How to Expand Your Business Network Via LinkedIn

Social networking has been hot for some time with sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Friendster attracting a lot of visitors and interaction that has attracted the attention of larger companies looking to expand their product offerings along with boosting revenue growth. The business community has some good sites dedicated to helping business executives connect online as well.

LinkedIn is one of several online networking sites aimed squarely at the business community. Others include Ryze, Spoke, Tribe.net, and Xing (formerly OpenBC). This particular site is very powerful if you invest a little time into it, and I would imagine it has massive potential to help you in your career or business. Having a vast network of contacts never hurts regardless of how successful you are at this moment. I choose to focus on LinkedIn due to its membership (more than 10 million people) and its easy to use interface, but I am not affiliated in any way with any of the services mentioned.

Here’s an example of the power of networking based on my own experience using this tool thus far. I joined LinkedIn on Thursday January 4, 2007. Since then my network looks like this: 149 direct connections, 109,500+ friends of friends (two degrees away), and 2,830,900+ contacts three degrees away.

That’s a lot of potential reach! I only wish I had discovered this tool when I was in technical sales. Oh well, better late than never right? Some of the contacts I have made have led to partnerships, but the primary benefit has been the relationships built that have enabled me to bounce ideas off like minded folks, receive real world advice from people in similar situations, and expand the potential reach of my consulting business without investing a lot of money into marketing and advertising.

So, how would one go about expanding their network and reach rather quickly?

1. Upload your contacts from Outlook or your e-mail software. Let LinkedIn search their database to see if any of your contacts exist and invite those people to join your network.

2. Visit http://www.toplinked.com and browse over some of the top linked folks. If you see some that mesh well with your goals and objectives, send them an invitation or direct e-mail to join your network. Most people will do this if you ask politely.

3. Browse over the LinkedIn Q&A section to see if there are people looking to expand their network and e-mail those which reply.

4. Consider adding a link to your profile via your e-mail signature. LinkedIn can provide you a nice signature box with a lot of contact information to include in your outgoing e-mails. Go to My Profile –> E-mail signatures to set one up.

5. Promote your profile on your blog or website.

6. Ask a public question on LinkedIn under the answers tab and include in the question your e-mail address so people can expand their network if they’re interested.

7. Post a public invitation, including your e-mail address, asking for others to share theirs much like step #3.

8. Include your e-mail address in your profile on LinkedIn. That way people actively searching for networking prospects can connect directly with you.

9. When you post a comment or reply on message boards, blogs, or user groups, include a link to your profile. Or link back to your website or blog (this is a common search engine optimization trick).

10. Lastly, be easy to access! If you want to be able to connect to a lot of people, now or in the future, think like those people would think and make it easy for them to connect with you. That’s networking 101, but it still applies.

There are some people that do not wish to expand their network because of their current job situation or fear of the Internet. I understand. Yes, it is a risk to post your public e-mail address out there because of spam, viruses, and whatnot, but I haven’t run into that being an issue thus far, and the various e-mail software clients are getting better and better at stripping bogus e-mails out. My contact information is readily available on my business website, blog, outgoing e-mails, and on LinkedIn. I’m not hard to find if someone is really trying. Does that scare me? A little, but I figure if I’m going to be successful in my business, there are trade-offs and risks involved that I just have to take. Since LinkedIn is free to use, why not take full advantage of it? It’s a great tool that can really improve one’s chances at success if utilized properly, and it can help eliminate cold calling if your network is powerful and broad enough.

Hopefully this helps, and I hope you choose to expand your network and connect with some really interesting people out there. If I can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Network Marketing – Treat it Like a Business

Many network marketers are entering an MLM business these days with a dream to succeed and make it big in the work at home arena. In reality they soon find out that their beloved dream didn’t work as they expect it and more than often face failure. Why so many of them get to this point of seeing their dream fade away and what they can do to prevent failure?

You see so many people that are successful with their own home based business, you find endless stories on the Internet for people that joined an MLM company and within a week they build a network of thousands of people becoming rich and maybe now they are retired and live in an exotic island where the company sends them the cheque. At this point you loose your reasoning and you start dreaming being in his place. I am sure that you have seen countless times such stories and you allowed yourself to be carried over in dreamland.

