Friday, April 02, 2010

Getting started in a new Social Network

This post was written about Ryze, but the principles here apply to every online social network.

People come to new social networks with personal preconceptions that prevent success.


It's not about your ADVERTISING.

The first things you need to do help you to find out where you are. What is Ryze (in this case) like. "Seek first to understand" says Steven Covey. Please take his advice. Whatever network you have joined, try to look around first. (If it's a very new network there may not be much to find. But try to discover what's there. Give it a few days and a few hours too.

To become a real member you have to DO something. Having looked around as you have you'll be able to see what needs to be done first. Usually that means joining some groups, networks, boards, or something similar. On Ryze I recommend:

1. Join at least TEN networks.

Then do some reading, find out what's of interest. I mean what sorts of topics are discussed and were advertising is allowed and not allowed, and then find experienced people. (They are usually the ones writing the interesting posts.)

2. Identify the key people here.

Come willing to learn. Visit the Ryze homepages of at least 30 experienced network members. Note the NAMES of the ten people with the best personal pages.

Go back to those pages and try to work out why those pages are "Best" in your view. You probably can't do as good as that yet, but in a year or so, you page will be "best" too.

3. Build a NEW profile here.

The next task is to create your own profile page. There are some general rules.

Use your real name - build trust; try to be a real person - not your business. Restrain the urge to advertise.

Complete your personal information as required. Usually this demands filling in a lot of boxes. It's tempting to past stuff from previous networks but I recommend beginning again. Make this one different. I find they tend to get better, and for me they are also getting shorter. Include a photograph of yourself, and not the dog. Write 15-25 lines about yourself. You don't need a lot, your main purpose is to be real to your readers. Finally if there is one, open your Guest Book.

That's about a month's work for most people, two days for some.

I've found that 80% of new members remain forever newbies, they NEVER find out how to use whatever network they have joined. Most people after four years have made only about a months worth of progress. Why? Because they never took the time in the beginning to find out how to use this network.

18% of people do a good deal better than that. But I want to point to the top 2%. They make remarkable and rapid progress. They do it by doing very simple things. They are not wonder-kind. They simply communicate easily and well in a conversational way with lots of people.

You can do that too.

John Stephen Veitch
The Network Ambassador
Open Future Limited - Comment privately to John S Veitch.

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