Networking No-No: Inconsistency
Consistency is important in nearly every job you do. It keeps you level and always present. It shows that you are aware of your role and are doing it. It also shows others that you can be dedicated to something.
You should strive not to be inconsistent in your networking. Yes, I know it is hard to be consistent as life likes to throw roadblocks left and right. It is not entirely possible, but you need to be aware of the fact that you should be as consistent as possible.
What Does It Mean to Be Consistent?
Consistent means even and not sporadic. It can be daily, weekly, or monthly to still be consistent. Sporadic is no pattern at all. It is hit or miss. Webster says it is "marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity; free from variation or contradiction".
When you are consistent, people know that you'll be seen instead of wondering if you are still alive or still in business. You don't have to be rigid about when you are online, but make sure people know that they will see you at least once a week online. That gives them confidence to keep looking for you.
Now, this can be hard which is why I have a few tips to help you.
Try to have a set day that you network. Make it every Tuesday and Friday or something similar. That will help you be consistent. Make it a habit. Put it into your routine.
If you are still having trouble, get a partner to help you. Maybe you direct each other or just hold each other accountable. Challenge each other. Partners are great to have.
When you create a schedule and get in the habit of it, you'll find that it is not that hard to follow.
Keep Track with a Spreadsheet
A tip to help you out is to have a spreadsheet of all the places you network. If you are part of more than two groups, this might be beneficial. List the sites and any rules they have for posting like posting promotions on certain days. When you post on that site, note it in your spreadsheet so you don’t over post or under post. Also, you can monitor your posting for appearances of spamming.
Network at a steady pace. Spread it out if you can. Once you find your rhythm, you’ll find smooth sailing. It sounds harder than it is. Give it a try.
I also use it so I don't spam a site without knowing it. I can also track my work and the results. Great when others help me to know where I have been online and when.
If you pace yourself, you won't find inconsistency in your networking. I find too often that people can be completely absent or be online so much that they become overwhelming. That is where people with either forget about you or avoid you at all costs. You don't want either one.
Keep track of when you are online. Do it only on certain days and spread yourself out a bit among all the different places you visit. That doesn't mean you have to be everywhere at once, but don't limit yourself.
Use Technology to Help You
Technology can do a lot to help you market and network. There is more out there to help you with being consistent if you know where to look.
Facebook has implemented the ability to schedule your posts on your author page. You can use that to have your presence seen online even when you physically can't be. This is usefull when you have a family emergency or you are travelling. Our schedule doesn't always allow for time to be online.
Hootsuite is another tool you can use. I have used it many times to spread out my posts to avoid being seen as spamming and to keep a visual presence. With a full-time job and kids in all sorts of activities, it was a blessing. I do want to warn you here that this site can hurt you in certain groups. There are some who consider this a spamming tool and will remove you from participating if you use it. Read rules and make sure you use it correctly.
There are many other tools out there. Search for what will work for you. Ask others what has worked for them. Never stop searching.