Friday, May 29, 2009

Turning Online Profiles into Profits

What is the actual ROI for the time invested in creating and maintaining profiles in the online community? The answer really depends upon your involvement. Similar to traditional (face-2-face or f2f) networking, your return is directly related to the amount of effort you exert. During an f2f networking event, we understand simply showing up is not enough. This is true of online networking as well. Simply creating a profile online does not guarantee your phone will ring or your email inbox will be full. One of my clients 'Alfred', is an artistic and creative individual. He creates outstanding marketing tools for various industries. Alfred also happens to be an introvert. At f2f networking events, he finds it difficult to approach others and start a conversation. With online networking, he initially felt a sense of relief knowing he could be behind his computer and avoid the small talk required in f2f networking. Alfred quickly learned he was experiencing a false sense of relief. He had all but stopped attending f2f events thinking his online presence would be more than sufficient. He then spent too much time perfecting his profile and waiting for his phone to ring. Our first step together was in developing and sharpening Alfred's skills in order for him to be successful and at ease at f2f events. He was challenged to attend a few events and to ask very specific questions to at least 5 people. He was not allowed to talk about himself or his business unless directly asked. Next, we placed parameters around the time he spent on his social media. By blocking out appointment time on his calendar, he was relieved of the pressure to maintain a current profile. Each block of time had a specific goal that, one step at a time, would move him towards achieving his ultimate financial goal. We then tackled his online presence, promoting his skills and business expertise in a manner that would generate interest and revenue. Alfred now attends at least 3 f2f networking events a month and has a strong following in his online communities. He has joined several online groups that are relevant to his profession and expertise. He is active in both the online and f2f communities and has seen his connections and popularity grow exponentially. We have created the space for him to generate revenue streams from areas he never considered. Two of these oportunities he hadn't known even existed. In less than 6 months, Alfred's revenue has grown by 35%. Not too shabby in this economy! His experience was the inspiration for our upcoming workshop. Whatever type of networking you do, it takes work. And time. Choose the right arenas, roll up your sleeves and have fun. It's all about the journey. To Your Success, Debra

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