1. Make it interesting: When pushing out a message you hope will go viral, think of what will be of interest to the recipient, not to you. “I just updated my portfolio” will not interest anyone. Go for quirky, dramatic, humorous; anything that will stand out.
2. Respect the referral process: While using social networks asks less of people’s time than traditional networking, it still requires the same level of trust. Every recommendation or referral someone makes ultimately impacts their own reputation.
3 Not all contacts are created equal: One of your contacts might be someone you worked closely with for years, another could be someone you merely exchanged cards with at a party. It might be reasonable to ask the former colleague, to make introductions. For someone you’ve only met once, that might be asking a lot. The same scenarios apply to the relationship between your contacts and the contacts in their network.
4. Keep your profiles professional: Understand that anything you include in your profile will be seen by prospective clients and in essence become part of your brand. If you feel the need to proclaim your political leanings or your passionate position on current federal drug policy, understand that this could be a turn-off to some prospective clients.
5. This is new territory: The largest and most aggressive ad and marketing firms are still trying to understand how to harness the power of social networks. The exciting thing about online social networking is that it’s a bottom-up approach, not a top-down. But things at the bottom are less predictable, and less controllable than they are at the top. Be experimental, track what works and what doesn’t, and keep innovating.
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