I'm not a networking guru, not by a long shot. Someone at AW has listed her location as, "at the feet of my betters," and that is how I feel when it comes to social networking both online and in person.
One of those "betters" is Jennifer Gniadecki. She is the author of Non-Toxic Networking, a must-read for work-at-home entrepreneurs, small business owners and anyone who wants to achieve greater success in their field. I had the pleasure of talking to Jennifer for about an hour the other day... and I realized her 'networking secret.' She is genuinely a nice person. She's a lot of fun, with a great joie de vivre, is refreshingly honest, sincere and *real.* After 30 minutes on the phone (we'd "met" in a chat room once before), I felt like we'd been friends for years. I really had to force myself to hang up the phone and get some more work done.
Now, if that's the secret to networking, it can't be faked. And I think that IS at least one of the keys: You have to genuinely like people. Then again, why work in a networking-intensive field if you don't like people?
Another woman I am lucky enough to learn from every day is Erika-Marie Geiss, Editor-in-Chief and publisher of www.thewahmmagazine.com. Incidentally, that's a "double m" in the URL, as in "hot momma!"
In many ways, Erika embodies the spirit of "JHS" (Just Hit Send: The freelance writer's version of "Just Do It"). Late at night, when her toddler is asleep, this hard-working WAHM sends out queries, press releases and interview requests to big-name markets and well-known celebrities in the work-at-home and social networking field. It has already resulted in some great press for her content-driven digital publication devoted to the work-at-home industry, and will result in some fantastic coverage to appear in TWM in the future.
In a lot of ways, it's appropriate that Erika "introduced" me (in a social networking way--we've yet to meet, even online, or do more than trade Tweets on Twitter) to Chris Brogan, social networking king.
And, in one of those odd coincidences, which really hammers home the massive connectivity of the Web, Chris Brogan recently blogged about The Word of Mouth Manual: Volume II, a book that I am also signed on to buzz about as a BzzAgent.
I admit, I've been so busy immersing myself in this wide world of social marketing lately, that I've only skimmed The WOM Manual. I encourage you to download your own free copy (from Brogan's site, or any other number of places), and post your opinions here. It will help me file some buzz reports and, it may just inspire me to sit down and finish reading it. (I admit, this is probably the laziest way to generate word of mouth: "I heard of this thing. Read it and tell me what YOU think.") I will fulfill my BzzAgent duties and finish reading the book this weekend and post a review by next week. But I really would like to hear what you have to say about it, too! :)
There is a lot more I want to say about WOM, WAHMs and Networking Secrets but this blog is quite long enough. Please drop by tomorrow when I tell you how I've gotten my SM surfing down to two effective, targeted hours a day.
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: I recently joined the Non-Toxic Networking affiliate program, which means I make a small percentage of money from sales of the book that come from this site. That does not make my assessment any less valid. If I'm going to be using WOM to promote products that have value, created by people I like, what's the harm in adding a few dollars to my Paypal account along the way. No one that I know is getting rich off these affiliate programs... I simply urge you to check out the sample chapter posted on Jennifer's Web site and make your own buying decision.