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How do *YOU* Network with Other Internet Entrepreneurs?

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Blog Networking - How to Be Social to Internet Business OwnersI’ll start this post by making a painful admission:

I SUCK at networking.

Seriously, this is my biggest failure as an Internet marketer.  Although I’ve earned a full-time online income since 2005, I haven’t taken the time to meet many of my fellow entrepreneurs.

It’s hard to admit this because I talk about “Internet success” principles on this blog.  But I’m a *failure* when it comes to one core skill.

Moving forward, I’d like to increase my networking skills.  Unfortunately, I don’t know how to get started.

Here’s where I need your expertise.  I know that a lot of my blog commentators are WAY better at networking than me.  So I’d like to pick your brain and get some help.

I’m asking for a quick favor.   In the comment section below, please list one action that’s helped you with networking.  It can be anything that’s helped you “get on the radar” of fellow Internet entrepreneurs.

I’m hoping to use crowdsourcing to learn more about this invaluable skill.  If we all add our thoughts, this can turn into a quality article about networking.  So please list one “must-do” idea…

Take Action. Get Results.




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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Joseph Ratliff

Hey Steve,

My number-one networking secret for anyone…just be human. :)

How would you introduce yourself to someone you didn’t know at first? Just make simple contact at first, then build a relationship from there.

In terms of the Internet, this isn’t much different, except we have so many ways to connect with someone it can seem overwhelming to some people.

A specific method I use from a business perspective is to find out what someone is offering (paid or not), and use that to break the ice.

For example, your free report… :) We’ve emailed back and forth a few times from there (so no, you don’t suck at networking).

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Steve Scott

Joe,

LOL. I may have overstated the “suck”. But I do think I should/could be doing more. I don’t initiate enough networking and I am not always proactive or quick enough in my replies.

Being “human” is a great place to start. The whole do onto others is a good point. If you give other people the responses that -you- would like to get when releasing a new product/article that is a great place to start and make real connections!

Thanks for the comment!

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Dorothy Beckmann@home schooling explained

What about setting up a conference in your region and give away coupons for people to come and discuss about hot and interesting topics? Like minded people will surely turn up.

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Steve Scott

That is a solid idea. I think you would have to -Be- networked to a certain extent to get the word out. But certainly something to add to the aresenal.

In fact “professional” conferences are something I have avoided all these years. And something I have really “missed the boat on” Just attending some of these are great ways to network.

In fact I am going to my first in just a few weeks… (after over 6 years in the “biz” it is something well overdue)

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Keith

Would love to network too, I am in NJ.

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Steve Scott

Keith,

Which part of NJ are you at?

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paul wolfe

Steve

Firstly I don’t think you’re as bad as you think you are! (Sounds like a line from the Princess Bride).

Secondly, it depends on what you’re trying to achieve with your networking – but I think the kind of things that you’re doing are exactly the kinds of things you SHOULD be doing. Namely, providing great content. Answering every comment. Going to visit commenters websites and leave comments on their websites. Going to people whose attention you want to get and leaving great comments on their website.

Following it up with emails. Maybe transitioning to some calls on Skype with some people. Chase people like Tristan to get his infoproduct completed. That kind of thing.

I think if you do that, that will take care of the ‘networking’ without too many problems! Obviously though, it depends on what you want to achieve from this networking? That’s something you don’t say in the post….

Paul

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Steve Scott

Paul,

I should have been smarter than going against a Sicilian when death was on the line.

(That is one of my all time favorite movie scenes)

…I know I am not as bad as i likely make myself out to be. I do the basics. Commenting, replying (though I have been sick the past two days…so I am late) and all that jazz.

But I have always been bad with the next step. Initiating the Skype calls, being more “proactive” with connecting with the “well placed” blogs and things like that.

Some of these things are points I -sort of- know what I need to do. I just need to actually knuckle down and do it.

I do think that making these real connections and relationships are an essential part of the long term success of a blog

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paul wolfe

Steve

My favourite scene was the duel at the tops of the cliffs of insanity. (It’s worth reading the book for how it was handled in the book – writing genius!).

I digress though.

The other thing you could do is reach out to three or four people who you respect/admire/have a connection with and see if they’re interested in the concept of a Mastermind Group.

And set a schedule so that you have a regular calls – either fortnightly. Or monthly.

If you get the right people it’s a good way to build deep relationships, get help, give help, use them as a sounding board ofr ideas, get feedback, get encouragement, etc etc.

That might work as part of your networking plan.

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Steve Scott

Paul,

I actually have read the book. (Though, it has been over 20 years). It was awesome. The duel on the cliffs (and Inigo meeting the six fingered man) are also amongst my favorites. But still I have a fond place in my heart for that “battle of wits”

No worries about “digressions”. I love to nerdrage on books. ;)

The Mastermind group is actually a great idea. I was in one once. I didn’t know too many people going in and it didn’t last very long. But many of the people I met there were awesome and a lot still come to visit with regularity.

