Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 by Chuck Rylant
Cops Can Make Money and Have Fun With Social Networking
Social Networking is a bit of a stray from my typical financial planning topics, but earning money is not. I’ve received a lot of questions about social networking after I was quoted in several news articles about Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. Financial advisors were the audience of the articles, but the information is relevant to any business or profession. You can Google my name if you’re interested in reading the articles. (Isn’t it neat how Google has become a verb?)
Let me begin by addressing the many that are reluctant to try these websites. My introduction to social networking began a few years ago… when I returned to college for a graduate program. Within the first few weeks I received several “Friend Invites” to Facebook from classmates. I declined all of them thinking that I was an “adult” and too mature to participate in college frat party games with my younger classmates. Eventually I caved in, and now years later, most of my business comes directly or indirectly through social media web sites.
In the article’s title I alluded to business and income growth through online networking, however, to be successful, that need be the last reason for participating in these sites. Just like in-person networking, if your only reason for connecting with others is to increase your business, you’re not likely to be successful. Online networking is no different than any type of networking except that you can meet and get to know a larger group of people in a shorter amount of time, including people other than just the police officers you meet at work.
So what does work when networking online? Join the big sites, connect with a few friends, and observe how people interact because each site has a unique culture. There are of course law enforcement groups out there too. Once you feel comfortable you can interact with others and share as much or as little about your life as you’re comfortable. Eventually, you’ll really enjoy the many new friendships you make and maybe even some new business along the way.
So where do you start? I’d begin joining Facebook, Twitter and Linked in. Each is unique and has a different purpose. Linked In seems to attract corporate employees and professional business owners. There is less interaction on this site but it’s a great tool for finding other professionals or service providers. You can connect with me on Linked In at http://www.chuckrylant.com/linkedin, and you can reach John Marx the editor of CopsAlive.com at: http://www.CopsAlive.com/suggests?linkedin. You can also find other cops and police groups on Linkedin.
Twitter is unique in that you can only exchange micro posts that are limited to only 140 characters. This seems odd at first, but the more you use it the more you’ll appreciate its simplicity. The people on this site range from all walks of life from teenagers to the President of the United States. Find me at http://ww.chuckrylant.com/twitter and CopsAlive at http://www.CopsAlive.com/suggests?twitter. You can also find other cops on twitter.
My favorite site is Facebook because of its vast ways to connect and share with others. This site allows you to share micro posts, but also post web links, photos and videos. Just like Twitter, you’ll find many different people on Facebook. My Facebook address is http://ww.chuckrylant.com/facebook and you can find John at: http://www.CopsAlive.com/suggests?facebook. You can also find other cops on facebook.
These sites do take time, but I’m confident you’ll find it time well spent. I hope to hear from you at each of these sites so we can get to know each other better. Just send me an invite and mention how you found me and I’ll gladly accept.
C. J. Rylant Wealth Managment
Chuck J. Rylant, MBA, CFP®