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Friday, July 1, 2011

Social Networking: Establishing Your Credibility

by: Edie Stumpf

Imagine being able to connect with millions and millions of people all over the world. Now that social media has become a tremendous venue to connect, you have the opportunity to meet, and network with, people you wouldn't have normally ever met! Whether they are on the other side of the world - or just down the street - NOW is the time to begin reaching out and connecting.

Without establishing social media credibility, you will not attract quality connections or business. When you position yourself as the person with the right answers, then you will reap the benefits. But how do you create that credibility online?

First impressions count. Your probably have about 10 seconds to capture someone's attention online so it's imperative that you make it your best 10 seconds ever.

Let's take a look at your bio/profile:

Begin your profile by telling people (potential customers) what you do. Tell them what your expertise is...and don't forget to add your purpose (brand). The one thing lacking when networking online is that emotional connection. People also want to know that you have a personal side so give them some information which shows that you're not all business. Hobbies, favorite books, movies, music, etc.

Another way to make that emotional connection is by adding a headshot. Not wedding portrait, not a picture of you and the kids - or the pets. You must upload a picture of YOU. If your favorite picture of yourself is one of you in a group, then crop yourself out. People want to buy from YOU, not from your spouse, friends or pets.

Double check your bio/profile. It should be professional without being too self-idolizing or stuffy, and it should also show your human side. Be real, be authentic, and be transparent.

Now that your profile is working for you, the next step is to Be Social. Social media is a venue that allows you to communicate your message. Don't get in the habit of just broadcasting promotion information. You need to be talking WITH people more than talking TO them.

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