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Old Fashioned Business Networking
Yes, even though we’re all buried in Spam, it’s still possible to make new business contacts online. The recent JV (Joint Venture) craze reflects the simple principle that in the end, people do business with PEOPLE – not with pixels, bits, and bytes.
Old fashioned networking is still alive and well online. And it’s the best method for getting some good exposure if you’re just starting out and have no money for marketing. By building strong business relationships, you’ll have other marketers offering to link to you, publish your articles, write about your site in their newsletter, and even offer you free advertising.
One of the best places to make business contacts in your field is in forums. For example, if you’ve started an affiliate web site that sells specialty dog training devices, hang out in the many dog-related forums and newsgroups.
But instead of trying to help end consumers so they’ll visit your site, make friends with experts in related fields. In this case pet sitters, groomers, dog trainers, veterinary assistants, and even animal behaviorists can all be excellent contacts.
As with all business networking, look for ways to help your
colleagues. If they have their own site, offer them a link on yours. If they have an opt-in list, perhaps you can set up a special web page, and give them a rebate on any commissions you make. If they write their own articles, perhaps you can turn them into a mini-ebook and offer it to all your visitors.
And there’s no reason you can’t be proactive, and send an email to non-competitors – or even competitors – whose sites you admire. You don’t have to consider every competitor your enemy. In a future special report we’ll explain exactly how you can create powerful partnerships with your competitors. But for now, simply look for opportunities to be helpful.
One easy way to help – provided you do it diplomatically – is to point out a problem on someone’s site or in their ezine. If you find a broken link or some other error, drop them a note. Most webmasters WANT to know if a link suddenly stops working or if their database is generating internal server errors.
Another way to make powerful friends online is to read your Spam. That’s because ALL online merchants want to know if someone is promoting their affiliate product via Spam. It’s not just the Spammer who can suffer some stiff legal penalties – they can too. So if you see someone’s ebook or sure you keep the original Spam, and send it to them as an attachment (not
forwarded) so they receive all the headers intact.
How can networking help get you targeted traffic? If you make 20 strong, personal, one-on-one business contacts every month, at least five of them will end up sending you traffic. Somehow, someday, they’ll start pushing the right kinds of visitors to you. It might be by linking to you. They may mention your site in a viral ebook or one of their articles. They might want to do a joint venture or partner on a money making project. They might do all these things – and many more.
Yes, it’s old fashioned. It’s not autopilot. It’s not passive. But networking costs you nothing except time – and can be worth gold in the long term.
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