Networking has become one of the most effective ways to gain knowledge in your industry. As such, it becomes a priority that you improve at it. When it comes to networking, there are two ways to do it. You can attend events, and you can do it online. Online networking has surged in popularity ever since the emergence of social media platforms.
Giants like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram make it easy to connect with individuals in and out of your industry. Because of that, and because people don’t find great success when networking at events, here are the four ways to improve at online networking.
Look Beyond Traditional Mediums
When you hear the term “online networking,” the first thought that comes to mind is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is truly a brilliant social media platform where professionals can connect and share experiences. But in recent times, LinkedIn has become the go-to platform for online networking. That doesn’t mean you should put all your efforts into one basket.
Consider deviating from traditional online mediums by exploring many similar platforms. Like LinkedIn, tons of other platforms excel in connecting entrepreneurs with like-minded individuals. An example of one such platform is Meetup. Meetup is a lesser-popular platform that excels at connecting groups and individuals with similar interests. The meetings on the Meetup are held at “virtual events.”
You can easily find a group in your area of expertise and share experiences with eager professionals that all want the same thing – being better in their field. Because job-seekers are expanding their reach beyond LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, staying one step further puts you in a great position.
Create Informative Content And Share It
What better way to improve at networking than to create informative content that people can share? When you’re looking for networking opportunities, it doesn’t come much easier than this one. If you’re good at something, why not share your experience with others?
By using mediums like Medium and LinkedIn, you can publish informative content where other professionals in your industry will likely want access to. Since the content will come with your name attached, it creates a unique opportunity where you might receive an email or two from interested parties.
Similarly, you can also share the content written by others and get noticed by the writer.
Use the Latest Online Networking Tools
When networking online, you want to stay with the times. While tons of professionals still attend live events, the hottest trend is to meet virtually. But to get in on the action, you have to use the latest tools. Popular video conferencing platforms like Google Meet, Zoom and Skype are some of the best at that.
Using these tools helps generate new connections and establish fruitful relationships. You can even host a webinar yourself, where interested parties can discuss the latest dealings in your industry, ways to improve, and exchange past experiences. Chances are, there will be individuals interested in taking the relationship to the next stage. These individuals will go straight to your network and open the possibility of future collaborations.
Once you realize how to do it, you will have an easier time getting new people into your network. Considering that online networking is crucial for advancing your career, getting on the action as quickly as possible is a priority.
Don’t Neglect Your Network
One of the biggest mistakes professionals do is add people to their network only to neglect them afterward. The people with the most effective network avoid this mistake. One way to do that is by regularly talking to the individuals in your network. Drop by their DMs and chat for a few minutes. Ask them about their day and how things are going at work.
To become great at online networking, you need to be a great friend to those in your contact group. Spend as much time keeping people in your contact list as you would when connecting with new individuals. The secret to making lots of fruitful relationships is to help those around you. If someone in your network needs help, introduce them to another person that can solve their problem.
That way, you are creating value for everyone. The person in need will thank you for solving their problem, while the person helping has made a valuable connection.
Don’t Wait, Start Now
The secret to improving at online networking isn’t one answer. It’s a myriad of ways that help you understand the importance of growing and maintaining relationships and connections. For most individuals, networking is essential to building up their reputation in their industry. For others, it’s about being part of a group that finds value with each new member.
But most importantly, you have to start now. Don’t neglect it, as being part of a network comes with tons of benefits. The sooner you start, the faster you’ll reap the rewards.