Networking is a skill that some recognize as crucially important to career and business success while others may be intimated by the concept of networking. Effective networking involves taking the time to collaborate with others for mutually beneficial outcomes. The more you put into nurturing your online network, the more you become known as a subject matter expert and you are better positioned for business opportunities. These three steps will help you tackle online networking.
- Be Clear About What You Want and What You Have to Offer- After attending networking events, it’s tempting to come home with a stack of business cards and start sending LinkedIn requests with the hopes of the individuals accepting your request. If you are lucky enough to gain their connection, you need to be clear with the person about why you are connecting. When sending the requests or within 24 hours of the connection, show your appreciation for the opportunity to connect, outline the business reason why you would like to connect and let the person know what you can do for them.
- Be Aware of Your Connection Base-When receiving and sending networking requests online, do research behind those you are connecting with. When others add you as a connection and are able to see your network, your network can be a reflection of your business or personal brand. Therefore, if there are certain behaviors, activities and brand elements of others that you do not want to associate with your brand, refrain from having them in your online professional network.
- Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups- Join groups that are associated with your areas of business and interest. By doing so, it broadens your network and exposes more people to your brand. When you share your blog posts, don’t forget to share within the groups that you have joined, as this only broadens your scope of reach. There could be potential clients and collaborators in the group waiting for opportunities. Allocate at least two hours once per week to do blog topic research, development, and posting for your personal or professional brand. Create, develop and publish at least one blog post per week so that you stay on the minds of your online audience.
By following the three steps outlined above, it can help you better stay engaged with your connections as well as broaden the reach of your personal or professional brand. With consistent implementation, you will soon see the benefits of online networking.
For more tips on effective Networking and Personal Branding, contact Mia Martin for a One on One or Group Bootcamp.