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On Networking Groups ( Part Five )

Online networking web sites. Are they really networking and are they really working?

They have been springing up all over. They are based on contact management. They are direct in messaging, emailing, and even in the six degrees of separation. They go by many different names and have various methods of finding people. The problem with these sites is that they are not really networking. Do you disagree?

To be effective in networking requires building a relationship with another person. This is difficult to do through messages and email. If you have ever had a discussion with a person through email or instant messaging, I would like to ask if you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to actually pick up the phone to find out what a person was really talking about?

In relationships conversation is extremely important. The communication is key. The thing that we may not really pay attention to is the importance of tonal inflection in the voice and the added benefits of body language in expressing ourselves. These are the things that online networking is lacking.

Since the most important aspect of having a relationship with another person is based in trust, it is difficult to develop trust in someone that you have never seen nor heard. It is even more difficult to get a person to do business with you without some type of face to face contact.

With this in mind, will these web sites last or are they merely a passing craze? Are they popular simply because we are looking for success in any way that it might come to us? Time will tell.

It is my advice that if you are looking for new contacts, step away from the desk and out into the community. Online networking is less effective for getting business than it is putting your resume online to get a job. All of the people are faceless and voiceless and no one really wants to do business with an email. Or do they? With the thousands of people out there who are selling what you need, including those in your own community, how do you decide what to buy? My guess is that you end up buying most premium products and services from someone that you have met in person, even if it is just a clerk in a store. I am of course excluding buying products through an online store.

So then what is the future of online networking? You are in control of it. Please take a moment and send me your opinion of online networking. Please be sure to tell me if you have ever gotten any business from it exclusively. I am guessing that you probably haven’t and you probably won’t.


To Your Success!

Rick Nelson
Visit http://www.homebasedbusinessprograms.com for more great information.

Networking Your Way to Online Business Success

Forums, groups, boards, and loops; they’re all synonymous for online locations facilitating online networking. Some are entirely public, where everyone and anyone can click to the URL, read the messages and if they have no interest in contributing, they can just lurk. Some require active participation and others require registration before members can participate. These online forums, groups, boards or loops are different from paid membership sites in that there is no cost to network at these websites.

Some are active, some are sleepy. Some are strictly for online business related topics; some allow more OT (Off Topics) and social interaction. There are forums for every imaginable topic: Entrepreneurs, International online business, Health related fields, Technology, Copywriters, Web Designers, Work at Home Moms, Programmers, Finance, Ebay, Job Seekers, Internet Marketing, Writers, Inventors and Virtual Assistants, just to barely scratch the surface of what’s out there on the World Wide Web.

Time management skills need to be paramount when participating in online forums. You can very easily get swallowed up and spend hours and hours online networking with others who have online businesses, yet you miss real opportunities to get some productive work done!

From a online business standpoint, there are two areas you should consider before participating in a loop. It’s always good to have a network of like-minded online business people. If you’re a web designer, hang out with other designers. You can help and support each other. If you’re just starting out, you can learn from the pros.

Don’t get stuck though, just hanging out with your own kind. You’re not going to be very successful trying to promote your design services to other designers. This is where balance comes in. Pop into the boards, check new posts of interest, ask or answer questions, then get out. Then move onto groups who need your services or products. Who is your target market and where do they hang out? Go there. Word of caution: Do not go to these forums with the sole purpose of SPAMMING the group. You’ll be tossed out on your ear quicker than you can blink if that is your sole purpose. People like to do business with people they know and trust – or at the very minimum have at least heard of.

If you’re trying to sell your curriculum to a group of home school parents and you just pop in, spew your sales rap all over the boards then expect any sort of return, you’re missing the point of online networking. It’s networking – not advertising. You need to build a rapport with your other “loopies”. Then if a need arises and they know one of their own fellow networkers has that special skill or product, guess who they’ll call first? You hope it’s YOU.

For starters check MSN, Google, Yahoo, AOL, and Ryze. Inside there are literally hundreds and thousands of groups just waiting for you. Start networking your way to online business success today!


To Your Success!

Rick Nelson
Visit http://www.homebasedbusinessprograms.com for more great information.

Networking with previous customers

Your previous customers are going to be valuable to your future business. As you get each new customer you want to network with that customer again in the future, to keep your business in their mind, and to keep them on as a walking and talking billboard for your business. The future of your business is going to evolve to include repeat customers, and referral customers, both of which are vital to the ongoing relationship of your business, the consumer, and the local surroundings of your business.

How can you network with your previous customers? Even if your customers are online – or if they are offline, you can network with your customers. A simple note, or email is going to do the trick. Ask about their day; talk with them by name, and offer advice or to continue with the conversation when they have time to chat with you. Talk with your customers about what they have purchased, or what work you have done for them. Ask if there is anything that can be done to improve the process, they went through while dealing with your business.

