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Sep
10 2013

The Secret Fears That Block Online Network Success.

Syndicated from: Networking for Results Blog

Success in business and in life is based on relationships. Networking is to relationships what a down payment is to home ownership: an integral, necessary part, but only one link towards the outcome. It acts as a spark that ignites the relationship that evolves and expands as the process unfolds. This is applicable for any network. During face-to-face contacts, we usually feel a little anxious, but most of us fare fairly well. Yet when it comes to networking online, we approach networking from a completely different perspective, one that limits our actions and our outcomes. There are three specific issues that complicate and impede both our ability, and our willingness to participate actively. Technology: Often, we join an online network and never the time or effort to learn the mechanics or get familiar with the infrastructure of the platform, leading to a sense of overwhelm and intimidation every time we log on. Solution: embrace the technology; it’s here to stay. Take advantage of the many options available to learn how to manage your presence and commit to using the technology. But most importantly, start using it. This is the single most effective way to achieve online  network success. Do it! Environment: One of the biggest issues with online networks is the lack of human contact. It is a one-way communication platform that can be cold and impersonal, and will be filtered by the recipient. Solution: overcome online “relationship inertia” by over-compensating the human dynamic. Use a reverse-perspective when communicating by asking yourself “what will this person read?” before sending. A positive by-product of the lack of personal connection is that the network context is much more powerful. Online, people actually feel more appreciative of your contact. Fear: online, there is a huge amount of natural fear (rejection, embarrassment, failure) as well as some lack of understanding of proper online etiquette, which creates emotional resistance. Remember, everyone has this same problem! Solution: focus on past success (most people are happy to connect) and accept reality (some may not reply). Take responsibility for initiating contact. Make it easy for others. They’ll appreciate your proactive approach. When you’re not sure what to do online, ask yourself “what would I do at a face-to-face event?” It’s almost always the right answer. In today’s wired world, it’s time to face your online fears by recognizing the power and potential of social networks. Build your technology skills, leverage the uniqueness of this environment, and embrace the unknown. Do you a question about networking for social network results? Email me at info@NetworkingForResults.com.  

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