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.
LinkedIn (www.Linkedin.com) is a business network that has emerged as a replacement for the old rolodex because it is online and self-managed. LinkedIn offers a much more robust way to maintain your business connections and see what they are up to. But beyond that, LinkedIn has become an indispensable tool for business introductions.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you are your best salesperson. If you develop a networking plan and invest the time to get out there and build those key relationships, it will pay great dividends over time. Networking is not a quick-fix — it’s a long-term process. Develop your plan, then exercise patience and discipline by giving it time to work.