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Sunday, July 24, 2011

What's Your Social Networking Strategy? | BEING THERE WHEN IT COUNTS

Rick Itzkowich
Being There When It Counts with Rick Itzkowich

Up until recently I didn’t have a strategy for my Social Networking (SN) activities. I had joined several different SN in the hopes of getting more business. The results of my efforts showed my lack of strategic thinking. I was putting in some effort, and I was getting very little in return. The saying "hope is not a good business plan" certainly applied to my SN tactics.

Fortunately my strategy started evolving. Borrowing from my face-to-face networking experience, I realized that the first thing I needed to change was my attitude. It was necessary for me to move away from "what can I get?" to "what can I give?” The best analogy I've seen is one of a bank account. Any time you do something for someone, you are, in essence, making a deposit into their bank account. And every time you ask for something from someone, you are making a withdrawal. In order to ask others (withdraw), you first must have the money in the account (deposit). Once I began doing this, everything started falling into place.

One of the things I can easily give is useful information and resources. Through my personal growth company, we specialize in helping people and organizations build strong relationships. Over the 20 years I have accumulated a lot of useful information in this area. In addition I have been formally networking for over 10 years. For this reason I can easily “give” or make people feel welcome. I know how daunting it can be when you first attend an event or a meeting and you hardly know anyone. So having someone who is friendly and welcoming is of great help. The great thing about these two activities is that they don't require me to put anything at risk. Keep in mind giving direct referrals will come later during the credibility-trust phase of the process.

With giving information and building relationships in mind, I decided to start writing articles that people would find useful. To date I've done three, and I'm looking to continue doing more. I also started looking to answer questions that members post in the various forums on the different SN sites. This third step may surprise you--I self-appointed myself as a host to a number of social networking sites. I make a consistent effort to welcome and introduce myself to new members. This combination of “what can I give?” items has helped me build my network of people.

Once I started seeing some results from my efforts, I started inviting other people to join the different sites I had joined. I could now speak from experience that the sites were worthwhile. Now I'm giving something to the people I'm inviting while also giving something to my online community. It’s like making two deposits at one time. Now that's leverage!

The next step in the strategy is to build credibility and trust. Credibility and trust are key ingredients to successfully network online and offline. Finding a way to build these elements is essential. Beside writing articles, I’m also building my credibility by offering a free teleseminar. This is a wonderful vehicle to showcase what I know and how I can help people. The way I'm building trust is by receiving the endorsement of others. The easiest way to have people recommend me is to find the quality things they do for me and endorse them first. As I do this, more and more people return the favor.

The last step is to build exposure. The Referral Institute® has a process they call VCP which stands for Visibility, Credibility and Profitability. Simply put, people need to know about you and trust you before they will do business with you. I am definitely gaining exposure by leveraging some of the activities I've discussed. For instance, I can post the same article on varied SN sites. I can also list my teleseminar on different sites as well. The same Rick Itzkowich-branded content is now appearing in many places allowing different audiences to get to know me.

To summarize if you are going to take the time to jump on the Social Network bandwagon, do it with a success strategy. In his book Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business, Larry Web encourages all of us to get on board sooner rather then later. I look forward to meeting and greeting you soon!

This month's QuoteAction is by Former Secretary of State, James Foster Dulles

"The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year."

Your action is to write down one of your current tough problems, then ask yourself if you had this same problem last year. If so, then seek additional help to solve your problem.

Enjoy an Extraordinary Month!

Click *here* to find out more about QuoteActions and some of the other innovative products and services offered by THE NATIONAL NETWORKER.

Rick Itzkowich
The LinkedIn Guy

As the creator of
QuoteActions, a unique relationship building system, Rick Itzkowich finds his articles, podcasts and blog messages regarding keeping your brand "top of mind" in high demand.

His, latest product
Link Power Coaching Program, is a must for those people wanting to earn money using LinkedIn.

Rick is also the Co-founder of
Productive Learning & Leisure, a personal development training company for corporations and individuals.
Rick can be reached at

For more information, please visit Rick's TNNWC Bio.

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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