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Social networking sites are intriguing to me. I’ve been following the idea for a while now.

Mediation is a high-touch, personal business that requires mediators like you and me to build relationships to grow our business. But frankly, the traditional type of networking- glad-handing, card-shuffling and gabbing – leaves me cold (and fat from all that noshing). Im ready to try something new. Sites like Linkedin bring people together to share their interests or work across geographic boundaries. They seem to be a perfect tool for mediators who want to expand their networks or enter new fields.

Of course, I’m still learning but here’s what I’ve gleaned so far…

Lesson #1 – One is plenty

I’ve decided to do LinkedIn again after I got requests from colleagues like Robert Ambrogi and members like Colm Brannigan to join their networks. I originally had an account, then forgot about it and my password. Then inadvertently started a second account. You only need one account and put the login and password somewhere safe.

Lesson #2 – Look before you leap

Scurrying to setup my account I threw up my profile without really looking at anyone else. While it’s not a mistake, I notice that the profile, if done well, can be an excellent marketing tool that conveys not only expertise, background but personality, too.

Lesson #3 – Be Strategic

It’s fun tooling around looking up interesting people, thinking about who you’d like to contact and stuff, but also very time consuming. Decide how much time you want to devote to joining groups and participating in discussions. Marketing via a social network shouldn’t become your only vehicle to reach new clients and contacts; it’s part of your overall integrated strategy.

Speaking of participating, here’s a post by Scott Allen, author of ‘The Virtual Handshake’ from his blog of the same name, talking about simple ways to boost your credibility as an expert in online communities.

If you’re already on Linkedin, let me know what you think of my profile at Dina Beach Lynch. Invite me to join your network, if you like. I’ll try to respond to as many as I can.

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!

Dina

                        author

Dina Beach Lynch

Dina Beach Lynch is a Workplace Mediator and Conflict Coach who supports professional practice groups. MORE >

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