Last week I was speaking to a business owner who was in the process of doing some ‘preliminary research’ (his words) into blogging and social media.
The reason that he was thinking about getting into blogging and social networking was that later in the year he was going to be launching a new product with his business and to help create some buzz he wanted to leverage social media and blogging.
My first reaction was that it was a great idea… but it quickly hit me that his ‘preliminary research’ phase was probably 6-12 months too late (if not more) if he really wanted to be effective with blogging and social media in promoting his new product.
Jeremiah Owyang said it great today in a post that he’s written – Build Your Network Before You Need Them:
“Unfortunately, networking doesn’t work this way, relationships take time, getting to know folks requires patience, and people are generally cautious –if not fearful– of Johnny come lately that is asking, rather than giving.”
Jeremiah’s advice to ‘build your network before you need them’ makes a lot of sense. I see a lot of people jumping into Twitter because they have an urgent need to get a message ‘out there’ – however a much better approach is to build your online presence for the day that you need it. I’ve seen the power of this time and time again – perhaps most recently with the launch of the ProBlogger Book.
When I began to interact on Twitter I had no plans to use it as a medium for book promotion – however when launch day came I had 6000 people just a 140 character message away.
Another example was recently using LinkedIn. I’ve never really found a way to use LinkedIn effectively before but have promoted my profile on it (in my blog’s footer) because I knew that there would come a time when it would be worthwhile having connections there. Last week it paid off as I used my network of 600 connections to get introductions to a number of key people that I’d have had no way to contact previously.
In both situations the network came before the need to use it.