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You can do same thing. One of my personal favorite tricks is to print double sided business cards. Team up with someone who caters to your same niche market but does not directly compete with you. Print each person's business card on one side of a standard business card. Print twice as many and each of you carries a stack. Abbraa Cadaabbraa! You begin helping your friend make personal contacts while they do same for you.
It always pays to be human instead of pushy. Don't be overly aggressive or scary in your contacts. Just friendly and helpful. I always give my initial contact emails and letters a final reading over and ask myself, if this were coming from my already pesky little sister, would I be irritated? If you can pass that test, then you area ready to go.
Are you writing people you don't know, and letting them know you're out there? Email makes it SO easy. Just don't "bug" people unnecessarily.
There was a time when only most aggressive of sales people seemed to really utilize this human contact networking approach. More and more people are doing so today. With growth of online communities, we are becoming more comfortable with process. But don't be fooled into thinking that involvement in a community alone is not networking in this intensive form. You have to make personal, one on one contacts. It isn't enough to be known in your group. You must be known by your group.
Go to Yahoogroups.com and pull up home page for any email list that you are already subscribed to. Note how many subscribers there are. Now compare that number to number of regular posters. There is usually a huge difference. Don't just read emails. Participate!
Remember, Internet is about community. Some people take this all so literally and focus like hell on making discussion forums on their site active. That's fine, but there are many ways to build up a community of peers who can be called upon to do little favors for you. The endorsement of already respected online authors may well be more valuable to your site than a little bit of chatter amongst anonymous participants in your or somebody else's forum.
It is so important that you be on a prospect's mind when they actually decide to make a purchase. That is why drip and viral marketing are so popular. That is why so many of us use autoresponders. That is why we create mailing lists and use them over and over and over again.
Make a point of bumping into more well-placed people at "virtual water cooler" via email, and don't be surprised if many of them find a way to incorporate you and your site into their plans.
This is not one of those crazy get rich quick schemes. It's real networking. It is how each of us can build a successful online business doing whatever it is that we do. As such, this strategy has real staying power.
Grab your virtual broom and step out your virtual front door. Sweep some virtual steps and be human online. Make some new virtual friends.
Shannan Hearne-Fortner is the President of http://www.Success Promotions.com and has been involved in the successful launch and growth of many businesses and online communities.