I think it’s pretty well accepted that in any business these days you need to have or develop a skill in ‘networking’, online and offline. Some say that people in home based business need this more than others, because we don’t have a supporting corporate structure to make connections for us.
At any rate, I think most of us would recognise that some people seem to be more skilful than others at the networking game. And I believe some people feel that you are either a ‘natural’ networker or you aren’t. Well, I love connecting with people, but effective social and business networking, aimed at outcomes, needs – in my experience – more than a gregarious outlook. There are skills that can be learnt. The corollary is that if you are not ‘naturally’ outgoing or gregarious, there are skills that you can learn and acquire to enable you to network effectively.
One of the most experienced and skilled networkers I know, especially in the online world, is Joe Bartling. I’m happy to be connected with Joe through our shared membership of the professional networking service Linkedin. Joe has in fact written a 22 page report on how to make the most of membership of Linkedin, with the (tongue-in-cheek) title of “How to Double Your Income in 6 Months Using LinkedIn” (access to this via the link in the next sentence). Today Joe has written a very neat, well-referenced blog post Linkedin: Adding Connections by Fishing in a Bucket.
What Joe does – which from what he writes is what I would call ‘controlled fishing in a bucket’ if that’s not stretching the metaphor too much – is not currently what I do, but I respect the fact that Joe has done a lot of research in this field and knows that of which he writes