It is free to join, allows you to form local discussion groups like “Triangle Business Bloggers” or “Podcasting.” It lets you list calendar events, have a blog so you can contribute useful articles, have a profile stating your business and it offers an RSS feed so you can keep up with it in your Blog Reader.
First of all sign up if you have not, today! The basic service is free! And fill out the entire profile. Include as much information in your profile as you can. This includes simple hobbies, interest, and associations that are important to you. Those profiles show up in Google searches, so others will be able to view the information. If you understand “personal branding” of YOU, then you know the benefit of this. The more positive points of reference to you on the web the better (as long as they are real).
The real mission
It’s been refreshing to see the field of sales evolve beyond the pushy stereotype of “yes at any cost” to today’s intelligent vendor-client relationships that thrive long-term. It seems to me that networking, a necessary component of the business scene, has been experiencing a similar transformation of mission. What percent of us, I wonder, conscientiously attending networking breakfasts, luncheons, after-hours and the like, or courageously handing out cards and brochures to anyone within arms length, are catching the new unwritten dynamic which makes networking an expressway to success for some, and a rough path to nowhere for others. As a Life and Business Coach, I admit I’ve had the advantage of knowing how to meet and get to know potential clients, yet even so, it took time for me to appreciate the complex choreography of human relationship that happens at every networking event, from one-on-one for coffee to the city-wide Expo. What I began to see was that networkers with a “what’s in it for me” mindset were failing, and those with a generous “I’m here to help” approach were succeeding. This simple analysis brought me to a definitive “aha” and I’m bursting to share with you what real networking is (and what it’s not).
– Martin Brossman