I start with the premise that whatever I do on-line, I would have to be prepared to do off-line as well.
For instance: Would I be prepared to tap someone on the shoulder and launch straight into a sales pitch. No, I wouldn't as I know it will only tarnish my reputation and lose me any chance of ever dealing with that person again.
so, I don't go trawling members pages and sending off un-invited messages, GB entries and such.
I never use the 'Network with me' function, and I always ignore it when someone else does.
What do I do?
Firstly, I ensure that people's 'First Impression' of me is the best I can make it by taking time and care over my Ryze profile page. (If anyone would like to see what I mean, and would like help with setting their own page up, do take a look).
Well. I aim to post something of interest or value to my own network - On Honest Marketing-OHM at least every other day.
I post a useful link twice daily to my Free4U Network.
Running your own network here at Ryze can be a very effective way to increase your sphere of influence and cultivate business relationships over time. It is important, however, not to abuse the privileges this gives you. To suddenly start spamming members with emails (leaders can email all members of their group that have allowed us to contact you) would see members start leaving in droves.
I also try to post to at least one other network a day, but only (with the exception of permitted Ad days) where I have something relevant to say in an existing thread, or some genuine news, question or announcement to make for new threads. golden rule. Only ever post what you would enjoy reading yourself.
Now of course, I am as human as the next man, so I do occasionally break my own rules, get over-heated, get tired, irritated or just careless, and post things I wish I hadn't, but as a general rule, taking care in what we post must always come first.
As stated, I never use 'Network with me'.
I use PM's when I have already established some rappore with someone on the boards (did you get my links re: surveys, Lamar) and I have something to discuss privately. IMHO PMs are for private conversations, between friends, or at least where something specific needs saying that wouldn't be appropiate for public reading. I never sell by PM.
I rarely leave GB messages. An exception may be to return the curtesy where someone has visited my page and left me a GB message, or where I have visited theirs and I particularly like their page.
As a platinum member, I am able to see who has visited my page. I haven't actually made use of this function, but I have pencilled a play with this some time soon.
What else? Well, only that the main way I find new Networks and people is through on-line 'word of mouth'. From time to time, I'll look in to a friends page and see what other networks they are a member of, and who they list as friends. To have made it on to my friends list, I must respect their judgement, and found something in common with them, so their choices often lead me to some good people and places.
In a nutshell then, Lamar, it really does center around participation on the Networks for me. It takes time and consistency to make Networking work and you have to be prepared to put others first, but in the end I find that it pays much higher rewards than any other form marketing I undertake. It isn't my only strategy, but it is by far and away the most effective.
AND SO MUCH MORE FUN.
'First Impressions Count'.
Update yours today.
Private Reply to Andrew Barnes (new win)