Tammy M
How many new network marketing businesses have you observed appearing that a few years ago or even a few months ago.

The face of change is happening in network marketing because of the internet.

With the internet, product inventory is no longer a need for the network marketer. The parent company can house products, do research and development, update product lines, and handle shipping and delivery without the need for the network marketer to do nothing more then drive traffic and create a loyal base of customers and other network marketers.

The internet has created a beautiful opportunity for people looking to have their own business without investing hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars into brick and mortar businesses.
Many time when buying products from a non-brick and mortar business you get a much better product.

Along with the better product you also get personal touch, a guarantee, and a new friend. What more could you ask for.

Feel free to investigate the companies I have aligned. I believe that everyone who does not have a business is putting themselves into the highest tax braket in the country because they have nothing that they can write off. By the time you add a federal income tax, property tax, state tax, sales tax and all the rest you are probably only keeping maybe 50% of your earnings and very possibly less.

Robert Kiyosaki wrote that in his book Prophesy alot about that very subject. His other book, The Business School, he states that if he had to do it all over again he would start his business in network marketing.

The face of business is changing. Maybe take a closer look at Network Marketing which is nothing more than a franchise on steroids.
Tammy M
I have now been actively networking in business network groups for the past 4 years.

I have noticed that many people tend to not return to smaller network groups that are less than 10 people.

When I see people not returning to a network group because they believe it to be too small the first thing that comes to mind is, they want to sell to the people in the room and therefore do not have the like mind of helping others.

We have all heard that each person you meet knows approximately 250 people that you do not know.

That means that in a room of just 5 networkers there is a grand total of 1,250 people that are not in the room that these networkers know and you do not know!

In a smaller network group you will build closer and probably more loyal relationships than you will in a room with 25 or more networkers.

As a business builder it is more valuable to have 5 strong, solid relationships than 25 so-so relationships.

I personally have found that in a room where there are more than 20 networkers, I become just a number in the room. It seems that the room takes on the air of each person having just one thought in mind, "sell to the room", which is not what networking is about. A "sell to the room" attitude will not build a strong business and while you may be able to sell to a few, repeat sales will likely not be forthcoming.

Another advantage to a small networking group is you are a member of an elite group that "built" the network group. You become a kind of passive leader.

However, becoming this passive leader requires that you help to build the group by inviting others on a regular basis.

That was a few of the advantages to participating in small business network groups so what about the large network groups.

First and foremost a large network group can provide immediate connections easier than a small group.

It is vital that in a large network group you pay absolute attention to your commercial and make sure you ask for a referral of, "who you would like to meet", since your likelyhood of getting an immediate referral is much greater.

Another advantage to a large network group is the connections to more events and activities that allow you to network with even more people.

There are many people out there that their only job is to build a community following and therefore they pretty much network full time and are great connections to find...more connections.

Large network groups provide you with ample opportunity to have unlimited one-on-ones which if you do not know what a one-on-one is then I suggest you read my previous post, "How To Conduct A One-On-One When Business Networking".

Having a one-on-one provides you with an opportunity to find out if your commercial conveyed your business or not and to ask for suggestions as well as getting to know and understand the needs of others.

I think I have provided some food for thought on this subject and right now network groups are in need to support from the community during these lean times.

Don't be a number, be a member of your network group.
Tammy M
I recently heard that a refresh of your business card can be beneficial to business growth.

I am not sure if this is true but I will share this with you.

Several people in my network groups heard the same thing. As a result I have noticed some new cards.

When I see the new card I am compelled to take it? I want their new card even though I have their old card which likely contains the same information.

Another interesting thing happens when I obtain the new card......I examine it.

I don't mean I look at it. I examine it. Thinking about this I can recall two different cards that I received and I really looked at the card and examined the details.

This has to be good. I have found that I am a pretty normal person. When I mention that the card is new to other people they exchange the same observations that I had.

I am not sure how often you should refresh your card. I was unable to find it through basic research so further investigation is required. If you know feel free to share.

A refresh is suggested for websites about every 6 months. We can use this as a measuring stick.
Especially if your business card reflects information from your website or visa versa.

This whole subject of refresh brings up another topic about business cards. The look.

Is your business card boring? Mine is....

My business card is a white background, average size, basic black text, with a graphic on it. Yuck!

In my quest to improve the look of my business car I used tools at hand, other peoples business cards. I spread them out on a table like in a game of Go Fish.

I would mix them up and then just pick out ones that stood out.
Then I would mix them again and pick out a few more.

This is what I found.
Cards with a bold color stood out.
Cards where more then 1/4 of the card had a strong graphic stood out.
Card with personal photographs on them stood out.
Cards with expecially bold colored decorative text stood out.

I included my card in the game and ......it did not stand out.

What about your business card. If you did the same thing with your card, does it stand out?

Does anyone ever express that they like your card?

When I have gotten cards that especially took my interest by being a unique shape, or having a personal photograph I have found these are cards hang around the longest.

Thats what we all want for our business cards.
I am in the process of a business card redesign. I think I found what I want. My old card is Boring.....

