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Using Online Business Networking to Promote Your Business

September 10, 2008

Online business networking has become very popular recently. Many small business owners wonder if it’s valuable and can promote their business. They fear it’s too time-consuming and the return on investment not worth it.

I’ve recently joined the online business networking crowd and it’s been fun getting to meet new people. I’ve made some good contacts in the last few months and learned a lot from them. Some have signed up for my newsletter. Another advantage to online networking is that you see immediate results.

So what can you do to make the most effective use of online business networking? Here are some basic tips:

1. Update Your Social Networking Profiles. Did you create your profile a year or two ago and haven’t updated it since? Did you just put your name and occupation in your profile and never finished it with all the other details? Well, now’s the time to update it. More people want to connect when your profile is current and complete. Updating your profile regularly puts it in front of your connections often so they will remember you and your business. If you have a new blog, a new e-book, or some other interesting news about your business, update your profile with this information.

2. Decide Which Online Business Networks to Participate In. Review the list of online business networking sites and forums you participate in. Pick two, three at the most, that target your audience and network and concentrate on them. You will get the best results when you focus on a few that you can have a meaningful share in versus trying to spread yourself too thin.

3. Create An Online Business Networking Strategy For Your Business. Take the time to create a plan for your online business networking. Decide whom you want to meet, what your networking objectives are, and what next steps you want your networking connections to take. Much like a written marketing plan, this will help guide your efforts most effectively.

What have you found to be effective in online business networking?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2008 6:26 pm

    Hey Sue,

    Came across your profile on linkedin and followed it to your blog. Great resources here so I am going to bookmark it and share it with our community of virtual assistants.

    Your welcome to join us, we’re a free social network for virtual assistants and virtual employees. http://www.findvirtual.com/

    Keep up the hard work!

    Respectfully,
    Kelly

  2. September 11, 2008 6:28 pm

    Thank you Kelly. I’m glad you found my blog and want to share it. I’ll check out your site as well.

    Sue

  3. September 11, 2008 7:06 pm

    Your welcome, I just created a post linking to you. We’re trying to aggregate as many resources to help our community as possible and your blog content and website will be a great addition.

    http://www.findvirtual.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2299765%3ABlogPost%3A906

    Thanks for signing up too!
    :)

    Kel

  4. September 18, 2008 2:18 am

    I too have found online networking to be wonderful. The one thing I have to say is it can be overwhelming. I could spend hours just on forums. I’ve learned to set aside specific time to do online networking. Hopefully it pays off in the future.

  5. September 18, 2008 3:11 am

    Collette, I too find that online networking can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Like you I try to set aside specific time. I also try to limit my involvement to just a couple of sites at a time. I’m looking forward to checking out your blog. Sue

  6. James McCrossin permalink
    February 9, 2012 8:40 pm

    Great post, networking is very important. I just wrote a post also about this at http://rags2rich.wordpress.com

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