Wired PR Works by Barbara Rozgonyi

Real-izing Your Virtual Identity

MTN Ezine Article | Networking Online | How to Optimize Visibility

Posted by barbararozgonyi on July 19, 2007

This newsletter just went out to our MTN ezine subscribers – this free service updates, informs and hopefully, inspires. Have an online networking tool or tip to contribute? Please leave a comment that enlightens us all.

Profiling PR: Optimal Online Networking

by Barbara Rozgonyi, founder of CoryWest Media

To request permission to reproduce or republish this article, contact connect AT corywestmedia DOT com.

Here’s how to extend your online visibility way beyond your website with online networking. Before you sign up for MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, FastPitch! or any of the other online networking sites, take a few minutes to read this quick guide. Check the resource guide at the end of the article to see Barbara’s online profiles.

Key in on Your Expertise

Before you get started, select your keyword list. Group your top ten and then add in a second tier that rounds out your profile. If you had to describe who you are and how you conduct business how would you do it in 20 words or less?

Script Your Screen

Have a professional bio? Mix in your keywords and edit it into short, active sentences. A breezy, energetic script captures attention. Highlight relevant work experiences in your target industries or client sectors. Remember that mentioning companies includes you in their network. And, listing your schools connects you with current students and alums.

Sign Up

Take a tour of the major players like LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and FastPitch! Membership usually starts out free, but you get additional benefits when you pay a monthly fee. While having broad-band coverage extends your network, start with one site at a time.

Inviting Friends

Most sites let you import your email list and then send an invitation to the group. Rather than blasting everyone with the same message, be intentional about whom you invite. Write a personal email to your contact list with an invitation. Start a group they can join so that they’ll get even more benefits. Search for other people in your area, industry and in your target client profile sector and read their profile before you send an invitation.

Accepting Invitations

Your connection list is a direct reflection of your profile. Before you click “accept,” check out the inviting member’s profile to see if there’s a match. Google them if you’re unsure. A smaller database is easier to manage and is more responsive, especially if you know them personally.

Participate

Join a group, ask a question, send an answer. Become part of the community. Position yourself as a leader in your category and business will come your way. Set aside an hour or two a week to check in with your networks. Sign up for the RSS feed or email notifications to be automatically updated on questions or activity so you can respond right away.

Evaluate

How is your personal PR profile working in terms of changes in Google results, number of new contacts and prospects in comparison to the amount of time and effort you put in? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, focus on one site or one group and grow your presence there. Professional or industry networks keep you updated and connected to resources, but may not do much to grow your business. To build your business, think about how you can merge into your target client networks and become a thought leader there.

Resource Guide

Note that you must be a member to view complete profiles. Feel free to extend an invitation to Barbara to connect with you.

View Barbara Rozgonyi's profile on LinkedIn

FastPitch! Networking

Facebook profile on day one

About the author . . .

An in-demand publicist, professional speaker and marketing communications consultant since 1990, Barbara Rozgonyi is grounded, edgy and prophetic. “Panoramic PR,” Barbara’s latest project, compresses everything she knows into an affordable, manageable course that teaches small business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, experts, coaches and anyone else who wants more free publicity how to get completely covered by being fully exposed.

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