You'll get more business if people can find you and find out about you. When they want. That means online.
Can a search engine find you? Do you have a website? Even if you answered yes to both, there's no harm in becoming easier to find. If no, you can easily create a profile on a social networking site.
I joined FaceBook a few months back, but it lacks a professional business feel. This week, I came across, LinkedIn, which happens to be a well-established business-focused networking site with 23 million members. Chances are you will find people you know there.
Linking To Others
Once you setup your profile (e.g. like mine at www.linkedin.com/in/promod), you have an online biography/resume for others to find (clients, prospects, potential employers) and you to promote. That is just the start.
The real power comes when you connect to others. You can easily upload your contacts and see who is already there. You can then have an email sent to people you know well and ask them to connect to you. Once they accept, you have a network of contacts and you are connected to their contacts too. The numbers get crazy fast. Here is my situation after a few days
- 10 connections (trusted friends and colleagues)
- 180 friends of friends (each connected through a connection)
- 18,200 users through both a connection and one of their friends
You are judged by the company you keep. For your network to have value, you need to be selective about your connections. Especially when you give or get recommendations. This endorsement process is how you gain and share your credibility.
If you know of other networks worth joining, please share them. In the meantime, why not get LinkedIn?
- 10 Ways To Use LinkedIn (Guy Kawasaki)
- The New LinkedIn Platform Shows Facebook How It's Done (Wired Blog, Dec 2007)
- I'm LinkedIn (My Weird Wired World, Feb 2008)