Online Networking: Do I Hide From People Like You?

August 24, 2008

In a recent discussion on business networking, a few folk shared their opinions on what they liked and didn’t like. Tom of Delightful Work said he preferred online networking to structured events. And Monika of the Writers Manifesto and Ellen of Wilson’s Words and Pictures, both mentioned that they don’t like to “lick ass”.

I totally understand what they mean. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’ve got to suck up to folk you’re not particularly keen on, in the hope of getting a bit of work and a few referrals. And for that reason, I tend only to network with people I like.

It’s good to get to know like minded people online, in your industry, with whom you can develop a trusting relationship. I find that far more rewarding than hanging out at some networking event, or golf club, with folk I don’t enjoy being with.

And the easiest we can do this, is by simply making connections with folk we want to connect with, without any assumptions of what they can do for us.

In fact, we should forget what people can do for us altogether. It’s far easier to cultivate genuine relationships, if we think about what we can do to help the other person, without any expectations of gaining something in return.

I get requests in my inbox everyday from folk I either don’t know at all, or people who’ve made just one comment on my blog, in the hope of getting my attention. They’re usually asking me to Stumble this, Digg this, review this, or whatever. And if they knew me at all, they’d probably know that I can’t Stumble anything, as I’ve been banned.

Sometimes the same people send requests everyday. And as you probably know, receiving daily requests to Stumble and Digg someone’s stuff is annoying enough when you actually know them. But when it comes from someone you don’t know at all, it’s even worse.

It’s not like I don’t like helping people - I do. But I’m a human being and like most other folk, I like people to get to know me, before asking me to do things for them. I don’t want to be someone’s social networking prostitute and I bet you don’t either.

Have you experienced any bad online business networking practices? Have you found yourself hiding from certain types of people?

Image Credit: M. Keefe

Related Reading

Business Networking: Are You Sticky?
Are You Lost In Social Networking?
Is StumbleUpon Going Down The Tubes?
Social Networks v Content - Who Is King?

Business Networking: Are You Sticky?

August 21, 2008

Do you struggle with business networking? A lot of people do to begin with, both online and off. And it’s not because they’re not nice people, or because their business sucks. Often the real trouble is, they’re just not sticky enough.

As my friend, Robin, of Lets Live Forever pointed out in a recent discussion, “sticking around is a big part of getting anywhere. Sooner or later you begin to get more work, even if it’s only because you’re familiar to people.”

Robin explained it simply and it really is the truth. There’s no special art to networking, aside from sticking around others long enough and eventually they’ll grow to like and trust you.

Think about the people you know online already. Which ones would you choose yourself when you needed a particular service? And if a friend needed a website designer, or a life coach, who would you recommend?

Aside from sticking around and being nice - what others factors do you think are important in business networking?

Are You Lost In Social Networking?

August 1, 2008

Using some of the social networking sites, such as Twitter, Digg and StumbleUpon is one of the best ways to meet new people and network on the Internet.

But, I really get lost on some of the social networking sites. Some people tend to use different user names and pictures and it can be a real struggle to find some of the people you know.

Do you struggle to find people too? Then why not share your social networking profiles with others in this community by adding them in the comments section? It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been here hundreds of times or if it’s your first visit.

My Digg Username: Lafinachu
My Twitter Username: CathLawson

I’m banned from StumbleUpon, but leave your username, if you’re a member, so others can see them.

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