Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Networking, Networking and More Networking!

Today, I signed up for the 16th Annual Huron Valley Taste & Expo which takes place the weekend of March 29th.  I hemmed and hawed about it a bit because I did not do so well at the few indoor craft shows I participated in during the Holiday season.  This one however, will give me some exposure to the Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce and a little bit of opportunity to network.  I have heard other artists mention the HVCC, but have not been to any of their events before.  I am looking forward to it!

My New Year's resolution for 2009 is to expand on my networking capabilities.  Networking with strangers is not a natural thing for me, so I am proud to say that I think I have done rather well with this resolution. Most people might be thinking, resolution?  I gave that up months ago! Normally, I would have, too.  However, being in the current situation of unemployed it is more of a necessity.  Right now, I am walking dual paths - find a new position in my chosen field and indulging my entrepreneurial spirit.  I have to say, this journey of transition has given me lots of opportunity to pursue both, but still no clear answers.  I like the structure of a 9-5 job but the creativity of making jewelry.  In other words, I like doing both!

My chosen career of Telecommunications is definitely a passion and something that I am good at doing.  I chose this field over 10 years ago because of the advent of the Internet.  Back then, the Internet was all about pipes and bandwidth, now, we are in the era of web 2.0.  Web 2.0 is less about bandwidth and more about content.  Since being laid off, I have had the time to learn so much about social media, which seems to be the main content driving the concept of web 2.0.  

It seems social networking is the way towards the future whether being an entrepreneur or part of an existing business.  The idea is using it properly to target customers and find the right people.  This seems to be the tricky part.  Especially if part of your target market is adverse to social media (more on that another time).  I believe Twitter is still in an early adopter phase where Facebook is more mainstream.  I have read that the growing segment of Facebook is the 30+ crowd.  This must be true since me (30+) and my mom and dad (50+) just joined in the last year.  I know this is anecdotal, but seriously it is true.  I am getting more and more requests from friends in the 30+ crowd for help in using FB.  Of course, I will be happy to oblige.  I may post more about that later.

At this point, I am still in the learning phase of social networking.  Like I mentioned before, I only joined Facebook in the last 8 months.  I started to Twitter only 2 or 3 months ago.  I joined LinkedIn when I lost my job.  I have not fully realized all their powers.  In fact, I am using resources from a local networking group called Motor City Connect to learn more.  I guess from a networking perspective, you could say I am covering all my bases.  I hope this is a strategy that pays off in the long run!  Next up...Search Engine Optimization!!!!

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