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Warm Up To Networking

An excerpt from the book, Six Pixels Of Separation by Mitch Joel.

It is not just about buying a ticket to a local chamber of commerce event and standing at the corner bar with your buddies complaining that you are not meeting anyone. Real entrepreneurs understand the fundamental power of networking--connecting to like-minded individuals and helping them connect to others. These social circles are critical to your success, and they are magnified when you layer them into the new digital channels.

Six Pixels of Separation speaks to a new way of connecting. It's a world where mass brands are overtaken by personal brands. It's a world where individuals are building their personal brands by connecting to very specific niche content and media that they are choosing and controlling. It could lead to a world where divorce rates will decrease as more people get connected because they share similar values and life goals. It's a place where an individual brand voice is as loud as the mass advertisers.

There are millions of new ramifications for entrepreneurs to deal with. Not only are we challenged with how to reach and connect to our customers and their rising personal brands, we now have to deal with how to market to people who have unique personal brands that share a similar audience, size, and reach.

Networking online is core to success because it's not blatant sales and marketing. You network to build your circle of influence by adding value to your community and helping others get what they want. In return, you build influence and a presence, essentially becoming the "go-to person" for the community.

Use these channels to help others grow their business. Use your connections and provide your clients and partners with sales leads or competitive information, or just discuss areas of mutual interest. This will position you as a key adviser and, at the same time, will change your entire business-development funnel. It's no longer about outbound calls and pressing the flesh at industry events--it's about using these online channels to communicate how you think and how you speak, and to give an overall feeling of your business by maintaining a presence in the many online channels. Use this book to help you become a valued member of the many communities that exist and are looking for you not only to join, but also to lead.

If you look at how the Web is performing as a pure networking tool, we're already seeing great results at the relationship level with successful online dating and successful online social networking sites--and this is just the beginning.

There are many more new connections to be made.

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