Definitely a great idea and something I should work into a networking plan!

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Patricia@lavenderuses

Hi Steve

You run a successful business and some of us come visit because the information you deliver in your posts is top of the pile.

And I appreciate when you drop by and comment on my small niche blog cos you always contribute to the conversation and also cos I know how busy you are.

I actually don’t have trouble networking but that doesn’t make me a good marketer lol

Skype is one way I network and often find those conversations really valuable.

BTW You are an inspiration to many of us. I even write about it in a post that should be published later today (Thurs)

Patricia Perth Australia

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Steve Scott

Obviously, I am doing my replying a little late today. I have already been by the article. It was really nice. Certainly appreciated!

You may appreciate my dropping by your blog and commenting. But I would like to say I always appreciate YOUR stopping by here with regularity and leaving nice comments. It is always good to have “regulars”

And you certainly are the queen of networkers. But the best part is you just do it by being YOU. Awesome.

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Kim@themafeestjes

Well, I suck at networking in real life too… but I try to make up to that by networking a lot online! I participate in forums, I do a lot of blog commenting, I’m on several social networks,… I’ve built a lot of great contact like that.

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Steve Scott

Kim,

You hit the nail on the head with things I need to get better at.

-I don’t do fourms. At least not very much
-I have a few social media accounts, but I am not as active as I should/could be (though I am getting better)

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TrafficColeman

Steve..networking is easy once you have a system down. My system been working like a charm but I think it best for me to slow down because I got too many internet friends to keep up with now…Including you bro..

“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

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Steve Scott

Thanks Antonio!

:)

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Henway

I kinda suck at networking too… While many ppl like to hook up and talk with other entrepreneurs I like to stay home, hunker down and create products to sell ^_^

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Steve Scott

I hear you there. That is one of the things I have issues breaking out of. I have done fairly well with it so far, but I do think over time you really need some level of social interaction to really achieve a higher level of success.

Like you, I personally..until now, have found that sitting at home and just doing more work has been equally important, but my viewpoint is beginning to shift.

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Aymeric - taskarmy.com

I think consistency is key. You need to show up regularly to be able to create true connections.

How I network online:
I use Google Reader a lot. I find blogs of entrepreneurs and add their feeds to my Google Reader. When they post something new, I participate to the conversation they started and after a while they tend do the same on my blog.

Over time, connections get naturally created simply by being interested by their work.

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Steve Scott

Aymeric,

Great points. Consistency, commenting and -then- reaching out for a deeper connection are some great ways to go!

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Jazz Salinger

Hi Steve,

I’d help you out if I could but I suck at networking too. I tend to be a lone wolf. I find that working online means working alone a lot of the time.

It would be great to learn how to network though. I’m sure it would improve the quality of my work and my life. :)

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Steve Scott

Jazz,

I feel ya on the “lone wolf thing” I have been that way myself to a large extent. For a long while it made/makes sense. But I think at some point you need to branch out and connect to really grow.

That is obviously something I struggle with being a little bit of a “private” person.

BTW,

Nice to see you again :)

It has been a while since I have seen you commenting here.

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Jazz Salinger

Hey Steve,

I’m still here, reading everything you write; trying to turn this part-time internet marketing business into a full-time job.

I’ve just been so flat out at work lately that I’m struggling to keep up. I will try to leave you more comments though. :)

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Murray Lunn

Skype.

Skype all the way. Email is far too impersonal these days, social media services like Twitter are too scattered but Skype, by far, gets you to make a way better connection because you’re bringing in voice and potentially video. You create a lasting impression when you video chat with someone because they can identify you vs. merely reading.

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Steve Scott

Murray,

Skype is certainly something I need to work on being more accessible on. As you know I -do- Skype, but getting me on there can be like pulling teeth.

I am just not one of those guys who likes talking on the phone (or skype) for a long time.

I agree though, not doing Skype more often is something that is holding me back. I need to get on it into it a lot more.
—-

So how goes YOUR trip bro? I haven’t seen much of anything from you for the past few months. I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

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Murray Lunn

I didn’t think I would be the type that would use Skype either as I’m not all that sociable when it comes to face-to-face talking but you’d be amazed at some of the great ideas and momentum you can get from talking to people in a relaxed manner, ya know?

———-

The trip has been going great. Much harder to work while traveling than I could have imagined but it really settled me in terms of what I need to work on when I’m back home and what things I need to remove in order to get the bigger things rolling.

I’ll be back in a few days and then a few more to get back into the swing of things but otherwise it was a much needed life experience that is putting me on point.

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Steve Scott

You don’t have to tell me. You are traveling with people too. That makes it harder. I would “hook up” with a group of travelers for a few days time, now-and-again, on my last trip.

