Connect via Online Social Networking Sites!

By Sabrina Risley

Online social networking or online networking is the latest craze to hit the business world in the last couple years.  You might be familiar with some sites including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  Through these social sites, business owners generate increased exposure and the ability to connect with thousands of people, regardless of geography.

Most networking sites are free and provide businesses a profile page, a link to their company’s website, ability to communicate with “connections”, participation in forums and discussions, promotion of their business and more – all this with their fingertips at their keyboard! 

Similar to participating in traditional “live” networking events, there are a few rules to consider when participating in online networking.  I suggest building rapport, forming partnerships, visiting regularly and actively, providing useful information and being tactful.

Building Rapport:  This is crucial.  You cannot begin your online reputation by sending out promotional messages to advertise your business to your connections until you have established a personal relationship.  Your unwanted solicitations will be met with a “click – delete” and you will be branded a spammer.  Focus on promoting you, the person.  Allow others to get to know you personally, your interests and hobbies.  Someone out there will share similar interests and taadah!!  You’ve just formed a new personal relationship which can develop into a business relationship.  Establishing trust first allows you to create a good reputation.  Then, you can determine if your connection or prospect has a need for your business and you may proceed accordingly.

Forming Partnerships:  Seek out others in your industry or complementary industries and work to structure a win-win relationship.  These are “power partners” with which you feel comfortable doing business and referring your contacts.  In turn, they will refer business to you, forward leads, possibly hire you on for a project or include you in a joint venture relationship.  Your partners will be there to endorse and vouch for your business online.

Visiting Regularly & Actively:  Your business won’t get noticed if you visit your online network intermittently and don’t get involved.  I recommend visiting and participating in forums as often as possible, but at least once weekly.  The more you post, the more exposure you gain for your business. Be careful with the frequency with which you post because it is possible to post too often. You don’t want to annoy contacts by posting too often and posting information that isn’t noteworthy.  Which leads to the final point…

Providing Useful Information & Being Tactful:  Post messages often but always provide useful information.  You want to establish yourself as a professional and a resource in your area of expertise.  You want to respond to posted questions or requests for advice with positive, useful and constructive information.  Your posted messages are a reflection of you and your business and are also stored for people to refer to in the future.  Therefore, avoid being derogatory or critical, be sure to double-check your posts for tone, spelling errors and completeness prior to submitting.

Connect Online with Sabrina Risley and Behind The Moon!

 LinkedIn  l  Twitter  l  Sabrina’s Facebook Profile  l  Facebook Fan Page  l  Buzzherd 

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

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Courting Your Potential Clients – It takes time to build networking relationships

by Sabrina Risley

Think about how networking and finding potential clients is similar to dating. You wouldn’t ask someone to move in with you, get married, or have kids on the first date.  And if you did, you’d more than likely scare your date away, leaving you wondering why they aren’t returning your calls or wanting to spend more time with you.

Dating and building your business are a similar process.  These relationships take time and they don’t happen overnight.

If you were to think about “dating” or “courting” your prospects and how you can integrate that into your marketing, you’d probably see that there are quite a few things you can do to improve your rapport and relationship with them.

Think about dating and what a good courtship or date looks like.

A good date…

They followed the law of reciprocity. This means that there was mutual and equal disclosure. In networking this works when one person speaks about something, and the other party reciprocates in an even manner.  Neither party took over the conversation, dominated, or talked about their own interests, but instead, they actively engaged the other person.

They followed up with a phone call.  If a good date never calls again, well the date was never that good to begin with, was it? Always follow up with prospects and find ways to help them in areas of need such as connecting them to others, making introductions, sending referrals, etc.

They show their authentic self.  People enjoy being around grounded, down-to-earth people with similar interests and hobbies.  Likewise, people do business with and send business to those whom they like.  Don’t be afraid to reveal your personal side and allow your prospect the opportunity to get to know the real you.   

I think you get the point that courting your prospects is similar to dating. So the next time you find yourself faced with someone new, don’t ask them to marry you right away.  Instead, court them, be authentic, charismatic, and allow them the opportunity to fall for the real you!

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

Why Going Once is Never Enough

By Sabrina Risley

Have you ever attended a networking meeting and thought, “Well that didn’t work?” It’s a common thought, but I’ve got to tell you that attending once is rarely, if ever, enough.

