Below is a copy of my letter that has just been published in SuccessNet, the BNI members magazine:

Dear SuccessNet

Soon after joining BNI I attended the South East Members’ Day at Brands Hatch and heard Penny Power talking about the importance of online social networking.

Since then I have adopted online networking as part of my business as well as using it to generate visitors for the Epsom BNI chapter.

Using Penny Power’s Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me approach I’ve built up many connections on various social networking sites. I’ve also found that BNI skills (eg being very specific about what we do and what type of client or visitor we want) are very useful in empowering your online networking results. I now have over 18,000 connections on the web, and more than 8000 on Twitter, giving potential exposure to millions of valuable contacts. In fact I’m now nicknamed the Twittering Tax Man! With this many potential followers it’s much easier to find visitors. Yet 12 months ago I didn’t know what Twitter was.

The results of my 21st century networking adventures have been impressive (both for my business and my chapter), and I’ve received the Notable Networker award five months in a row for bringing visitors to the chapter – largely thanks to online social networking.

One of the key benefits of online networking is its longevity. Whereas other contact methods are time-limited, online posts are there forever. Seth Godin talks about this as being the ‘Long Tail’ – a reputation built over time. My blogs, several referring to BNI, are permanently online and will continue to bring connections and visitors months and indeed years after they were posted.

Master online networking and the potential for you and your chapter is unlimited!

James McBrearty
Epsom Chapter