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Celebrity Branding You! – Typing Your Way to Fame!

Over the last few years, there is no denying that the online community has started harnessing the power of the Internet for more than just “surfing” the web to look for information. We have now started using it as a networking tool that allows us to connect with others to share ideas, opinions and videos of ourselves looking like fools. Okay, so hopefully we don’t have too many of those videos; but having some video online, and at the major video sharing sites, is a great search engine traffic strategy that we should all be employing.

One of the online tools that has been around for the longest, but is often neglected or overlooked, is that of message boards and email-based discussion groups. Yahoo and Google offer the two most popular email groups and they are free for anyone to set up. You can host your own group or you can join existing groups. There are groups for everything you can possibly think of; some are private and require the moderator of the group to approve you, and some you can get started with right away.

You can find these groups by going to the following URLs:
Yahoo - http://groups.yahoo.com/
Google - http://groups.google.com/

The way these groups are set up is that you are given an email address to which you can send a message if you want to send a message to an entire group. When you send a message to that address, everyone in the group gets it, and when they reply their response goes back to the whole group. On a side note, this has gotten more than one person I know into a bit of a trouble; because by habit you might think you are only responding to the person who sent the message, but since it was sent to the group, when you reply it automatically responds to the entire group! BE CAREFUL! It can be mighty embarrassing to send a private message to someone that ends up going to the whole group!

So, how can this help you build your celebrity status?

In most groups, there are many members who join to get information, but do not send messages. Let me give you an example: I am a member of a group for entertainment lawyers in the state of Florida. When I joined, I did what I would recommend that anyone should do when you are first joining an existing group -- I watch how people post and respond for at least a few days to learn the tone of the group. After a month or two, I saw a message asking about a subject I know a lot about, so I responded to it. As time went on, I got involved in the discussion and I sent about 10 to 15 messages over the course of a few months.

As I was following the messages, it seemed like there were about 10 people who posted fairly regularly with about five others who would chime in every now and then. So by my estimation there were probably 20 to 30 people in the group.

Well, after about six months, I went to a convention where these entertainment lawyers gathered for an annual meeting. As usual, I met some new people and learned more about them, but something funny happened. When I introduced myself to people I had never met before, most of them said, “Oh, you’re Nick Nanton from the message board.” I would politely respond yes, but I had no idea how they knew that since I had never seen them send any messages. That’s when I asked the question.

I walked up to the person who moderated the group and asked him, “About how many people are in our online group? I keep meeting people who say they know me from the message board, but I have only sent a handful of messages and have never seen these people send anything.”

That’s when he responded “a little over 500 people.”

500 PEOPLE!

As you can see, I was drastically wrong in my calculation of 20 to 30 people in the group. There were actually hundreds, but only a few of us actually communicated through the group. And I have come to find out that this is fairly common in many groups. So, even though I had only sent a few messages, I had become a celebrity among the entire group. Everyone knew who I was, and before long I made a lot of new friends and was referred to a bunch of businesses because I was seen by the members of that group as an expert because of my prompt and accurate responses.

You really can find celebrity status in more places than you’d ever imagine; and sometimes, as in this instance, it smacked me in the face when I was completely oblivious! So go browse around online for groups of people that you would like to learn from, and that you think would be a good place for you to display your expertise and possibly even get some new business. Just remember the rules of the road! When you are in any new environment, watch how others behave first, before you start adding in your two cents!

Now, go out and join some groups!