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Are Virtual Relationships Really Real?

By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Deborah Shane Recently I read a networking article in a business publication that posed the question: Are virtual relationships real relationships? I can tell you there are several opinions about this depending on who you ask. Those who do not spend much time engaged online and on the web think this is ridiculous. Those who are engaged and invested online and on the web as an integral part of their daily business will tell you, those ‘virtual relationships’ are the very ones that have lead to some of the most valued relationships they have made in life and business. I can only share with you how my social platforms and the virtual connections I have made on them have been turned into what I call actionable relationships. I spoke earlier this year for our Social Media Club and my topic was “Building Actionable Relationships from Social Networking," which I followed up by writing this post. This year through my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogtalk Radio platforms I have met and developed amazing connections nationally and globally, leading to potential strategic partnerships, referrals and support communities. Here are a few key ones that come to mind: Andy Robinson [www.careersuccess.typepad.com]
  • I met him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • He's someone I've had on my radio show several times and as a keynote at one of my events.
  • Andy is an active referral source and support community for my career focus.
J.T. O’Donnell [www.workitdaily.com]
  • I met her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • I am now part of the CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert program.
  • I've had J.T. on my radio show several times and we are planning live career events next year.
Joyce Bone [www.millionairemoms.com]
  • I met her on Twitter.
  • She was a keynote at my Women’s Empowerment Conference event in Atlanta.
  • Joyce has been a radio guest of mine and her profile will be featured in my upcoming book.
Maritza Parra [www.maritzaparra.com]
  • I met her on Twitter.
  • She was a keynote at my Women’s Empowerment Conference event in Atlanta.
  • Maritza has been a radio guest of mine and her profile will be featured in my upcoming book.
Tory Johnson [www.womenforehire.com]
  • I met her on Twitter and Facebook.
  • I am an affiliate for her events and attended her inaugural Spark and Hustle event in Atlanta and her profile will be featured in my upcoming book.
David Risley [www.davidrisley.com]
  • I met him on Twitter and Facebook.
  • He's been a guest on my radio show several times.
  • I hired David to consult with me and we're discussing a live event in 2011.
Maddy Dychtwald [www.maddydychtwald.com]
  • I met her on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Maddy has been a radio guest of mine and her profile will be featured in my upcoming book.
Susan Joyce [www.job-hunt.org]
  • I met her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • I write for her site as the Job Search for Women Expert and she's been a guest on my radio show.
There are 5 ways I have made these relationships happen and can keep them growing:
  1. Reached across the virtual platform to make a personal connection by phone or in person.
  2. Explored and developed synergy and collaboration.
  3. Demonstrated integrity.
  4. Made the effort to connect and network them with others.
  5. Supported their brands and causes.
So, are virtual relationships real relationships? The answer for me and many others is... A HUGE YES! The virtual world:
  • It’s where people are.
  • It’s how they are connecting with each other.
  • It is a huge bridge in a big world to meeting people you may have never had an opportunity to meet anywhere else.
Go make some virtual relationships into actionable ones! Click here » to read more articles by this expert. Photo credit: Shutterstock
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