Each and every one of us has something called a "sphere of influence". Simply put it is the people we know, our friends, families and acquaintaces. There is only one purpose to networking, to gain access to another's sphere. That's it in a nutshell. You want to be able to offer your product or service to people outside of your sphere. You've heard of the phrase 6 degrees of separation? That's basically the principle here. It's been said that everyone on earth can be connected to any other person within six levels. But you have to get outside of your immediate sphere to do it.
Everyone has their own sphere but it is limited. We all know how quickly that "warm" market runs out and we are stuck with a cold market. Tapping into another's sphere can give you another warm market to tap into. But the question to ask is what reason does that person have to let you access it.
This is where networking comes in and why you need to understand exactly what netwoking is. Networking is not jumping on social sites adding people to your contact list then thinking you are in. You are not in, you are just there. You have to get to know those people and build a relationship and this is where most networkers fail. so let me give you a list of the biggest blunders I constantly see online networkers make.
1. Spam- I don't care what you say to defend it spam will get you nowhere. A spammer is the online version of a high pressure used car salesman. No one cares anything about your products at this point everyone has their own products and they don't need you shoving yours in their face.
2. Parroting others- Everyone in the industry already has heard the messages of Napolean Hill, Robert Kiyosaki and others. They've already discovered the Law of Attraction, The Secret and every other positive thinking fad of the day. They don't need you to tell them about it. The impression that you are making is that of a robot, programmed to to spout off someone else's information.
3. Not being yourself- Each of us is an individual with our own personalities and experiences getting to know each other is the basis of building a relationship. If you are not being yourself you are lying to everyone on these sites. People need to know you, faults included!
4. Advertising - Doesn't your profile page provide a place to put the links to your products and services? Why do you need to constantly post on them? Believe me if someone is interested they will check it out. You should be posting more about you and what you've learned or experienced. Do it in your own words and from your own point of view. Once again another rehashed post about The Secret instead of your own experience in not telling anyone anything.
5. Being afraid to have fun- If you can't enjoy what you are doing why do it. If you can't have fun and enjoy life why would others want to be pulled into your dour little world? Personally I consider a sense of humor a requirement.
6. Neglecting the 1 on 1 contact- Sorry but just reading another post from you might give me a little insight but the 1 to 1 exchanges help me know you and also help you know me.
I won't refer my friends and family to anyone I don't know or trust, and most people won't. But if I know you and trust you, I'm more than happy to pass your name along to them when they need what you have. I'm perfectly willing to give you access to my sphere but there is a catch. We are networking here. That means that you have to be willing to do the same thing for me. Suppose you built just 5 solid relationships with others, give and take networking relationships. Would that improve your business?