BBWO: BLACK BUSINESS WOMEN ONLINE

I wanted to take a minute and start a real discussion; to spark conversation about how this group is being used and how we all can BEST use this network. This topic came to mind because I realized that while Black Business Women Online is quickly growing, only a handful of members regularly participate in Forum Discussions or Add Blog Posts and of that handful, the topics are usually the same. Though I feel we all can benefit from sharing our business services with the group, we need to both open up the forum and ourselves to the idea of discussing issues that can genuinely add substance and advice to those interested in building their businesses And to using this network as an opportunity to discuss issues relevant to Women of Color among a group of highly intelligent and ambitious black women.

Now I myself do more than my share of self-promotion on BBWO, it is my network after all (lol) but that is not all I do and try to bring to this space. In between working and networking, I try to supply the group at large with resources and information that many can benefit from. And I would really like to see that happen more among more of our members. I've read several great, lively discussions on here and I want to build that type of energy on the group. Some great posts I've seen include:

0. Introduce Yourself
1. How Did You Establish Your Business?
2. Calling all authors and authoresses
3. Learn how to make money on BBWO
4. How do you stay motivated?

I also wanted to spark conversation about what you, me, she, we all can really do on BBWO and any social network for that matter. I feel like more often than not, half of the people that join a group, join in the hopes that inclusion alone with help to get them noticed and promoted. And in reality that is far from the case. Those who will get the most out of any group, in particular this one, are members who participate.

I do realize though, that sometimes participation is easier said than done. I myself, at one point didn't have a clue about what to do in a social network beyond joining and adding a few friends. But there is actually quite more for you to do here and many ways that you can really benefit from making the most of a network. Ok, so that being said I am going to throw out some suggestions and I hope you do the same. Share what works for you or what you would like to see happen by being a member of this group. Whatever it is, let's all start by simply sharing something.

So here are a few suggestions of things I've done or seen other members to:
- Adding photos or video is a great way to give people a better view of your biz

- If you have an etsy store : You can add etsy content to your page

- Start a group or join a group that focuses on your area of interest

- Write a real blog post or forum discussion about your experience and/or advice

* Most people enjoy reading posts that are genuine and informative, not just an ad

- Talk about issues that matter to you, talk about being an entrepreneur

- Talk about low funds, hard work, bad deals, great learning experiences, new goals

- Talk about your dreams, your successes big and small

* Be more than an advertiser, become a person that other members can relate to

- Share words of encouragement, testimony

- Talk about something you learned as a business person or about business

- Can't figure something out? Ask the group.

- Browse the member forum. Search for keywords relevant to you. Add a friend.

- Browse the form categories. Reply to a discussion or unanswered question.

- Post your site in the forum and request feedback. Find out what works & does not.

- Share product samples or discounts with members.

- Review member websites. Request link exchanges.

- Add an event. Submit your site to a listed directory.

- Post to your blog. Talk about your recent updates, what are you working on now?

- Share your favorite resources with the group or select member friends.

- Update your page with image, your site url, bio, etc.

- Adding friends helps bring new people to your page. Comment on member pages.

- Ummmm... I don't know, you suggest something now.

- Learn how to make money on BBWO

In short, though I love the idea of self-promotion, it isn't all that I want this group to be about. So let's be about something ladies! What do you say?

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I love the suggestions!!! I am not computer savvy, and I wanted to join a group that can really help support each other, and to promote our business. Well, here goes, I am a nurse by trade for 15yrs, LOVE health and fitness, and I am in a new company that is launching on Tuesday. The company is soulpurpose, and my website is www.mindandbody2.moonfruit.com. The CEO and founder is Nadine Thompson, who is a wonderful lady with great vision and purpose for her company. You can also go to www.nadinethompson.com, or www.soulpurpose.com for further info. It is free to join until Monday the17th. If anyone is interested, please email me at mindandbody2@yahoo.com. I would love to share health tips with anyone interested!!! Carin
I AM INGRID IN ATLANTA, GA AND I OWN A HAIR SALON CALLED JUSTINS HAIR ETC.I SPEACLIZE IN SHORT CUTS AND HAIR THAT IS HEALTHY. I AM AVAILABLE ON MONDAY -FRIDAY. I ALSO BELIEVE IN AND PROMOTE IN AND OUT SERVICES. I ALSO RETAIL SEXY LIP SPARKLETTES. CONTACT NUMBER FOR SALON AND SPARKLETTES IS 678 7548248. IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE FOR ME TO GIVE ADVICE AND TIPS TO ASPIRING STYLIST, I LOVE TO GIVE BACK WHAT WAS TAUGHT TO ME. I HAVE BEEN A PROFESSIONAL STYLIST FOR 20 YRS. I MADE BEING A COSMETOLOGIST A CAREER. IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO WHOLESALE LIP SPARKLETTES FOR MORE INCOME PLEASE CALL ME. ASK FOR INGRID. GOOD LUCK TO ALL
Hello I am to BBWO and wanted to know if you were still selling the lip sparklettes?
Thank you for taking the time to compose this very real and poignant post. I have been thinking the same thing for the past few days, and trying to find time to compose a note to all that would, in essence, say the same thing.
While I am a shameless self promoter (!), and am on one side, in the business of brand development and building, I really would like the women in this network to use it for networking, learning and discovery- not to simply "spam" each other with endless plugs for their buisinesses. I support in spirit everyine here, and I understand being proud of what you have to offer and share, but there is such a thing as a soft sell and business etiquette. Many forums and netwroks, though formed by business people or those in the same industry, forbid plugs and advertising in most areas of the network. I can read a person's profile and see what they do. I actually take the time to read them (!) and I respond to those with whom I have synergy, or I think I can truly help. Or would want to be friends with.

