As I meet people in my face-to-face networking, I always hear this comment from business owners who haven’t entered into Social Networking yet: “I don’t have time to tweet! I’m busy enough dealing with e-mail and running my business.”
This blog post is for YOU–the business owner/entrepreneur/corporation president who thinks Social Networking is a waste of time or you think you don’t have time to tweet.
I’ve probably met you in person and urged you to come here and read this or I’ve sent you this link in an email. Thank you for taking time to read this because I hope you’ll see how you’ve been missing out out on the fastest way to build your business: by properly using Twitter to build your Social Network: a community of friends and fans, who, in turn, help you build your business.
Tweeting builds your business, so, take time to tweet and you’ll reach your goals more quickly and invest less time and money doing it. After you read this and see how much time you’re already investing in face-to-face networking, please read my other blog posts for tips on how to get started in Twitter. Here’s a popular blog post that thousands of people have read: Top 10 Most Powerful Twitter Tips for Brand New Beginners.
I’m not advocating that you give up face-to-face networking and meeting people in person. No, no, no. In fact, as you build relationships online, there will come a time when you should phone people you’ve tweeted with and meet them in person (safely)—that’s when the magic can really happen because you’ve gotten to know each other online. It’s almost like meeting old friends.
Don’t have time to tweet? But you DO have time to attend face-to-face networking events and follow up and have coffee with some of the people you met at those events? Is that working for you? Are you getting leads, referrals, signed contracts due to those efforts? That’s great if you are. I’m guessing you’re spending a lot of time to get a few successful results. Did you know you can spend HALF the amount of time and get much, much better results? Thanks to Social Networking through my Social Media profiles, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, our revenue at DaGama Web Studio, Inc. has tripled in the last quarter of this year, so far.
Let’s add up how many hours you’re investing with your time (time is money) when you attend face-to-face networking events:
- 1-2 hours: Time spent getting ready (ladies: count 2 hours if you shop for something new to wear or get your hair done) ; registering ahead of time; driving over to the event. $20 to pay to get into the event.
- 3 hours: Time you’re actually at the event, plus drive time home. $3 for gas, $6 for a glass of wine.
- Total, so far: 3-4 hours and $29.00, not to mention your hourly salary rate (if you’ve ever figured out what that is).
Note: we don’t have to continue this calculation–we can stop right now–because you clearly see that you’ve already invested at least 3-4 hours or more and this doesn’t even count the really important part: following up with people you meet and building the relationships further.
But let’s continue with figuring out how much time you’re spending on face-to-face networking and then let’s examine if it’s getting you any results (leads, referrals, signed contracts, people to collaborate with, new friends).
- 8 hours: Follow-up/building relationships with three people: If you follow up with those people (do you follow up?), how many hours do you spend trying to reach these new people (phone tag and an exchange of emails of best times to meet); driving over to have coffee with them and getting to know them? Let’s say you try to reach three people. Eight hours of your time has now been invested in arranging times to meet, driving over, and spending about two hours with each person. Mind you, these are people you just met at the networking event. You’ve never talked to them before. There’s very little rapport at this point.
This step of meeting, face-to-face, is very important, no matter if you met someone through Social Networking online, or at a face-to-face networking event or other social event. Getting to know each other is vital to building trust and building relationships. Keep in mind, that if you did this after meeting someone for the first time at a networking event, it will most likely take more time and more meetings to build up more trust. Potentially, this could take months to achieve.
- Coffee Chat $$ invested: You’ve invited them, so you should pay for their lattes. Add this to your own coffee tab and the total for 6 lattes=$30 (not counting tips).
TOTAL time and MONEY: 12-14 hours and $59 for three people, who will either do business with you or refer you to someone they know. Three people. And remember, we’re not even factoring what your hourly time is worth (probably at least $100 per hour).
I’m not saying that in-person meetings should go away and tweeting should replace face-to-face meetings. I AM saying you can save a lot of time when you do use Twitter to build your Social Network and then meet face-to-face if it feels right.
Here’s the really terrific part of this blog post: You can get more business in half the time, with zero dollars spent, when you make more meaningful relationships through Social Networking. As long as you follow the cardinal rule of “be social” and “don’t hard-sell,” you’ll succeed in building your business through Social Networking.
How do you start? Start by making your mind shift to a new way of thinking: trust is the “new” marketing. When people trust you, they’re more likely to refer business to you, do business with you, or at least help you build your community (also known as your “tribe”) of fans, friends, and followers. Watch this video, by SocialNomics, for some mind-blowing facts about the Internet and Social Media marketing: then come back here and please finish reading this blog post: Is Social Media a Fad?
“Social Media is a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.” – SocialNomics
Bottomline: Take time to tweet (and work your LinkedIn network and profile; and socialize in Facebook)–you’ll enrich your life, both personally and professionally. I promise you that when you learn how to build communities through Social Networking, (making sure you’re doing it the right and good way) you WILL grow your business…but more importantly, you’ll grow, as a human being. (Surprise! Yes, you will!).
Please write down your thoughts…I would really love to hear from you.