Okay, I’ve had it! I thought I won’t get spammed on LinkedIn, but I eventually realise one thing: If you are networking using free social sites, do expect some “noise.” I think I will re-focus my networking endeavour to another social network I should use more often: Biznik – a social networking for independent business owners.
Please note, I am not affiliated with Biznik. I am a Biznik user who thinks that it can offer you more than the typical benefits you receive from Facebook and LinkedIn. Read on…
I was recommended by my acquaintance, Scott Messinger (Business Broker,) a social network he is active in, Biznik. He mentioned that networking on the social site gives traffic and lead to his business website – so I checked it out. I eventually signed up with Biznik some moment ago, and to say the least, it’s offering a chance to network with fellow independent business owners – but I didn’t really do much; I should.
Other than Facebook and Twitter, I also involved in LinkedIn. As an online influencer, I mostly post discussions. I read LinkedIn updates quite a lot – and have the group and discussion updates sent to my email inbox.
However, I don’t really fancy the fact that some of my discussions attract spam replies, promoting some business – probably done by some shady SEO companies which give the SEO industry a bad name.
I ended up turning off notifications, to cut some noise coming into my inbox (I receive about 150-200 emails a day – it’s time hogger to deal with 90 percent of them which are spam emails.)
I’m always enjoying being around in a social network with minimal noise. That’s why I’m a fan of BizSugar. Another one I should network in is Biznik. Why? Read on.
What is Biznik?
It’s basically a social networking site for independent business people, who enjoy the freedom to do things in their own terms; whose businesses are the extensions of their passion; who enjoy having real conversation with real business owners.
Unlike LinkedIn, which is geared toward professionals and job seekers, Biznik is geared toward entrepreneurs. It’s not “Facebook for business” either – businesses use Facebook for connecting with customers, while businesses use Biznik for connecting with other businesses.
For a better explanation, this infographic can help you out:
And Biznik is probably the only business social networking site which actually made a cool movie about its members (24 minutes of interesting look into entrepreneur’s journey)…
I give you 5 reasons for that:
1. B2B at its best
You won’t find your friends, family and customers on Biznik (unless they are also business owners!) The sole focus of Biznik is business-owner-to-business-owner networking. You can share what you know with others, ask other biz owners about business, and also pitch for potential partnership potential.
If your business deals with B2B, Biznik is the right place for your business.
2. No selling, less noise (and spam!)
Multi-level marketing is banned from Biznik, and unlike Facebook and Twitter which are marketing-pitch-ridden (I’ve also pitched numerous times on LinkedIn,) you can be sure that on Biznik, no selling on sight; nice and quiet.
3. Good for your SEO
At first I have no idea why the “Join Us” button has “SEO” label in it; I assume that most people join Biznik for SEO benefits. I wasn’t so sure, but come to think of it, you should be gaining some SEO benefits from Biznik.
You can add your website link on your profile page, and as Biznik has good authority on search engines, your link will technically receiving some inherited value. If you choose a different, better plan, you can enjoy more exposure – more categories to list your profile page, easier to get found and eventually, more leads coming your way.
4. Free training sessions!
Not only useful tips via articles, some Biznik members are giving free training and seminars for fellow Biznik members. There is no catch, except perhaps some pitches inside or in between training and seminars – but that’s very much acceptable, given the efforts in offering their knowledge and expertise to their peers.
5. Proven Inbound Marketing tool
If you sign up or upgrade to Biznik PRO and ProVIP plan, you will be able to start discussions, publish articles, attend events and workshops, get more exposure of your profile and/or business website and many more perks, including more information in your profile page. Those tools are valuable for your Inbound Marketing campaign – indeed, many members testify that they get many leads and clients from other Biznik members, as well their partners, even customers.
Why I haven’t heard of Biznik?
It’s simple – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. are free; Biznik is not. Not many appreciate premium social networking because, well, it’s not free, despite the value offered. Moreover, it’s B2B-focused; there are more buzz when you involve end-users-slash-customers.
However, the plans and their pricing make sense, particularly if you are serious about your online presence.
Indeed, membership plan starts from $79/year. The Basic plan is sufficient for you if what you want is exposure and your focus is getting found. That’s why Biznik pitch visitors with the SEO benefits of becoming a Biznik.
But is that the case? Well, I just did a vanity search on myself and found my Biznik profile in the first page of Google. As predicted, my LinkedIn profile tops the page, followed by my Crunchbase profile (yes, you should add yourself to Crunchbase – more on this on an upcoming blog post – stay tuned!) My Biznik account is somewhere in the middle of the first page. If you are promoting your business via Biznik, that is clearly beneficial.
Always remember – no matter how much you want to reach out to your clients, you must not forget that you should continue in honing your entrepreneurial skills and intuition along the way; you can do so by networking with peers who share the ups and downs typically happen to an indy biz owner.
One more takeaway for you: Always focus on joining a business social network whose members are sharing your vision and passion. Pitching to the crowd is nice, but if the crowd is not interested, your effort is in vain.
So, what do you think? Is Biznik the right social media for your business? Please share your opinion…