Social Networking: Mystery, Madness or Money

Do you tweet?  Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo?  Does the thought of having yet another networking venue send shivers up your spine?

Are your tweeting and linking the hours away, but not seeing any results?

Here are some things to keep in mind that will help you remove the mystery, reduce the madness and ultimately make money from your social networking efforts.

1.  Remove the mystery

Starting a profile on most platforms is relatively easy.  Four of the ones I use the most are shown right under my Greeting message above.  I also use Plaxo. So if you’re just getting started, connect with me.  Just click on the Plaxo link above or any of the icons below my greeting.

Start simply.  Enter both business and personal information.  The key to social networking is leveraging the ‘social’ aspect.  People want to know you, not just your business.  Once you’re in, look for people you know who are already on that platform.  Most sites make it easy for you to do that.  Once you’re connected to others, you can connect with their friends and associates.  (You’ll probably know some of them. If you can customize your introduction, a personal note will help ‘grease the slide’.

2.  Reduce the madness

As in real F2F (face-to-face) life, you could spend hours every day networking online.  Don’t let yourself get consumed.  Don’t feel compelled to join every site that people invite you to.  I have profiles on 16 sites, but don’t use them all. Set aside 15 minutes a day to tweet or update your profiles.  Just pick a few to start with.
What to say in your updates?  Share a great idea you heard, your plans for the day, a success you had, a success someone else had, an inspiring quote, a triumph for your child.  Make comments on other people’s profiles.  Again, use a good mix of business and personal.

Also consider automating the process.  There are tons of tools & resources like tweetlater.com to make the whole social networking thing less labor-intensive.

3. Monetize your efforts

Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about for us business owners, isn’t it?  Don’t expect to put dollars in your pocket immediately though.  Social networking is about building relationships with people, getting connected on a deeper level.  It is through building solid relationships with people first, that you’ll be able to later on, introduce items or services that you think might help them…but only after you’ve gotten to know them.

Consider it a little like dating – you probably wouldn’t ‘pop the question’ on the first date would you?  Don’t do it on the social networking sites either.

That’s just a primer (or reminder) for those of you who are relatively new to this arena.  Stay tuned.  As I mentioned in the video and the welcome greeting above, I’ve got tons more resources on this topic to share with you, so pay attention and don’t miss out, ok?

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