There are many areas online that are synonymous with facilitating networking opportunities such as social network groups, forums and boards. Many of them are completely public, where anybody can click through to the URL, read the messages and even if they have no desire to contribute, will still be able to hang around and read. Other sites will require that you register and become a member, and then at least participate in some small way. These forums, social network sites or boards differ from paid membership sites because there is no cost involved in order for you to network.

Many of these sites are set up for particular interests or niches and are open to social interaction, but others are purely directed at online businesses. There are forums online for every topic that you could possibly imagine. For example you will find forums that deal with online business, web design, and work at home Moms, internet marketing and virtual assistants, to name just a few.                                                                                                                         

It is very easy to get totally involved and spend most of your working day online networking with other like minded people and this is where time management skills become essential. If you don’t take control of the amount of time spent on these sites, the whole of your day that should be spent working on your online business will be totally unproductive and you will miss out on the real income opportunities that your business needs to be successful.

There are two main reasons that you must consider participating in forums, social networking sites etc, from a business point of view; the first being that having a network of like minded people will help your business. If you are an online business owner, by hanging out with other business owners you will be able to help and support one another and the second thing, especially if you are new to it, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from the pros.

An important point to remember though is that you cannot just hang out with other business owners. You will never succeed by trying to promote your business services or products to other online businesses. Visit other boards and check new posts of interest, or ask questions then leave. Move on to other groups who may require your products or services. Discover where your target market is and hang out there for a while. Just a quick word of caution when you visit these different forums boards and social network sites DO NOT SPAM! If you go to these forums for the sole purpose of spamming the people there, you will be tossed out before you can blink.

People will always choose to do business with people that they know and trust or that they have at least heard of and had good reports on. Whatever your product or service, if you just pop in to one of these sites, spew your sales pitch all over the boards and then expect any sort of return from it, then you are missing the whole point of networking online.

The important word to remember here is “networking” it is not advertising! Your job here is to build a rapport with other like minded people, and then if the need arises and they know that someone in their group of forum members or social networkers and the necessary skills or product that they require, you can guess who will be the first person they call. Hopefully it will be you. So begin networking today towards online business success.

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