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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Making Friends on Myspace

It's no secret that all the hopeful entrepreneurs have flocked to myspace looking for a new audience, new customers, big networks and lots of money. Everyone logs on and sets up a profile, believing that if they build it the friends will come and THEN most sadly realize that that they don't have as many friends as they want and that they quite seem to understand how a site so simple to setup is so difficult to promote on.

First off you need to realize that myspace is full of people just like you, and we are all trying to network our way to the top so in order to get noticed on myspace you have got to stand out. Before I get to the nuts and bolts of how to stand out on myspace and gain more friends, let me first tell you why I think this whole process is important.

As a Black Entrepreneur with limited start up money I've been trying to map Low Budget Marketing down to a science because quite frankly I am more interested in making money than spending what little I have. That being said, Myspace is one of those social networks that - if used properly, can help increase your web visibility without you having to spend a dime. Nice idea right. Of course most people understand this concept, they just don't get how it translates into putting up a profile and adding a bunch of friends you've never met.

Ok, so let me explain that part from a personal perspective. My flagship myspace page, Sistas Making Money has almost 3,000 friends, which is an impressive size friend list to some and practically minuscule to others. Either way, it is a community that I built filled with businesses, entrepreneurs, and women who are interested in my products, articles and services. Every time I create a blog post, add a new friend or post a bulletin, I am connecting to thousands of potential viewers and customers in a matters of clicks and minutes. Creating this page has allowed me to not only share my work with others, but find out about some very interesting Black Businesses and entrepreneurs, many of which I would not have discovered on my own, or even through Google.

So in a nutshell that is why I created my page, and how I use myspace to share and network with others. Let me now tell you how I did it so that you can work on building your myspace friend list and making the most of your profile.

After researching myspace marketing (I'm a research fanatic, you should be too), I realized that I was going to have to develop a myspace marketing strategy if I wanted to be seen, so I did the following:

  1. Tried to Pick a Name that was Catchy and Relevant to what I wanted to promote. My focus was Black Business Women so I decided to go with Sistas Making Money, because every body wants to make money so the chances of people clicking on my profile to see what it was about what high.
  2. You also want to make sure you set an eye catching profile image. Folks love the Sistas Making Money logo, it stands out. In a sea of myspace profiles, you want to up your chances of being noticed in a crowd.
  3. Two things I personally avoid in my design are embedding music, if I am not a musician and using background images that make it hard to read my profile text. Sometimes too much flash makes viewers run fast. I personally like adding friends with cool but simple layouts, clear links to their website, great product photos, and interesting blogs.
  4. My most important criteria for adding friends is whether or not they meet my target audience. I don't believe in adding every person that sends you a friend request just to up your numbers because at the end of the day when I am sending out blog posts and bulletins I want to know that my list is largely comprised of people who are interested in what I have to say, rather than myspace fantatics looking to up their friend count. Don't get me wrong, I make it a point to add a few random friends every now and again, but 90% of my Sistas Making Money friend circle is comprised of Professional, Innovative Black Women entrepreneurs. I like it that way, and keeping it that way also helps the friends in my circle easily navigate my friend list and find interesting people to add to their circle.
  5. Which brings me to my BIG point about making new friends on myspace. For at least the first month that I created Sistas Making Money I spent at least three hours a week looking for friends and manually adding them to my list. This amounted to only a few hundred friends but the end result was a list that quickly started to build itself. Once you pass the 500 mark by manually adding friends and accepting friend requests as they come in, you will start to find that more people are requesting your friendship which means less work for you.
  6. Again, I want to emphasize that I tried to make friends with folks most relevant to my business and pro Black Women Initiatives. But I didn't try to exclusively link to big profile sites because chances are you won't initially be in their top friend list on their profile page, which means unless you are constantly adding comments to their page (a good way to promote yourself but lots of manual work), you won't get seen on big profile pages so they won't really help build your visibility. In addition to a few high profile pages, mix it up with folks with medium size friend lists, your closest of close friends, and friends with no friend circle at all. It really helps to be in the top listing of a persons profile, because chances are when someone comes to their page to either comment or to find new friends, they are going to click on the pages of the first friends they see.
  7. As I mentioned above commenting is also alot of work, but its a great way to show your friends some love and promote yourself at the same time.
  8. Don't forget to review my Sistas Making Money friendship circle, and add a few of my friends and ME to your list.

Related Posts:
- Sista-To-Sista: How Online Networking Works
- Black Business and Myspace Marketing


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