today, Nick is co-founder of Listly, raising the profile of lists to be on par with Slideshare & YouTube.