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Ben Golub: Business Networking via Web 2.0


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Ben Golub: Business Networking via Web 2.0

  1. 1. Business Networking in the Age of Social Networks<br />What’s changed, what hasn’t, and what are best practices?….<br />Ben Golub<br />CEO,Plaxo<br />OfficeArrow, LLC. 2009. <br />
  2. 2. Agenda:<br /><ul><li>Quick Intro to Plaxo
  3. 3. Business Networking pre 1999
  4. 4. Core Principles
  5. 5. New Technologies—What’s Changed?
  6. 6. Best Practices for:
  7. 7. Building connections
  8. 8. Building your personal brand
  9. 9. Nurturing your network</li></li></ul><li>3<br />What is Plaxo?<br />
  10. 10. Who is Plaxo<br /><ul><li>One of the original networks—Founded in 2002. Acquired by Comcast in 2008
  11. 11. Started with a focus on the address book
  12. 12. Social utility built on the belief that networking can be useful as well as fun, and that being professional does not mean being impersonal
  13. 13. Believe strongly in integration into tools and services users already use
  14. 14. Large and rapidly growing base—highest concentration of C-level execs</li></ul>Source: @Plan April 2009<br />
  15. 15. Networking has always been a big part of business<br />
  16. 16. …And a few principles have held true<br />Understand the strength of weak ties<br />Invest in your network<br />Respect what is business, what is personal<br />Know the nodes<br />Appreciate that your “brand” and your network are intimately related<br />
  17. 17. …#1: Understand the strength of weak ties<br />Granovetter (1973)<br />&gt;80% of jobs found through “weak ties”<br />People with large number of weak ties at advantage compared to those with few<br />Weak ties more numerous and far-reaching<br />Weak ties provide people with access to information and resources beyond those available in their own social circle <br />Weak ties only way to tie together disparate networks<br />Important for societal cohesion<br />Weak tie/strong tie paradox<br />Does ease of forming weak ties today change anything?<br />
  18. 18. #2: Nurture your network (Peary Principle)<br />Networks take nurturing<br />Don’t just contact people when you need something from them<br />Be respectful of others’ “social capital”<br />Ties are more effective when:<br />You know about the other person<br />You know about their connections<br />You have invested in the relationship<br />You can offer reciprocal value<br />Weak ≠ absent<br />You can make weak ties stronger<br />
  19. 19. #3: Godfather principle. What is business? What is personal? <br />“It’s business, not personal”<br />Not all personal connections are good business connections<br />Not all that is appropriate to share with personal connections is appropriate to share with business connections<br />Strongest business connections tend to have a personal component<br />Treating people like people is generally more successful than treating them like Rolodex entries<br />“It’s all personal”<br />
  20. 20. #4: Know the nodes<br />Some people are natural connectors<br />“Distance” between people increases dramatically without superconnectors<br />6% of users account for ~ half of all connections<br />Institutions and groups are also big nodes<br />If you can be a node, great<br />If you can’t, find appropriate ways to connect<br />
  21. 21. #4: Know the nodes<br />
  22. 22. #4: Know the nodes<br />
  23. 23.
  24. 24.
  25. 25.
  26. 26. #5: Your “brand” and your network are intimately linked<br />Your network spreads your brand<br />Your network influences your brand<br />Your activity within your network influences your brand<br />Your brand influences how well you can grow your network<br />Your network is a reference check on your brand<br />
  27. 27. What does this mean in the age of social networking?<br />You’ve got some powerful new tools<br />Principles are largely the same<br />Understand the strength of weak ties<br />Invest in your network<br />Know the nodes<br />Your brand and your network are intimately related<br />Know what is personal and what is business<br />You’ve got some powerful new tools…and<br />
  28. 28. Getting Connected<br />Easier than ever to see your network, find mutual connections, stay up to date<br />Easier than ever to make good connections<br />Easier than ever to make bad connections<br />As making ties is easier, potential for weak ties to become less valuable<br />
  29. 29. Getting connected Tips<br />Get connected: People get the most out when they are connected to 25 or more people that they know<br />Start with your existing contacts, build a power address book<br />Ask people to connect. You’ll have the most success if you choose connections thoughtfully, make sure that you have a complete profile, and personalize your invitations<br />If you are trying to connect with someone you don’t know well, be sure to explain why you want to connect—or consider some form of direct message<br />Ask for introductions very selectively<br />Know the nodes. There are thousands of groups , based on common interests, companies, schools, professions, etc. Check out a few groups to see if they are right for you.<br />Know the nodes. Company (and former company) groups, alumni associations, professional associations are a good place to start<br />Use the right levels of connection—esp. with groups<br />Different networks serve different communities and purposes. It is probably worth being a member of more than one<br />
  30. 30. Sub-networks grow Virally<br />ATLANTA VISITS<br />EXECUTIVE CHEFS<br />IBM<br />
  31. 31. Personal Brand<br />Easier than ever to see your network, be found<br />Easier than ever to promote your personal brand and product<br />Easier than ever to participate in your industry, your past networks, etc.<br />Easier than ever to leverage your network and your brand<br />Bad reps spread quickly too<br />
  32. 32. Personal Brand Tips<br />Put your best face forward: Make sure that your profile is complete, accurate, and compelling<br />A picture is worth 100 connections (…well, ~50% greater success rate)<br />Can the right people reach you? Make sure your work info is complete and up-to-date<br />Google yourself! What happens when people search for you on the web? Make sure you’re in control with a great public profile.<br />Your network and brand are intertwined Do you have a blog? A portfolio of your prior work? Articles or patents? A great personal web site or profile? Do you twitter? Link to them from your profile<br />If you do the above…make it interesting<br />Integration between services is increasing. Avoid “re-friending” when possible<br />Respect the relationship between business and personal. Use different levels or different networks to share more personal items<br />Since your network and brand are intertwined, make and accept connections selectively<br />Only make introductions or recommendations you believe in<br />
  33. 33. And in those awkward circumstances, you can always use these lines…<br />“You’ll be lucky if you can get him to work for you”<br />“I can’t recommend her too highly”<br />“Literally nobody would be better for the job”<br />
  34. 34. Nurturing your Network Tips<br />Nurture your network before you need it…<br />…You always need it<br />Contribute content, share articles, add to discussions.<br />Traveling to a new city? Attending an interesting conference? Update your status, so that people know what you’re up to and where you’ll be.<br />Business is personal. When you see content you like, “like it,” leave a comment, or re-share it with other people or groups<br />Business is personal. If the network lets you know when your connections are having birthdays, changing jobs, or posting interesting content… Send them ecards, write them messages, or just pick up the phone. <br />Business is personal. Before reaching out to someone for a reference, BD opportunity, etc.—take a moment to look at their profile, status, tweets, etc.<br />See a job that you think might be perfect for a colleague? See an article that someone you know would like? Let them know.<br />The physical world is still important…keep going to conferences, having coffee with former co-workers, etc.<br />
  35. 35. Conclusion<br />The principles of successful networking are still relevant in the age of social networks<br />Understand the strength of weak ties<br />Invest in your network<br />Respect what is business, what is personal<br />Know the nodes<br />Appreciate that your “brand” and your network are intimately related<br />You now have some very powerful new tools <br />For Connecting<br />For Building Your Personal Brand<br />For Nurturing Your Network<br />Use them wisely<br />Resist temptation for gratuitous product placement<br />
  36. 36. PLAXO<br />Thank you!<br /> <br />OfficeArrow, LLC. 2009. <br />