Wednesday, June 16, 2010

E-ROI; the Art of effectiviness in social media communication

'..Do we need an online strategy? Does our Company need to be on Twitter? How useful is LinkedIn in achieving my networking goals...?

Those are just a few samples of the questions I am getting every day for which no general answer can be given. That depends of course on the following elements which form the basis of effective Online Networking:

  1. Be yourself, show and share it in your Profile
  2. Target your online action and interaction towards specific Goals
  3. Interact / communicate with your Target the right way by addressing the Target's personal networking style. Be sure that your time spend online per client is be less than the time spend using other means of communication in order to achieve the same Goal.

The third rule may be new to you, yet it is essential if you consider an online strategy for your company.

Beware of Social Media enthusiasm
Too many 'social media experts' are preaching an enthusiastic web 2.0 'gospel' trying to convince you to 'just do it' on Twitter, LinkedIn or other Portals. Sadly they never have any real data about online effectiveness, they are just following accepted principles that do apply in normal person to person networking but that don't work online. You run the risk of having to wait endlessly for any return that will never happen because it simply doesn't work the same way as in real-life.

Giving, sharing and... receiving?

'...Give first in order to Receive' something back ('..but don't expect anything..') later...'

That is how it works in real life. It is one of the basic elements of real-life networking, yet it doesn't really work that way on networking Portals such as LinkedIn, at all!

I tried that myself for many years, adding thousands of Answers in the LinkedIn Q&A section, introducing countless people in my network through my network and adding tens of reviews and insights in best practices on blogs and portals. I finally came to the sobering conclusion that looking at it objectively and academic ally instead out of mere social media enthusiasm, my vast efforts in sharing knowledge and networking activities couldn't justify the return in new business.

I discovered I wasn't alone, in fact most networking actions on LinkedIn, Twitter and other Portals lead to very limited ROI. However I also encountered people who where able to score some successes and by assessing more closely 'why' this happened I discovered that these often had to do with the 'nature' of the online networking action and 'how' it was executed:

- People seemed to be more successful in getting new real business out of their efforts if their service or product had a Real Value in real life. It is e.g. generally accepted that a legal counseling service or a recruitment service has to be 'pa id for', whereas 'general knowledge' or 'best practices' about internet tools is considered to be 'freely' available online. E-networking towards the first leads to an easier E-ROI than the latter, it simply is easier to get 'being paid for' in the end.

- People also seemed to be more successful because they had a Personal Skill to target their action towards their Goal. E.g. I met an in terim manager who told me that he was really successful by getting a new job through his LinkedIn network. That makes sense, because LinkedIn is targeted towards getting new Jobs and this individual new all his 'first line' contacts personally. Also he didn't use the email service in LinkedIn, but phoned his contacts in order to find out first what the networking connection and quality in his network was before approaching his networking Goal.

This led me to create the following E-time to ROI model:

There is quite a lot of information in the Model which you can use in order to get more insight how to achieve a situation in which your E-efforts are becoming E-ROI.
On the horizontal axis you will find the central explanation: The Ability to be more Personal in an E-interaction leads to a situation where you need less E-time per person to achieve your networking Goal. Specifically:

  1. Targeting your action using a social network that fits your networking Goal (e.g. getting a new job using LinkedIn) will get you to the First Phase in Targeting = The Special Interest Group.

  2. Being able to find and select your Target carefully and knowing everything there is to know about your target is the Second Phase

  3. Translating the information about your Target into an assessment of the target's networking style will give you additional information if you will be succesful in a targeted E-interaction (Third Phase = Assessing Personal Networking Styles)

  4. Using the Assessment to personalize your e-networking action in a way that Influences your Target is the Final Phase

If you are able to reach Phase 4 you will notice that the effort in Time (vertical axis) in order to reach the critical point effective E-interaction (the Blue line) will drop sharply. You will also notice a Red Line representing the same case but for a different kind of E-interaction (Services / Products instead of Knowledge / Information). Below those lines, the amount of E-time needed (Et) will reach a level where you can expect to be more effective than by using other means of communication such as e.g. 'a personal visit' or the 'phone'. That is thus the situation you are looking for.

