Professional Networking On The Web By Anora McGaha

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WAKE COUNTY, N.C.  By Anora McGaha
There’s a new group in town, for online networking; one that really helps people apply the tools of online social networking to daily business. Professional Networking on the Web. What do you know about that?

A few of you have been doing this for years, and this may or may not appeal. Maybe you like to share what you know, then you might like to participate. But for most of us, even signing up into LinkedIn, THE professional registry online, is a major leap of faith. It takes anywhere from two to ten people inviting us in before we sign on, and then, once we’re in, then what? If we have a business that is ready to go, ready to network, ready for new clients, the “Then What?” question is very important; it is the core focus of this group.

The biweekly breakfast meetings are led by Coach, Martin Brossman, and Web Consultant, Whitney Hill. They start with introductions, and a quick round of progress and successes since the last meeting. Then, down to business: choosing a person to review on LinkedIn and to help with networking. Step up to the laptop. Type in your password, and let’s go over your profile! Questions and comments come in from around the table. Suggestions are made; praise given. Then… Then, it’s time to find someone you want to meet to further your business opportunities. Who do you want to meet? CIOs in biotech? Project managers in consulting firms? Recruiters based in the Triangle?

Martin coaches the person through the search features in LinkedIn and someone is chosen from the search. Their profile is reviewed to see what they have in common. Their degree of connection is evaluated, and the people known in common looked over. Then the team offers suggestions about how to approach this person. “One of the most valuable aspects of this group is that we explore what are valid and authentic ways to approach a new contact, respecting their priorities and their time,” says Martin Brossman. “We work as a team using both in-person and on-line resources.” With that, time’s up, and one more person has gotten suggestions on their profile, and methods of finding and approaching people from LinkedIn. In the process, everyone has gained.

One of the group members, Athena Delmontie writes this: “The unique focus of using our internet connections as well as our off-line contacts is a valuable resource to my business. We not only help each other with new introductions to business but also etiquette in the on-line networking world and sharing proper application of social media for business.”

The Professional Networking on the Web group meets at the Capital Club in the Progress Energy Building in Raleigh. On the 21st floor in a spacious room with a view of the rising sun (yes, it meets early, at 7:30 am), there are breakfast choices, both continental breakfast and five cooked breakfast options for a nominal fee. The group is by invitation only, but you’re invited to request consideration to participate. Write to Martin Brossman at or call 919-847-4757 to request consideration.

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