There is a right way and a wrong way to do, and even people butting in to tell us how to do it. Social media idea has evolved in a very short time into opportunities for marketing rather than for us to leisurely sift through those who are definitely kindred spirits, colleagues in the field and related fields and others who search for knowledge.
I like marketing best when it is practically invisible or at least done with tongue and cheek; we have to do some. What I don’t like is when it has become a doorbell for target marketing. We aren’t necessarily talking about collaborating in the near future.
My positions on many aspects of what we do are clear in my blog, but I have also said I am open. If I were the smart marketing person, the last thing I would do is approach me about is taking something from a sales perspective rather than a people/trainer perspective, but it could be done. LinkedIn used to be a good place to have discussions but it has evolved the same way, a place to market rather than discuss and share. GovLoop seems to still be in the sharing mode, but government can be restricting in limiting how and who deals with contractors. And, Face Book? If you aren’t willing to sell to friends and grandma, you aren’t a salesperson. Not really a friend either.
My advice. Come in as a friend and offer assistance. And, mean it. If you don’t; don’t join the network. Old-fashioned networking was no different. You don’t set up a table and start talking about your products. You may mention them or stir up interest. When the customer is ready, he’ll come to you. Now you have someone ready to listen to you and discuss with options with you.
I’ll end this with a bit of marketing on my part; I’ve got a couple of books I think you might enjoy. But here’s the thing, I make no claims it will change your life or make you rich–only ideas you might make use of. Here are the links to The Cave Man Guide to Training and Development and my new novel, In Makr’s Shadow, where the world is run by an evolving artificial intelligence. You guessed it! Some humans want their world back. Here’s a clue. Most haven’t an idea about how to fight for anything they want since they had their way so long.