You will also notice a Blue dotted line. This line represents the effectiveness by using specialists web 2.0 tools such as the Deep & Clustered Web searching tools and address / phone number extractors which I make for corporate client use. These enable sourcing social networking sites for key-people using one query and they find corresponding phone numbers to them quickly. The total amount of time you will have to invest drops dramatically.

How to use the Model?
Ask yourself, where does your 'dotted' line meet with the uninterrupted lines? That will be exactly the point of critical E-ROI. Naturally I can help you getting more insight in your E-ROI situation, matching your corporate needs and how to maximize the E-ROI from web 2.0 interactions.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Online Networking; build your Personal Brand

Personal Branding
In the new economy where individual skills, competences and networking styles are becoming more and more important, you will have to start thinking about your 'personal brand' online.

Simple SEO (search engine optimization) techniques that work to promote your personal Profile or Corporate identity are therefore important. But it is not only about visibility, you will also need to know what message or identity online is the most effective for specific client groups. Thus you will need to know what your own or corporate networking style is, in order to speak the right 'language' using the right 'tools' online. In other words you will need to know how to improve the effectiveness of your interactions online.

The course for individuals can be followed online and will take about 2 hrs depending on you specific needs.
Furthermore corporate customers can contact me in order to develop a tailor-made series of workshops to train your personnel. During these workshops:
- we analyze your corporate identity,
- translate that to your online expressions & interactions on websites and in social media,
- and build a program in which effective networking styles of personnel is used, creating a uniform corporate social media policy,
- to targeted groups of customers using the ON networking model © above.

Contact me to make an appointment.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Online Networking Services

Schedule a course and learn the tricks, the do's and the dont's in online networking.

General Learning & Online Strategies Consultancy Goals

  • Effective use of networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Myspace, Hyves, Xing, Second Life, Tribe and Open Networkers tools.
  • Effective online marketing and sales using Google, Blogs en online profiling.
  • Effective search and review of services and people using Deep-Searches and Clustered Searches.

  1. Learn how to create a 500+ network on LinkedIn in a minimum of time (just a few minutes)
  2. Learn how to view more than just the few million profiles on LinkedIn, but all 600 million profiles on multiple networks using just one search and dashboard (you don't have to login anywhere or be a member of the networks, the ROI in time spend is considerable)
  3. Learn how to seek more information about a target effectively (such as a phone / email address), so that you can contact your Target directly
  4. Learn how to change a quantity network into a quality network in order to add value to your network.
Click here for more information about online courses, webinars, consultancy and fees.

Monday, August 14, 2006


General Recommendations

These online publications, written without my knowledge, give good insight into what I do, my ethics and my ambitions: Dawn Mular, Chris Williams, Yvonne LaRose TechZi Interview, MKB Nederland .

Specific Recommendations
Be informed that there are 5 recommendations about my online work on BitWine.

I have offered some help / and advice on LinkedIn Answerswhich resulted in the following:

Voted Best: Questions and Answers:

Expertise in:

  • Using LinkedIn (20 best answers)
  • Web Development (4 best answers)
  • Career Development (3 best answers)
  • Staffing and Recruiting (3 best answers)
  • Business Development (3 best answers)
  • Mentoring (2 best answers)
  • Professional Networking (2 best answers)
  • Corporate Governance (2 best answers)
  • Change Management (2 best answers)
  • Starting Up (2 best answers)
  • Commercial Real Estate (1 best answer)
  • Regulation and Compliance (1 best answer)
  • Education and Schools (1 best answer)
  • Job Search (1 best answer)
  • Professional Organizations (1 best answer)
  • Corporate Taxes (1 best answer)
  • Risk Management (1 best answer)
  • Charity and Non-Profit (1 best answer)
  • Compensation and Benefits (1 best answer)
  • Offshoring and Outsourcing (1 best answer)
  • Advertising (1 best answer)
  • Small Business (1 best answer)
  • Blogging (1 best answer)
  • Enterprise Software (1 best answer)
  • Computer Networking (1 best answer)
  • Telecommunications (1 best answer)

