Never before in the history of business has there been a better tool for expanding your contact list than the Internet! Literally thousands of opportunities exist for having meaningful and dynamic interactions with potential clients, partners, and like-minded business professionals each day.
With all these opportunities at our fingertips, the challenge is finding the RIGHT sites to visit and use in order to use our time most efficiently – and knowing HOW to use these sites most effectively.
One site that is incredibly useful to meet people and build business contacts is LinkedIn (It’s spelt w one word or is the extra space intentional?). LinkedIn allows you to set up a profile that can then be viewed by potential employers and business contacts alike. You can search the profiles of others in order to build your network, and ask for introductions to contacts shown in the profiles of your contacts. Linked In has job listings, networking groups to join, and the ability to add presentations to your profile to promote your business.
MeetingWave provides the opportunity to list your business interests and background information in your profile, and search for invites to face to face or web meetings hosted by people with like interests. It is free, and a great way to expand your local network. Members of MLMs, attorneys, consultants, local services such as realtors, nail salons and hairdressers, and IT or facilities businesses would benefit from joining and using it to effectively network.
Although Facebook is primarily a personal social networking tool, it is a great way to add a warm and friendly image to your web persona to win over clients. Many realtors are using Facebook in order to create a friendly rapport with potential clients. Facebook allows you to post pictures, interesting links, video, etc as well as your profile. It is a “real-time” type social network, which means you can type in comments, observations, etc just like in the ultra-real-time application Twitter.
Another great way of expanding your business network which works especially well if you are offering a niche product or service is by creating your OWN social network on Ning, and publicizing it. Joining Ning gives you the opportunity to design, build, and create your own social network – with discussion sessions, forums, blogs, etc. Publicizing this site would then attract new people into your network, for a healthy and exciting exchange of ideas. You can publicize the site through the use of Google ad words – not free but effective, or by adding its URL to your profiles on other sites.
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