Maximise your online connections, build relationships with purpose and make the most of online networking with The 4 Ps of Online Networking from today’s 30 Days of Social Media guest contributor – Iggy Pintado, author of Connection Generation.
The 4 Ps of Online Networking
A question I get asked quiet often is that with my variety of presences on online networks like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter and the large number of followers I have on these platforms, how do I find the time and energy to put into it. My answer invariably goes back to the basics of online networking, which I call the 4 P’s. These are: PURPOSE, PROFILE, PARTICIPATION and PERSISTENCE.
First, there’s PURPOSE.
Before I even think about logging on each day I reflect on why I’m doing all this. For me, it’s about expanding my network by reconnecting with family, friends and former and current colleagues, introducing myself to people with interesting profiles around Australia and in other countries and identifying groups with shared interests. Once I’d establish my connections base, it was about sharing information, ideas and concepts.To achieve this, I decided early on to be an Open Networker. This meant accepting invitations from other people who I didn’t directly know but whose profiles were consistent with my shared interests. It’s been said that the internet is either a time saver or a time waster. Clearly understanding what you want to get out of it determines your focus and how much time you spend on online networking.
Then there’s PROFILE.
Once you sign up to an online network, you’re well on the way to creating your own personal brand on the web. This is a unique opportunity to present yourself online by the one person who knows you best – you. By building and posting a compelling profile, you provide others with the ability to find you and attract other users who want to know you, potentially utilise your skills, sell you something you might value, just establish a connection or even offer you a job. So take the time to develop a profile that best represents you, including a photo, your key achievements and your competencies.
Thirdly, there’s PARTICIPATION.
Online networking is social and is like attending a party or business function. You could choose to sit in a corner all night and then complain how bad it was. Once you’ve got your profile up, be a participant – not a wallflower. The same social principles as a party apply – introduce yourself to others, start a conversation, share your thoughts, join a group discussion, ask questions or play a silly game. Do something that shows that you’re actively involved in the network and that you want to be there.
Finally, there’s PERSISTENCE.
If you want to achieve your purpose, you have to stick with it. The obvious analogy is getting fit. We all know that we need to exercise regularly to get fit. Same with online networking. Get into the discipline of setting time aside – some, not at so much that it consumes you but regularly enough to participate in network activities – and keep at it. There may be times when you don’t get a timely response to an invitation, posting or some other message. My advice is to persist. To get the most out of online networking, you need to work on it. Make the time to clearly articulate your purpose and goals, get into the discipline of refining and enhancing your profile, actively participate in network initiatives that support your goals and most of all – keep at it. Listen to Iggy speak about the 4 P’s of Online Networking to BNET’s Phil Dobbie.
TODAY’S TASK How have you participated today in social networking? Have you posted a Tweet? Tweeted a post? Updated your online profiles? Take one action to keep your online activities current.