With Your Online Networking?

By guest blogger Patricia Weber

Is your email box getting like mine – more invitations to connect with people online and less interest in accepting? Inbound online marketing is more attractive these days however the reality is, outbound done right can rival it. Either online networking approach could work as well for the introvert looking to build their business as it could for someone more extroverted. My own experience finds that those who practice outbound tactics can benefit with a few minor tweaks. Interested in what you might be able to tune up?

Could you make a more attractive introduction?

linkedin1One of my favorite and most productive online networking is on LinkedIn. When I say productive it’s getting leads, referral partners and purchasers of my online products, even calls for radio show interviews. You might think because LinkedIn is touted to be an online networking location for professionals that inbound marketing would be just that – professional. You’d be wrong.

On a daily basis I get some of the most unattractive invitations to connect. Either the person inviting me to connect isn’t aware or they just don’t care. To ask someone to connect when the photo of you is the default avatar, is unattractive to most people. Besides that, tied for offensiveness in my book, is choosing to send the default and impersonal message to connect.

linkedin2Before you connect with the next possible client or referral partner make certain you have at least an attractive headshot of you. Then take the all of 30 to 60 seconds it might take to scan someone’s profile to say something personal before you connect.

Can you let go of the borderline or all out spamming?

As an introvert, and someone in sales and marketing for 30 years, it is the fear of this particular kind of communication that people say they do not accept every invitation to connect, follow or like, depending on the online network terminology.

no spam_311134263Here’s the typical sequence, at least on LinkedIn. You get an invitation to connect from someone. You take a quick 30 to 60 seconds to review their profile. Since they didn’t email you any personal message, then the back up plan gives you the responsibility to determine the give and take of connecting. Seeing a few areas of common interest you click ACCEPT. You even send a message thanking them for connecting noting the common interest. Usually, but not always, within 24 hours, you get a direct email – selling something. Thank goodness for the “remove connections” feature.

Do yourself a favor so you are considered to be a person to get to know: instead of sending an email pitching something on the first contact, either ask how you can help that person, or thank them for connecting and note some personal common interest. Just like you would do in person, right?

How can you move the conversation forward?

forward_29238828The truth for me as an introvert, when I make the time to either accept your invitation to connect or make the attempt to connect with you, my energy gets used, it goes down. Forget about the time put into the introduction, because the truth is, that was minimal. It’s more the mental, and emotional energy that’s drained out of me. Maybe you can relate? Now, I have a part of me invested to know you beyond the cursory hello. I can’t say for certain but it would make sense that with that feeling of being invested, there is a higher probability that an introvert would want to move the conversation forward to something possibly mutually beneficial. But so many people online, and networking in-person, just corrupt the connection and let it end where it started. How do you move a conversation forward? That’s the rub for the introvert. But really?

The small talk phase, or phase one, isn’t an introvert strength but we’ve made it. Going forward will likely be more in our comfort zone because it means going on to deeper conversation and learning. Phase two can go at least two ways: you can look back at the new connections profile and comment on something that originally caught your interest, a book they shared, a common group they were in, and add a question to the comment. Or, you can simply take a topic of interest to you, state a sentence or two around it, and find out if it is of mutual interest. Phase two may be all that is needed to either have a Skype, Google Plus Hangout or telephone call. If not, head to phase three: if things went well with phase two but didn’t carry things forward, then wait a bit and then tack to another subject, this time, going back to their profile to turn the phase three corner with the phase to approach.

These are just a few of the outbound marketing tactics that you could tweak to attract more valuable connections. Certainly if you match that with inbound valuable content, then both your online and even in-person networking will get you the better results you intend, more easily and more confidently.

About Patricia Weber

If you are an introvert entrepreneur, solopreneur, salesperson or, small business owner you may be familiar with Patricia through her radio show interviews about the introvert in business, Wall Street Journal interview with she and her extrovert husband, or any number of blog posts at .

Networking online is an introvert, and even reluctant marketers, turf and she can help make social media easier for you better than any extrovert without storming your brain. Get INSTANT access to a 39 page report with the top 63 Tips from an Introvert Online and Loving It. Online success with a confident introvert approach: Blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ can be your domain at

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