Every time I did it would make it very hard to get my 3-4 hours of solid work in each day.

I will certainly be interested to hear about your adventures after you get back and get settled.

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Mk akan@make money online nigeria

Scott ,
like many people suggest,you are not so bad with networking .you are already doing networking already..
Here are list of what i suggest:
1.blog commenting
2.guest posting
3.sending emails to people
4.contacting people on twitter
5.skyping
6.Facebooking
7.Meeting people in person in conferences -meetups etc

Generally doing stuff that will get people to know you and build a kind of relationship is a great way to network with people…
thanks

Reply

Steve Scott

MK,

Great list and pretty thorough! Thanks. That kind of is the map I had in my head too. I know a few of those areas where I feel quite deficient and I am taking steps to “get better” at them.

Thanks,

-S

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Lesley from lesley writes

Steve, networking was important to me since I came to the USA from the UK and when In landed I genuinely knew noone at all. It took a little while for that to change, but I joined a local business networking group, BNI and got to know people that way. It was very useful, and although I left after a year I am still in touch with some of the members. At that point I joined the Chris Malta forum, since I was the owner of an ecommerce store. I love the forum, and although I don’t spend as much time as I should there these days, I have made friends there, largely because we decided to have a regular webinar. There is one each week, run my Brendan one of the forum members, and a free one each month. although we use webinar software to do it, really voice is all we need most of the time, so there;s no reason why you shouldn’t start your own. I’m now in the 300 internet marketers forum and enjoying that experience, making friends there, and again we have regular group calls using skype.
I don’t own a car and I have a leg which is less than useful, so I dont get out much, without the internet I’d be lonely, but networking is really no problem.
Unless of course you’re talking about personal interaction, if you met me in person, I probably wouldn’t talk to you ‘cos I’m too shy.
Having spoken to you on the telephone and in webinars Steve, I don’t believe you are not good at networking. Why not organize a steve scott group call once a month? You don’t need to join someone elses group, you have your own.

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Steve Scott

Lesley,

Perhaps I overstated things with saying I was “bad”. But I am a bit phone shy and I am not great at hunting out opportunities like your webinars.

I do fine, but til’ now I have made people come looking for me. I think this is limiting. I need to be out hunting down these opportunities.

Perhaps a Steve Scott Group Call would be the answer. I will have to look into it.

I am not sure if I mean personal interaction. I think that -can- be a component. But not necessary. As a matter of fact I am going to my first “marketers” conference this month. In over 5 years I haven’t taken any steps at “real world” connecting beyond emails and phone calls.

It will be interesting and hopefully fruitful.

I will also have to get more involved in an active forum. I have done a little bit on the warrior forum. But that is too big. To be a known quantity on there, it seems to me someone has to dedicate a good deal of time and effort.

-S

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Alex

Hey Steve,

I don’t think I qualify as a big “networker” but like an other comment said, I think one of the most important thing when it comes to networking is being consistent. Always being in contact with other entrepreneurs, either by saying hello or commenting about their work.

Also, sometimes you can remain in the minds of other, thus creating more connections, by doing something outrages, out of the box that no one else have ever done before and had fantastic results.

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Steve Scott

Alex,

I think consistency in general is a key for a lot of things.

I agree, networking is no exception. being consistent and doing all the little things, all the time is how you really get it done!

-S

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trudy

I am big on incentives, emails and Skype. Thats about 80 percent of my arsenal when networking with others in general. I do use the phone for local contacts, but I find most of them go over to some other form, like email making my life much easier(and theirs too). HTH

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Steve Scott

I am definitely hearing the Skype as a recurring theme. It is something I use… but far too infrequently.

Thanks for the comment Trudy

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Extreme John@CEO Business Blog

For me, the key to networking with other online entrepreneurs is being friendly– anywhere you go and every time you meet new people or new colleagues. They need not to be an online personality. In fact, those people you meet everyday, you can actually build a good relationship with them just as long as you are willing to be friends and connect with them. :)

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Steve Scott

John,

THAT is something I need to work on. I think I am a very “polite” person. Even “nice”. But I know I lack a little… effusiveness.

I am a little too reserved, specifically offline, but likely online too.

A more positive and outgoing manner certainly couldn’t hurt!

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Moon Hussain

Scott, I’ve got you beat! Part of it is that I’m kind of shy so that doesn’t help.

But really, you can’t be any worse than me ;)

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Steve Scott

Perhaps, Perhaps

Actually I am really probably not that “bad” in general. I just think I really need to improve.

I am not incredibly, “shy” but I am a little shy…and a lot “reserved”.

Marekting is something natural for a “people person,” which I am not.

As to who is worse….

Hard to say, I have seen you make some connections with other bloggers and seen you “reach out”

so let’s chalk it up to a tie.

