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There are a few mistakes that people make when using social networking sites to try to get more exposure for their business. These mistakes can be minor and not amount to much, or they can be fatal and cause you to lose your business and never make contact with anyone.

Naked Profile.
If you try to use social networks by just signing up and sending bulletins and emails to people, you’re missing the point entirely. If you don’t have a profile that’s the first thing people notice. You’ve already ruined your credibility and made yourself look like a scammer. Anyone who doesn’t take the time to at least set up a simple bio page has nothing to present. Even if you add friends, what are they going to see? No one wants to do business with someone they don’t know. To them you’re like a stranger lurking in the shadows with no real identity. You also want to have a nice picture of yourself so they will see it when your activity comes up in the search engine of the site. If you don’t have a picture people see you as the default no pic blank photo and this makes you look like you’re not professional or trustworthy.

Your About Me Page is all about your business opportunity
This makes you look like you’re broke and you need someone to sign up for your opportunity because you need to pay your light bill. Your about page should be about you and who you really are. It’s not the place to promote or advertise. People want to know you, not what you do or how much money you make.

Too much hype
We already know that your business is the next best thing since buttered bread, but when you have too much hyped up claims about how your business is making you a millionaire in three days, we can see right through it. If you’re that rich why do you need to use social networks at all? You should be on a warm sunny beach somewhere enjoying your good fortune.

Sending ads in comments and friend emails.
Oh boy..that one is a big no no. When you use your friend’s comment box to post an ad or banner for your business, you’ve shot yourself in the foot. Do you honestly think they’ll sign up for your business just because you shove it down their throat?

Put a link or a banner on your profile just in case someone wants to know what you do, but the main thing you want to do is present YOURSELF as someone who is credible and has a handle on who you are as a person.

Social networking is all about making friends, being helpful, and being REAL.
People want to do business with people they can identify with and who they can get to know as a friend first and foremost.

If they want to know what you’re doing to make money online they will ASK YOU. Then you have the opportunity and the PERMISSION to tell them and they won’t feel like they’re being sold to.

Rebecca Beasley has been online for 16 + years and has written
hundreds of articles to help newbies and oldies alike.
© July 13th 2008 All rights reserved

Tags: branding, bulletins, e-mail, howto, internet, introductions, marketing, networks, profiles, social

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Posting this a couple of minutes after I ended my spurt of 'introduction' messages has made me a little paranoid :p

Great post - very clear.

I know I've posted quite a few links to me group, but I'm not promoting anything through it other than starting discussion on this website. I'm not profiting from it in any way at all. And all the advice can be used in MANY ways, not just 'sales techniques' which is what the comments / my group is about.

Sorry if it was me that causes this post. *blushes*
Thank you Rebecca. I literally just found this site and signed up and yours is the first post i have read. All very true :) Thanks for sharing!
Rebecca,

Great article! Would you mind if I were to use an excerpt or two on other networks?
Not at all Warren, in fact I'm very flattered:)

Becky
Oh no, not at all, Dan.
This is just one of the many howto articles I've posted
in various blogs across the web. Thanks for taking the
time to read and follow.

Becky
Don't worry, Dan. I signed on yesterday and was one of the recipients of your invite to your group and I wasn't put off at all!

But I was put off by another "buy my service for $9.95" ... without no welcoming word ... to which I won't even respond.
Hi Becky: Excellent! I am glad you said it and you stated it well. I hate being sold to. My saying is that people deal with whom they know, trust and like. First they have to know you. John
Thanks for the advice on your posting
Thanks Rebecca; this will make sense to even the least experienced people. I am helping local businesses use social marketing and will definitely credit you with this great article.

Kim
Thanks John.
I try to practice the golden rule and do unto others as I would have them do unto me. And that means I do those things that I would want people to do for me and not just what they do to me. Retaliation only backfires on you and what goes around comes around. It's the law of attraction at work.
What an interesting article. I hope I am not quite so shallow but I have definitely fallen into some of these traps.
Finally, someone spelled it out, step-by-step. Thank you so much Rebecca. I'm fairly new and this really helps explain things in detail. I have a profile page on my Space, Facebook, Cafemom. I think I'll go back and see if I should edit any of them. Thanks again.

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