Strategic Networking: Take the Shortest Path to Success

Do you use Ryze or LinkedIn to promote your web based business? If so, you may have noticed that everything is linked to everything else. Here's how to take the shortest path to networking success: use keywords and a targeted linking strategy.

On Ryze and other major networks, connections are happening everywhere. It's like real life, but far more obvious because it's in print before your eyes. But what you may not have noticed, is that keywords are the very thing that drives your online business connections.

Online networks such as Ryze have live links built into them for a reason. They're your opportunity to directly connect with people who can help you achieve your business goals. Such links enable you to "trace a path" from connection to connection. If you think about this long enough, it may occur to you that you can shorten that path to the best connections if you incorporate a linking strategy into your networking plan. How to go about this? Use keywords and "key people" who can help you get to the place in life where you want to be.

Include Keywords In Your Personal Profile

As you build your personal Ryze page, you'll notice that you get to add descriptive words to your profile to define who you are. You're free to use any words you want, but the idea, again, is to take the most direct route to success. So choose words, or keywords if you will, that will help you "find and be found."

Let's use your location as an example. If you click right on the state where you live, you can "pivot" on the word to see a list of every Ryze member who lives in that state, too. The same goes for every other live link you get on Ryze. You are in control of these links.

Now suppose you want to link up to people who share your personal hobbies and interests. Type in the words to describe your interests as they're most commonly known.

Let's say you're a golfer. You can attract other golf enthusiasts with the simple keyword "golf." You can of course type in something like "putting around" but what other golfer is going to choose those exact words for his interest list? Maybe one other guy, and if you can find him then you're soulmates and should probably marry each other. Just kidding!

Remember, the point of online network links is not to be original, but to make connections. If you feeling like getting creative, you can always do that on your homepage. Write fabulous copy. Include breathtaking photos. Just make sure that your links are beefed up with common keywords for prime networking opportunities.

Adding Key People: Target Your Links!

In much the same way that a smart advertiser pulls in his audience using keywords and highly targeted copy in every ad he writes, you should be pointing all your Ryze links to the people, groups, and opportunities that will point your business in a highly focused and profitable direction.

Some Ryze members try to really work the Friends List angle. Every once in a while an aggressive Ryzer sends me a message like, "Hi Dina, I noticed you didn't say hello when you stopped by my page." And then they want to add me to their Friends list right away.

First of all, I know for a fact that I never Ryzed by Joe Bagadonuts's Ryze page, and he's not going to trick me into thinking I did. So tone it down, Joe, you're coming on too strong.

Second of all, I have my own theory about Ryze, and it's that adding everyone to my Friends List is going to defeat the purpose of me being there in the first place.

Think about this: What if you could add every Ryze member to your Friend's List? Pretty cool, huh? You'd be royally hooked up with awesome connections! Right?

No. You'd be right back where you started on Ryze. A massive pool of connections to pore through to do some decent business, and you don't know where to start. Kinda paradoxical, isn't it.

The answer, of course, is to be more selective in who you link to. Hook up with those who offer services, information, support and advice that you need to grow your business. How to do this? Join networks.

Joining the Right Networks Will Bring Hits to Your Page

When you first join Ryze, join networks. Not necessarily a ton of networks, but the ones that will help forward your business objective along. This is how you get "hits" to your page. Why? Because online networks are simply a miniature model of the World Wide Web! You must get out there in order for people to see you, and you must communicate who you are and what you stand for... or no one will know you exist.

Suppose you sell all-natural coffee, and you want to do some writing for the coffee industry as well as put out a newsletter to your email subscriber list of coffee drinkers, which you don't have yet because you only just started your business. Also, somewhere down the line maybe you'd like to revamp your website, but that's not in the budget right now.

Your networking strategy whould be as follows: join a network of coffee fans, another network of natural foodies, a writing group, an email and/or ezine publishing group, and a web design group. Participate in each of those groups. Jump right into the conversation.

You'll find that networks which coincide with your Big Plan, are appealing because members are often interested in achieving the same goals as you are. In talking with them over time, you'll develop mutually beneficial relationships that lead to new opportunities.

Another perk of joining the right networks: new Ryzers and Floating Ryzers who "Ryze on by" the networks will scan the list of members, see your name, and maybe reach out to make a connection with you. That's how to be "found" by the right people. "Target" your networking, and carve a path to success and prosperity for your home-based web business.

Your Friends List is Your Circle of Trust

So now you're probably wondering what the heck that Friends List is for. Your Friends can be anybody you wish, but ideally they should be people you know and trust.

My Friends list orginates from the first dot-com group that I worked for, whose members all belonged to Ryze and urged me to join. It also includes people I "pulled in" from the outside world. In my opinion, and if you don't agree with this, that's perfectly okay... your Ryze Friends List should be a cluster of "set connections" - your Circle of Trust. It should consist of the people with whom you've had positive prior experiences, are making current plans with, and have established solid, long-term relationships.

Why should this matter? Well, I don't know about you but I'd much rather deal with people who I KNOW AND TRUST than random others who merely added me to their friend list to build a huge following. Me, I want strong links in my people chain. But that's just me.

Example: suppose I'm looking to hire a tech guy. Will I contact a tech guy that's connected to a person I barely know? Of course not! I'll choose someone who comes with a recommendation from a trusted friend: someone on my Friends List. All the more reason to keep your Ryze Friends List "pure." I can't explain it any better than this.

Of course, not every network you join will be related to your business. You can join for the social aspect alone, and that's perfectly okay. Because another cool thing about online networking is that you can keep your groups separate if you want!

The best online networks, like Ryze, are ingeniously designed to make the most of your connections in every facet of your business and your life. In much the same way we make real-time connections, online networks afford opportunities to build profitable and trusting relationships. Why not use that to your advantage?

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

Find out how crisp, targeted copywriting can make a world of difference for your business. Dina Giolitto is a Copywriting Consultant with ten years of experience. Visit http://Wordfeeder.com for free tips on branding, copywriting, article marketing, and more.

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