I can live with a tie. ;)

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Fran the Online Writer

Hi Steve:

This is a very good post, as it is a piece for best conversations from the commentators. You are doing what it takes to network, as without it you could not be a successful affiliate marketer. So, do not count it as your shortcoming.

Besides, you have a big list and that is good. Networking to be social, you have your twitter and Face book, where you have so many members. The rest of the networking is simply influence, and waste of time for a money maker. You do not need more credibility than you already have. Your credibility will come with more wealth building.

Enjoy your Sunday and don’t worry about anything

Fran A

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Steve Scott

Fran,

Thanks for the comment.

Thanks, I do think I hit a lot of marks fairly well. But networking IS something of a struggle. I may over estimate how “bad” I am at it. BUT i certainly leave a ton of room for improvement.

Of course room for improvement is always a good thing…right? :)

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Alex@build amazon sites

hahaha man you don’t suck at networking that bad.
This one marketer I know, I tried to connect with him and he could not even remember what his skype handle was! Man that’s ba….oh, that was you…
;)

I think the best way I networked orginally, and the way I intend to do it again in a whole new bunch of circles is …
[insert drum roll]

Guest posting.
Yeah I know, it sucks – but you should try it some time. Recently this awesome marketer contributed this great post on my blog and it started a whole lot of conversation, which of course is the key to it all. You should try contrib…. oh, that was you too.

Never mind.

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Karen Saulmy

Like the comment about being shy, the good thing about online is that you can create a persona that works for your business, still be yourself

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Devin

I ask bloggers whose content I like if they’re up for a Skype interview (video or audio) – I’m surprised at how many people are always up for this.

You get to know the person, pick their brain, and get some great content for one or both your blogs all at once.

Keep up the excellent work Steve!

- D

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Rohan

Volunteering to help people in their own business helped me get into the good books of a lot of people from our niche….
Everyone is passionate with their online business and there is no relief like when someone volunteers to help . In that case people remember you as a reliable source and invariably mention you thereby causing immense word of mouth publicity , which definitely has a higher ROI than any other marketing method….

There is also a flipside to the story of networking with people- knowing who NOT to network with ;) networking with the wrong kind of people will kill the business and most importantly cause a guilty feeling at the end of the ordeal for having wasted time ….

Spending time at your site is the best thing one can do to network with fellow serious marketers (did I mention flattery is the best way to touch peoples heart ;) ) ….though mine was straight from the heart , seriously :) you are doing great job with your site or should I say – you are one of those few left on the internet who inspire me to take them seriously !

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Steve Scott

Rohan,

Helping people with their site/efforts whether in a small way or a large way is a GREAT way to network. Thanks for bringing that up.

You are right, a little bit of effort and assistance can go a long way to not only a little “networking” but creating a loyal person who will remember you for a long time. Wonderful tip!

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Nail Yener

Hi Steve,

Networking is relatively new to me and honestly, it is a bit difficult at the moment. Though, I am trying my best to find like-minded fellas that I can discuss and share ideas with.

I realized that especially in internet marketing, building a network of reliable people is very important. And every beginner should start doing this soon.

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Steve Scott

I agree. It is as important to build a network of “peers” as it is to get noticed by the big boys. Networking is all about that finding of the “like-minded fellas” (great way to put it). SOmetimes it is simply “getting on someones radar” and having chats about those things of mutual interest.

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Calli

Hi Scott,

I’m not new to the internet but I’m new to online networking, business, promotions, etc. I am currently blog hopping to learn more about how things work in cyberspace and by interacting with bloggers through leaving a comment to their posts have somehow helped me to “network” with them (and you). :)

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Steve Scott

Blog commenting is networking “basic”… but it is still the most powerful of all techniques. Leave a few comments, multiple times and you will get noticed. specifically those people who take some time and care in their comments.

Thanks for dropping by Calli

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Nick Stewart

My advice is to start/join a social push club, which is just a group of people who promote (tweet) each others’ blog posts.

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Cristina Ansbjerg

I know I get late to this party but I just want to give you my 2 cents.

I’m a terrible networker too, so I find connecting with strangers on social media very difficult. To make things easier, I don’t try to connect to the masses. I go “one by one”.

For example, I learnt about your blog (and eventually subscribed and bought your aff. course) because you replied to one of my tweets.
That’s connecting one by one. Not to the masses.

Blog commenting is also a great idea. Especially when you find a blog where you feel comfortable and become a regular.

So far it works for me. But it’s time consuming (especially Twitter).

Cristina

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Gene

Christina,

Connecting one-on-one (as you put it) is really the ONLY way to really connect. You can do a little bit of mass “this is what I am doing” and keep people you have already connected with satisfied. But at some point you need that level of one-on-one interaction.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a great comment Cristina. Have a wonderful day!

Gene (Steve’s Brother.. he is on vacation)

Reply

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