Sometimes it is WHO you know that counts, like when you're trying to accomplish something and need help. On the path towards expert status, you will need others to reach the destination.
I know, I know - you are not the type of person to shamelessly self promote. Don't worry because there is no shame involved. To do any less, than tell others about what you have worked hard to learn, is selling yourself short and that IS shameful. Even for shy people, networking with others in the business world can only help. What makes it a bit easier is that you and those you network with are all after a common goal - increased profits.
Networking is important in business. Making connections with others in the online world increases your visibility which matters when you want to get noticed. Who do you rub elbows with? Begin with someone with influence in your business area like a guru of sorts. Get to know them by hanging out where they hang out - on their blog, in their social networking groups and by attending events they host or are speaking at.
Networking mutually benefits both parties. While you are getting to know them, don't forget to let them know who you are. When you comment on blogs, link those comments to your own blog and/or website. If you host a podcast, invite them to be a guest.
Other Ways to Network
Blogs and forums are not the only way that you can make a useful business connection to promote your expert business status. Join local and online business associations. This is not in name only. Do our part and get involved so that others see your face, hear your voice and notice your work.
Your involvement in these professional organizations is a two-way street. Use the time to give but also get. Ask questions when you need to. Sharing business tips, tricks and secrets is a part of the perks.
Don't neglect the social networking communities. Facebook and MySpace are a lot of fun for connecting with old friends, but they are also big forums for sharing business information. You can post new happenings on your website and links. You'll be surprised who sees and takes advantage of the news. Invite all of your fellow organizational members as well as clients and other business associates to be your friends so they can view posts to your Wall.
Networking can be intimidating especially for business owners who are not good at self-promotion. But, once you begin, you'll notice the benefits and get hooked.