Secrets to Success
Deborah Cole Micek
and John-Paul Micek

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Get more done
through online networking

Time. It's what every small business owner wants more of. We all wish there were eight days a week so we could get more done.

Well, thanks to the Internet, more business owners are getting business done, meeting new prospects and gaining clients faster than ever before with the use of online networking sites.

Two popular online networking sites that allows business owners to get to know a business contact before ever having an initial conversation are Ryze.com and ecademy.com.

Not only are these sites saving business owners from the time-consuming activities that traditional, in-person networking events consume, they also allow you to tap into a global community of business vendors and clients.

Both of these networks allow anyone to join, but it's best if you're invited by someone with a large network to take advantage of the "networking trails" created by the software that drives these communities.

Professionals who are serious about doing business with the best vendor love this feature because it allows each visitor to see "who knows who" in order to research whether the new contact is a reputable business owner or not.

Harvard MBA David Teten of Nitron Advisors LLC, co-wrote a book, "The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online" with Scott Allen, co-founder of the Web site OnlineBusinessNetworks.com, which describes how to take advantage of this rapidly growing way to do business online.

Teten shares several types of "Social software" that professionals can use -- software that allows you to analyze, build and leverage your social network. Examples include, "Blogs, relationship capital management software, social network software, Web conferencing, e-mail lists, chat, instant messaging, Internet telephony, and virtual communities."

"These networks offer far more effective ways of finding people than a general Web search engine, and there's tremendous value just in being able to not only find people but to be found. It takes minimal effort to set up your profile in a site and it offers low cost, high potential value," reports Allen.

Talk about time-saving activities! Especially when you compare it with traditional in-person networking events.

Calculate how long it takes for you to prepare for an evening networking event, get in your car, find a parking spot, stand around eating fried pupus, all while you're trying to find the right people to connect with to do more business.

Then consider "online networking" where just one of your conversations can reach hundreds of people in a fraction of a second.

--Deborah Cole Micek

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

John-Paul Micek is the lead business coach at RPM Success Group Inc. Reach him at JPM@RPMsuccess.com or toll-free at (888) 334-8151.

Deborah Cole Micek, chief executive officer of RPM Success Group, is a business success coach and life strategist. Reach her at DCM@RPMsuccess.com or toll-free at (888) 334-8151.

Read an expanded version of this article at www.GetCoachedforFree.com.

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