Nobody believes me when I tell them that I am shy.\u00a0 If you were to engage with me over email or talk to me over the phone, you\u2019d think I was this social butterfly.\u00a0 Nothing could be further from the truth. Big crowds make me uncomfortable.\u00a0 Just the thought of walking up to a cluster of people talking to each other and \u201cinterrupting\u201d them makes my heart pound loud enough that I think the whole room can hear it. And yet, my best and highest return on marketing effort comes from the relationships that I\u2019ve created and built online. Link Out Helps You Build an Entourage - Not Just a Network It\u2019s my secret shyness that had me eagerly rip into the pages of my review copy of Link Out: How to Turn Your Network into a Chain of Lasting Connections by Leslie Grossman. Because when it comes down to the nitty gritty, I\u2019ve realized that reaching out to someone I don\u2019t know on social media is a lot like walking up to someone I don\u2019t know at a networking event. I\u2019m looking for better, stronger strategies of engaging with people in a friendly and authentic way that isn\u2019t off-putting. And from the looks of it, Link Out is a great resource for that. The first thing I noticed about the book was an important distinction that takes your network connections to the next level.\u00a0 Instead of building a network, Grossman urges the reader to build an entourage.\u00a0 The main difference between a network and an entourage is the depth and quality of the relationships. Here is a table that I pulled from Grossman\u2019s blog that describes the difference between "network' (left column) and "entourage" (right column): Here\u2019s how Grossman explains it : "Having an entourage puts\u00a0each of us on the receiving end. An entourage offers us advice, new connections, recommendations and referrals for clients and customers, too. As I\u2019ve shared previously throughout this book, the link out process works only when you consider it a two-way street." A Step-by-Step Process in 10 Chapters A lot of business owners have social media accounts.\u00a0 Their struggle starts the moment they are forced to actually USE their accounts. What do you write? How do you connect with people you don\u2019t know? How do you leverage those connections once you make them? Grossman has put together a process that is very focused on helping you achieve your business goals.\u00a0 This is a big plus for this book because it doesn\u2019t leave you hanging and wondering what to do next.\u00a0 Just follow the process. There are ten chapters in the book and each chapter takes you through the process of building this entourage of contacts and connections. The first chapter introduces you to the concept of the entourage.\u00a0 The second chapter is where the rubber hits the road.\u00a0 Grossman takes you through the process of developing a social media marketing plan of sorts that includes a vision statement, personal vision quiz, success stories, marketing plan and give to get philosophy. In chapters three through five, you are well into the process of recruiting your entourage; who to talk to, what to say, etiquette tips and many more specific strategies that will get you on your way. The last chapters are all about putting the foundation that you\u2019ve put together to work in building your business. What I really liked about this book is its laser focus on business building.\u00a0 If you\u2019re one of these people who has been randomly winging your social media, you are really going to enjoy what Linked Out has to offer. Link Out is for Small Business Owners at All Levels If you\u2019re a newbie and have created social media accounts, but have been reluctant to post much or connect out, you will certainly benefit from this book.\u00a0 It\u2019s a gentle and easy way to pull together your personal and business goals and use social media tools to achieve them. On the other hand, if you\u2019re experienced at social media but have hit a plateau in reaching out to new connections to grow your business, you just might discover some hidden low hanging fruit inside of Grossman\u2019s process. Oh, and one more thing, Grossman doesn\u2019t just give out linking advice for social media. There are great business communication etiquette tips in there that are old school, such as: "Say thank you three times, smile, keep your entourage in the loop on connections they\u2019ve introduced you too." Grossman is the Relationship Expert for Today\u2019s Small Business Leslie Grossman is a leadership and business/career development expert and Chief Connections Officer of\u00a0Cojourneo. She is the creator and Co-Founder of Women\u2019s Leadership Exchange and founder of her own integrated marketing agency. She isn\u2019t just a social media expert. Leslie Grossman is a business relationship expert.\u00a0 What sets her and her book, Link Out, apart from others is the focus on building profitable and focused business relationships. Link Out is more than a book about building your referral network.\u00a0 It\u2019s a book about how to relate in todays online connected marketplace and use those connections to build your business. If you\u2019ve been looking for practical ways to jump start your online referrals, Link Out is the book for you.