Steps to Online Networking Success

In an effort to simplify the networking process and help it be more easily understood, this article will cover the basic steps in online networking success. The steps are each fairly simple, but they do take some time. This list does not need to be completed all at once, in fact, some tasks are periodic. If your time is lmited, then work through the list a little at a time.

  1. Choose a venue. A future article will go into this in more detail.
  2. Register for an account. If the venue offers more than one membership level, start with the free one, and see whether it gets any results. In a good venue, a free one will benefit you some, a paid account will benefit you more.
  3. Go through the “getting started” steps. Most have some kind of benefits that require some effort on your part – setting up a profile, linking your website or blog, uploading a photo, etc.
  4. As you do each step, think about which items you are doing might be repeatable. If you need a photo, get one. You’ll use it over and over. If you need a business description, save a copy, because you will need that again. I suggest you get a copy of Notesbrowser and keep a copy of each thing you create to fill your profile. This will make it faster to network in a new venue.
  5. Browse through the profiles of other people. Do this as regularly as you feel like, just enough to see if there are other people you want to connect with. Do NOT spam them!
  6. If the venue offers a way to submit articles, then set a schedule to do that on – once a month is good if your time is limited, once a week is more powerful.
  7. If the venue offers forums (most do), then locate those that have topics of interest to you, and join in.
  8. Write a good signature line that includes your URL, and a statement about what you offer.
  9. Lurk in forums if you wish, but you won’t get far if you just lurk. Eventually, you need to introduce your self (not with an ad!), and engage in friendly conversation. Drop a sig line on each post.
  10. Find ways to help people. Helpful people get more business.
  11. Remember, your goal is to build personal relationships that can help you succeed. Relationships come first, both for customers, and associates.

If you get some good elements assembled, networking online becomes much more efficient. Then go through the steps, over and over. Give yourself some time each day for networking, but don’t let it consume your life and interfere with successful business progress.

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