Networking-Netweaving

April 19, 2010

Are You Making it Easy for People to Contact You?

You have just created a beautiful website for your business and you are excited and want the world to see what you are all about.  You carefully made sure all your links were working, that you included all the best content on your subject, you properly categorized your information and you are all ready to shout it out!  BUT, have you forgotten a very important thing?

Are you making it easy for people to find you?

Do you have your contact info on every page - does your contact info include not only your email address, but a telephone number and if appropriate, the snail mail address of your business.  Does it list the appropriate person's name in your company to contact for more information?  I see this happening quite a lot and was quite pleased to see this great article on this very subject.

Carol Tice, A journalist with Entrepreneur Daily Dose, Online Biz has written http://blog.entrepreneur.com/2009/10/5-things-i-hate-about-your-web-site.php

Are you "shooting yourself in the foot" and sabotaging your own marketing efforts?  I think this was a great reminder.  Thanks to Carol Tice for writing it.  I'm looking forward to reading more of her timely articles!

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on this topic - please post them in the comments section below!  If you really like this post, and want to Tweet about it, I'd really appreciate that too!

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Carol Deckert, Netweaving Expert

Carol Deckert is a Networking Coach and the the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network.  She has more than 8,500 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,000 "friends" on FaceBook and more than 4,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her netweaving work, she helps others learn to do what she did, save them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: Deckert1116

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March 18, 2010

People do business with people, not businesses

Today, as I opened my Skype window to "check in with my Skype buddies" and see what has been happening over the weekend, I found this message waiting for me.

"Hi Carol, I am from website design and development company based in India. As you arrange public conference so you must interacted with the people of same field. I am looking for business opportunities, can I get references from you."

My response was: I'm sorry I am not able to provide any references for anyone that I have not done work with. You see, I'm a networking coach and I do believe in helping others achieve their goals but before any business is referred to anyone, a relationship must be built. You must get to know, like and trust the person you are referring and you must also be willing to take care of the person you are making that referral to.

One of the reasons why I opened this Skype Room was to give people the opportunity to interact with one another, to learn more about each other, personally and professionally. Learn how the other person does their work, find out what their work ethics are and generally get to know one another.

My network is important to me- I will not jeopardize the relationships I built my referring someone to any of them without knowing (1) if my network contact even needs their service (2) would be willing to talk with a new vendor (3) or is in the position of being able to pay for the services that are being offered. On the other hand, for the vendor that is referred, I want to know that they are ethical, going to do what they say they are going to do, when they say they are going to do it and not be pushy with my network. The only way I can make sure that happens is to take TIME to get to know the people I am referring. Nothing should be rushed; it's not a "nice to meet you and now buy from me" situation. That's no better than running around a networking event just handing out your business cards and saying buy from me. I just won't do that and I won't apologize to anyone for not doing that.

I would be totally out of line to refer a new vendor to anyone in my network just because the new vendor told me they want more business. You know, the whole world wants more business. Networking is a tremendous way to get new business, but you do need to know the proper way to do that. Networking is work- you have to "work" at it - the rewards often are tremendous, but it does take time. Just because you want something, does that mean you are going to get it? Of course not, work at developing those relationships. You may be pleasantly surprised how much you receive by doing this but don't be alarmed at the amount of time you have to spend networking to get these results. It's not instantaneous gratification! A good point to remember is that what is most important to YOU, may be of no importance at all to THEM - the tune you should be listening to is WIIFT (what's in it for THEM) not WIIFY (what's in it for YOU).

"Thanks Carol, I will try my level best to become a member of your network and you will certainly get to know more about me if you look at this website [website link]"

Apparently my message wasn't quite clear enough, because this new person wants to send me to their website to learn more about them. What happens at the website is that I find out about the business, but what does that tell me about the person? People do business with people, not businesses. That's why it is important to make sure people understand you and how you work - how you take care of your clients, what makes you stand out from the competition? Why should I do business with you? How are you going to solve my problem(s)?

"Can I join your public chat?" Yes, you may join my public chat and yes, I would like to get to know more about you. Just remember, it takes time - share some tips, chat with the members of the chat room and get to know them. It's ok to share your website on promo day (read the blue guidelines to find out what days that is permitted) but generally participate in conversations! I welcome anyone to come and join in the conversations in the Skype Room - you can find it very easily at http://www.runlancaster.com/skype-room/networking or you may request to connect with me via Skype and I can manually add you into the room.

Please do yourself a favor and don't ask someone you just meet to refer business to you. Take the time to build the relationship - it will be much better for both of you to know the type of relationship you are part of - knowing that the other person is looking out for your best interest as well as for the referring party's best interest.

"When do I get to talk about me - doesn't the person I'm meeting want to know what I do?" I just read a blog post from Michael Port, who has an audio that tells you better than I can how to do this. Listen here

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Carol Deckert, Netweaving Expert

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on this topic - please post them in the comments section below!  If you really like this post, and want to Tweet about it, I'd really appreciate that too!
Carol Deckert is a Networking Coach and the Netweaving Expert for Group Coaching Mastery. She's the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network, has more than 8,500 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,000 "friends" on FaceBook and more than 4,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her netweaving work, she helps others learn to do what she did, save them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: Deckert1116

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February 25, 2010

How DO You Manage ALL Those Connections?

One of my newest connections on LinkedIn sent me an email, with a question as to how I manage my connections. For those of you who are building a network and are "afraid" of over-extending yourself, read on . . .

Here is my response:

Don't be overwhelmed, take it one step at a time and enjoy what you do! Most of all realize that not all connections will develop into strong business relationships, although our hope is that they will, reality is that they won't. Don't be disappointed. Do all you can to nurture your network in whatever time you have available to do it. Most of all, don't overextend yourself. Enjoy building these relationships - international, multi-cultural relationships really open your eyes to the possibilities! Do only what you can do - and you are the only person who knows what that answer is.

Enjoy and most of all - let me know how I can be of help to you!

Networking is all about personal interactions . . . pass it on! Take whatever time is necessary to build some strong connections and don't be concerned with having a large number of them. It doesn't really matter how high your numbers are - it's what you do with those numbers that is important!

There are so many social networks available today. Don't feel like you "have" to belong to all of them. Be selective and look at the people who are participating. Do they fit into your target market or do they share a special hobby with you? Do what fits best into your life - don't be bullied into joining up with everyone, everywhere. After all, how many places do you have to be seen in order to network with the same people all the time? All it takes is one network!

Tell me what you think - how many networks are YOU involved in . . . how do YOU handle YOUR connections?

As a final reminder, contacts are those you just met, connections are the next step in the relationship building process (the interactions) , relationship is the level you want to achieve. Work hard, help others and keep those contacts moving in the right direction. Decide what is best for YOU, whether it's 15 minutes a day or 5 hours a day - choose your networks wisely.

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Carol Deckert, Netweaving Coach

Carol Deckert is a Networking Coach and the Netweaving Expert for Group Coaching Mastery. She's the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network, has more than 8,500 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,000 "friends" on FaceBook and more than 4,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her netweaving work, she helps others learn to do what she did, save them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: Deckert1116

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