By Biana Babinsky, online business coach, expert and author
Do any of these thoughts pop into your head when you hear online social networking mentioned?
- "People who I meet through online social networks are not interested in my services and products. I spend a significant amount of time networking and answering questions online, but have nothing to show for it. I did not gain a single client from the social networking forums in which I participate."
- "I put my profile on many social networking sites, but did not get any results."
- "I have tried it a few times, didn't see any results and don't think I will be using it again."
If you are not getting results from social networking, you need to adjust how you network. Here are five tips to help you do just that.
- You Should Always Network In The Right Forums. If your networking objective is to get clients, you should network in social networking communities that your potential clients frequent. For example, if you are a career coach, you should network in the communities frequented by your target market (people who want to get jobs, switch jobs, find a new career, etc).
If you are frequenting a community created around your favorite TV show, you will have fun discussing the show, but are not likely to generate new coaching clients.
- Network On A Regular Basis. If you are only networking when you need to get clients, you are wasting your time. Networking is not a one-time action; rather, it is a process of having others get to know you and building relationships with them. You need to use online social networks continuously to raise your online visibility and develop relationships with others.
- Network, Don't Sell. A business owner told me once "I keep posting about my business on every social network every chance I get, but have no takers." This person is not really networking. Rather, he is selling his products and services instead of building relationships. Networking is about creating awareness for your products, not blatantly advertising them.
- Provide Information About Your Business. While some people try to sell their products more then they should, there are others who don't tell people anything about their business when networking online. Remember, if people you are networking with have no way of learning more about you your business, they will not be able to do business with you.
How do you let others know about your business? Use a signature at the end of every message you post when networking online. Make sure your signature contains some information about your business and a link to your web site, so that everyone reading your posts can learn more about you and your business.
- Invite Others To Subscribe To Your Newsletter. The best way to continue building relationships with people you meet on social networks is to ask them to subscribe to your newsletter.
Use your signature when you are networking online to invite people reading your message to subscribe to your newsletter. When they do, you can continue building relationships even if you or they stop networking on the forum altogether.
About The Author: Biana Babinsky is the online business coach, expert and author who teaches business owners how to create a marketing mindset that will help them get clients and make more money. Get her free report, "5 Keys For Getting Clients During Recession", at http://www.EffectiveOnlineMarketing.com
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