Online Business Networking: How Personal is Too Personal?
Online networking has opened up some fantastic business opportunities for solo entrepreneurs. You can open an account with one of the major online business networks such as Ryze, and get to know industrious and inspiring minds from all corners of the world.
Many of these networks offer the option to design your own web page, where visitors can surf on by and learn a little about who you are, what you do, and how your knowledge and experience might be of assistance to them. You can post pictures, logos, art, descriptive text... pretty much whatever you like. It's an amazing chance to build your brand, whether it's your company brand, organizational brand, or your personal brand.
But the question that springs to mind when you're designing your page for the purpose of building business relationships is this: just how much personal information do I reveal?
I myself have never been a huge fan of divulging too much about myself to people I don't know very well. But other people, it seems, are not so reserved in their self-expression. I've come across pages where people have posted pictures of their children, pets, deceased parents, friends... I've read pages where folks openly flout their religious beliefs... all this while *maybe* making a brief mention of their home business, whether it's gourmet coffee sales, software development, career coaching or whatever the case may be.
Frankly, I am miffed by this practice. I thought that online business networking was supposed to be just that: a way to cultivate business relationships. How are your personal beliefs relevant to the products and/or services you're trying to market?
Let's say you're a business analyst. On your page, you include some information about your background and current line of work, which is great. But then you mention your great faith in the Lord and how you believe he is the reason for your own personal happiness.
Want to know what I think as I read this page? First I think, "Hey, this guy sounds like he knows his stuff!" Then when I get to the mini-sermon, I think: "Oh. Looks like this person wants to limit his business assocations to Christians... or maybe if I talk to him, he might try to convert me."
I'm not saying that I am or am not a religious person. I just don't think my personal beliefs belong in the same place as my company advertising. How does your faith in God build a case for you being an intelligent and savvy businessperson? It doesn't.
The same goes for family photos. On the one hand, it's refreshing to get a glimpse at people's lifestyles and what's important to them. But when I stumble upon network pages that look more like a family photo album than a business ad, I leave those pages not really understanding what it is that the person was trying to sell. And yes, nine times out of ten, somebody on a business network is trying to sell something.
In studying the homepages of folks who use global business networking, I've noticed a curious thing. Global networking can have some pretty ironic results. What do I mean? Well, this is your chance to pitch your product to the world. Yet, by clearly defining yourself, you really box yourself into one niche. In categorizing yourself as a certain type of individual, you may inadvertantly lose the attention/interest of people who do not fall into this category, thereby crippling your business potential.
Let's say you're a work-at-home mom who writes for a living. That's all well and good, and sure, building relationships with other work-at-home moms may be a great way to swap ideas and solutions. But if everything you produce seems to shout, "I'm a WAHM," what message does that send to folks who are not work-at-home moms? How does this cultivate your image as an experienced writer?
Does your exclusivity within a group promote your business and bring in sales? Or does it limit your potential for professional growth? It's something worth considering as you create your online neworking persona.
Lending a personal touch to your business networking page and company website can really bring some warmth, and a sense of, "Hey, this seems like a nice person who I'd feel comfortable doing business with." A couple of brief mentions of family, hobbies and interests paint you as a well-rounded individual and this builds a case for your reputation as being trustworthy.
But I must impose my opinion on you now, that revealing too much personal information can in fact dilute the power of your brand. What do you want to be known as: the woman who owns the best catering service on the east coast, or, "That lady with five kids and a cute cat who volunteers at the local hospital and oh, I think she has some kind of online business or something."
Maybe I'm misinterpreting the purpose of an online business network. But I really don't think so.
Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.
Dina Giolitto is a New-Jersey based Copywriting Consultant with ten years of industry experience. Her current focus is web content and web marketing for a multitude of products and services although the bulk of her experience lies in retail for big-name companies like Toys"R"Us. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for rates and samples.
