Sunday, November 24, 2013

Niche Social Networks - How to Use Them to Build Your Business

For a wide variety of professional services, joining a niche social network for your industry is a great way to learn from others, share your expertise, and create opportunities for referrals online.

If you are in trade, retail or some professional service categories, getting listed in an online directory can also get you more exposure online. Directory sites where customers can post or rate their experiences with service providers give you a great opportunity to build an online reputation and get online referrals.
Fill in your profile completely. Add the photo, list your full range of services. Add as much information as you can. An incomplete listing makes you look unprofessional and disinterested in attracting new business. Visitors will always be drawn to the most interesting and comprehensive listings not anonymous silhouettes with only a name and a phone number.
Participate. Frequently. Share your questions. Answer other peoples questions, and be a valuable resource. The same "Givers Gain" principles apply here. Frequent participation creates relationships in the same way as BNI or any other in person networking group..
Overextend your activities. Sign up for a few, rather than all the opportunities you see for your industry. Pick the most active site and start there. Its much, much better to be a frequent contributor on one or two sites, than join them all and barely participate.
Flog Your Services. Social networks are online communities. The same rules of in-person networking applies here. Don't stand up in the online room and drone on about why people should buy from you. Demonstrate the value of your services through your interactions and knowledge.
If you pick the right one or two sites, and work them consistently, you will quickly see some results on your efforts. Overtime you will build a reputation and the leads will start to follow.
Caroline Wright is a professional virtual assistant. Her company, The Wright Solution, has provided internet marketing services and executive assistance to small business owners, realtors, coaches and non-profits, working with them to implement and execute marketing campaigns and streamline administration since 2000. She is a long-time member of the International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA), and holds their Certified Virtual Assistant designation (CVA), the Certified Real Estate Support Specialist (CRESS) designation and has passed the industry's Ethics Check exam. Professional Virtual Assistance | Internet Marketing | Social Media Support. Interested to learn more about social networking?
FREE e-Course: Social Media and How to Use it Effectively in Your Business.