Don’t make the mistake of going onto one of these sites and setting up your profile just as it would be for YOU.This follows on from the last point about knowing who you are looking for. If you know what will attract their attention, then you will know how to write your profile, so it fulfils that purpose.

For example, photographers are naturally going to be interested in the profiles of other photographers. Writers will naturally gravitate towards other writers. And people who are trying to make money online will search for others who seek to do the same. This applies to every niche subject or market you can think of.

Why? Because they are trying to find the knowledge they need to succeed. Or in some cases, knowledge about a subject they like that they don’t yet know about. And if other people who share their interests are easy to find on their profile, they’ll want to stick with them and see what they have to say, won’t they?

Remember that you’re not on there for social kicks: you’re on there to make contacts and generate interest in your business. That means you need to create a profile that is different from how you would normally describe yourself. The only prerequisite here is that it should catch the attention and make people look closer.

But being professional isn’t always going to be the right approach here. You want to seem casual and approachable, so use the kind of language your preferred audience might use. For example, if you sell a range of USB gadgets, you could describe yourself as a USB gadget freak. If you sell eBooks on the subject of saving money, you could refer to yourself as a thrifty money saver. There are plenty of possibilities here, and you should find that you can change the wording you use on your profile page, so don’t be wary of experimenting.

You might feel like a bit of a fraud, to begin with, because your real passions might be very far away from what you include in your profile. But you should think of yourself as being two very distinct people – a business person and an average day to day person. And it’s the business person that is going to be joining these social networking sites.

There is one other critical point to mention here. When you join a site, make sure your first task is to create that profile and get it up and running. You don’t want people clicking on your screen name to find out more about you, only to be met with a website address and little else.

If that happens, there is a very good chance they won’t be back. So make sure you are ready to create a complete profile from scratch as soon as you join.