While I appreciate being a one-person business, with no one’s job performance to evaluate and no boss’s requests for pre-meeting meetings, that does mean that I need to find people to provide support for my business. I use a bookkeeper, an accountant, and a lawyer. I hire subcontractors for work I can’t do myself. I identify speakers and experts in my volunteer roles with non-profit organizations and professional associations.
But before I contact people directly, I always conduct at least a basic background check to learn a little more about them In addition to looking in at least two search engines, I spend a while going through social media to see how they present themselves to their friends and the larger community. I look to see whether other people interact with them on social media. I check whether they have any referrals from colleagues, and whether they offer referrals for others. And I just try to get a sense of what they are like — collegial? well-respected? staying current in their profession?
When you are researching someone who is not a well-known figure, finding their social media profiles can be challenging. I recently developed a short MEB’s 123s podcast, Top Ten Tips for Researching People With Social Media, that gives you some fresh ideas on how to glean more insight from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.