Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Movin' On

Well...as you can see, not much has been happening here at Learning 2 Network. I love business-to-business networking, but I found the topic to be too limiting for me. I'm also a salesman, a speaker and a marketer. While all of these things require networking, the topic this blog was built around just wasn't exciting me.

So with that said, I've started a new blog that I think will allow me to incorporate all my interests into one spot. It called Interaction Sells. This blog will be a journal of the things I'm learning as I work to improve in all of the areas mentioned above. Come take a look, but be patient with me as I get a feel for this new project.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Learning Social Online Networking

I've been networking for a long time. I have a lot of "Old School" habits that I'm trying to break and one of them is avoiding Online Social Networking.

While I use the internet to add value to my networking through blogs like this, I still don't fully understand how to maximize the benefits of Online Social Networking. Since one of my goals is to make Learning 2 Network a powerful resource for business networking education, I have a responsibility to read up on this new networking medium and pass that info on to you. As I continue to educate myself, I will be sharing what I find. With that in mind, I'd like to start with this article. It's a simple explanation of how you can use LinkedIn (the social networking site I've been focusing my attention on) effectively. As I find other helpful sites and articles, I'll pass them on.

PS - Take a second to click on the LinkedIn Button in the sidebar to see my LinkedIn Profile. If you're a member of LinkedIn, send me an invitation.

Monday, January 21, 2008

One Way to Get Known

One of the best ways to get known is to get published. Jeffrey Gitomer touches on this point often. His column, Sales Moves, is published in a number of Trade Journals around the country. He also writes an E-zine called Sales Caffeine that is distributed electronically to well over 100,000 subscribers weekly. He practices what he preaches!

Another way to get published is blogging. That's what I do. But how can someone just starting out drive some hits to a blog like mine, or to a page to sign up for an E-zine like Jeffrey's? One way is submitting articles to Article Submission Sites. These sites are places you can go to submit free reprint articles to promote yourself by sharing what you know about what you specialize in. Sites like these are an outlet for companies that write E-zines or blogs. Many of them are on the prowl for good content they can use as a filler. This makes producing their publication easier for them, because they don't have to come up with all the content. And it's a great opportunity for you, because if a company includes your article in their publication they're required to include your byline, which can lead people to your site.

Here is a list of Article Submission Sites. Some are active, and others are dead. There are many more, but this is a good start. Part of networking is getting known. This is just another way for you to get the word out about yourself.

Image: IncreaseYourRanking.com

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hand Written Notes

While out perusing the web, I ran across this great post on Some Assembly Required. It served as a reminder to me that I need to start writing more hand written thank you notes. I do it from time-to-time, but often neglect it. Each time I've taken the time to do this though, I've received an overwhelming response!

Hand written notes really do work. Don't let the excuses Thom mentions keep you from utilizing this powerful tool. If you're trying to build a relationship, a personal touch goes a long way!

Image: charmaineyoest.com

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Don't Give Online Networking Sites More Credit than They Deserve

It is tempting to avoid face-to-face meetings for some, but they are still the best way to build relationships. While you've heard me say that it's important to learn how to network online, especially for Owls, you can't just fill out the information in LinkedIn and expect people to flock to you with their friendship and referrals. There is more to it than that.

Ivan Misner makes some good points about this in one of his latest posts on his blog, Networking Now. Click here to learn a little more about this subject.

If you liked this post, be sure to visit my other blog: Jim Sharp

If you'd like to be updated when I add a post, e-mail me at Jim@wolffind.com

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

6 Degrees of Separation

You may have heard about the 6 Degrees of Separation, but if you haven't, it's pretty simple. All it means is that...

if a person is one step away from each person he or she knows and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people he or she knows, then everyone is an average of six "steps" away from each person on Earth. Several studies, such as Milgram's small world experiment, have been conducted to empirically measure this connectedness. While the exact number of links between people differs depending on the population measured, it is generally found to be relatively small. (Reference)

I started thinking about this wondering if it is really true. So I came up with a scenario, I was wondering how I might get an audience with our sitting President. Who do I know that might be able to make that happen? As it turned out, I didn't have to look very far to make a connection. In fact, I only had to look as far as my father.

My dad and I work together. We are both in sales and he specializes in servicing the sharpening and cutting needs of different industries. One of those industries is the poultry industry.

Over the years, we've both built relationships with many of the higher-ups at the different poultry plants. One of my dad's best business friends is a fellow that worked right up along side one of the CEO's of one of the major poultry processors in Texas. Because this CEO is a Responsible American Businessman, he is involved in the political arena in his state. That means he knows George W. Bush. BINGO! A connection! And only 3 Degrees of Separation.

Now does that mean this ladder of contacts will get my an audience with President Bush? Maybe! It can't hurt to ask! But to be honest with all of you, while I think it would be fun to get to meet with the President, I'd rather meet the CEO. It's just a business thing and that drops the degrees to 2!

So what's the point? This shows me that there is at least some truth to the 6 Degrees of Separation. It also shows that your network has incredible potential! How are you treating that web of potential? How much value do you offer it? Who do you know you can refer to others?

If you liked this post, be sure to visit my other blog: Jim Sharp

Monday, January 14, 2008

This Stinks!!!

You know how things work sometimes! Here you are pounding out all kinds of valuable information for your contact list. You send them referrals. You help them when they ask. And what does it seem like you get for all your hard work? NOTHING! And you start thinking, "THIS STINKS!"

It's my job to tell you not to give up! When I married my wife, I was told that marriage is a give and take. But I think it's more like a give, give, give and take! Networking relationships are like this too.

As networkers, it's not about "what can you do for me?" It's about "what can I do for you!" We shouldn't be keeping score!

Instead of waiting to see what your network might do for you this week, why not set a goal to do something for each of them? Don't wait to be repaid. If you keep giving, any help you need from your network will come!

If you liked this post, be sure to visit my other blog: Jim Sharp