How to Gain Instant Access to More Referrers than Ever Before Would you like to exponentially grow your networking activities and ensuing referrals? If the answer is, “Yes!” You need to actively participate in the world of Social Networking…and you might consider taking some Social Networking Training to get started in the right direction. Today, we travel to different scheduled networking events hoping to connect and have an initial dialogue with potential referrers, prospects, partners, and possibly friendly competitors. We bring cards with the intent to reconnect with the people that we found might be good contacts for us. Approach Social Networking the same way, except, from the comfort of your home or office. After all, you don’t have to travel to get there, fit it in to your schedule, and you’re not limited to the amount of people in a specific geography, or that fit into a room. Just go with your virtual business card (a place to send people so that they have all your contact information and can continue their relationship with you – like a blog or a website) and start chatting with people like you would at a live networking event. Focus on learning about them, being a good resource for them, being funny and informative, and memorable (in a good way). Practice the saying, “Give to get.” No one likes to talk to someone who is clearly there only to take and not reciprocate. Some of the people you will chat with will seem like good people to “friend” or “follow” in the hopes of continuing to deepen the relationship with a phone call, or a face-to-face meeting. If you want an “ice breaker” before talking to strangers you know nothing about, there is plenty of information available in their profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook. And, you can see what they like to talk about easily enough on Twitter. All of the social networking sites have search tools and groups to help you meet people with a common interest. And, like any live conversation, a common interest or “shared reality” usually helps establish instant rapport. One word of caution: Just like a live networking event, don’t spam people with marketing messages about your products or services. You would not walk up to someone at a live event and thrust your card in their face saying, “Hi, my name is ______, would you like to buy _____________ from me?” Avoid that approach online, as well. People will run away from you online as fast as they will at a live event. And, the more people they know (and veteran social networkers know many, many people online) and warn that you are a spammer, the less others will be willing to speak with you, at all! So, go meet some new people, expand your circle and become the “go-to source” for your area(s) of specialty. Referrers usually generate the most new business for a company. And, in the end, it is a numbers game. The more people you network with in a positive, meaningful way, the more referrers you can generate for your business. As a bonus: You’ll pick up some potential partners and direct customers along the way. The Art of Online Marketing offers a recorded Social Networking Training Course customized for small business owners. To learn more about this Social Networking Training, go to: www.artofsocialmarketing.com/rc .