Reality check

Some marketers desperate to get their business going or even worse marketers with loose business ethics over-exaggerate when they present the opportunity only to drop your defenses and close the sale. They are nothing more than ‘salesmen’ that after they get you involved they abandon you to chase the next person without ever helping you. They are not truly into building a business with a long term plan but they rather concentrated into the aspect of sales and make money quick. No wonder that when they stop pushing their opportunity their whole organization there collapse whereas if they were in the business building mode it would have continued to grow.

As you can understand such people are of not use to someone who really wants to build a business as they would never take the time to help you and teach you in order to build a successful business (something they don’t know themselves unless you call this model a business).

The harsh reality is that network marketing is like any other business which requires investment of time and money although not at the degree that a traditional one would take. Most people get carried over believing it’s a push button system that the only thing they have to do is to join and wait for their business to grow. This of course never happens unless you are extremely lucky.

The right way in order to succeed in this field is to find a sponsor that would devote the necessary time to you in order to teach you whatever you need to build a successful business. Furthermore you need to accept the fact that this is going to take time and effort from your part and it’s not going to be an overnight success. An investment of money may not be necessary but it should be compensated by additional time spent in your business.

As you can see this is something that requires patience, work and dedication. Not what they led you to believe at the first place. If you are serious about building your own home based business and you really want it instead of just being wishful thinking, you have to give your best self in it and be ready to do the extra mile.

The people who fail in network marketing take an opportunistic approach in it fantasizing and dreaming success but they are not really serious about what they are doing. In short they never take the necessary business approach and don’t put the required effort and that’s why they get this result.

I hope that if you are interested to get in this business to have the desire and attitude we outlined previously in order to succeed. If you treat it like a real business and do the necessary work involved, network marketing can be very rewarding and compensate you financially extremely well.

Starting a New Internet Marketing Business – 3 Steps to Success

Are you thinking about starting a new online business? Or perhaps you are already in business online, but your enterprise is struggling to turn a profit. Aspiring internet marketers often face an interesting problem: There’s just too much advice and information available!

How do you know you’re getting the right information and the right advice?

Sometimes it’s important to cut through all the noise and get down to the basics. This article presents three fundamental steps you can take to start a new online business and ensure its success.

Persistence!

The first step is to pick a niche, program, or plan and stick with it. You have to give you new online business an opportunity to succeed before throwing in the towel and moving on to the next big thing.

The truth is, you’re not going to get rich overnight. Your new online business can be profitable, but a start-up internet marketing enterprise isn’t going to be successful overnight. The biggest mistake you can make is pulling the plug before your new online business has a change to succeed or fail on its own merits.

This is especially true because jumping from one opportunity to the next doesn’t just distract you, it costs you money. The money you spend registering new domains, setting up hosting accounts, researching new products, designing new Web sites, and building new opt-in lists can cost a small fortune.

This is money that you could instead invest in making one new online business successful and profitable.

Rather than jumping from one project to the next, create a real plan for your new online business and stick to the plan. Building in a timeline is not only okay, it’s encouraged: Decide ahead of time how long you will give your new online business to become profitable. If it doesn’t perform within this scheduled timeframe, then (and only then) is it time to pull the plug and try something else.

Just Do It!

A plan is crucial, but a plan isn’t going to pay the bills. Most new online businesses fail for one very simple reason: They’re never actually put into action!

It’s easy to get bogged down in planning and research. You want to educate yourself and make informed decisions about your new online business. That’s great! But don’t get so obsessed with the preliminary stage of your enterprise that you never actually get around to executing the plan.

The start-up costs for a new online business are among the lowest available. The fact is, whether you are interested in affiliate marketing or selling your own information products, internet marketing is inexpensive enough that you can afford to make some mistakes.

An active but flawed online business will still make a lot more money than one perpetually mired in the planning stages!

It’s Not Failure, It’s Building Success

Just like profit, success doesn’t happen overnight. You can afford to fail in a new online business, and this is good because fail you will!

Like anything else in life, real success demands experience. Information is great, and there is lots of it available on the Internet. We provide a huge amount of free information at Internet Marketing 101 ([http://www.im-101.com]). But until you’ve used that information out “in the field,” you haven’t really mastered it.

Even the most successful internet marketers sometimes fail. Everyone who creates a new online business meets with at least some failure and occasional setbacks. There are no exceptions, and you won’t be the first.

The key is to learn from those setbacks and develop the hands-on experience that will make you successful. Think of failure as an investment that will pay handsome dividends for your new online business for many years to come.