Note: This is a continuation of part 1 of How to Network in a Web 2.0 World. Please read the first blog post on the subject before proceeding with this one.
Now that you’ve got profiles at the 3 most popular social networking websites, it’s time to put them to good use. To do that, we’re going to leverage the equalizing power of the Internet to gain access to high-profile people in the markets you’re selling your services to or working in. You will be amazed how accessible CEOs and other top-tier people are on services like Twitter and Facebook.
Branding is an entire industry by itself and far out of the scope of this blog post. However, we can tackle a small part of it to get you on your way. The easiest way to help brand yourself is to have a consistent image that you’re delivering to people who see you. This way, they will remember you and associate you with that image. Think Coca-cola and you likely think of a red sign with white text. Or Nintendo brings up imagery of Mario.
Be sure that your profile picture is the same across all of the social networking sites you’re a part of. This way, when people see a thumbnail of your profile pic, they will remember who you are and associate you with it.
Another trick is to always use the same nickname or handle on every service. For example, my handle is Rocky1138. If you search for Rocky1138 on Google or Yahoo or Bing you will see a lot of the websites I write on or tweets from Twitter.
Facebook Vanity URLs
When adjusting your profile on Facebook you are presented with the option of creating a “vanity URL,” which is a word you associate in the Facebook website address with your Facebook profile. This is an easy way to make your Facebook profile memorable to people. For example, my Facebook profile is located at http://www.facebook.com/webprogrammer. Whenever anyone goes to that link, it will take them to my Facebook profile. Pick a good Vanity URL such as your name or something easy to remember that you wouldn’t mind putting on your business cards.
Twitter will connect you with very important people around the world and give you access to those who can hire you or contract your services in the future. An easy way to get hold of the best people in your industry is to use a website like WeFollow.
WeFollow will show you the top Twitter accounts in the world for a search term you type in. If you type in “php” you will get 1,602 people you can follow, including the #1 twitterer which is coincidentally the person that invented PHP. After using Twitter for a few weeks to build up a tweet history, spend a day and a half to follow the entire list of people in your search. If even half of them follow you in return, that’s still potentially hundreds of like-minded people that will be listening and watching your tweets.
I have gotten plenty of work from people who’ve been following me on Twitter and got in touch with me because of something I tweeted about. This is a great way to get work.
I hope this has helped moves you forward in networking in a web 2.0 world. There’s still plenty more we can do, so keep an eye out for part 3 on the horizon.