A few written recommendations on my profile, you can contact the specialists underneath

“Ray helped me in a private workshop how to expand my network and make the most of it with my business as a headhunter. He did a very good job and he is open to ask him any new questions related to this matter.” July 24, 2007

Top qualities: Expert, Good Value, On Time

M Rosier (
hired Ray as a Business Consultant in 2007

“Ray has been extremely helpful in broading my understanding of networking. The meaning deepens through protracted thought. I followed Ray's web links and benefited therefrom. He is generous in disseminating knowledge without expectation of benefit. He is a leader in that he is not afraid to express an unpopular opinion. In this regard, he is a valuable contributer to the LinkedIn dialog.” February 22, 2007

Howard Halpern MA CPRW, President & Counsellor, Affordable Counselling®
was with another company when working with Ray at Independent

“I have know Ray van den Bel since I became active on LinkedIn. Ray is perhaps one of the best opennetworkers I have met. He is incredibly knowledgeable and well versed in Web 2.0 technology and has always been a valuable and trusted person and friend who is willing to share his extensive expertise in a professional and constructive way. I highly regard Ray van den Bel and recommend him as an expert networking resource.” February 12, 2007

George Feist [Lion], President & CEO, Novus Management Services Corp.
worked with Ray at Independent

“yo recomiendo a Ray como Business Consultant” November 19, 2006

Susana Boettner, independent fine art professional, independent
was a consultant or contractor to Ray at Independent

“Ray is a very experienced Web 2.0 expert and tutor. He has written some very detailed and sccurate reviews of various products that can be used to enhance the Web 2.0 productivity of any company.” November 4, 2006

David Wilkinson -, Internet Professional, Profy Inc.
worked directly with Ray at Profy Inc.

“Ray really knows the value of networking. He looks for any opportunity to learn more about people, what they do, and how a mutual relationship can be developed to benefits both parties. Thanks Ray for your energy!!” June 22, 2006

Logan Maienschein[], College Relations Manager, Tyson Foods, Inc.
was with another company when working with Ray at Independent

“It is my pleasure to endorse Ray who is an experienced professional and leading networker. I have enjoyed his support and would recommend his services to all.” June 8, 2006

Arnnei Speiser, Co-Moderator, MyLinkedInPowerForum
was a consultant or contractor to Ray at Independent

“I had the honor of meeting Ray through the Open Networkers group he created. He is always miles ahead of everyone else when it comes to the next big thing. He had the vision to create open networkers, when everyone else was just starting to use linkedin. Now he is working on web 2.0, while the rest of us are still on 1.0. I highly recommend connecting with Ray to learn what is happening next.” June 7, 2006

chris williams, Web Developer, Enunciate
was with another company when working with Ray at Independent

“Ray has the unique strategic value as a business consultant not only knowing how to analyze many different company-expertises and processes, but he actively helps managing them towards Earned Value. He finds solutions, matches competences and helps to train communication skills in the modern networking society. I can highly recommend him as a result-driven professional.” June 7, 2006

Peter Luiks, Owner - Global Consultancy Manager / Interim Manager, Integrated Business Alignments
was Ray's client

“Ray is an open person to work with. Attentive and doing his job well, and I tell this as a client of his. He can get to the point after just asking a few questions.” June 28, 2006

Henk-Jan Habraken, Client Operations Manager, AO
was Ray's client

“I have worked with Ray van den Bel for an extensive period of time and learned to know him as an excellent, straightforward, hard-working professional. Ray has my deepest respect and I recommend him with pleasure.” November 15, 2005

