5 January 2010

Networking into the New Year and a new economy

My very best wishes for a successful and recession-free 2010 !!!

As we enter a new decade, social networking gets more important every day. If you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner it will be close to impossible to survive after the recession without a solid and trusted network.

In general there are three large groups of entrepreneurs :
Starters (18-25) - The middle generation (25-50) and the Senior Managers (50+)

Senior Managers have built up a solid network during the many years of their career. They can rely on their trusted connections for support and referrals whenever needed.

The middle group (25-50) are the people with the least experience in social networking. This is the generation which was raised with "sales, sales, sales" as the main message. Often they think networking is just another marketing technique which needs lots of effort and isn't really profitable.

The group that we often forget to think about are the starters (18-25). Today, when students graduate they already have a network on Facebook or MySpace of 1000 connections on average.

Entrepreneurs always laugh with this fact because those connections are just other students and people they hang out with in weekends. Right.

What we forget is that this entire network ALSO graduates and enters the professional business world at the same time. When students finish school and enter their first job, their entire Facebook/MySpace network instantly transfers into a professional business network.

Young people today start their professional life with a 'warm' and trusted network of approx. 1000 contacts ... and they keep on growing their network in the next years.

My fear is the simple fact that the middle generation is not ready for this "competition".
The middle generation has to embrace social networking and learn how to apply the tools.

My contribution to this will be a new training course 'Social Media for Business', brand new and available as from now ;-)


  1. make the analysis interesting, and, I think, as a proofreader. Among young people do not have the same enthusiasm as was, for example, 10 years ago. Have become more circumspect, more blase, more narrow-minded. Of course, that's my opinion. But like so I see things here from me. or may be a fault from which place? :)
    It's interesting what you said and I am convinced that we only learn if you still read your blog

  2. It is my experience that in building a network the friends matter needs to come first. Actually by being really interested in people I have build an international network of over 2000 people simply by showing genuine interest in people and their passions, dreams, ... (Using F.O.R.M. as dooropener)
    As a professional network marketer in Belgium we still have lots of opportunity as you state in your article towards the first to groups. The only real underlying loopholes lie in the way we network today: sometimes too fast and not taking enough time to getting to know the people. A simple follow up email works worders in conjunction with a digital business card. And adding value if of the utmost importance!

  3. @Bart : Exactly. And that's why I think Premium networking concepts will be very successful in the next years. Smaller groups of people supporting and advising each other, helping each others to grow their businesses. People will feel the need to combine multiple concepts of networking to satisfy their total need.