My partner—and coauthor—Brian and I have been involved in network marketing and social media for the past 20 years. In October 2012, we were coaching a 28-year-old girl named Elisa. She was new to network marketing. She had the drive to become a successful entrepreneur, but she was shy and came from a small town. She didn’t know many people and couldn’t think who’d want to look at her product and company. But Elisa was a caseworker helping troubled youth turn their lives around. She wore her heart on her sleeve and cared for others. We knew anybody who saw that would want to work with her. What happened next was amazing. We’ll come back to Elisa’s story in a minute.

Elisa is not alone in her concerns. Many networker marketers fear running out of people to talk to about their product and opportunity. They make a list of everyone they know, yet all they can think of is 50 people. How do you turn this into hundreds or thousands of people? The answer is simple: Facebook.

Facebook gives you access to well over a billion people. There’s no reason for fear anymore. It’s time to connect and build relationships. With Facebook, you can connect to:

Facebook offers Graph Search, a tool that connects you to everyone else on Facebook, which is currently about 1.39 billion people. All these people are connected in trillions of ways via things like interests, education, and hometown. To use Graph Search, you type keywords into the Facebook search box. Graph Search allows you to find people by name or phrase. Here are some general examples of phrases you can enter into the search box:

Search is great for reconnecting with people. You will find hundreds, even thousands of people you have met over the years, but may have forgotten about. Reconnect to reestablish your friendship. There will be many opportunities to talk about your business, and it’s best to let those happen naturally.

Facebook search is also great for connecting with new people. We find connecting with people based on mutual friends or common interest yields the strongest relationships. The key is consistency. Make a decision to add new, high-quality friends every week. Quality means people you would want to be friends with in the offline world. If you wouldn’t have lunch with them, don’t friend them. Check out their profile and learn about them by reading their About section and looking at their pictures and videos.

Here’s how consistency can dramatically increase your results. What if you reached out to five new people every week? In one month, you would have made 20 new possible friendships and in one year 240. Where else can you go and make that many new possible friends in just 15 minutes a week? Nowhere. Using Graph Search, you have the option of friending or following people. If you follow them, place them in an Interest list, so they are easier to find later on. If there’s an upcoming company event, find “My friends that live in California” or the specific city so you can invite them to attend.

To open up another country, or if your company is opening in Japan, search for “My friends of friends that live in Japan.” Then you can write a note like this one:

Hey, I noticed you’re a friend of Bob Johnson’s! I’ve known Bob for 3 years on Facebook. I’m expanding my business into Japan, so I just wanted to reach out and say hi.

If they’re interested they’ll ask what type of business. If not, focus on building a relationship.

By now you are probably wondering what happened to Elisa, the 28-year-old girl new to network marketing. After we started coaching her, she turned to Graph Search in hopes of finding a few people who would look at her product and company. She first looked for people with whom she attended high school and college. Next, she reached out to people from her hometown and current city. After she got the swing of things, she started to connect with mutual friends of her husband and other friends she respected. Over the last two and a half years, her team has been able to produce just north of $394,500 in product sales. Not bad for a shy young woman.

A common obstacle distributors face is their belief that there’s no way to find enough people to speak with about their product and opportunity. Graph Search solves this concern.

All you need to do is take the time to reach out and build relationships, and that list of 1.39 billion people could be yours!

Jim Lupkin and Brian Carter are authors of the new release Network Marketing for Facebook. Having developed social media strategies for companies like NBC, Microsoft, and Universal Studios, as well as the US Army, they have also successfully trained over 100,000 network marketing distributors in how to acquire new customers and business partners, see NetworkMarketingforSocialMedia.com.

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