Have a plan. Understand what you want to get out of your online networking time and what you have to give to it.
Upload your address book. This step will allow you to grow your networks faster. Larger networks lead to more opportunities.
Realize the importance of being interested over being interesting. Networking isn't only about what's in it for you. It's about what I can do for you, what you can do for me and what we can do together.
Ask good questions. Social networking is really all about conversations. One of the best ways to engage others in conversation is to ask questions.
Be interested in helping others. Without a healthy interest in the well being of others, any networking will be a total waste of your time.
Make connections. Know two people that need to meet? Introduce them. Networking sites like Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook make this very easy to do.
Shine the light on others. By helping to spread the word of others you actually help spread your own word as well.
Spend time working your online network daily. It doesn't have to be all day, and it shouldn't be overwhelming. But you do need to make a consistent effort on this.
Alter the time you are online. Most people are creatures of habit and are online at the same time everyday. If you want maximum exposure, mix up the times so different people are seeing your message.
Upload a photo. People do business with people. Having a photo online makes you human, accessible and more interesting. This is true regardless of how bad you think the photo is.
Find another medium by which to connect- Can you meet them in person? Do so. If not, pick up the phone. It's great to connect online over keystrokes, but it's also important to do voice to voice or face to face networking.
Get started. There isn't a reason you can conceive that would exonerate you from doing this. Online networking is the most important thing to hit the internet thus far. If you need help, call me!
I balance my time between running a business development firm (http://networkedinc.com) speaking on topics of positive change and business development (http://trybean.com) and leading Michigan's largest business networking group (http://motorcityconnect.com). My goals are simple: Have fun serving others while living a great life.
If you're looking to grow your business through better digital and relationship marketing strategies we should speak.
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If you're stuck and just aren't sure which way to go, we should DEFINITELY speak.