Making It Personal: Connecting With the Top 10 Who’ve Got Your Back

Seth Godin.  Keith Ferrazzi.  Respected because the advice they provide is insightful, practical, and most importantly works.

I came across a blog from Seth from a little over a year ago and the commentary is as valuable today as it was upon first reading.  “First, ten” ( discusses a method of finding ten people you trust and presenting your product or service to them for feedback.  The idea is that you build credibility with the first 10, they spread the word, refer prospects, and your business grows.  This runs counter to what many companies do with big product launches, which Seth says market to anonymous masses and no longer work.

Keith Ferrazzi has a parallel concept.  Who’s Got Your Back (, one of my favorite books, also talks about connecting with those 10-50 people willing and desirous to help you succeed personally and professionally.  Reaching out to select key people is far more fruitful on every level to your long-term success.  Keith’s approach is highly personal, as he takes a holistic view of success.  Note that both Seth and Keith emphasize the personal connection.

That’s my latest peeve about all the talk about networking and social media.  Perhaps it’s because this is the time of year when one has the opportunity to connect on a personal, joyful level, yet many of us get so caught up and distracted that we miss the moment.

Social networking to 500+ people isn’t personal unless you make it personal.  Here’s where I see a strong convergence between Seth’s and Keith’s perspectives.  Find that group of 10-50 people and ask their feedback as you embark on the new year.  Don’t just post something on your Facebook or LinkedIn pages.  That’s passive.  Genuinely, personally and cheerfully reach out to those friends and colleagues to offer assistance, ask for respectful insights and feedback and extend greetings.

You may need to divide your contact sphere depending on your network size and focus.  The key though is personalizing your message to be sure the people you contact know you’ve got their backs as much as you hope they have yours.

Happy Holidays, and may you appreciate the joy of the season!

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