17 Key People to Fill Your Networking Inner Circle
What professions should you make sure are included in your closest circle? You know: people with skill sets you have on speed dial.
With a tip of the hat to Harvey Mackay, I’d like to present the ‘must have in my network’ list of skill sets from the perspective of someone who has their own online website and business.
1. WordPress/Web Developer. Whatever you do, you should have your own website. The most extensible, easiest to change platform for the everyday person is WordPress.
Yes, you could set up a Tumblr site, but Tumblr doesn’t give you the e-commerce flexibility and command over the user experience.
That said, every person who is making at least six figure income on their WordPress site has a developer they can call on a moment’s notice to update their site for one of WordPress’ new version releases, fix a crash, or manage content.
2. Graphic Designer. Need a new ad? Want a new landing page for your website? Creating a new email template for an email campaign? You need to have a graphic designer you trust to create a campaign on a moments notice.
3. SEO consultant. I’m not a fan of monthly retainers for SEO consultants generally, but a quarterly SEO check-up is a good practice.
Have them review your key word SERP ranking placement, how new site content may lead to new key word opportunities, and have them recommend new tactics as SEO best practices evolve.
4. Computer IT and Systems consultant. You need someone who can repair your desktop or laptop on a moment’s notice; someone who can get rid of that virus which snucked by your firewalls and security software.
5. Virtual Assistant. You know all those tasks you hate to do, or don’t have time to do? I’m looking at you Link building, RT, and Key word research. Take the time to locate a low-cost assistant in another part of the world and have them do the work instead. Similarly, if you have access to a nearby college with a good internship program, sign up as an employer.
6. Lawyer. Intellectual property issues, content conflicts, contract negotiation. A good lawyer comes in handy.
7. Bookkeeper. Are you keeping all your receipts and bills in an overflowing shoebox? Just pay someone to sort it out weekly. The cost is minimal compared to your time.
8. Tax specialist or CPA. Run your web business like a business; the IRS will thank you.
9. Social Marketing Community Manager. If you have neither the time nor the temperament to build your followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, your blog, and industry boards, then find someone who can help build your followers for you.
10. Mobile technologies and device consultant. You don’t want to be tied down to your desk, and neither does your business. Find someone who can keep you up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends.
Don’t trust someone who you just met 5 minutes ago as you walked into the store—actually that goes for anyone on this list.
11. ISP and Wireless consultant. Someday your internet service will go down or will need to be set up; you can either trust the the ISP to determine what system will meet your needs, or you can find someone who is an expert who will find the right solution. Either way, you will need this person anytime you move or set up a new piece of equipment on your wireless modem or router. If none of that made any sense, find a consultant you can trust.
12. Well-connected influencers in your field. Identify the most respected people in your field who are based locally, then get to know them. Take them to lunch and ask for their advice, get their feedback.
13. Your competitors, friendemies or strategic partners. Know the competition, they may become your business partners someday.
14. Insurance agent. Because if someone ever steals your office equipment, you’ll want that check.
15. Facebook Developer. Most sites I know generate at least 20% of their site visitors from Facebook. With that much potential traffic, it’s good to have someone who can help manage your Facebook presence; create Facebook ads, develop new pages, and generally keep an eye on your site while you are busy off doing other things. Don’t expect this person to be your community manager though, a good developer is not always the most socially adept person in the world.
16. Copywriter. If you can’t write, connect with someone who can.
17. Photographer/videographer. If you can’t photograph, find some one who can. Your profile pictures should be professionally taken. Even more importantly, you need to have someone help you make your YouTube videos.
And of course you should have your doctors, home repair people, and pizza delivery restaurant on speed dial. Who have you connected with to become your online inner circle of service providers?
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