DAWAH NETWORKING AND EFFECTIVE NETWORKING FOR LIFE IN GENERAL!
I have observed for years, a severe lack of common sense and simple solutions to various situations.
I’ll mention a few cases to illustrate my point.
A famous Islamic speaker from London, has a big following in real world as well as on social media and has communications apps. But he asks another brother, with considerably less followers and much more unknown compared to the famous speaker, to find a volunteer who can design a poster and so on! Why? Because he doesn’t know how to network or make use of his contacts…!
Another case: A sister has a lot of enthusiasm for Dawah and wants to be involved but for some reason cannot travel far and has limited transportation. Yet she lives in a city, not a village or hamlet! She has all the social media apps at her disposal , is a member of multiple online groups with perhaps thousands of other members, yet will ask. How can I find someone to start something local?
All Because of a lack of networking.
This blog will attempt to give ideas, not just for effective Dawah networking but networking in life generally! Insha’Allah
FACE TO FACE ACTUAL MEET UPS
The best networking is a face to face meet up. Where you could meet as many people as you can either through lunch or coffee. This is a long-term plan. Meet someone, let them see you, see your commitment to them. Over the years, 10 years or so accumulate as many meetups as possible. In the future, these meet ups will come in handy. In this day & age of super online living, it’s actually becoming more and more challenging to meet face to face. So always strive for this.
MULTIPLE SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
Have as many social media accounts and communication Apps. If you want to find a venue for Halaqa or any workshop, you should use your social media for this purpose. We usually use WhatsApp, Facebook etc for statuses just to share a random Hadeeth, Quranic ayah and for other random purposes, so why not use these social media outlets to find a venue?! you actually are not aware of how many contacts you actually have! (who counts this right?!) For instance, you have a 100 contacts on WhatsApp and each contact of yours has 100 other contacts and those 100 have other 100 contacts so potentially you have access to more than thousands of people through a WhatsApp status.
Don’t think too much while updating your status; this can stunt your growth. Be more concerned with your purpose. In order to look incredibly smart sometimes you need to look incredibly stupid so don’t fear!
Here’s an example of how to get a venue for your event:
Check your phone contacts
1 Have a look at each one of your contact in your phone. It could be tedious but results could be amazing. You need to check each of one of your contacts one by one because sometimes we forget simple information. You will definitely find someone who has a venue or they can help you find one.
2 Actually call your contacts. Call! Not sms, not WhatsApp or any other social media communication, but an actual call!
3 After Salam, long time no talk etc. , share your thoughts about how we are working to save people from fitna, striving to make a positive change etc, ask them for a venue for the sake of Allah. And if they are willing to help then Alhumdulilah but if you don’t get what you ask for don’t disconnect the call…
4 Wait for a while and ask them for anyone else whom they know who can help you. There’s no harm in asking!
5 They could ask a friend of a friend of a friend who knows a friend…that knows someone who has a venue! For free! (We have to think positive and always keep to the maxim: “You never know”.
So make tediousness your best friend and absolutely love it!
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” — Herman Cain
Old School Communication:
Write a letter! Old school! This will surprise them and they will be impressed and remember you. People expect an email or a WhatsApp message. But a letter will surprise them, they will, for sure, notice it! And in this age of constant information, the letter will stand out. A letter to appeal to donations from a donor, an invite for a vip to an event, or getting someone away from Islam to a lecture!
Imagine you’re in the 17th Century & your job is to become an effective networking person. Or even in the 80s when all you have are only a home telephone, phone boxes and letters! Think about how you would increase your network and communication then? If you can come up with solutions in that situation then all the modern tools at your disposal are a bonus!
Always make positive comments on pages with large followers. People see your comment and maybe even try to connect with you. Build a reputation of someone who contributes positive comments towards a discussion. Never think you are too important or too big to participate in a Facebook discussion. It could be a question or an observation on something topical. Always contribute positively and write well. People will notice your style and will notice that you contribute positively. You will get noticed and therefore increase your network of friends.
Helping nature :
“Helping others is the way we help ourselves” Oprah Winfrey
Make it your habit to help others in any way you can according to your skills and capacity. This is one of the most powerful ways of expanding network. You are not supposed to spend many hours on it or engage in long-term commitments, keep it simple and purposeful.
It will allow you to connect with new people and different organizations. It will help you boost social skills, making more friends and contact the people with common interest. It also helps you to explore your talent, passion and interest.
So what are you waiting for? Step forward, consider your Dawah goal, look around, reach and help! Opportunities will find you eventually.
Calling people randomly, for no reason!
We are living in times when the only time we call someone is if we need something. We need a favour, or we need to consult with them about something they specialise in. But if you make a habit of keeping in touch with people and actually CALLING them (not WhatsApp call, not voice notes, not any type of messaging!) But actually bona-fide old-fashioned calling!️ the receiver of your call will greatly appreciate this. Over time they will realise that this person genuinely cares about me. This helps in having a genuinely sincere relationship with someone. This relationship will always help in having a strong connection with people.
Your status in society!