Networking is about long-term relationship building which generally takes time, effort, and energy.  Going to a networking event once won’t create the amount of trust needed for people to start referring business to you or to start working with you.  It occasionally happens, but it’s rare.  And when it does happen quickly, it’s commonly due to the fact that they needed your product or service and seldom because they “liked you that much.”

Many people hop from networking group to networking group, saying “networking doesn’t work.”  It’s ironic how those feeling this way are the ones who don’t stick with it and commit to networking.

Here’s a few tips to formulating a networking plan that really works:

1. Visit a handful of networking groups on a regular basis.  Find one or two networking groups that draw people with whom you resonate and then commit to returning to those groups.   Do not return to the groups that don’t fit with your business or your personality.

2.  Make connections and engage people you meet at your chosen networking groups. Listen for cues on how to connect them to others and how you can otherwise give, help and add value to their day.  

3. Be consistent. Attending the same networking groups consistently, week after week or month after month shows people that you are serious about your business.  Consistency gives you the credibility and staying power needed to build trust with fellow networkers. Additionally, some rely on seeing you on a regular basis and depend on being able to connect with you at the event(s) you’ve frequented.  I’ve seen countless professionals quit or stop attending, leaving fellow networkers wondering what happened to them, and perhaps even saying “Hey, where is Jane, I had a referral for her.”

So my best advice to making networking work for you is to choose your groups wisely, be diligent about making connections and be consistent.  Implement these three simple factors and you will be well on your way to successful networking to grow your business.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

 

It’s in the Follow Up

People often approached me about how to make their networking more effective. They generally come to various events and adnut they meet wonderful people, but nothing ever happens. I just have to ask one question to know why things are not working out… “Are you following up?”

The answer is usually, “Well, kind of,” “No, not really,” or “I don’t have time.” 

Follow up is a key to successful networking.  Since it’s all about building relationships, you’ve got to be sure to take your potential power partner or prospect to the next level.  This can be as simple as 15-30 minute follow up call or scheduling an hour-long coffee meeting.

How many times have you met with someone, told them you might know someone who’d be interested in their services but you never hear from them again. Sadly, it happens quite often.

Listen for cues that people want to work with you or have someone they could refer to you and be sure to touch base with them soon and learn how you can support them.

Following up after networking events is a key part of building relationships, growing your business, and helping others.  Here are a few ways to follow-up with people:

1. Pick up the phone and make the phone call. Over 70% of the time you’ll receive the person’s voicemail, however be sure to leave a message.  A phone call shows your willingness to nurture the new relationship.

2. Send an email. Thank the person for talking with you at the event and invite them to a next step with you – sign up for your newsletter, subscribe to your blog, join you at another networking event, etc.

3.  Send a personal thank you card or a nice to meet you note by mail.  Win big points here!  I use Send Out Cards and highly recommend it. https://www.sendoutcards.com/61817

To create a sensational follow up system that wows your power partners and potential clients be sure to check out http://www.behindthemooninc.com/service.

 

Make Your Business Cards Work For You!

A lot of business owners and entrepreneurs often forget about the power of the business card. It’s a small amount of space, but written correctly can pack a powerful punch.  Don’t take this little piece of paper for granted.  I can easily become viral, have a call to action, and create more business for you.

The majority of people use their card to provide their basic information, name, title, phone, email and website and then leave it at that. However what if you took a different approach and looked at your business card as a marketing tool that, once you hand it out can continue to work for you over and over again.

Here are a few ideas on how to make a business card work for you:

1. Have a call to action. Tell the holder of your card to visit your website, schedule a consultation with you, download a free report, subscribe to your blog, or connect with you on social media sites.  Find a way to connect with people further and make that call here to action on your business card.

2. Pique people’s interest.  Ask pulling questions, meaning come up with three to five questions about problems you can solve and put these on the back of your card. This will help people know what you can do for them and they just may be lead to take the next step with you.

3. Use it as a coupon, discount code, or another promotional piece. This is a common practice for salon owners, massage therapist and other service professionals.

4. Be specific.  Have you ever looked at a card but wondered what the person really does?  Be sure to spell out what you offer to others. If your business name doesn’t say it, be sure that you card does.

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