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Girl Networking

 

If you have ever dreamed of owning a business or if you have ever wanted to use social media to help your professional life, then you better start building your Online presence NOW.

Although networking has changed, it’s more important than ever before.

This post will explain:

  1. The importance of using social media for your career or business.
  2. and give you tips to build relationships on platforms before they get too saturated.

If you want a brighter future for you and your business you should be paying attention to the changes in how people are communicating…how these changes will affect relationships and buyer behavior.  Companies that did not listen before have paid heavy prices (Blockbuster and Borders to name a couple).

Successful people know that their NETWORK is their NET WORTH and if you’re wise, you’ll take advantage of the access you now have to reach people you haven’t been able to reach before.

The Web is becoming increasingly social and the relationships that you create now will determine your future opportunities (Google is doing their part to make sure that it keeps going that way).

It is now easier and less expensive to start a business, but who knows how long the opportunities we have will stay so abundant?  I believe we are still on the ground floor but I fear late adopters will find virtual and social media real estate harder to come by.

Here are some ways that you can take advantage of Networking opportunities on the Web .

  1. Learn by doing.  Go to different Social Media platforms, open an account and play.  It’s supposed to be fun!
  2. Start a blog on a subject that you care about.  Blogging is a great way to improve your research and writing skills.  The content that you create will also position you as a leader and give you credibility.
  3. Reach out to people on Social Media and connect with them.  Get out there and meet people!
  4. Study, study, study.  There are so many resources at your disposal…use them to learn.  People in your niche will be attracted to you if you know what you are talking about.
  5. Be consistent.  Keep getting better and keep on “doing.”  If you don’t show up where people are hanging around on the Internet, people will forget about you.

Remember, your ideas are what will connect you with like-minded people.  If you don’t share yourself, you’ll miss out on some great things that can happen to you.  I’ve gotten business ideas, friendships, and even job offers just from connecting with people on the Internet.

In the coming years, I believe that the people who share their passions and who are the best communicators will win in business.

Here’s a video that inspired me to write this post.  It’s only 57 seconds long and you’ll be glad you watched it:  Understand the ROI of Social Media

Stock Photo is from www.stockfreeimages.com

Special thanks to Harvey Mackay for all the wisdom on networking he has given out.

 

If you have a business, the Internet is changing how your prospects will look at you.  Not only how they will look at you, but what they will expect from you.

To explain this, here’s a story.

I have this friend who I “grew up” with (Let’s call him Joe).  If I didn’t “grow up” with Joe, I would most likely not be friends with him.

Why, you ask?  Well, because he’s rude and annoying.

We all have those people in our lives whom we have grown to love just because they have always been around.  You want to choke them at times but will always be there for them if they need you.

I actually didn’t realize how rude Joe was until I got him a job at a company I used to work at.  The difference in relationship dynamic at the office provided a stark contrast that brought Joe’s flaws out to light for me.

Weeks into Joe starting, people would ask me, “Hey, didn’t you bring Joe here?  He keeps interrupting people’s conversations.  You should talk to him about that.”

I observed him in the new environment.  Sure enough, I would see groups of people engaging before Joe would interrupt and try to control the conversation.  He was very overbearing and would jump in without listening.  Groups would grow tired and then disband.  I guess I didn’t notice it before because it was a pattern I was used to from him.  I cared about him and I wasn’t going to push him away.

I bring this story up because it shows how most businesses are marketing in today’s world.

You see, because the Internet has made information so readily available, consumers want what they want to know…and they want it immediately.  They want to be engaged and not interrupted. If they are engaging with a site, movie, or game, the last thing they want is a pop up screen that won’t go away.

Old tricks of Interruption Marketing are not putting your business or brand in a positive light.  In fact some of those tactics can make people feel bullied or pushed around.

Smart businesses are offering value on the Internet, building communities, and engaging their prospects.  They are listening to those communities and thinking ahead.  Your business may have content on the Internet but if it doesn’t have context, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

I’m still friends with Joe and I love him enough to be honest and help him out with his social challenges…but do your customers love your business enough to help you with yours?  Probably, not.

But, hey, don’t just take it from me.  Here’s a video from the Super Hero, Gary Vaynerchuk, where he explains why he will never buy anything from Samsung.  It actually inspired me to write this post:  Your Content Better Have Context!

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Like many others, I used to hate sales people. That is, until I understood what professional sales was about.

A friend of mine once told me that she was so good at sales that she could sell ice to an Eskimo.  Little did she know, but that statement impacted my opinion of sales for years.  I remember thinking, “Why would anyone want to sell ice to an Eskimo?  Sales people are crooks.”

But that perception changed after an experience I had at a local electronics store when I had just started college.  I didn’t have much money and I knew the sales people could tell when I entered the store.

It must have been 45 minutes of me looking around with no one coming to help.  I was 18, I felt incredibly ignored, and like my money didn’t matter.  As I approached the exit in frustration, a friendly older man offered his help.  I decided to accept.

For the next hour, the man focused on me and what I was looking for.  He asked me questions to find out what was important to me before even making recommendations.  He was a gentleman and he showed me models that fit my checklist…explained the positives and negatives of each.  In addition, I was able to test models to help me make a decision.

I felt empowered and remember thinking that I had never enjoyed a purchase as much as that one.  The old man changed my perception of sales from that point on.  I wanted to help people feel that way, too.

Pick a Service That People Need and Then Do It Better Than Everyone Else

My mind had changed.  Sales became about finding what customers really wanted and then solving problems, rather than talking people into what they didn’t need.

If integrity and being a value to others is important you, here are three steps that you need to take to become the best in your sales team (By the way, I believe that everyone should try to be the best at what they do…I’ll blog about that another time).

