The Power of Social Networking to
Fast-Track Your Success
I know you’ve heard about MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube. And if you’re like I was until very recently, you might think these websites – known as social networks – are just for kids.
If so, you’re in for a surprise. Very successful entrepreneurs like master copywriter Ted Nicholas, Bob Bly and Michael Masterson are all using social networking sites to nurture, promote, and expand their success.
Here’s how Michael Masterson and MaryEllen Tribby put it in their new book Changing the Channel …
“Anybody who has the time to devote to this marketing channel can become a recognized … expert on any subject.”
Bob Bly was a long-time skeptic about the power of social networks – until recently. Now he says …
“The next big thing in Internet marketing is social networking. Unless you are living in a cave, you can’t help but notice the money being made from social networking sites.”
Five Social Network Sites You Must Explore …
The success of social networking has spawned dozens of sites. Some marketers feel they must be on all of them. However, if you want to write copy and not spend most of your day on social networks, here are five important ones to explore …
Digg is a website where you can share written and video content. It presents you with a very active channel for posting white papers, blogs, and other self-promotional materials. If you use any of these self-promotional methods, Digg is a great starting place for getting your website and your copywriting services noticed.
You don’t actually post content on the Digg site. Rather, you’re providing a link to that content that takes Digg visitors back to your website.
Once you post content on Digg, if users like it, they can make a positive vote by clicking on a “digg it” button. (There are no negative votes.) A number of other social network sites also allow users to “digg it” content posted or linked on their sites.
If your submission receives enough “digg its,” it’s promoted to Digg’s front page.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented website used mainly for professional networking. As of October 2008, it had more than 30 million registered users, spanning 150 industries.
The site lets you maintain a list of business contacts you know and trust. The people in the list are called Connections. You can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a Connection.
You can use LinkedIn Connections in a number of ways …
- Use your web of Connections to get introductions to someone you want to know through a trusted mutual contact.
- Use LinkedIn to find jobs, people, and business opportunities recommended by someone in your contact network.
- If you’re looking for a job, you can review profiles of managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them to you.
- Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates on LinkedIn.
MySpace is an interactive network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music, and videos. Originally promoted heavily to teens, MySpace is the second-largest social network site among all age groups.
According to the Reuters news agency, MySpace counted approximately 150 million accounts in 2008 and attracts 230,000 new users per day.
A search on “copywriting” in MySpace brings up links to jobs in MySpace Jobs, individual copywriter contacts, and videos of copywriting strategies that take the user back to the copywriter’s website … essentially video “white papers” for self-promotion.
Facebook has over 153 million users worldwide, making it the largest social network. Facebook lets you join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with other people with similar interests.
Facebook provides you opportunities similar to MySpace for posting information about yourself, your business, videocasts, and other self-promotion tools.
YouTube is a popular video-sharing website that lets anyone store short videos for private or public viewing.
YouTube originally was a venue for sharing videos among friends and family. But it’s become an effective marketing tool.
For example, you can watch videos of John Forde and Jen Stevens, Michael Masterson, and AWAI on YouTube … as well as copywriting videos from other copywriters using this channel to market their own copywriting services.
Joining social networks is easy. Go to the website, click a link that says something like “Join.” Provide the requested info. And you’re ready to start. There’s no cost, and you can explore them at your leisure once you’ve joined.
A Social Networking Power Few Copywriters Know About …
Even if you feel social networks aren’t the way you want to promote your career, they hold tremendous power for you as a copywriter. Here’s why …
Social network “groups” (also known as forums, discussions, or chats) give you the ability to really know what motivates your prospect. What truly is going on in his mind. What real dreams, hopes, and aspirations he holds.
Once you sign on to a social network, you can join groups and follow discussions, learning from other people’s posts.
For example, Facebook has 22 large groups, including topics like Beauty, Food & Drink, Self-Help, and Health & Wellness.
Here’s how you could use Facebook if you were doing a fundraising appeal for juvenile diabetes. Searching on “diabetes” in Facebook groups brought up this quote:
“Hey, I’m 15 years old and I was diagnosed when I was 5 years old. No one should have to deal with this disease, most of all kids. All we want is to live a normal life and we get hit with this. We need to find a cure so we and others don’t have to go through this pain.”
This one quote – discovered in less than two minutes of searching – gives you insight and empathy you could only get if you knew a kid with diabetes … a kid who was willing to talk to you about this intensely personal subject.
MySpace has two similar sections to explore for this type of insight: Groups and Forums. You can search both of them. Most other social networks have similar sections as well.
Feel free to ask questions. But do so respecting the people you’re talking to – the same way you’d do if you were talking face-to-face.
One warning about using any social network to broaden your understanding of your prospect: Do not post anything about products. Users of these groups and forums are totally against using them for advertising.
Social networking holds tremendous promise for you as a copywriter. All it costs is the time it’ll take you to explore the different sites … and a few clicks of your mouse.
Will everything you find be worthwhile? Of course not. But with so much potential available in social networks, you cannot afford to ignore them. Other copywriters aren’t!
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