What about your card? Just something to think about and maybe change.
Tammy M
This building a personal brand is pretty involved.

I am finding that I have to monitor several different social networks and post frequently.

I am also finding that the time of the day that you post can make a huge difference.

My time online happens late late late and most people are done networking and are winding down for the night. Because of this I don't think that my posts get noticed much.

Of coarse it could be that I just don't post things that people feel compelled to respond.

Face to face seems to be so much better but I am determined to get this social networking thing down to an art.

If anyone feels compelled to offer suggestions you can do so anonomously on my blog site.

Today I read another article about further building your brand of you inc. In this new networking world it is vitally important that each of us build our social network through all of the following means:

Your blog
You website
Face to face when possible

Each of these elements must be interlinked and should reference to each other.

Additionally when you post or send email you should have a kind of signature that people can select and get to your website and/or blog.

I am still trying to get better at this and share what I learn with others. I just wish others would share more of what they learn with us.

For now I just keep trying to build these virtual relationships and hope that I am not an annoyance.

I probably have not shared anything that is that earth shattering but realize this....if you are still in the workforce, know that employers are now using tools like facebook, linkedin, and twitter to check potential employees out!

They are looking to see if you are controversial, are you a complainer, do you appear to be a potential leader or are you already showing leadership?

If you are a small business owner you get the same treatment from your potential clients.
They want to see what people think of you, what do they think of your services, do you have fans, are you endorsed?

Take the time and build your virtual front door.

Make sure all your profiles are updated.

Ask your customers to give you an endorsement.

Update you blog and website on a regular basis. (I need to work on this one too)

We are all busy but this tool is not going away and is here to stay.

Embrace it.
Till next time.
Tammy M
I am a Co-Founder of a networking group called Referral Networking.

I am also the Vice President of Programming for a American Business
Women's Association Express Network called, Texas Vineyards Express Network.

I am a small business owner as an Independent Associate for a statewide electric company that I will not name because of advertising restrictions...but people that know me know what company I represent.

My email signature contains my electric company. I have made sure to build my brand with the company I represent but I am still missing so much more in building on my personal brand.

I seem to have developed some kind of tunnel vision that has made me feel that I can only associate my personal brand with one entity...my electric business.

I had an interesting conversation today with a pretty successful business owner and one of the things she pointed out to me was that her personal brand is everything she decides to dedicate herself.

Think about this. The doctor has a signature that effectively is a instant resume of his education and skills. In your head you are thinking doctor as in MD for medical doctor but what about a PHD. He might have a doctorate in mechanical engineering or maybe he's a dentist. Eitherway his signature provides a instant resume to anyone reading it.

What is in your signature. I think I should be adding that I am the Vice-President of a chapter in a national organization and the co-founder of a local organization. Is that not part of my brand?

How about it, are you involved in other organizations that can build on your brand? Can you help people to know you better by indentifying some of your passions?

I think this can be overdone. You might have been a eagle scout, involved on a church board, on the board of a networking group, and owner of a small business. Putting all of that in a signature may be overkill. If I was trying to make connections in a PTA I might add some of my social titles.

The point is business is now built through social networking and that social networking is spilling over into the common networking world.

Email is so widely used now that part of your personal brand should be contained in your signature. Which can contain your instant resume.

Think about your brand, "You Inc." and what your signature says.

Do you have some cute quote attached to your signature? Does your signature say anything about your passion and tell the reader a little more about "You Inc."?

Feel free to share your thoughts I look forward to hearing from you.
Tammy M

We have all hear the saying, all is fair in love and war, and while this may be true, all if not fair in business networking.

As an organizer for several networking groups I have seen a number of violations that people do. Sometimes on purpose, most times the violation is unintentional. I always find it amazing that the on purpose violations believe that others don't know about the violation. Reality is most are aware when they witness someone overstepping courtesy.
90% of the people out networking are honest people with integrity and humility. Many times when someone violates networking etiquette it is usually due to them just simply not being aware of the unwritten "rules".

If you attend networking meetings then there are just a few things to be aware of.

Most networking meeting have a set time to accomplish an agenda. Business introductions are where people will violate business etiquette.

Business introductions are usually a timed event during a meeting. This is where you want to be prepared to help the audience to get to know you. This is for your elevator speech and time adherence is important. You demonstrate that others are important by not abusing your allotted time.

Another propriety for network meetings is to pay attention to who is a member and the type of business they have to make sure if you invite someone to the meeting you are not violating membership exclusivity.

Most network meeting have a time set aside for "Thank you" and "annoucements", and you should not being doing another commercial. This time is set aside to help others in a business network group to shine, it is not a time to buff up your business. Acknowledging the services and offerings of other people is what will bring people into a networking group.

Finally, attending a meeting one time and expecting to make sales is wishful thinking. This is a huge mistake and is obviously coming from someone who is used to being paid for their time. If the person continues to do business with this mentality it will not be long before they are back to a job where they will be paid for their time. (Which is what they may have wanted)

These are just a few of the networking etiquette "rules" that are common when building a business through network meetings.

There are many more but the above seem to be violated more often than most.