Albert P. Beijlevelt, Partner Relationship Executive, Unisys
worked with Ray

“From the moment I met Ray, I was impressed by his genuine interest for people, his perseverance in pursuing my interests and his professional expertise. Add these qualities to his huge network, and you get one of the best job hunters in the business.” November 6, 2005

Peter Mol
was Ray's client

“>Ray van den Bel is the first recruiter who is really helping me in finding a suitable job.He just doesn't work only for his client(s)but gave me some interesting advice about my opportunities. >I already recommended him and his company to a partner of mine.” October 31, 2005

Hans Spijker
was Ray's client

“I know Ray as a pro-active person seeking and finding opportunities for his clients. He is a person with a positive attitude and thinks in sollutions rather than in problems. Ray thinks in sollutions without loosing sight of obstacles to be taken. Characteristics of Ray are: transparent, communicative, intelligent and more.” October 27, 2005

Linked In
was Ray's client

“In the past I have worked with Ray in different kind of businesses and opportunities. I have experienced him as a person who has values as integrity, respect and a person where you can rely on. He won't disappoint you!” October 26, 2005

Leo van Zijl
was with another company when working with Ray

“Ray helped me find a few hard-to-find M&A experts. Amazing that he can do this so professionally using IM with video for interviews and LinkedIN. Looking at him I can image how we all will work in a fully digitized world someday. He knows about everyone in the business.” October 26, 2005

Serge Villeneuve
was a consultant or contractor to Ray

“Ray is a very professional recruiter with a keen interest in the people he works for. He gives open and honest personal feedback that is sometimes confronting, but helpful and with best interests. He really thinks along with you and tries to find a good match for all parties.” October 7, 2005

Albert van Braam
was Ray's client

“Ray is a central hub on LinkedIN who helps people to matching jobs. He knows the business very well and I can highly recommend him as a professional.” October 7, 2005

Sebastian Todt (
was Ray's client

“I had the opportunity to get advice from Ray. He is forward looking, practical and brilliant.” June 6, 2006

Vivek Srinivasan, Management Trainee, Forges de Zeebrugge
was Ray's client

As online business consultant and coach web 2.0 and web 3.0
Second Life, LinkedIn, Xing, Blogs and Communities) I can help you reaching your strategic company or individual targets.

Web 2.0 is the buzz-word which attracts billions of dollars in new investments this year, but what is it, what can it do for you? The title ‘web 2.0’ has been created to state a new wave in internet technology. These are not simple websites like we used to know them, but are interactive sites where we can ‘communicate’ with ‘interesting specialists’ with whom we share same interests.

I believe that Self-consciousness and being Present (Tolle) is the first step towards true individual creativeness and being open to collective strategic thinking and Leadership. The internet is huge, so it was only a matter of time for people to get organized into groups and communities which are focused on precisely the same subjects of interest. These so-called same interest groups (SIGS) are at the forefront of web 2.0 development. In order to create an effective community / group people soon discovered that they needed to attract not just anyone, but only people who really fit the SIG Group' Profile. They discovered that being thoughtful and precise of stating their own profile was elementary and that is exactly what my course is all about; how to create and use communities which are focused, effective and truly reflect your or your companies networking style.

Thus my consultancy is not only about how to use websites, we can all learn that ourselves. It is about understanding your personal networking style and the networking style of the people you want to network with. In order to do that I have created my own networking model as a simple tool for effective interaction:

I help people to use web 2.0 tools such as LinkedIn, OpenBC, Yahoo groups, Myspace, Skype with video and Blogging websites to create an effective community in order to:

-be more effective in marketing and sales;

-help professionalize your customer interaction process;

-find / attract the people you really want (for recruitment sourcing purposes);

-help people with their communication skills in general;

-create an effective network;

-help people with reintegration and career-advise.

If you are interested to follow my (online) course, please contact me at:


Phone: 0031-651802026

Schedule a course and learn the tricks, the do's and the dont's in online networking.

Click here for more information about online courses, webinars, consultancy and fees.

Forum - Open Networkers Jobs and Recruiters