This past August, Max Chambers, former Downing Street advisor and Communications Director of social network Nextdoor, launched a campaign for Britons to ‘share a cuppa’ with their neighbours. This, after research from Nextdoor suggested that 60% of British people do not know their neighbours at all well. The idea of ‘sharing a cuppa’ with a complete stranger, even one who happens to live nearby, may either fill you with glee, or horror. For us, a networking app designed to connect people, we like knowing who’s around. And if you’ll give us but 5 minutes, we’ll show you why connecting can be incredibly useful for you too, and how Kalido can help you do it.
Never mind popping over to borrow some sugar, or housing Fido somewhere comfortable while you’re on holiday, being able to reach out to your neighbours can even help you professionally. Service providers like a reputable lawyer, designer, copywriter, software developer, conscientious building contractor, maker of heavenly cakes, or clients for any of these services and more, could be living right next door. And if you connect (and work with) people in your area, you’ll enjoy massive benefits. For example:
1) You’ll save truckloads of time
Kalido helps you find exactly the client you need, or the professional you’re searching for, with just a few taps. No recruiters, no holding for the next available operator, no passing through 4 levels of assistant PAs. Once matched (which could happen in a matter of seconds), you can get right down to work immediately.
Working with someone nearby saves you all the soul-destroying time you’d otherwise be spending commuting. This means you won’t be one of the 3.7 million Britons who spend over 2 hours each day in some form of traffic (fun fact: this works out to one full day of your life every 2 and a half weeks). Meet up with your match at your nearest park, favourite coffee shop, or have a business lunch at the pub, then take a leisurely stroll home – lovely. You can also chat or call your match (for free) from the app.
2) You won’t feel like a stranger in your own neighbourhood
Knowing your neighbours gives you a sense of belonging and comfort, which you might not even know you’re missing. If you see an unhappy face peering out at you at the window, and you know it’s just Bob who works night shifts, you’re less likely to take offence at his sleepy face.
On a very practical level, knowing your neighbours also helps you identify potential threats. You’ll be able to spot strangers, and potentially dangerous individuals that much quicker. You’ll also know that Bob is the best person to call in this case, because he happens to be a police officer.
3) You’ll build a super useful local network
People talk. And you better hope they’re saying nice things. That’s why service providers who routinely work with local clients have an interest in doing good work – they need to build a solid reputation. Similarly, clients who routinely run out on payments may find themselves short of willing suppliers before long.
When you know exactly who’s nearby, and who does great work, you’ll never need to search far and wide for contacts again.
So, the benefits of working with people nearby are clear. But how do you turn neighbours into professional contacts and work opportunities? How can you know whether your neighbours would be willing to work with you? And more importantly, how do you break the ice without coming across as Creepy McCreepster? Here’s how:
a. Kalido gives you a legitimate reason to start a conversation
Striking up a conversation with a stranger out of thin air is daunting. However, if you have a legitimate purpose for doing so, especially a mutually beneficial purpose, that makes it a whole lot less awkward.
For example, let’s say you’ve been searching for a decent accountant. Unbeknownst to you, your neighbour is one of the best in the field, and is currently looking for new clients. With Kalido, you’ll be matched with this neighbour (thanks to the intelligent matching algorithm that picked up on the fact that you have complementary business interests, are near to each other, and also know a bunch of the same people). So, when you initiate a call or chat (for free from the app), your neighbour will already know who you are, and why you’re reaching out. With a common purpose already established, you can quickly build a working relationship. So, you’ve transformed a stranger into a useful business connection, without any awkwardness or time consuming cold calling.
b. You’ll be able to see opportunities around you
Every day, you’re surrounded by countless opportunities for work, whether you’re looking to hire someone to do work, or you’re looking for work yourself. And you don’t even know it. Kalido makes these opportunities visible to you, so you’ll never miss an opportunity again.
Your Kalido newsfeed regularly showcases Featured Professionals in your area. These are users who can offer a useful service, are situated close to you, and are available for work. So, if you’re looking to put up a website, there’s no need to phone 50 of your closest and not-so-closest friends to see if anyone can recommend a good developer. Simply tap on the profile for the Featured Developer on your newsfeed, and get cracking on the project.
If you’re the developer (or yoga instructor, lawyer, graphic designer, gardener, babysitter, or anything else really), you can also be featured. Potential clients will be able to see the service you’re offering, your rates, availability, and your portfolio on your profile. They can then contact you directly for jobs. This means you’ll get access to a constant stream of potential new clients, without having to pay a single pence on advertising, or commission, or service fees to recruiters.
c. You’ll be able to ask for referrals from trusted contacts
One of the dangers of any project is the other party turning out to be awful. The service provider might do sloppy work and charge outrageous prices. Alternatively, the client might be unreasonably demanding and horribly late on payment (or never pay at all). To counter this, you should always work with someone you trust. But, how do you establish trust with a stranger? One way would be to see if you have anyone, or anything, in common. Kalido makes these relationships visible to you.
For example, you match with a building contractor. Before meeting up, you check out their profile and see that they’re connected with an old school friend of yours. You can then ask your old school mate for a reference. If your friend tells you they had a good experience with the contractor, you’re much more likely to work with that person. Just like in the real world, you should get personal recommendations from people you already know and trust, before working with a new person. The difference with Kalido is, you can instantly see who you need to ask.
d. You’ll be able to ask for introductions
Perhaps you’ve always admired the garden at number 12. You have no idea how they keep their lawn looking like Wembley year round. Obviously, you can’t simply walk over there one day and ask. That would be…well…rude (not to mention highly awkward). With Kalido, you’ll be able to see who or what you have in common with those neighbours. Then you’ll be able to ask your common contacts for an introduction. For example, they might actually be friends with your cousin. Without Kalido, you might never know that. With Kalido, you’d see that you’re both connected to your cousin, and you can simply ask your relative for an introduction to your neighbours.
So, now that you know the benefits of having a super local network of useful contacts, and how to establish that network, why not download Kalido and get cracking on some work now? You might be surprised at how much opportunity is around you. Because wherever you are, whether at home, or on the move, with active Kalido users in over 180 countries, you’ll find a network of trusted contacts nearby.