Friday, February 4, 2011

Fingers and Toes Networking - Which Are You?

I've been reading a lot lately concerning networking. The general discussion has been the effectiveness of the endeavour. The interesting thing for me, was that it was generally seen as a one or the other scenario. It seems that most people from the off-line camp network through organized groups or events and on-line people network through social media. But neither crosses the road to the other side. I don't understand the logic in this.

I absolutely use both. One compliments the other. Locally, my audience is very much aware of my online presence. My brand is consistent across both channels. Lessons learned off-line can be applied on-line. On Linkedin there is a group filled with business people from this area. They meet in person from time to time. This is very powerful for building real relationships. Choosing one over the other is very short-sighted and lazy from my point of view. Both channels are necessary in building your expert profile and also develop sales skills. Sort of a "leave no stone unturned" strategy.

I think that it is so important when you let your fingers do the networking online to pay close attention to your brand perception. Be sure that you are known for something positive. Whenever you have to show image be sure that it's consistent.

Off-line your toes are doing the networking. Brand perception here should also compliment what you doing on-line. If you "give first" on-line then give first off-line. Branding only works when it's a genuine experience. When i am out giving my toes a workout, I always drive people I meet to my on-line presence, then of course my fingers take over and everything helps move my brand forward.

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