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How to Build Your Network Without Ever Leaving Home!  E-mail

Although nothing beats face-to-face contact, using on-line
networking allows you to expand your network in ways that just
aren't possible in person.  For example, you can search from among
thousands of people world-wide for individuals who meet whatever
criteria you have established.

For business networking sites, you create a profile that is
searchable by others.  You can also search the network for people
you want to know. These sites allow you to see who your connections
know, which can help you find clients, start business
relationships, or engage in a job search.  You can also search for
others who share your work history, alma mater or interests.

Here are 5 simple steps to using these sites.

1)  Visit a number of business networking sites and pick the one
that most appeals to you.  Below is a list of groups to get you
started.  The one we use and therefore know the best is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn
Ryze Business Networking
Ecademy
Soflow
Knowmentum

2)  Prepare Your Profile
A key factor of on-line networking is that you will have a profile
posted that others can access.  Think of your profile as being like
an on-line resume, only it presents you as a currently employed
person, rather than someone looking for a job.  Some people will
use key word searches to find you, so think carefully about what
key words you include in your profile.  Present yourself in the
best light possible and include as much relevant information as you
can. 

3)  Search for People To Connect With
Look for people who you want to be part of your network.  Each site
has a search function that allows you to search using various
criteria.  An easy way to start is with colleagues from current or
former jobs, or former classmates.  After you find them, you invite
them to become part of your network.

4)  Expand Your Network
Once you start connecting with people, you will be able to see
their connections.  The simplest way to use those connections is to
see who you know in common and invite those people to be part of
your network. 
 
5)  Be Professional
Be just as professional when you are networking with people on-line
as you would be in person.  Edit your messages carefully for
content, spelling, and grammar.  Look first for what you can do for
others, not what they can do for you.  Don't over-promote yourself
or your business. 

This month, pick one on-line networking site and create and post a
profile to it. 

 

You are welcome to reprint and distribute copies of our articles provided you follow our reprint guidelines .   

Copyright © 2012, The Networking Gurus, Donna Feldman and Cindy Rold.

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  Cindy Rold and Donna Feldman
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