The steps are:

  1. Gain Essential Knowledge
  2. Practice Sales and Presentation
  3. Set up Systems

Gain Essential Knowledge

Gaining Essential Knowledge is about being a value to your clients.  In today’s world, you can’t get by with swindling people.  The Internet has made everyone accountable.  If you aren’t a value to your target market, you won’t build the relationships you need to have a long term career.

Study your product or service and be creative with it’s applications.  You’ll need to be able to show people how to use it in ways that they have never used it before.  Explain how it will change their lives or solve their problems.

You’ll also need to know your industry so that you can be considered an expert.  How is your product or service staying relevant amidst ongoing changes in the market?  What are your product’s strengths and weaknesses compared to your competition?

Practice Sales and Presentations

Now that you are knowledgeable and are a value to your market, how are you going to get your prospects to understand what you provide or what makes you different from the competition?  When it comes to sales presentation it’s less about what you say and more about what your audience will take away from what you say.  You’ll have to know how your market speaks and understands so that you can be effective in helping them.

Also, be prepared for objections.  Because of the Internet, customers are doing their own research and are more educated about what you sell.  You need to be able to overcome false or misunderstood information that they may have.

Systems

True or False, McDonalds has the best tasting hamburger in the whole world.

No, right?  Then why are they the most successful hamburger chain…scratch that…why are they the most successful restaurant in the world?

It’s because of their systems.  Their systems are so tight they can produce the same product no matter where they are in the world and their customers always get what they expect.  In fact, their systems are so good, they can have a college student run a whole store and can repeatedly produce the same product quality.

Remember how I blogged about Most Valuable Activities (Read it here)? Once you become a value to others and get good at presenting, you’ll need to set up systems so that you can concentrate on your MVA’s and produce quality sales repeatedly.

It’s possible to get really good at sales and keep your integrity, but it takes hard work.  If you aren’t a value to people, then it will be hard for you to be honest and still make a living.  If you choose to make sales your career, invest in yourself so that you can help people.

Also, sales is changing because of technology.  Subscribe to my Newsletter to the right and follow me as I navigate through these changes.

In a previous post (Read it here), I talked about how there is now no reason for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit to not start a business.

The Internet has made business ownership much easier. The amount of ways to make money and the variety of Internet business models is fascinating.

Take for instance, Ian Smith, (a former music student at the top multimedia school Full Sail University) who witnessed an event.

Ian filmed vehicles losing control on an icy road and posted the video on Youtube. The video drew an enormous amount of attention.
As a result of that attention, Ian was invited to talk on several news shows for paid interviews.  Offers from companies began to roll in which required him to hire an agent.

Licensing deals were negotiated with ABC, NBC, CNN, the BBC, and the show “Top 20 Most Shocking Videos.”  He was paid an undisclosed amount from CheapoAutoQuotes.com and AutoCreditSolvers.com for the opportunity to advertise underneath his video.

This media exposure even caused people to pay attention to his music.

The snowball effect of opportunities lead to his agent stating that his client no longer needed to work for the rest of his life.

Isn’t that incredible?

This shows that the Internet is a global stage…and everyone is watching.  Those who are savvy enough to get the right kind of attention can make money for granting companies access to that audience…and that is only one of the ways to make money in this New Media world.
If you have ever desired to own a business or if you want to make extra money, now is the time to do it.
So, what kind of business would you start on the Internet?

(You can watch Ian’s video here:  video).

If you want to read my other posts, you can find them here:  My blog

 

A friend was telling me how unhappy she was at her job and how she felt that it was draining the life out of her.  My heart went out to her and I asked her what she was doing to position herself for change or advancement.  After a long conversation I found out that she really wasn’t doing anything significant to change her situation…in fact, she wasn’t even doing any sort of planning.

The conversation made me think of a story that I heard recently:

A man visited a farm to talk business with a farmer.  As he stepped out of the car, he noticed a dog crying loudly on the farmer’s front porch.

“What’s wrong with your dog,” the man asked.  “He sounds like he’s in a lot of pain.”

“Oh, he’s sitting on a nail,” the farmer answered matter of factly.

“Why doesn’t your dog just get up and walk away then?”

The farmer took a long look at his dog and then answered, “I guess he’s not in enough pain, yet.”

Why are you sitting on that NAIL?

It’s sad, but I think a lot of us get stuck in our situations as if the future is set and we have no choice in the matter. You’ll see it in relationships, careers, or other major decisions.

I just got back from a business trip to China and I remember talking to a young guy on a path to becoming a medical student.  We had a long conversation and I found out that his passion was music.  He told me that he was talented and that he had always dreamed about what it would be like to do that for a living.

With my playful energy (along with my lack of understanding of Chinese culture), I challenged him to go ahead and do it.

He laughed at me with appreciation and explained to me that his parents would never accept that.  I was told that parents spend a lot of their money to help their children get good jobs so that they could take care of them when they get old.  Their children’s occupation was basically their retirement plan.

Looking back, I still don’t understand the kind of pressure that guy must have had to make such a major decision in his life but it made me appreciate the freedom that we have in the USA.  I’ve traveled to so many places in the world and trust me…we have so much opportunity here.

You have the ability to choose who you will spend your life with…what career you will earn your living with…and where you will call home.  So don’t waste your freedom of choice.

Even if you don’t have the resources to have the life you want now, do something to position yourself for better opportunities to get there because it won’t just fall on your lap.  Read a book, take a class, learn a skill, or start a business.  Just decide to do something.

If you liked my blog post, please enter your email to the right and receive my newsletter.  It would be nice to have you along for my blogging journey.

Also, here is a link to my other posts:  www.empowernetwork.com/powerinvestment/

 

 

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