Networking Online? You MUST…

Champion Assistants Online Social Networking ServicesHave you taken the leap into online networking? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on a great tool for building your online presence. Sites like LinkedIn, Ecademy and Xing offer professionals and business owners a chance to connect with thousands of other professionals. There are, however, some simple rules you MUST follow if you want to be a welcome presence in online communities.

Build Relationships First

A sure-fire way to have someone delete you as a contact on most business networking sites is to start new relationships with a sales spiel. At least spend the time getting to know who THEY are and what THEY do before you start trying to sell them products. There’s truly nothing more annoying than meeting someone new on a networking site and having them flood your inbox with offers the next day! Participate in forums and groups. Offer help when someone has a question. If you’ll invest in building relationships, the natural networking (and sales) opportunities will follow.

Avoid Generic Profiles

How many times have you clicked on someone’s profile link on a networking site, only to find a blank page? Would you really do business with someone who doesn’t bother to complete a profile? The profile templates on most online networking sites allow you to link to your own website and blog, upload photos and otherwise create an interesting online presence.

Be Responsive

Sending an email that never receives a response is a lot like shouting into a deep canyon. “Hello….Is there anybody out there??” Don’t leave interested parties hearing echoes; respond promptly to requests for more information, or even just friendly contacts. You never know which new network contact is the doorway to expanding your business.

I urge everyone to learn what online business networking sites can add to your marketing strategy. Google “business networking site” and investigate for yourself. It could be the beginning of some beautiful business relationships!

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