Depending on your business/relationship development goals and strengths, one of your strategies may be to write and share content. When you’re considering augmenting your reputation and building your practice, it might seem counterintuitive to share the spotlight with someone else by quoting or referencing them in your articles and posts, but I’m here to tell you that it’s both essential, and a good business development practice. How so? 

One: It makes you a good content citizen

We all already know not to plagiarize words, but ideas are a little bit more difficult, especially because there are essentially no new ones these days. None of us (and I wholeheartedly include myself in that) are writing anything that someone hasn’t come up with somewhere else before. So if you’re inspired by someone’s writing, or a presentation you heard, or a client question you get a lot, give them the nod in your text. It’s the right thing to do, ethically, and it also has the effect of making you look good to your audience.

Two: It’s a value-add to your audience

Our thoughts and words aren’t the only way that we can add value when we share content with our audiences – we also have the opportunity to introduce them to other smart people. So if you’re writing something this week because someone inspired you, why not link to that person’s original work or share their LinkedIn profile? Yes, you’re boosting their reputation as well, but frankly, there’s enough business to go around, and statistics show that the more collaborative we are, the more work there is for all of us.

Three: It’s a strategic move

You can actually use this tactic strategically in your business/relationship development efforts. Let’s say that there’s a potential client or an influencer that you’d like to connect with, and that person produces content. If you are doing your due diligence, you’re already following along, and you can use their content as inspiration for your own. Link back to the article or blog post that you’re expanding on, and then when you share it, make sure to tag them on your social networks. Even better, reach out to connect with them on LinkedIn, and send a note that tells them why you liked their piece, and that you’ve written additional commentary on it. It’s a way to open a door that’s flattering and unique, and gives them a reason to share your work with their own audience, as well as putting you on their radar.

As you’re gearing up to write your next article or blog post, consider where you get your inspiration from, and how you can best recognize that person – and then how you might leverage that for better business and relationship development. But at the very least, always reference where you get your ideas – it’s good karma!