Recently I’ve spent some time looking into and joining different business networking websites on the internet with the intention of better promoting myself and my business. I’ve researched and joined Biznik, Entrepreneur Connect, FastPitch Networking, ecademy, and Xing. I’ve spent a lot of time like many others learning about each site and building my profiles. I’ve added bio’s, links, pictures, and much more to each of these sites. And I’ve spent time updating my LinkedIn profile as well which I’ve had for awhile now. I have to say doing all of this is a lot of work! It takes time to not only learn about each site but to post all of your information to your profile. Of course now I get to the point of this blog post. After taking all of that time to do so why don’t people participate more? I’m asking because I’ve seen some very complete profiles that others have done and then I see that they have little or no activity once they finished the profile. These are networking sites, they’re supposed to be used to network with others.
Think about it for a second. Once you’ve built your profile you’ve done the hard part. Now you actually get to reach out and promote your business to others. You can join different groups to learn new things, meet new people and actually reap the benefits of being a member. It’s really not that hard to do. But literally thousands of people join and never do anything after they become a member. What is the sense in that?
I for one intend to be involved. I know that business networking takes time but what better way to do it than in my office in front of my computer. For myself the plan is simple. I know it’s all about time management. So the first hour of each day this is what I do. I sit down and write my daily blog post. Yes I said daily! Next I open up each of the business networking sites that I am a member of. I spend a few moments reaching out and connecting with others. I just go through one site after another. from there I’ll post blogs or articles if allowed and answer any messages I may have received. Finally I check into any groups that I’m a member of and see if any others groups look interesting. It’s really that simple.
I do want to make mention though that not every network is worth the time. I personally like LinkedIn, FastPitch, Biznik, and ecademy. Entrepreneur Connect is really lacking in useful tools and Xing to me is worthless for promoting a business. So the first four are my focus. If you intend to use any of these business networking sites then take the time to really look at what they have to offer. And if you’re serious about using these sites to help your business then look at the paid memberships. Each offers many advantages that you won’t get with a free membership and these advantages might really make a difference to you. Plus the monthly cost to you is really minimal.
Business networking sites offer many advantages to entrepreneurs looking to build their business. But they’re only useful if you participate. Otherwise it’s just one more thing you wasted time on. So if you’re serious do it right and go all out. Get connected and build your business.
One more note: If you’re interested in learning more about each of the business networking sites mentioned I’ll be posting reviews on my blog about the benefits and disadvantages of each one. If you’ve been thinking about using LinkedIn or social media to market your local business or are already using it but haven’t gotten the results you expected, give us a call at 615-890-3600 or use the form to email us. Search marketing works when it’s done right.