Seems many Facebook (and similar “social” sites) members are feeling that it might be more useful for personal contacts than for professional connections.
Here’s a gent who’s in publishing who’s saying goodbye to “friends”….
“In the hope of drumming up some activity, I even mentioned that I had a Facebook page on the Harvard Business IdeaCast, our popular weekly podcast (shameless plug). Result? A few people dropped me notes to say they enjoyed the program. That was nice. But did they suggest topics or potential guests? Did they provide useful critiques? No, they offered to be “friends.”
“Sure, a few other prospective business associates have popped out of the woodwork along the way, but they’ve offered the most flimsy of platforms for a relationship — she once taught a business course in Grenada or some other dubious spot, he’s “in the media,” they are — God help me — independent management consultants.
What does a connection with them offer me? Nothing. What do I offer them? The same. We’re each just another number, another utterly useless “connection.”
Cut to NM social sites. From what I hear, social sites for network marketers are little more than a free-for-all of who can scream louder and more often, that their deal is the greatest (and of course you should leave yours). Their upline is better, earns more, their training is better, ya da ya da ya.
Are NM social sites just hunting grounds for networkers?
Has anyone gotten genuinely good advice or assistance that was not driven by the secret “sign up with me” agenda?
Am I jaded? Anyone have a genuinely good experience building their business on free social sites with lots of other networkers?
LOL. This is the viewpoint of the typical person who has no idea how to create relationships unless their is “something in it for them”. How about just being friends with people?
Go to these social networking sites with no agenda other than to make friends (hint – that is easier on myspace where you can see the profiles first).
ONE MONTH – I challenge you Kim (and your readers). Set up a profile on myspace. For ONE FULL MONTH do nothing but find new friends and leave nice comments for them and their photos.
Set up a profile that is 85% about YOU and 15% about your “deal”.
Don’t talk about your company. EVERYONE should have other interests than what their MLM is about. (If you don’t – quit and get a life.) This won’t be easy for a lot of people. It’s easier for others.
Focus for one full month on simply creating relationships. Hint to the fact that you work from home, but that’s it. HINT. Not a full out attack on people. Put a link on your profile if you want, but if you leave them a comment, DO NOT put your link on there. They can click on your profile and then click the link IF THEY WANT TO.
DO NOT use your product or company logo as your display picture. Use a pic of YOU. DO NOT use your company name as your name. Do not use Superstar space commander guru as your display name. The goal is to create relationships and in order to do that you must use your NAME.
Add at least 5 new friends per week. When you add them, look at their profile first. Find something you can connect with them on. For example, if someone is a NASCAR fan but doesn’t say their favorite driver in their profile, I would request that they be my friend and send a note saying:
I see you are a NASCAR fan too. Who’s your favorite driver??
This way, they will accept your request and add you as a friend. They will also feel obligated to answer your question. This gets the relationship started and allows you to get to know them and them to get to know you. People join people they know, like and trust. Act like you met them in person and you want to get to know them. In person you do this by asking questions. HINT – do that. People love to talk about themselves.
You can NOT do this if you are fake and really don’t like people. They will know. This takes time and effort to do it right, but it can be very profitable.
People will ask what you do. Be prepared to answer that. DO NOT send them a link to your MLM. Answer briefly and tell them they can call you if they want to hear more. DON’T EVER ASK FOR THEIR PHONE NUMBER. People are taught to not trust people on the internet. You can say something like “If you want to hear more, let me know. You can call me or I can call you, whichever you prefer. It’s easier to explain over the phone than in writing”. This lets them make the decision whether they want to give out their number or not.
OK. That’s all the free tips for today. I just did an hour long class about this. If anyone wants it, just email me.
PS – You will get bombarded by the spamming hypy MLMers on there. Simply DENY their friend request. Look at their profile before you accept. If they are using the company logo, product photo, or their profile tells you nothing about them and all about their wonderful “deal”, don’t accept them as a friend. It’s YOUR choice. You can’t accept these people and then complain that they spam you. Just ignore them. They are all over these social networking sites. They make us non-hypy people look AWESOME!!
I’ve been around network marketing and business Forums for many years, and embraced Facebook et al as they arrived.
But I’ve always had a sneaking unhappiness about the inauthenticity of joining in these “conversations” when the ultimate, underlying motive really was to develop a business relationship.
I often thought – what if there was a place where businesses could promote what they do by talking about their values, about what drives the business, about what matters to it – all the things people try to bring out in their posts and pages?
And what if there was a place where I could go to look for a plumber, or a lawyer, or a hairdresser and get to know something about that person or business before getting into business with them?
So, about a year ago, I decided to create just such a place.
And now Spiritus is live and ready for use.
Seems like my timing is spot on!
I agree with you totally, Roxanne. Like networking in the real world, it takes time to establish relationships. No one will join you unless they like and trust you. Likewise, no one will buy anything from you unless the trust is there.
I’ve been consistently reading profiles every day and have made some wonderful friends, but I wait for the opportunity to either tell them about my products or business.
We all want things to happen instantly, but it’s going to take a lot of patience. Social networking websites are a great vehicle, but not an overnight miracle.
Thanks, Roxanne, for presenting the other side of the coin. You’re awesome!
I think there are 4 effective ways to use an online business networking site:
1. If its mainly business contacts you are looking for, then join a business only networking site and think carefully how you will set up your profile and the image you want to portray. The better the image is that aligns to what you do and offer, the better the chances are that someone or company will contact you looking for a fit. Its all part of that “Personal Branding” thing.
2. You will need to engage actively in the site. For example, LinkedIn has a Q&A section where you can pose questions categorized by industry interest, and again, you will need to give thoughtful, well articulated and genuine answers and pose relevant and timely questions so that people both in and outside your network become responsive.
3. LinkedIn and especially other networking sites such as Plaxo have an aggregating feature, where you can link your other online presences such as blogs, business websites, etc. to it, that will be effective in both directing others to informative and interesting sites and links to learn more about you, and those sites and links can direct people back to your social networking site.
4. If you meet a potential business contact offline, follow up and link to them online and visa versa. Then follow up.
Sorry folks -I made a mistake in the link to Spiritus
Hope this works now!
I personally have connected with great people that are like-minded on some social networking sites and believe it or not have made business connections just by being myself and communicating online in regard to network marketing. I always share with people that this is not an overnight process. You have to be a regular visitor of these sites and allow people to learn what kind of person you are. You are right, online communities with no value and nothing but online spam are not the places that will foster the right environment, so you have to be selective and keep looking if you haven’t found the gems out there yet.