Tag: business networking

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Networking on LinkedIn-5 Simple Strategies

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As a mompreneur my time is limited. Homeschooling during the day and chauffeuring the kids in the evenings  slows down my ability to do face-to-face, real time networking. I must use my time wisely. One day it occurred to me that I’ve gotten several clients from LinkedIn but very few from Facebook. So I’ve had to ask myself, “why am I hanging out on FB?”  Well, my family and (real) friends are there, but they are not hiring me to speak for them or coach them. I decided to learn more about LinkedIn and how to leverage it’s power so that my social media networking time is effective.

Here are 5 simple networking strategies to use on LinkedIn.

1. Complete your profile AND USE A PICTURE!– If you were to go to a networking event you wouldn’t walk in without cards and place a bag over you face would you. You’re there to be seen and to tell others who you are. The same concept applies to LinkedIn.

2. Join relevant groups and post comments-just setting up a profile is akin to going to a networking event and standing on the wall. You have to get off the wall and mingle right? The groups allows you to mingle with people of common interests, experiences, affiliations, and goals. Make sure your comments are relevant and add value. In real life you wouldn’t walk up to a group of people and shout out, “buy my stuff now!” would you?  No, you would contribute meaningfully; but on LinkedIn you can do something that you can’t do in real life; you can finish your conversation with a signature tag that has your website’s address. Oh Yeah! Once you stimulate their minds with your wise comment, suggestion, hyperlinked recommendation then they are left wondering, “wow, who is this?” Your signature makes it easily convenient for them to find out!

BTW, I would love it if you joined my group, I’m The Boss of Me .

3. Add applications to your profile-LinkedIn has 18 different apps that you can upload to your page. This will allow you to collaborate and share with your network and it helps your page to be a little more interesting.  With these apps you can display your portfolio, upcoming events, reading lists, blog posts, powerpoint presentations and much more.  To locate it look at the navigation bar across the top, there’s the tab “more” , it will dropdown and there you’ll see the choice of “get more applications”. 

4. Give and ask for recommendations-This helps to establish trust for your services. The great thing about LinkedIn is that you can be recommended for work that you did 10years ago (if you can find a person who remembers). Make sure when you send out a recommendation that it sounds sincere.

5. Follow strategically -For sure you want to connect with friends and past colleagues but think about who you want to work with and follow them as well. You’ll meet them in groups or do a search (within LinkedIn) of your target market. You can even follow companies and receive their updates!

LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool, especially for us momprenuers who can’t get out much! Here are some LinkedIn facts:

  • LinkedIn started out in the living room of co-founder Reid Hoffman in 2002; the site launched May 2003
  • As of June 30, 2011 (the end of the second quarter), professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second.
  • As of August 2011, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 120 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
  • More than half of LinkedIn members are currently located outside of the United States.
  • As of June 30, 2011 (the end of the second quarter), LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members; its corporate hiring solutions are used by 75 of the Fortune 100 companies.
  • More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.

So if you’re looking for a career change or clients this is the place to network! Now go and get LinkedIn! Make sure you join my network!

 

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Networking 101 for Writers

Today Alice Osborn is guest posting with valuable information on how to network to sell your (future) book! Thanks Alice!

 

In today’s competitive publication climate networking can make all of the difference between your books sitting a cold box in storage or in customers’ warm hands. And even before you publish, networking can help you connect you to editors, agents and to your readership.

Perhaps in the old days writers didn’t have to be so “out there,” as today, but now we don’t have any choice but to learn how to network effectively to build our platform and to catch the eye of a potential publisher.

Why Network?

Because you need a strong, dynamic network of over 260+ people to sell your future book, find venues for your book launch, discover readers, gain referrals to book clubs and to engage in writing opportunities. You’re now building your “sphere of influence.”

It’s a good idea for writers to network with both writers and non-writers. Networking is about connecting to people and letting them know how you can help them. Networking will build your reputation and grow your readership since most people want to do be associated with those they know, like and trust. But where do you start if you don’t have any sales or marketing training? The good news is that it doesn’t matter what kind of training or background you have, as long as you’re willing to learn and take a few stumbles along the way.

The most effective networkers succeed through practice, patience and skill since they know that effective networking involves asking smart questions, giving information and not pitching your goods and services to everyone you meet. Effective networkers also know that givers gain, and even if the person they are generous with their time and resources doesn’t reciprocate, they’ll gain in the future because of their efforts.

 

Get Started By

  • Preparing a 30-sec commercial that tells those around you what makes you different and tells them what you’re passionate about. Why do you write what you write? Who or what are your influences?

 

  • Perfecting the art of making introductions for others. For instance, when you meet someone who could help someone you know, like an editor or a graphic designer, offer to send an email, cc’ing your new networking friend in the email. And if you can, try setting up a meeting that will involve you and your two mutual contacts. Introduce them to each other and then back off a little so they can get to know each other. If a meeting is too hard to set up, invite your potential networking colleague to an event/program and talk with him/her at the venue.

 

  • Be willing to volunteer your time if you see that the group you’re volunteering for can help you in the future. For example, if you don’t have a book out yet and you volunteer to give a talk to the local library, keep ties with that library so you can be invited back when you do have a book in hand.

 

  • Showing up at open mics and other authors’ readings in your community. Join your local writing association and attend conferences. You never know when your teacher from three summers past will pass your name onto her agent or her friend who runs a small press.

 

  • Scheduling a one-on-one (a meeting with one other person) and at the meeting take good notes. Always carry your business cards and your referral partners’ business cards as well so you can pass out a name if you need to. Use a binder/business card sheet system that is arranged up alphabetically by first name so you can quickly find your contacts. It’s also a good idea to carry multiples of your writing colleagues’ cards so you don’t run out.

In the one-on-one, ask your networking partner these smart questions so you can better know them and their business:

Who is your ideal reader?

Who are your best referral partners?

What are your professional writing goals over the next 90 days?

What challenges are you faced with right now?

What is your passion behind your writing? (WHY you do what you do?)

Also remember that a one-on-one is never a sales pitch.

Always follow up with potential referrals and give them the links and contact information they requested in your one-on-one meeting.

Use the people you know right now in your network even if you share different careers because you never know who can help you land your next assignment or big publishing break. And remember, strong networks don’t happen overnight, so start growing yours now!

 

Alice Osborn, M.A. is the author of two books of poetry, Unfinished Projects (Main Street Rag, 2010) and Right Lane Ends (Catawba, 2006); she is a manuscript editor, freelance writer and storyteller. A former Raleigh Charter High School English teacher, Alice has served as a Writer-in-Residence in the Artists in the Schools program since 2009. Her work appears in Raleigh’s News and Observer, The Pedestal Magazine, and in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two children. Website: www.aliceosborn.com.