Online networking is here to stay. It’s a valuable business communication and marketing tool that connects you to a network of people you would never have a chance to cross paths with otherwise. If you’re new to this realm of communicating, or even a seasoned pro, here are a few suggestions.
1. Create a Fitness Gravatar.
A Gravatar is like an Internet footprint. It shows others who you are and helps connect you on a more personal level. You can go to www.gravatar.com and register your email address and choose an avatar image. When you post comments to other blogs, your gravatar will show up and create traffic back to your website.
Use the same gravatar for all your business social networking sites so people become familiar with your brand. Remember to choose or create an image that identifies your core beliefs or a photo that epitomizes your personality.
2. Create a LinkedIn Profile.
If you want serious-minded business contacts, this is the place to be. Invite people to connect who belong to the same fitness associations as you to begin building your network. You can also build an impressive profile page by listing your education and certifications, experience and accomplishments.
3. Create a Twitter Page and Facebook Fan Page.
Posting to Twitter and Facebook creates “free” leads due to the fact that hundreds and thousands of people will be reading what you just tweeted because they’ve “subscribed” to your post.
With both Twitter and Facebook; begin by searching for local people with similar interests and send a friend request. Do this with local media and your target market as well. Offer to answer fitness questions and give daily workout tips. Your friend list will grow quickly, setting you apart as a fitness expert in your local community.
4. Submit a Press Release.
Do you have a new training package available? A new system of training? New location? Be proactive in announcing your big news items to gain public recognition and attract media attention.
Make a list and contact your local newspapers and cable t.v. stations to find out who their health and fitness contact is. Be sure to get their email address. Keep your press release to one page and let them know you’re available for interviews or to give health and fitness advice whenever they need you to. One popular website to help with your press release is www.prweb.com.
The keys to successful social networking are simple: be proactive, be consistent, and be available.
Michelle Hill is a freelance copywriter, specializing in the fitness and sports fields. She helps businesses put their best words forward by creating compelling, fresh copy, and word polishing existing copy. www.winningproof.com