For effective Business Networking today you must have a presence in at least 5 different places - that's #ThePowerOf5 - and you must think Local AND Global - and most importantly: Engage with followers as people first & as prospects second.
You would not seriously expect to be able to get everything you want on a shopping trip in just one place would you?
So why should it be any different when you consider networking to promote “Brand YOU” and find business today?
You really need to include a mix of Online & Offline, a mix of Virtual & 3D, AND a mix of Social & Business Networking sites.
There is NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER that this is the best possible time for all sizes of enterprise, to be evaluating, developing and implementing their plans for a Social Media presence.
After the air escaped from both the economic & political balloons over the last 12 months, everyone was impacted to a greater or lesser degree.
From the sharp intake of breath that went with the demise of Lehman Brothers, to the sigh of relief from the inauguration of Barack Obama, and the rollercoaster ride we have endured ever since, there is one primary lesson we have all learned – there has been far too much complexity and opacity in the business, banking and political worlds. Worlds we previously considered to be the foundations of our society.
Now we all want and expect a far greater degree of transparency coupled with a “back to basics” approach to enable us to regain confidence in our National and Industry leaders.
The knock-on effect is that we will all be seeking reassurance of that transparency in all our commercial dealings from now on. How do we do that? We Search before we buy. Whether we want to buy Locally or Globally, we now Search first.
This is the key area where the Internet, and Social Media in particular, have a major part to play. It is also a part that can be taken up for once by small and large businesses alike – there is currently a levelled playing field, where the vast majority of the Big Boys have not yet fully grasped the nettle.
This offers a distinct Early Movers Advantage to small and medium enterprise who, traditionally, are able to manoeuvre and change course much more quickly than the corporate “supertankers”. Smaller businesses can sell to the World!
Face up to the facts that we all start our research on the net nowadays so the first key is getting found! Your website has a major part to play in enabling an easy transaction experience for the buyer – from giving him/her all the information they need about what goods or services you have to offer through to the benefits of taking YOUR offer, ie. buying Brand You, not someone else.
To be found easily you must be in their comfort zone, not necessarily yours!
You must reach out to them and make yourself approachable. That is the reason you need to be involved in Social Media – but be warned, it is most definitely NOT a place to deliver a hard sell message and expect results! It is a place to present yourself for inspection, to prove you are a knowledgeable and trustworthy purveyor of goods/services, and above all that you are a human being with the answer to their needs, NOT an automaton just trying to SELL them something!
PLEASE get your Social Media presence established NOW.
If you’re in the US, check out here how they’re approaching the subject in Virginia.
If you’re in the UK, you can find me in more than 5 places!…
& mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t you owe it to your business to…
gain the Early Movers high ground in Social Media by getting yourself set up NOW, not in 12 months time, when it will be too late?
Thanks for reading.
Howard J Moorey
20th June 2009