The past several weeks my wife, Alicia, has been signing up for some of the popular social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and recently started her own Facebook page. In her position as state sales manager with Chicago Title of Michigan, this is one of the ways that she's trying to differentiate herself (and her sales team) to help build relationships with customers, and also be able to show her customers how to build their own relationships and build their businesses.
As a Certified Internet Business Consultant with WSI, I am looking at the benefits of social networking for businesses all the time and excited about having her come on board. Since she's still somewhat of a "newbie" to this space, it's good for me to ensure that I can explain some of what's going on in this space in "common terminology" so that the average business person can understand. Granted, she's catching up quickly, but we have had a couple of great conversations on exactly HOW to use these sites to promote yourself, your "brand" and eventually the products and services that you represent that help put food on the table.
As with any successful marriage (and those of you who are married can appreciate this), communication is critical to ongoing happiness. This certainly was the case when we taught the class on Sales Skills for Bankers at the Perry School of Banking the past two years for the Michigan Bankers Association. This is just one more area where I need to make sure that I'm doing a good job of helping to ensure that she (and then, my customers) understand what all this means. It's been a lot of fun trying to explain things from a different perspective and the process has made me a better "educator" along the way.
If you're thinking about dipping your toe into the wonderful world of social networking, I say go for it. It's a great way to tell the world what you're all about and make connections that could develop into something great. Whether it's renewing an old friendship from high school or maybe a new business relationship, you might just be surprised. From a business perspective, we all do business with people we know and trust (and like), and the new social networking sites help build your online personality and enable others to get to know you.
So give it a try. If you need a little help along the way, let me know and I'll be happy to help point you in the right direction. Or, just wait a few more weeks and you can give Alicia a buzz. Before long she's going to be an expert too!
Great job honey, I'm proud of you...