In a recent business meeting [ where I was also showing my portfolio ], someone remarked that I’d done quite a few LinkedIn logos [ logos for LinkedIn India, LinkedIn Socially and suggestions for the LinkedIn Power Women Yahoo Groups ]. I told them that I’d been an avid online networker for about two years and that I’d gotten 80% of my business because of online business networking portals like LinkedIn and openBC.

And their reaction was “Oh! Really? You mean to say that these networks really work?”

And I said “Oh! Yes they do!”

And since then I’ve been thinking that it is not LinkedIn’s or openBC’s responsibility to do the networking for me. They have provided an excellent networking field for me and it is upto me to “work” these networking fields and reap the rewards.

You will not get work / business / contact or a job just by virtue of being a member of LinkedIn or openBC [ regardless of whether you are a paid member or a free subscriber ].

In the brick and mortar world, where you strike deals over the phone and in face-to-face meeting, you HAVE TO pick up the phone and make that call. And you have to then create a conversation that makes sense.

Similarly in the virtual world, you have to take the initiative and send an e-mail and that e-mail / message HAS TO make sense – it should NOT be a boiler-plate unless your GOAL is to be IGNORED.

How do you know who to call in the brick and mortar world?
It’s mostly word-of-mouth and referrals.

In the virtual world, it is easier to find information – you have the online business networking portal’s search functions and you have Google. They point you to people’s blogs and website and then it is upto you to create a PERSONAL CONNECTION. Once that is done, connecting on openBC or LinkedIn is just a click away.

It’s netWORKing. You have to work the network to make it work for you!