In a recent business meeting [ where I was also showing my portfolio ], someone remarked that Iâ€™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 Iâ€™d been an avid online networker for about two years and that Iâ€™d gotten 80% of my business because of online business networking portals like LinkedIn and openBC.
And their reaction was â€œOh! Really? You mean to say that these networks really work?â€
And I said â€œOh! Yes they do!â€
And since then Iâ€™ve been thinking that it is not LinkedInâ€™s or openBCâ€™s responsibility to do the networking for me. They have provided an excellent networking field for me and it is upto me to â€œworkâ€ 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 â€“ 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?
Itâ€™s mostly word-of-mouth and referrals.
In the virtual world, it is easier to find information â€“ you have the online business networking portalâ€™s search functions and you have Google. They point you to peopleâ€™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.
Itâ€™s netWORKing. You have to work the network to make it work for you!