Networking + Marketing Series for Network Marketers; The Golden Rules of Online Networking
A few days ago I created a post that outlined 5 ways to Grow Your Network Offline. Today, I’m going to talk a bit about growing your network online, then dive into some online strategies to help you in tomorrow’s post.
In case you’re just tuning in, this post is part of a Networking + Marketing training series based on the following premise: that our job as network marketers is to be consistently growing our network of influence, thus increasing our reach and creating a broader audience to whom we can market our products, services and opportunity. This is how business is done world-wide across all industries… at the end of the day, the person with the biggest network wins. It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts. The problem is most people come into network marketing lacking the network required to create massive success, and are never taught how to cultivate the skills required to grow their network (and by default, grow their business).
One of the MOST common objections we hear when sharing our business opportunity with others is “I just don’t know enough people to talk to.” If you’ve shared your business with more than just a handful of people you’ve probably already heard this objection. Or hey, maybe it’s something you’ve said yourself. My response is this: But what if you could LEARN how to meet more people?
Growing your network is a vital skill to have as a network marketer… but we shouldn’t worry if we don’t know how to do it when we first get started. After all, I would venture to guess very few brain surgeons knew how to perform such a complex operation when they enrolled in medical school! When we start looking at network marketing as what it really is: a CAREER with a limitless income opportunity, we can evaluate the skills we need to learn in order to succeed, just like we would do with any other profession.
The content in this series builds on itself day by day, so if you haven’t had a chance to check it out from the beginning, click here to go to the first post.
Assuming you’re now all caught up, let’s dive in to today’s topic, growing your network online:
While having a modern day ribbon cutting with your current network and understanding how to grow your network offline are two essential steps in growing your business, this day in age we would be absolutely stupid to ignore the VAST opportunities to grow our network through technology.
I’ve heard many “old school” network marketers call out those who use technology to grow their business, and while much of what they say is valid, refusing to recognize the immense value in the power of the internet is both absurd and close-minded. That being said, there is a RIGHT way to utilize technology, and a WRONG way to utilize it. I’m here to show you the RIGHT way!
When it comes to growing your network online, there are two golden rules you should follow. Stay on this path and you are moving in the right direction… STRAY from this path and you will just be spinning your wheels:
The Golden Rules of Building Online:
1) Build Relationships
2) Offer Value
Here’s the thing… these are the golden rules of ANY type of networking. But for some reason when a computer screen + a social media account come into play people forget and go a little crazy. Don’t forget. Don’t go crazy. Regardless of the platform the rules of networking are universal — and if you move forward with the intent to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS and OFFER VALUE you will be way ahead of the crowd, especially when working online!
Here’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to using the internet to grow your network: If you wouldn’t say it in real life, you probably shouldn’t say it on the computer either. Remember your primary objective here is simply to make a new friend… a new connection. Not pitch your business or your product to random strangers. Just because the internet makes something easy to do, doesn’t mean you should do it!
Can I let you in on a little secret? MOST people won’t follow the strategies I share for building an online network. You know why? Because although it’s incredibly simple and effective, it takes time and a genuine interest in getting to know someone. It’s not about a pitch. It’s not about fancy scripting or capture pages. And it’s sure not about randomly posting your link a billion times a day. Will you get results with those methods? Occasionally… but if you’re really looking to build an organization that’s lasting and successful in the long-term I can assure you it is not the way to go.
Now some people may be reading this and get their feelings hurt. I assure you that’s not my intent… but I’ve been there. I’ve learned the hard way. I’ve built businesses both ways, and believe me: As a professional network marketer I’d 10x rather form real, lasting relationships with a few people who become business partners for life than throw a bunch of paint against the way and see what sticks.
If someone joins your business from a random link in a spammy group, then next month you’ll be talking them out of joining someone else’s business from some other link they saw in some other spammy group. They will be here and gone before you can blink… and because I KNOW you are a professional, looking to build a lasting organization, I know that’s not what you want.
The tips I’ll be sharing are primarily for Facebook, because that is the platform I have the most experience with personally. Use some common sense and you can apply these same principles across other social media platforms as well. Do me a favor though, and go to your Facebook profile real quick and look at how many friends you have. As I mentioned in this post, as a professional networker you want to work on adding 2-5 names to your list each day, 5 days a week, so a great goal to have is to raise the number of Facebook friends you have by 10-15 people each week!
One way to do this is to take your OFFLINE connections and bring them ONLINE by adding the people you meet as friends on Facebook. I’ll dive into WHY this is so important when we get to the marketing portion of this series, but for now, just remember you want to bring those offline relationships online as well.
In addition to growing your social network through the connections you make in the “real world”, you can also meet new people everyday online. You can actually meet a LOT of people, in a SMALL amount of time — and you can do it anytime of the day, from anywhere in the world. With social media your business has the power to become a truly global enterprise, and by connecting and having genuine conversations, you will slowly convert many of these two connections into happy customers and business partners all across the globe.
So before we wrap up for the day, let’s review:
Don’t be weird. Don’t go crazy. If you wouldn’t say it in real life, don’t say it on the internet. It’s not about pitching, it’s about building relationships and offering VALUE.
Don’t forget to come back TOMORROW when we dive in to some specific strategies you can implement online to grow your network in a way that’s strategic, effective and fun!
Jordan Maylea Ramirez
PS: This series is getting pretty extensive… it’s going to be hard to remember all the GREAT points being shared here, so I’m going to help you out by offering a cheat sheet to everyone who’s on my list when we get to the end. I don’t want you to miss out, so be sure to enter your name and email below to get on the list!
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