Open Branding: How and Why to be Completely Accessible

“I can see you’re an open networker,” someone told me last week. “You make it easy to reach you via phone and email.”

Yes, that’s true and if you’re looking, look no further: my email is connect[at] and you can call or text me at 630.207.7530.

Some of you reading this are shaking in your seats. What about privacy? What about time?

When I first put my phone number in every single email that went out [and on every social networking profile], a few internet marketing friends expressed a mix of surprise, admiration and caution. While they would never allow that kind of access, they were wildly curious about what happens when you give away your phone number.

In two words: not much.

At first, I expected to have to be choosy about which calls to answer. Perhaps I would set phone in hours to manage the calls. But, why should people call when they can message on Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn? Today, you don’t need an email address or a phone number IF you can find someone on a social networking site.

With so many communication routes to choose from, dialing the phone is the path of last resort.

Open Branding: How and Why to be Completely Accessible

Want to track your social networking email communication? 

Open up a free gmail account for social networking purposes only.

Want to give out a phone number and route access?

Get an 800 number for under $10 per month that rings on any or every phone in your system. 

Record a voicemail that tells people where to find you online.

Then, set up a voicemail service with YouMail that greets your callers by name, lets you record greetings for callers and emails you when you have a new voicemail so you can listen to it online. This way, you can manage all of your voicemail in one online box. “Barbara, you’re freaking me out with this answering system. How does it know my name?,” one Chicago media personality reported in their message, which was totally worth it for this free service.

I decided to write this post after I looked for a friend’s number in my Facebook phone book. Theirs was unlisted, but if I wanted to, I could’ve reached a number of social media superstars who freely give their numbers – and are ready to make connections.

What do you think about being accessible? How open are you to free access?

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