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Power of Online Networking for Start-up and Small Businesses


penny power Article by Penny Power

Here I am, 45 years old, a mother of 3 teenagers, I work hard at everything I do, I love people, I am an extrovert, I look OK for a 45 year old and I love life. I came to terms with being 40, (that is how it felt at the time, that is the best way I can put it), but 50, well that is a different matter, I am looking forward to it. I think 50 is a statement, an exciting start to an exciting stage. By 50 my children will be through their schooling, they will be driving, they will be finding their way in life, I know they will still need me, but they will be at a stage that will allow me to be spontaneous, travel, meet new people, see new things and perhaps have the odd moment of reflection or ‘me’ time.  I think the 40’s are our transition years.
 
 

The Facebook generation

One thing that comforts me enormously about the next stage of my life is that I am up to date with technology and the online world. I am not an observer of the ‘FaceBook’ generation, I have ensured and been excited by the new world of being connected online. I can see that communication is changing beyond any change we have experienced before. Keeping up with friends and family, marketing a business, creating a brand will be achieved though social networks and online technology. I will remain ‘in touch’, I will continue to be able to feed myself, I will not rely on pensions, employment or the Government, I am truly independent, inspired and excited. 

If you are not up to date with how to leverage the online world for your business or how to connect online with your children or even grand children, you are not alone, but I suggest that like millions of other over 50’s you take time to invest in learning and open your mind to what opportunities and friendships exist. 

woman with laptopThere has never been a better time to start your own business. Social Networking is low cost, highly viral and supportive and a fantastic way to create advocates and ‘fans’ for your business. Becoming a member of a social network and engaging, writing and sharing your thoughts, ideas and knowledge creates a brand that is about Brand You Ltd. The joy of social networking is that the more you are yourself and make friends, the more value you create around your brand. 

So you have heard of Twitter, FaceBook,  Ecademy, LinkedIn, Youtube, Flickr and you may have joined some of them. I would like to now give you a few simple thoughts to help you find context and help you to create a personal and business network. Social Media is the new media, it is about broadcasting your message, though Blogging, Video’s and Twitter. Social Networking is about making friends and having people who are interested in what you blog and share. If you don’t create people who listen to you, all your noise will remain in the ‘white noise’ that so many are creating. 

Penny’s Five Top Tips 

1. Learn the online world and start with Social Networking. Join Ecademy, the only social network for business that is specifically aimed at adults. Create your profile, connect randomly with people all over the world and make friends. Ecademy is about making new friends, introducing your to your future self, all contacts are worth while as they are all in business and they all have interesting things to share. 

2. Join FaceBook, send invites out to your friends and family and keep in touch with what is happening in the lives of the people you love and who care for you. 

3. Make friends, don’t sell. You know how to make friends, if I met you in a pub you would know how to say hi, ask some questions, be interested in me and have a chat about random things, the online world allows you to do that too. It si the easiest and best way to start creating your brand, be yourself and be supportive and interested in others. 

4. Start to understand Social Media. Join Twitter, get your name as your user name and connect your Twitter profile into your Ecademy profile, once you have done this you can write updates in one place and they will appear ion the other, taking your conversation to your network. 

5. Begin to be a writer. Online the people who write and blog are the one who have the best networks and the most relevant opportunities. 

You have passion and knowledge and your business will reflect that. Write about your business, but make it interesting. Take a look at the blogs on Ecademy now and see how random the conversations are. http://www.ecademy.com/module.php?mod=blog&op=liste 

Penny Power is a published author, a highly engaging speaker and one of the UK’s most inspirational and successful female entrepreneurs.
In 1998 Penny founded Ecademy, the UK’s first social network for business, with her husband Thomas. Underpinning the network’s success is the powerful feeling of being part of a community and the strong intention that each member has towards helping one another.Penny’s unique contribution to the world of social networking is that she has created a hugely successful network herself. 
She’s been there, done that and is far more than your average social media commentator.  She is the public face and voice of online networking.
 

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