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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Twitter Demystified

Twitter VAHave you “tweeted” lately? Do you like knowing what people think and aren’t afraid to ask? Both of these questions have to do with Twitter www.twitter.com, the social media phenomenon. Here’s a whirlwind tour of Twitter, for those who’ve been wondering.

Twitter, in a few words, is a “microblogging” community that tracks the frequent (sometimes constant) updates its members around the globe are posting. These members are able to “follow” each other and know instantly when someone they’re following writes a “tweet”. It’s much more immediate than other Web 2.0 sites like FaceBook, with small, 140-character snapshots updating someone’s status.

What does that have to do with business? Think of Twitter, and other social networking sites, as vast pools of members who share information, ask questions and otherwise communicate quickly.  The idea of sharing who you are and what your business does should be enough to have you signing up.

Twitter’s also a great way to survey thousands of people at once, by posting a question and watching for replies. Here’s a survey example wrapped in a status update, “Attending VA marketing forum 2pm CST. What svcs RU using VAs for?” Anyone who is following your tweets, or who searches for “VA”, will see your post and can reply. That brings up another great use for Twitter.

The search functions built into Twitter let you look for what others are saying about topics related to your business. There are actually three separate ways to look. TweetVolume www.tweetvolume.com lets you search for up to five words or phrases at once and ranks them by volume. Summize www.search.twitter.com lets you find all postings with related keywords and TweetScan www.tweetscan.com searches Twitter and similar sites for specified content and will even send updates by email.

There may be questions posted that you can answer, or conversations you can lend your expertise to. That’s the best way to build your reputation on Twitter. Nobody likes a hard sell-build relationships and watch for ways to meet people’s needs.

In his blog on community and social media, Chris Brogan gives 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business http://www.chrisbrogan.com/50-ideas-on-using-twitter-for-business/. Follow his instructions for getting started, then experiment with several of his ideas this week. A word of warning: Twitter can quickly become addictive, if you let it. Set a schedule for posting, searching and following Twitter activity, just as you would any other market research tool.

We don’t have to chase every new phenomenon to be successful on the Internet. We should, however, learn what’s good and put those to work for our companies. Twitter, used in the right context, could turn out to be one of the best for you.

12 Reasons You NEED a Blog Now!

Champion Assistants Blog ServicesOne thing that I can truly say here is that there is nothing on the internet that will do your business more good than having a quality blog site.  If you do not have a blog site it should be your number one priority, even before you do a website for your company.

Google recognizes the strength of a blog site and these sites help you get high ranking in Google’s view.

For an easy blog site you can set one up in WordPress.com and initially it will do all you could ask for.  There are so many benefits of having a blog site that I almost don’t know where to start so I am going to list many of them for you:

1.           It is cheap way to promote your business, products and services – you can set these sites up and run them for free

2.           You can send people to this site from anywhere else on the web, especially the social sites where you be connecting with people interested in your business

3.           You can add up-to-date information

4.           By adding to the site each day or at least 3 times a week you will have customers coming back for more information

5.           You can give opinions on anything in your industry

6.           You can interact with people as they make comments on your site

7.           You can survey people to find out what they want

8.           You can link this site to any other site or promotion that you have

9.           It is more friendly than a website

10.        You can link to other compatible sites and this is good for getting Google rankings

11.        You can set up categories so that clients can easily find what they are looking for

12.        You can add graphics to make it more interesting or use photos of business events

Be aware of the fact that if you want to sell on your site you would need to upgrade it to a paid site.  You still need to keep your postings short and to the point to keep people’s interest.

9 Tips for Navigating Web 2.0 Social Networking Sites

web2.0Web 2.0 is the terminology that is given to this social phenomenon on the internet, in particular Facebook, Twitter, UTube, My Space and it applies to many more social sites.  Everyone seems to have their favorites for various reasons.

One thing is for sure though, is the fact that any serious internet marketer needs to learn the skills to use these social sites to their best advantage.  When you first go on these sites you may think that they are a waste of time because you will see a lot of comments like: “Had a chicken salad for dinner”.

When you are going onto these sites for business purposes the approach needs to be quite different and the way you use the sites needs to be quick and efficient.  You do not have time to spend an hour on these sites just for interest sake.   It is a matter of getting in, networking your business and getting out and moving on to the next one.  The idea of social marketing for business is to create a broad presence around the internet sites.  As you learn the skills you will be able to link one to the other which will save time as well.

9 Tips to help you move around these sites are:facebook

  • Keep your comments relative to your business
  • Keep your comments positive
  • Look for friends that could be potential clients
  • Look for groups that could help grow your business
  • Have basic comments in word and copy and paste when adding friends or confirming friendships – have several as these sites like variety
  • Be on the sites consistently – 10 to 20 mins a day
  • Have a system so that you don’t waste time
  • Don’t go joining 10 sites then only work one – join one and make it work then go on to another
  • Make sure your profile is complete on each site