Network with your largest clients by taking them to lunch, or ordering them something special and having it delivered to their home. As you continue to acknowledge your largest clients, they will keep you fresh in their minds. They will tell others about what you have sent to them, and how they feel about your business. Of course, this is not done with every type of business, but with the largest buyers who are spending thousands of dollars with a particular business perhaps.

The online business is going to use newsletters, ezines, emails and coupons sent to previous customers as a method of networking and keeping in contact with previous customers. Keeping the lines of communication open with a customer, and with a previous customer is going to increase awareness of your products, and what you have for sale. This in turn is going to increase sales, one repeat customer at a time.

Never forget about your previous customers. In the offline business, and in online business you can network with your previous customers by creating mailing lists and using these mailing lists. State something along the lines of – because we have done business in the past, we find that now is the time to offer you this great advantage in Networking we have, and would like to give you a special price. Yes this is still advertising, but networking at the same time because you have established a relationship with that customer already.


To Your Success!

Rick Nelson
Visit http://www.homebasedbusinessprograms.com for more great information.

Networking while traveling

Networking is more than just putting your business name out there for people to find you, but it is also a part of getting to know people, who are going to spread the word about what you do, what you sell, and that are going to support you in all that you do. Networking is going to involve getting to know as many people in life as you can, and putting your business in front of those people, so they will represent your name, your business, and will tell others about what you have to offer.

If your business requires that you travel often, or perhaps you travel often to find supplies, visit relatives or just because you like it. You should make it a point to get to know those who you are sitting beside, those who are surrounding you on the plane, even those who are sitting on the bench while waiting in the airport. Make it a point to meet and greet at least one new person a day.

How are you going to get started on this?

Start the conversation by saying hello, how are you today? Ask questions. The best way to get to know someone is to ask questions. Without asking questions, it can be difficult to carry on a conversation. Asking questions is a good icebreaker, in turn, the person is going to want to talk about their self, and where they are traveling too. You can then lead into something like, is this business trip or a personal trip? As you go on with the conversation, the person is going to ask you questions, which is where you will be able to talk about your business and what you do.

As you make it a point to get to know at least one new person a day- you are going to increase your network, which means you will increase the people that you know in life. Increasing your business network is going to be dependent on your abilities to carry on a conversation and to talk with others. Force yourself to do this. Force yourself to stick to your habit of meeting at least one new person a day. As you make this a point, you will make this a habit and in the long run, your business will thrive for it.


To Your Success!

Rick Nelson
Visit http://www.homebasedbusinessprograms.com for more great information.

Networking To Find Music Education Jobs

For those most passionate about their music, a job in music education is a natural fit. Far from being a case of “those who can’t do, teach”, those who take music education jobs are talented not only as artists but as teachers who want to pass their love of music on to another generation, to ensure that there is always music in the world.

Once upon a time, a degree in music education was seen as a ‘fallback option’- the job that would always be there if a performing or production career didn’t work out. That time is long gone now as states have cut funding for enrichment education across the country. While the job outlook for music teachers is still good, the Occupational Outlook Handbook says that jobs for musicians and teachers will grow at about average or a little faster than average rates through 2014 – school departments, private institutions and universities have the luxury of being able to be choosy about whom they hire to fill music education jobs.

One of the best ways to hear about music education jobs and openings is to establish a network of contact within the music education community. While basic networking is good, there are ways to network more effectively to concentrate your focus on finding and improving your chances of being hired for music education jobs.

Network locally.

Lucky you, you actually have three different sources of local networking that can help you narrow your job search focus. As an educator, get involved in local organizations for teachers and get your name out there. If you’ve made contacts while interning and practice-teaching, keep up with them, and ask their advice and guidance in your career path. By all means, let them and others know that you’re looking for a job in music education. Other teachers are often the first to know that one of their own is leaving.

School department contacts are invaluable.

In most cities, the school department must post vacancies internally before advertising them to the general public. Those vacancies are often posted on a bulletin board in each school within the district. Let teacher friends and contacts know that you’re looking and ask them to keep an eye out for you. Knowing that a vacancy is posted internally can give you a leg up on the competition and cue you to submit your resume and cover letter for music education jobs before they’re advertised.

Network online.

Join national and local music teachers associations online, particularly those that hold regular events, symposiums and have a discussion board. Many of them post job openings for members, and more than a few allow members to post job leads and requests for job leads on their boards. Some organizations that you might consider joining include:

Technology Institute for Music Educators (http://www.ti-me.org/)

Music Teachers National Association (http://www.mtna.org)

Teachers.net Chat boards (http://teachers.net/mentors/music/)

The National Association for Music Education (http://www.menc.org/)

Keep in mind that in networking, you get out what you put in. Don’t just join a group and start soliciting for music education jobs. Look for what you can offer – the more you become involved the more visible you’ll become and the more willing others will be to recommend jobs to you.


To Your Success!

Rick Nelson
Visit http://www.homebasedbusinessprograms.com for more great information.