7 Tips for Networking Online
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We know networking is important for business, but we don’t always know how to network effectively online. The key is to use your current network and grow those relationships, but that’s easier said than done. This week we’ve put together 7 tips to help you network more effectively online.
#1: Do an online audit
Ensure your social media accounts are current and that they show the information that you want to present to the world. You are your own brand, and potential new contacts are going to check you out online. An audit and, if necessary, an edit of your web identity will help you make the impression you want once you get started with online networking.
#2: LinkedIn is your friend
LinkedIn is a great tool to help you grow your network. The free version is great, but if you want all the bells and whistles, then you’ll want to invest in the premium version. This small fee each month will give you even more access and information about the people you want to connect with. If you set aside a few minutes each day to share content and create meaningful connections, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your network will grow.
#3: Participate in virtual events
There are tons of online communities that do virtual meetups, such as a morning coffee or happy hour. These events are typically free to join and give you an opportunity to meet people online in a stress-free environment using Zoom or another video conferencing platform. While these meetups don’t allow for the same level of intimacy as in-person events, it is a good alternative, especially if the people you are looking to network with are outside of your city or state.
#4: Participate in online chats
Facebook and LinkedIn have many groups you can join that will allow you to network with hundreds, even thousands, of people you wouldn’t have the opportunity to network with in-person. A simple search on the platforms will populate a list of groups that might be of interest to you. Just search out the groups with people in your career field or a topic you are interested in, and your options for networking will be limitless.
#5: Reconnect with your current network
While you are busy building new connections, don’t forget about your current ones. You will want to keep those connections fresh so that they can help introduce you to their network. Always be looking for opportunities to help people within your current network. This will show them that you aren’t just interested in what they can do for you, but also what you can do for them to help them grow.
#6: Take your time
Building your network is a marathon, not a sprint. You will want to take your time forming connections and nurturing them. This is an ongoing process and not something that you’ll be able to accomplish in just a few days. Take the time to get to know your connections and give them an opportunity to get to know you.
#7: Don’t wait to get started
Start focusing on growing your network now. Since we know it takes time to cultivate a relationship, you’ll want to start making those connections. Online networking makes getting started a breeze; all you have to do is create a profile and reach out to a few people you know. As you form connections with people you already know online, you’ll start seeing more and more people you’d like to connect with. So, the sooner you get started, the better.
These are just a few tips to help you network effectively online. There are many different approaches you can take, but it’s important to remember that forming genuine relationships with people in your network takes time and effort, so make sure you are ready to make that commitment. If you need help getting started, contact us and we can help.