What are your Home Court Advantages?
First I want to explain the concept of Home Court Advantages. They are your personal themes or topics of interest and expertise that have the ability to benefit people in your network. Think of it as something you know well, enjoy talking about and can actually offer significant help with. There’s an article written by Forbes Contributor, Michael Simmons that talks about this concept a bit more.
Let me share some examples of my personal Home Court Advantages:
- Productivity – I enjoy learning about productivity and love conversations with anyone in my network around that topic. Helping people become more effective in their use of time gives me a sense of fulfillment and has a very rewarding affect on me. Ask me about “GTD – Getting Things Done” anytime. Yet, I do not earn my living with it and therefore can share freely.
- Happiness – One of the most meaningful conversations with a person is when I get to talk about how to lead life in a more mindful way – and through that achieve extraordinary levels of personal satisfaction and happiness. I happen to believe that you’ll be more successful if you are happy and therefore love sharing as much as I can about it.
- Personal development – I am a self-improvement junkie. It’s obviously one of the reasons why I’m in the Coaching business but besides that, I enjoy hearing about how people are working on improving themselves and trying to take things to the next level.
- Sailing – I enjoy sailing immensely. I once sailed from Boston to Portugal and the Americas Cup in San Francisco was one of the highlights for me in 2013. Talking about it comes naturally.
I listed these examples to give a sense of how powerful they can be – so lets find out what your own Home Court Advantages are. For that, I want to propose a very simple exercise, which includes the following steps:
- Set up your smart phone to run a timer for 5 minutes. If you’re more old-fashioned, you can use any kind of stop watch.
- During that time, do a brainstorming session of things you think you carry significant expertise in and enough people within your professional environment are interested in hearing about. Be careful not to list expertise where you have to charge for due to the profession you’re in. (example: Legal advice if you are a Lawyer)
- Write everything you come up with onto a sheet of paper (or into an Evernote note)
- If after 5 minutes you still have ideas, feel free to just start the timer again for another 5 minutes.
Remember the brainstorming rules are simple: any idea is ok and then move onto the next one. It’s quantity we’re initially after, not quality, so don’t judge yourself or the ideas you come up with during that time.
Finally, I wanted to offer some thoughts or questions that you can utilize to get into the right frame of mind:
- What do you feel you’re very good at?
- What could you talk about for hours?
- What can you offer to others because you know it very well?
- What things are part of your red-line throughout your life, that you’ve always had an interest or passion in?
Picking the Top 5 Home Court Advantage Results
Once you have the list, circle the ideas that came out of the brainstorming session that seem to resonate the strongest. Make sure you do not select more than 5 topics. For beginners this is more than enough to handle. You can determine this by using the following criteria:
- What seems to matter most?
- What do you feel comfortable sharing with almost anyone in your network; Specifically those that can help them professionally?
- What seems to be the area where you have a lot of thoughts or best practices that you can offer to benefit other peoples’ lives?
How to use Contactually to Organize People using your Home Court Advantages
Contactually is particularly well designed for organizing your network in the way you want and need. It’s not surprising that you can use the system for this unique concept. The way you do that in Contactually is by using buckets.
Unfortunately, Contactually doesn’t allow us to package individual buckets in a group of buckets such as the Home Court Advantage group; Hopefully we’ll see something like that in the future.
In the meantime, we can use a trick that works just as well. Create the buckets and name them using the pipe symbol: ‘|’. Some examples include:
- HomeCourt | Productivity
- HomeCourt | Happiness
- HomeCourt | Simple Parenting
How to Come up with 10 People for Each Bucket
Empty buckets aren’t very useful so let’s talk about how to fill them with the right kind of people. The best thing to do is to take it very easy. A lot of people make a simple mistake when they are starting to organize their network. They think they have to boil the ocean by organizing their entire network. What we want to do is focus on generating impressive wins early. We do that by focusing on the more important people first. Otherwise, you risk experiencing ‘Bucketing Fatigue’. To make it more manageable, we can start by bucketing 10 people in each of the Home Court Buckets.
How to do it?
Very easy – Pick your favorite Home Court Advantage bucket and start thinking of people you know who are also interested in that particular area. Who shares that passion or expertise? Come up with at least 10 people that could fit into that bucket. Once you’ve done that, move onto the next one and add another 10 people. You will do this until you’re done with the whole exercise, which shouldn’t take more than half an hour. It isn’t a big time investment but it gets you started in a really nice way.
The goal isn’t to get it all done upfront but to start using this infrastructure so you can organically grow the groups of people you consider in those buckets.
Using Contactually to Connect with the People in the Home Court Advantage Buckets
We now need to come up with specific items of value – which I call Value Payloads – that you can offer to people that are in those Home Court Advantage buckets. For example, when it comes to sailing, I could share my travel story that I once had written up on my experience of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean.
To take this next step, you can do something very simple. Take your favorite Home Court Advantage topic and start thinking of things you can offer to people that also have that interest. What do you have available in terms of articles, books, people, or events that you can send to your network? Try to associate at least 3 Value Payloads to that each Home Court Advantage.
As soon as you’ve done that, try out sending it to a few people in your Home Court Advantage buckets. Write an email to them in your style that offers these valuable items. You can even use Contactually to store these Value Payloads in the content section of their emailing functionality. Once you’ve done that, you can use Contactually to send these to people, 10 at a time, using the Scale Mail feature.
If you take the steps listed in this blog post, you will likely have quite a bit of success using it. You can then start exploring using Contactually programs to set up content you can send in regular intervals to people that appreciate it most.