If you’re reading this blog, odds are that you’re already familiar with LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites. But what I constantly get asked, even from people who have been participating in these sites for a while, is, “How do I use these to generate real business?”
It’s easy enough to set up a profile, make a few connections, join a couple of groups, etc. — the basic mechanics. But actually finding customers, business partners, media opportunities, employees and so on via online networking is as much art as science. It’s not a mechanical activity — you’re still dealing with real people with real feelings, and good virtual interpersonal skills can mean the difference between fantastic success and frustration.
Next Monday, September 22, at 12:00 pm EST, (9 am PST, 10 am MST, 11 am Central, 5 pm London, 6 pm Cairo, 8 pm Dubai, 11 pm Bangkok), I’ll be doing a teleclass with networking expert Diane Darling, author of The Networking Survival Guide and Networking for Career Success, entitled “Maximizing LinkedIn and Other Online Networks”. During the call, Diane and I will discuss:
- How to best use social networking sites – e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Meetup
- How NOT to use them
- Ways to make your invitation stand out
- What if I get asked to help someone I don’t know
- Why go online – I just call people
- How do you get real business
- Why an online presence is important
- Mistakes that are easily avoidable
- Ways to expand your network without compromising friendships
- Best ways to give referrals
- How to tactfully reject people
- Due diligence to do before forwarding a request
This isn’t a how-to on the basic mechanics of using these sites — this is focused on the hard part: the “soft skills” that will actually make you productive, not just busy.
The cost of the class is $20 for the first 10 people that sign up through this link ($25 after that). [NOTE: Sorry for the earlier problems with the link. It’s fixed now, and we’re keeping the price at $20, even though there are over 100 registered.] A recording will be available for your review, or for those who can’t attend at the scheduled time.
By the way, for a valuable online networking lesson, watch my blog later today for the story of how Diane and I ended up doing this class together.