This month let’s look at some of the unique benefits that using online networking sites offer entrepreneurs that traditional face-to-face relationship building does not:
Where else can you easily search for people by industry, geography, title, and personal interests? It’s the yellow pages on steroids. You can be highly focused in a way that’s impossible in person. This is a great way for entrepreneurs to find potential business partners, employees, and inside contacts at sales prospects.
High visibility at low cost
Most of the sites let you create a profile for free, and entrepreneurs can use all the free exposure they can get. Sure, there’s a limit to how many you can actively participate in, but you can participate passively in dozens of sites. The trick is to keep a document with a master copy of all your profile information so you can easily copy and paste it and set up your profiles quickly.
While no one likes to be approached inappropriately, you’ll find people in networking sites more receptive to an informational phone call or email exchange. On LinkedIn, for example, you can specify whether or not you’re willing to accept contacts regarding deal proposals, and you can limit your searches only to people that are. In the discussion boards, blatant advertising may not be allowed, but you won’t be accused of making a sales pitch just for sharing your expertise.
Growing a discussion list or forum on your own site is no easy task. In the social networking sites, there’s a built-in audience looking for groups to join. Groups have a visibility within the larger environment that simply doesn’t exist with an independent community, or even on a broad open site like Yahoo Groups. People really will start signing up almost immediately after you create your group, if you offer value to them. And creating a group around a topic related to your business is a great way to build credibility as a thought leader in your field.
Get visibility into the networks of your connections
The ability to see your connections’ connections, and to determine who you know that can make an introduction to the person you’re targeting, is very powerful and has no direct parallel in face-to-face interaction. In fact, it’s so powerful that entire products are created just around this ability.
You can realise these benefits immediately with the existing technology, regardless of its imperfections. In many cases, you can just use the free service, but even the premium memberships only run a few pounds/dollars a month — chump change if you’re actually generating business. So the real ROI question isn’t whether they’re worth the money, but whether they’re worth your time. The answer is “yes” — not because the sites themselves are, but because the relationships are.
Online networking sites simply help you manage more relationships with less effort.
The good news is, now there is a quicker and easier way to learn how to connect and profit from Joint Ventures through The JV University’s 12 week hands-on certified JV consultant’s training program where me, Willie Crawford, David Preston and Gina Gaudio-Graves hold your hand and even let you work on LIVE projects while you are being trained.
For more information on our 12 week JV certified hands-on program please click the link below:
To Your Abundant Joint Venture Success!
President & Co-Founder, The JV University
Sohail Khan (the “7 Figure JV Expert”)
For a free DVD on my ‘7 Figure Joint Venture Seminar’ visit http://www.freejointventuredvd.com