Networking Online Strategically
by Cindy Morrison
You’re at a cocktail party and there’s someone you want to meet. So you set your sights on that person… work your way across the room… and you finally meet face to face. You don’t want to seem too anxious… so you play it cool. You look for your “in”… and you go for it. Sure enough the next day, you get a note from that “big wig” and he liked what you had to say. Yes, he tracked you down and not only are you now on his radar, he wants to know more about your business or even better he wants to do business with YOU.
That’s the ideal networking situation, right? What if I told you the cocktail party was a virtual room and you never actually met? You might think I’m crazy, right? Well, if I didn’t have proof I might think I was crazy, too. But networking strategically through social media not only works, it can expand your potential past your town, your state and your comfort zone.
Let me give you an example. I read on Forbes.com that StartupPrincess.com was one of the number one websites for women. So I marked that on my “I want to meet” list. Silly? You bet, but since I’d signed up for Twitter, I had decided not to let it take over my time unless it was worth it. That’s right… time is money and I didn’t want to waste it.
So one night during the Golden Globes, I struck up a conversation with @StartupPrincess. She tweeted that she liked Sandra Bullock’s dress. That’s funny because I did too! And so it began. We chatted off and on during the night… what we liked. What we didn’t like. But never was there a conversation about what either of us did for a living.
But obviously something struck a chord with @StartupPrincess because she checked out my profile on twitter (attached to my tweets) and suddenly I had an email on Monday from the site, asking me if I’d like to be one of their FairyGodmothers — their answer to a contributor. Would I? I could barely answer the email fast enough! Of course I would love to be a part of StartupPrincess.com. That was my first real “get” on twitter.
So, when you use social media to waste time (hello?! farm animals on Facebook) or feel you’re constantly preaching your business, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Would you really walk up to someone powerful at a cocktail party and ask them to play games or yell your business at them? I don’t think so. Instead you might think about making a meaningful connection. What do you have in common? What do you have that’s of value? With some strategic networking you might be surprised the avenues for you that open up.
By the way, email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you the 5 steps to making a real business connection on social media. I’m a living example that this works AND can make you connections that improve your income.
Texas Conference for Women speaker and Emmy-winning TV broadcaster Cindy Morrison successfully reinvented herself after the economy led to corporate downsizing and left her unemployed. Leaving her 20-year career behind, Morrison wrote “Girlfriends 2.0” to empower women to upgrade their “Girlfriend Network.” She has since been speaking on the topic and has launched a successful consulting business, Reinvention 2.0, a business-focused approach to her Girlfriends 2.0 concept.