As a network marketer, you can choose a variety of ways to network for your business and find new prospects, customers and business partners. To ignore the power of the Internet and the hundreds of millions of people who have flooded social media sites over the last five years would be foolish.

You would be hard pressed to find another site like Facebook, with over 550,000,000 users as I write this, all at the click of a mouse, and all of whom spend an average of over twenty minutes per day using the site. That’s a gold mine for any networker who’s paying attention. However, many go about building relationships via social media and online marketing completely the wrong way.

Perhaps it is because they assume that, since it’s the Internet, it’s okay to be commercial when you first introduce yourself to someone. But this is a dire mistake, one that can cost you much wasted time and energy if you’re trying to grow your business through social media.

Social sites do not exist for people to spam others with their products or services, or to be used blatantly as free commercials for their businesses. Social media sites exist to connect people.

The vast majority of social media users are not there to be pitched on a business opportunity or new product. They want to see what’s going on in the lives of those they care about. They mainly want to meet new people and browse whatever interesting content their network posted that day.

The Power of Relationships

With more and more people catching on to the power of social media to build a network, there’s been a rise of spammers, that is, people who may have good intentions in promoting their business but are ignoring the fact they have no relationship on which to base their promotions. If you do not have a relationship with your prospects, why should they trust you? Why should they do business with you? Most people who attempt to go immediately for the sale on social media, rather than first building relationships with their prospects, are simply wasting their time and their prospects.

The correct way to leverage social media in today’s marketplace is to use it as a networking tool, one with which you can build a huge following of like-minded, targeted and related prospects.

If you’re new to social media, start with setting up a Facebook account. You might want to also set up a fan page specifically for your business. A fan page allows you to congregate all your customers and prospects in one centralized place to communicate with them, update them on what’s happening in your life and business and, eventually, lead them into your sales funnel.

The truth is, people do not mind buying; they just don’t want to be sold. I sell a ton of stuff to contacts who came from Facebook, and I have made a lot of money in my business through that site. However, I focus primarily on giving value to my prospects via my fan page and Facebook profile.

How? By providing content, information, videos, aphorisms, stories and many other things that my contacts will enjoy, appreciate and learn from. In between these posts and updates, I casually offer my products and services. When you build your business on Facebook in such a way, no one minds the fact that you’re asking them to check out your business or your product, as long as you’re not abusing the privilege and you’ve built a relationship first.

The 90/10 Rule

I often teach my students a 90/10 content rule for how to update their friends, fans and followers on social media.

Ninety percent of your content should be educational, inspirational, enlightening, uplifting and/or humorous. Ten percent of your content should be directly promoting your business, products and services.

I often share a variety of different things with my fan page followers and friends on Facebook. Remember, it’s a social networking platform. People don’t want some generic, nameless, faceless, corporate brand. If you’re in the networking business, people want you. They want to know more about you. They want some juicy details about your life. They want to know your values, your philosophies and who you are so they can sell themselves on the idea that they like you and want to connect with you.

The key here is not to try to be everything to everyone, but to genuinely connect with the people who resonate with you. You accomplish this by being authentic, transparent, open and honest. This is what attracts the right prospects to you—the sort of people who will become your best clients, buy everything you have to offer and rave about it to their friends.

That’s why I often share things I’m doing in my life, or my favorite movies, videos or quotes. The goal is to build relationships with your prospects based on what you have in common. If they like you, they’ll want to check out your product or business when you ask them to.

If Facebook were a country, today it would be the world’s third-largest nation, after China and India—and it is only getting bigger. If you’re not paying attention to the trends and are stuck in the old ways, you’re missing out on where the future of advertising is going.

However, even with that in mind, you can’t approach social media like it’s a free commercial. Follow the principles and steps outlined in this article and you’ll be well on your way to expanding your network and your business.

JONATHAN BUDD is a 26-year-old multimillionaire
who has over 160,000 students tuning in weekly to his
cutting-edge trainings on social media, marketing
and entrepreneurship. His rapid rise to success is directly
related to the strategies he teaches about the
power of the Internet and technology.