Forming Partnerships and Alliances Online by Networking

copyrighted Judi Singleton 2005

I first wrote this article in 2002 here is an update on the article as

I have learned a great deal in the meantime.
Here is a definition of a social network from wikipedia
"A social network is a map of the relationships between individuals,

indicating the ways in which they are connected through various social

familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial

Another quote from Wikipedia on Social networks
"Research in a number of academic fields have demonstrated that

social networks operate on many levels, from families up to the level

of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems

are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals

succeed in achieving their goals."

If you are going to be sucessful on the net or anywhere else people

need other people. 75% of career moves are made through others that

you know. Networking is a important part of being financially secure.

What is networking? It is forming partnerships and alliances based on

mutual need, respect, and trust. It is passing on and getting

information through the people you know. It is helping others to be

sucessful while helping yourself to be sucessful. Hopefully your

network is a group of people who are committed to each others success.

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What kind of networks do you have. The primary network is made up of

family, and close friends that share your value system. They always

want the best for you. They will help you prosper in anyway that they

can. Your secondary network comes from aquaintences and your

community. This may include people you do business with, church

friends, organizations you
belong to, people you just meet. Your secondary group is made up of

acquaintances, those with different values, beliefs, attitudes, and

friends. The casual contacts who make up your secondary group come

from everywhere, past and present: Work, community, school, and

service providers. They may be made up of people from your past,

employers, teachers, school friends. Or they may be people who you

work with now,
present employers, people you are currently doing business with at

this time.

Research and my personal experience shows me whatever technical

advise, professional advise, I may need comes through people who I

know. They are available to listen and give me advise. They are people

who are willing to do things for me, meet a need in my business, share

their experience, people who will meet some of my business needs and

that I can do something for in return. Reciprocity, or fair exchange,

is the foundation of networking.

Some contacts are from your primary group family and close friends

they are best for providing support, helping you overcome

shortcomings, improve your skills. Secondary group are best for

providing information and resorces. A contact may be anyone who

provides you with access to what you want. An example of this I have a

friend who is absolute whiz at math.
He has helped me figure out how to refinance my house, to find

financing for my business. He has helped me put on paper my financial

needs for my business so I can clearly present them to others like the

bank for a loan. He also knows I have issues with money and provides

support over time for me to overcome this shortcoming. My family has

been a great resource for giving me support when I am down and don't

think I can go on. They tell me
I can do anything. Some of my impersonal business aquaintnesses like

other editors, writers, have exchanged advertising for me in exchange

for advertising. This has been a tremendous help when I was trying to

build my business. They have not only exchanged ads with me but

published my articles help to establish me as an expert in some

fields, exhanged links
on the internet with their business and mine. A contact may be anyone

who provides you with access to what you want.

Contacts are people who can help you access information. They are

useful as they provide expertise you may not possess. They may have

contacts you do not have. There is power in information. You do not

have to know everything just where to get that information. That is

where your contacts come in. They provided the resource you do not

have. It is also important as a human being not to be alone in seeking

what you need and

Whether you are trying to find work, a new doctor, moving to a new

city, we all rely on others to help us on a daily basis. But if you

are to be effective at forming partnerships and alliances you must

make a physical record of your whom you know who might help you in

your current project. Putting on paper who you know who might be

helpful in your current situation and what resorces they may offer and

what you might offer them in return makes clear the next step of who

to contact. This will help you know what avenues to pursue both in the

present and future. To do this one must be able to clearly definewhat

business you are in. This sounds obvious but I am surprised at my own

inadequecy in this department what helped me was to write a clear

business plan, and strategy plan. The difference being one is what I

am selling and my values as a business person and the other is how to

implement my business plan. I had to know my purpose, values, and

speical genius to write it clearly to others. If I cannot describe to

others my value, my business, my purpose, and my special talents then

I will not get eqaul value in exchange. So be very clear about this

part of your networking plan. For me being in tune with my Higher

Power and developing a vision that motivated me and became a passion

was necessary to networking. I also had to be able to tell others how

I was attending and developing my passion. I think of the networks I

belong to as a method of personal empowerment and putting my head

together with others to create new realities in my life. Here is a big

one be willing to help others to succeed. Be very clear about what you

want then let others know what you want and what you have to offer;

listen carefully so you can consider the exchange what others want and

what they have to offer. Begin to create links between What you want,

what others are offering and your visions. Remember when you choose to

give you empower everyone in the network. Belive you are a part of the

web of life and when you choose to act that it sets up a ripple system

on the web of life itself. Remeber that networks are processes, they

have no one center, they are structures or hierarchies.

As hard as it may be to believe, you have exponentially more contacts

than you would ever imagine. Active networkers know that every

stranger represents an opportunity: The chance to reach targets, get

problem-solving assistance, obtain guidance and direction,

information, tips, leads, referrals, advice, support, counsel,

sponsorship, as well as enhance your self-esteem and growth.

Networking is an excellent method for creating your visibility and
credibility among those important to the achievement of your goal.

Active networkers know that every stranger represents an opportunity.

The chance to reach targets, get problem-solving assistance, obtain

guidance and direction, information, tips, leads, referrals, advice,

support, counsel, sponsorship, as well as enhance your self-esteem and

growth. Always remember that it's a much smaller world than you think.

You can get information by way of a chain of people very quickly.

To be effective at networking, forming partnerships there are some


You may not immediately be comfortable with reaching out and asking

people for help but you owe it to yourself to follow each step and to

do each step. Remember one has to strech their comfort level a little

at a time but do stretch it.

About the Author

Judi Singleton writes ten blogs a week if you would like to read more articles like this by her go to Judi's Ramblings

Judi Singleton