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
The Networking Industry Is Merely Collateral Damage In Amazon's Potential Push Into Network Switches - Forbes
Arrcus Emerges From Stealth, Re-Imagines the Operating System for Modern Networking Infrastructure - GlobeNewswire (press release)
How to Create an Interest Story for the Press
What makes a good interest story?An interest story is just that, an interest story. It means that you have something interesting to say and therefore have something of interest to be printed.
The Quest for Passive Income
Passive Income, residuals, royalties three ways to get paid multiple times for a one-time effort. You write a song in 1970 it gets covered by many artists.
Did You Market Yourself Today?
"If you build a better mouse trap - the world will beat a path to your door."Do you still believe that?Let's try another one.
How to Keep from Sounding LIKE Totally Stupid
June is reality check month. Lots of the resolutions have been made and most are already broken.
Work that Room, Baby!
Networking, schmoozing, making connections. Call it what you want, it's something that is a necessity if you want to do business today.
Networking: What the Heck is a Ryze?
If you're new to the internet marketing club, you may have heard about "Ryze." What is that, you wonder? Ryze refers to the Ryze Business Network at http://Ryze.
Sell For Yourself Or Sell For Your Boss?
First of all I would like to start this article by saying no matter what job you are in now, no matter what product you are selling, you will NEVER NEVER get the just reward that you are were entitled too when you made all those sales for your boss. Fact of Life.
8 Ways To Develop Confidence In New Situations
Do you enjoy one-on-one networking, however, the thought of walking into room full of people you don't know horrifies you? You're not alone. Yes, even a social butterfly, President of the Social Committee in High School and avid networker knows how you feel.
Creating Successful Alliances and Partnerships through Networking
Douglas Wilder, former Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the first elected Black Governor in the United States gave me advice that I will never forget. He said, "From this point on, when you walk into a room, walk in that room like you own it, when you talk with people remember to stand on your principles, keep your word, and people will want to associate with you.
Make Money on the Internet - The Lifestyle Advantages of Professional Marketers
Some of the most successful businesses in existence today started in a box room, bedroom or garage. It isn't how you start out to make money at home that is important.
Politics, Religion, Race; Conversational No-No's in Business
Do not destroy all your positive displacement and high energy and customer confidence by discussing politics in your small business. Remember not every one in the world is as smart as you are or sees as much dealing with all these different types of customers in so many different professions each day.
Where Does That Word Come From?
"Instead of a handshake, I gave Toby a high-five to break the ice; and when we sat down on the front porch and started talking off the cuff, it was as if serendipity brought us together."That sentence contains several words and actions you see and hear every day.
Lesson 15 - Meeting the Prince with More Reputation than Power
The StoryBusiness has a habit of testing us as individuals and as entrepreneurs. Several years ago I retained my first entertainment agent to represent my business and me.
Five Stumbling Blocks To Successful Networking And How To Overcome Them
The ability to connect with people is essential to success in any business. Professional networking events present opportunities to interact with others on a personal level and to develop profitable relationships.
Networking to a New Life
Research shows that talking to strangers -- not people in your comfort zone -- is the single most powerful key to a creative career and business move. Yet many people resist.
Network marketing is the ordinary person's best opportunity to make extraordinary income. Well known author, Robert Kiyosaki, says that most ethical network marketing businesses are like business schools.
Growing Your Network of People Can be Easy and Fun!
A few years back when I moved to Charlotte, NC for the first time, I came with high hopes of starting my business for the first time. We picked Charlotte because it was a growing city with a lot of potential.
Come Home Rich - How to Get the Most out of Your Next Conference
Success in your career depends upon how well you manage your professional development. A prime source of this development comes from being a member of a professional association that relates to your career.
How Well Do Your Customers Know You?
Know your customer, know your customer, know your customer. Three very important rules of business.
Sharpen Your Business Networking Skill To Grow Your Small Business
Most people become lax at maintaining their professional business network when they've worked with a company a while. With the constant rounds of mass layoffs, having a dead or outdated business network can mean business suicide to even the most skilled expert.
|home | site map|