This is in the realm of Facebook. Overall, the overwhelmingly general style of posts that people on FB do consist of: Sharing a video, ranting, political views, a selfie and so on.
But for networking and generally Da’wah networking, get into the habit of posting a status that provokes discussion. These discussions will make you connect with your Facebook friends on a whole new level. Over time, what will happen, when you need someone to proofread your blog or you need a video editor for a dawah video or you need someone who knows someone about something! Then instead of dry likes on your enquiry, you’ll get people reacting to your status in a productive way. They will tag people who can help in your query or project and even share your status! That always a winner of online networking!
Replying to messages no matter how popular you get/are
No matter how much of a public figure you become! No matter how busy you become and no matter who the person is that is sending you a message or asking you something in the comments. Always be in a habit of going through your : WhatsApp messages, Twitter DM, Instagram DM, Facebook messages, LinkedIn inbox and any other inbox. It doesn’t matter if the person who is sending you a message says : “Salaam, how are you?” Or someone who is a youth 17-year-old from Indonesia, India, From Africa or where ever else, always reply! They are human beings and all humans have some qualities of another which you could benefit from! This also humbles you and gains respect.
So! Check all in boxes even the request ones!
I have limited WhatsApp contacts. Limited friends on Facebook, limited followers on Instagram and Twitter, yet by the Fadhl of Allah SWT, whenever I ask for help, I get numerous responses. That’s because I have made the habit of enjoying the tedious nature of checking all comments, all in boxes, going to various pages, reading the ‘About’ section of the page. (If you think about it, when was the last time you read the ‘About’ section’!) All this takes time. Enjoying these little tedious tasks will help you improve your networking skills.
The love of scrolling
If you are in multiple WhatsApp groups and multiple Facebook groups, then you’ll notice that some groups are super active and others are not. The ones that are super active for example the Dawah motivation WhatsApp Group (DM) is generally very active and busy. Of course you are busy during the day and it is near impossible to check and respond to discussions or tasks on these groups. So what you need to do is don’t see scrolling up the group as a tedious chore. If Make it a habit of going as far as up as possible and take your time to see what the discussion was then this will help you become involved even more and you don’t have that ‘lost’ feeling or ‘too many messages’ thoughts in your head!
Do not see scrolling as a chore, add this to your habit. Do it a few times & you will get used to it. There are many groups, on WhatsApp, on telegram, on Facebook and even on platforms like Instagram! and each group has numerous members. Many a people are members of countless groups! up to 40-50 groups at a time. In this world of super groups, there is a lot of information going through these groups. So in a situation where you need to do a task that a group member has set or some one has ‘tagged’ you in a discussion that took place a few days ago and you missed it, then don’t think (oh no, i have to scroll up..keep scrolling until i find this particular discussion or chat. Rather keep doing this, make time for it, don’t rush it. Because the more you do this, the more up to date with discussions you are! and the more up to date you are , the more people will see that this person is reliable and he/she will get back to you at some point. This is a good reputation to have. As opposed to keep missing key conversations, ignoring all messages where you are tagged or even replying a month later!
Another side to enjoying scrolling and not seeing it as a bore is when you have some time (make time!) to go through a particular YouTube channel/ FB group. People usually will only see the first 2/3 videos or the latest published videos. But what if you scrolled up (or down) and discover there are perhaps hundreds of quality videos! Most people don’t scroll up or down, so be different, access old videos on a channel or a page. You may even come across someone from your area commenting. Why not connect with that person?!
Connecting people. Be proactive in this.
For example: If Someone on FB asks, anyone know any plumbers? Or does anyone know any scholars who can teach Hadith classes or does anyone know the answer to so and so. Tag the people.
Or someone says on FB or Twitter: I’m in Toronto today, any local daees or practising Muslims, then tag them. Because in turn, when you need something from your contacts, then people will help you!
One big team!
Look at your social media contacts as your big team:
Your mindset and viewpoint towards all your 2/3k Facebook friends, your 1897 contacts in your phone, your 2k followers on Instagram and twitter and your 2k email addresses.
That’s around 8/9 thousand people potentially! Each one of them having multiple skills or specialising in something. Look at the army of contacts as your back up team that you can access whenever you want. But this is all theory until
you actually have to make the effort of getting to know some of them. It will take you years to find an algorithm where you can take advantage of their skills. Begin with that mindset and at least think to yourself that’s a lot of people in my own contacts list. Don’t forget, each contact has probably 8k plus contacts….!!
Now we are talking huge numbers. You have potentially access to the whole world, on standby to help your project!
THE SIMPLE BREAKDOWN
This is how I approach all cases and situations. I have this mindset of connecting people, participating in discussions and keeping in touch beyond the call of duty to a very high standard since the mid 90s, way before the advent all of these modern technological solutions for communication. If the reader of this blog begins to adopt just some of these points and tips, then not only will they be good at dawah resource management Insha’Allah but generally in all their spheres of life, they’ll see a change and an improvement, whether it’s business, educational or any other kind of project.
Always be greedy for friends
Always be greedy to get numbers
Always be the first to ask for numbers!
Happy networking people!
Jzk Khayr for reading!
The podcast to supplement this blog: