When George Clooney was recently asked about his take on
Facebook at the Toronto Film Festival, his response was
short: "I'd rather have a prostate exam than a Facebook

Now, that's probably understandable when movie studios (his
potential clients) have his number on a speed dial, and
pesky paparazzi (freebie seekers and unqualified prospects)
chase after his every move.

But unless you already have more prospects and high quality
clients than you and your business can handle, your
approach to Social Networking should be drastically

Frankly, a little over a year ago I considered online
networking a total waste of time. Fortunately, I was able
to recognize how wrong I was. And I wasn't the only one
that had a change of hearts on this.

After Dell revealed they generated a cool million dollars
in extra sales in 2008, (ahm, make it a cool $3 million by
June'09!), many other companies large and small started
paying attention to this social networking "fad"!

Just consider a few of these facts:

• Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networks
initially considered online hang-out places for kids and
teenagers are now attracting a much more demographically
diverse crowd.

• Big brand names, like Ford, WholeFoods, Comcast, IBM,
Dell, Southwest Airlines, and many, many more are
establishing a strong presence on social networking hubs
like Twitter and Facebook.

• Facebook membership has just passed the 300 million mark
(that's nearly the population of USA!) and Twitter is
marching towards 18 million users by year's end! That's a
lot of potential customers!

• Although, started with college kids in mind, over 50% of
Facebook's members now are over 25 years old, over 55% are
women (the new buying power), 51% have an annual income of
$75K, with 33% claiming to earn $100K or more.

• Finally, Facebook has become one of most trusted
companies in America, and people spend three times more
time there than on Google!

Got your attention now?

Good, let me give you just five basic tips on putting this
massive connection power to your advantage.

1. Get Started!
Open an account on every social media and social networking
platform you come across. Even if you are not actively
using all of them, (which you never will) you should
reserve your own name, the name of your company, your
brand, or your key products, because those are like real
estate locations - once the prime spots are gone, they are

For example, I have the vanity url
facebook.com/adamurbanski - but there are at least six
other Adam Urbanskis who will never be able to grab that
link! I also have twitter.com/adamurbanski,
youtube.com/adamurbanski and many more like this - are you
getting the point?

2. Get Involved!
Just opening the accounts won't do anything for you. You
must be actively involved. Choose the best three platforms
for you - where you can find the largest population of your
ideal clients and it's the easiest to connect with them.

Each platform provides search tools that enable you to find
people you already know, current customers, as well as hubs
where most of your ideal potential clients already hang
out, so you can become visible to a lot of them very
quickly. And start connecting and talking! But first...

3. Listen, Listen, Listen More!
The most important thing you must remember is that social
networking is NEVER ABOUT YOU! It's ABOUT THEM!

So don't listen twice as much as your talk (I mean "post"),
listen 10 times as much! Find out what the current topics
are. What people are concerned about, what information and
solutions they are looking for. Then make your posts
relevant to other people's needs!

Here is a hint - nearly all of social networking services
and tools, at least the basic version of them, is free! So
don't go out there pitching your high-priced wares. Give,
give, and give some more first!

If your focus is on getting and taking, you will get a big
fat NADA from your networking efforts. But if you focus on
giving, you'll be abundantly rewarded in return.

4. Get Attention!
Following all the rules is for sissies! So don't be a
social networking pansy - have an opinion (in fact, have
lots of opinions on everything!) and voice it loud and

People admire people with opinions - even if they don't
agree with you, they will stick around to watch what will
happen next.

Social networking experts are quick to dispense all their
"must not break" rules (heck, I'm doing it right now!), but
the fact is, this is such a new media that most of the
effective approaches are still to be discovered. And the
only way to do so is by stepping on some toes and breaking
some norms.

If you want a "safe" way to practice this, follow my PET
formula: polarize, entertain, teach!

• POLARIZE. Whether you piss people off or make them love
you, they will pay attention. If they are indifferent, they
will leave!

• ENTERTAIN. People will always choose fun over education.
If people laugh w/ you, they like you... Plus, when they
laugh - they learn!

• TEACH. Gary Veynerchuk says "give good s#!%." And he gets
how PET works, because that phrase rubs some people the
wrong way, it entertains, and it teaches! Peeps love good
tips they can use right away - so share some!

5. Automate!
The purpose of social networking is to CONNECT WITH PEOPLE
on a very personal level, still there are some tools that
can help you impress your fans with your "omnipotent online
presence" and get more networking done in less time.

RSS blog feeds, friendfeed.com, ping.fm, twitterfeed.com,
socialoomph.com, tweetbeep.com, and tubemogul.com are just
a few of a plethora of tools and services - most of them
free - that will kick your online socializing into high

Here is my final take on it. And I really want you to get

In April of 2008, from a stage at one of my boot camps, I
called people who use Twitter "lazy idiots with no life"
(yeah, how is that for polarizing, huh?)

But at the same boot camp earlier this year I had my
Twitter networking activities to thank for clients from
Australia, Singapore, Netherlands, Spain, England, Hungary,
and a few other countries. Needless to say, I changed my

I'll leave it to your imagination as to what I now call
professionals and entrepreneurs who refuse to recognize the
client attracting power of social networking. Better yet –
stop wondering, and if you aren't involved yet - get
started now!

Author's Bio: 

Adam Urbanski, teaches service professionals and business owners about information marketing and how to develop better marketing strategies to attract more clients, increase sales and profits. His website offers more how-to articles and free tips to create a winning marketing action plan at www.themarketingmentors.com. Once a year, in November, Adam hosts Attract Clients Like Crazy Boot Camp designed specifically to teach entrepreneurs effective marketing strategies. www.attractlientslikecrazy.com