Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Building an online community

Most of us netizens know how to build an online community. In fact, with the advent of the smartphone, it is possible for us to be logged in 24 hrs a day, and most of the time, the updates that we get are from our network – both personal and professional.

What this means is that most of us already know how to build a network, and most of us already have an existing network of friends and family.

So why then do we need to learn how to build a network, especially our professional network?

Well, to be perfectly honest, most of us who have a personal network, build it up in a very arbitrary manner. There isn't any plan, or even a pattern to it, and this is just not acceptable when you're building a professional network.

And this is where your learning comes in useful. I just spent a solid hour going through the “Building an online community” course by Justin Seeley and  I learned a lot of information that makes online marketing so much easier. Such as for instance identifying your target audience and then spending some time in finding out where exactly they hang out.

So for example, if you are selling a business service, spending a lot of time in professional networks such as Linkedin is a good idea because your target market is there, whereas if you're more B2C, personal networks like Twitter and FB are a better choice.

I'm not saying that you should concentrate on only one network and leave the rest. No. In fact this too is explained here, where you identify three networks for you to concentrate on and basically divide every hour that you spend on them as 30/20/10 in order of priority.

Then comes how you prioritize your website and designing, how you create a good profile and how you engage with your network. Considering that you will probably go through the module twice which means that you spend at the most an hour at it, the number of ideas that you come away with is just great. I spent the first half hour in just going through it. The next one, I took notes and created a chart in my calendar on what I need to do for the next few days to plug the gaps that are there right now.

It's a great course that I recommend to every body who's looking to build an online network.

And of course, don't stop with just one. Get as much as you can out of it, make your notes, and then go on to the next one.

And I'll tell you what I learned from the next course when I get done with it.

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