So like you, I have thought of ways I can best serve my sistas and brothas in this network. I've not only been in business for a great deal of time, but I also have been on the digital side of things. Maybe I'll do a short form series on do's and don't of forums, social networks and e-marketing! Kinda like the telemarketer who hits you in the middle of your favorite TV show or dinner, spam should only make it's way onto your plate if you so choose LOL!

Ups and downs of business? Good topic. Could write a book! Business development and marketing? Used to be the director of the enterprise development zone in SF; maybe I offer insight if asked. Services? I can offer a few (for free- number one rule: don't give away what you can get paid to do) but initial consultations are usually on me!

Web development, mobile and broadband initiatives? 50% of my business involves my running a digital news and entertianment network and new media agency. And the list goes on.

Best use of time while signed in to this group? find out, as you suggested what others are doing and where you fit in. Got an email for folks who are trying to publish books and magazines and start online pubs...been there. Do that (and very well!) I think I'll lend a hand there.

But for the most part, I joined the network out a sense of community and connecting with women who shared my journey , if not the same path. It's nice to know that although I spend nearly 80 hours a week working, that I have a place to unwind a bit and know that I am not alone. Sometimes I just read what others have to say and leave. That can be good too. Sometimes I want to fly under the radar. I'd like to just be able to vent without always being the one that is helping and doing, leading and making things happen...Maybe I'll post my blog here. That's how I utilize the web when I'm not "working" it.

Thanks for listening...
I absolutely LOVE this network. It's a network I never thought I'd come across. It's a space for us as Sisters to relax and be the warm. loving, inspirational, creative, talented, smart, outgoing, and SAVVY women that we are... AND share with and in each other's building.

My main goal for joining this network is to meet sisters to whom I connect with... cross market with... team up with. If I can find a business I can patronize while building mines... I rather do it within our community!!! I make gift baskets... and I've already found a few sisters who offer products that I will carry in my baskets... just because they are on this network. (of course, they'll have to be professional :-) But for the most part.. it's cool, because you can see the people you're doing business with and get to know them without pressure. (You know it can be between us sometimes..The love doesn't automatically show up even though it's there!)

I've met sistas that keep it moving!!! i.e. Vilma and Theresa are some networking MaMa's! They inspire me and remind me that your business is what you make it! I've met my SIS (Sister in Soap)... we have our businesses in common, but there's nothing but love there- AGAIN, a beautiful inspiration.

I've used this network so much for so many different things in the short time I've been a member.. and speak highly of it! I tell everyone it's a Myspace for SISTAS... no boys, no kids... no drama.. just some serious business minded sisters making it happen for themselves and others!! I can't say enough about how much I really appreciate and love this network. It's a blessing to be able to share all aspects of starting and owning your own business with other women of color. The world will have you thinking your dream is IMPOSSIBLE... until you can hook up with other people.. just like you... with dreams.. just like you!
Peace & Blessings Everyone!
Charna

Stay Motivated!!!

Right on!
I joined to connect with women that feel and are on the same mission as myself. LIke Charna said this site is awesome and I have been looking for a site where I could share my thoughts without feeling rejected or ignored by the majority registered on the site.

I definately found what I was looking for when joining BBWO! I recommend to all of my friends and family!

~Sharmeen~
www.ShaLeRayHomeAndBody.com
www.myspace.com/naturallytwisted
Sharmeen32@gmail.com
Yes it is nice to have a voice and be in a setting where there is respect for the opinions and views of all.
Thank you for posting this LaShanda. I have been checking in and out more than I have in the beginning, but I find that a lot of posters are just posting about their business. Granted, we all want to push our businesses forward, but just as you said we need to get to know each other also. I mean this is a social network, right? LOL.

Cee
Oh this is really great. I am loving all the comments and I really feel like this post has inspired many to be honest and bring their 'A' game, as far as making the most of the group. 'a Myspace for SISTAS... no boys, no kids... no drama.. ' I love that quote Charna! Ladies indeed you all are inspirational and quite amazing.

TTFN
-lh
I just glad you took the time to make this forum happen. I'm so busy creating the online environments and content, but not enough time to spend enjoying the environment LOL

Kudos to you! Now where can I post media and content, or a widget for all to share? on this network? Have a great ezine, live performances (streaming in real time), radio, inteviews and fashion guide, how-to videos...

Lila P.
This is a great post. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts not just your ad. I agree that most social networking sites look more like electronic billboards.

I was just thinking how much I enjoy these sites more that I schedule time to actually visit the forums and profiles of members that truly share their knowledge and inspiration. I hope to do the same here.

My business is constantly evolving (with me) and I will post more on that later.

I look forward to being part of a thriving community of talented and successful individuals.

love & blessings!

barbara

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