Time is best spent in front of clients or prospects that will say yes to your product or service. Anything else is optional. Online social networking can be a proactive way to convert prospects into clients but will require attention to detail and the right approach, just like meeting someone for the first time in a live environment. Prospecting online can be done by a lead manager, virtual assistant, or part time staff as long as the rules are set forth in the beginning how to handle interaction. Tim Ferriss, author of the Four Hour Work Week, told me that he was able to go on 5 dates in the same day by outsourcing his dating online. He set up his virtual assistant to describe the ideal soulmate he was looking for and how to eliminate the rest. Although this method was somewhat Misogynistic it still worked and worked well.
Building the Profile. The virtual assistant should do this. Give them the template that you have personally created and let them take the time to upload your contact information that matches the fields in each profile. Each online profile may have different fields so be clear on dictating what goes where. Create the username that is the same and a password that is similar to each one. Since each profile will require a unique password make sure the VA tells you what the password is. You may want to create a separate email address for the sake of online social networking so your main email is not filled with unsolicited SPAM. Make sure the VA emails you a link with all the profiles created in a Microsoft Word Document for future web, blog, or email marketing purposes.
Who is your perfect contact? If you are trying to build a network you should look for people that you will want to do business with and skip over everyone else. Are you looking for people of influence or just want to add anyone to your list. The more specific you are on who you want to add as a connection the easier it will be for your virtual assistant (VA) to handle and the more accurate your database will be to keep in contact. Search for people by job title, company, network, group, and key words. This alone will increase your sales by 10% for a minimum wage employee to operate.
Only respond to serious inquiries. The messages you will receive will be “Add me as a friend, join my network, connect with me on___”. Since this is a two way street people will be asking you to join their network. Be sure to have your virtual assistant (VA) examine the profiles of these people carefully. Treat adding people as if you were contacting them to join your network. If they do not match the creIf they have 2,000 connections they could be on a frenzy to just add people to their list to SPAM. Make this rule clear to your VA so that you do carefully select people you want to do business with to join your network.
Personal messages. Personal messages may or may not be outsourced. This is a judgment call. VAs will not know your personal life so it may be difficult for a VA to respond. If it looks like SPAM it is probably SPAM. If the message is not personalized, it is probably SPAM. Any messages sent out to your contacts to join networks or become friends should always include a personal message. This will increase the success rate tremendously. Create a template for invitations and messages that match the type of person, group, or purpose of communication.