The benefits of networking have been laid bare for years. Networking can enhance your business and personal job prospects. It enables continual development to ensure you are not being left behind in a fast-paced industry. Networking is not easy. You need to back up your knowledge with exceptional soft skills to get it right – but what about online networking? What is online networking, and what are the best tips to get it, right?
What Is Online Networking?
Networking has been around as long as work itself. It involves making new connections and professional relationships with those inside your industry. These partnerships can then lead to mutually beneficial business deals which enable businesses to grow and prosper.
Most networking occurs within an event like a conference or a purpose-made event such as the ICE 2020 event in London for tech experts in the gaming niche. So, how does online networking fit into a typical activity done face to face?
Well, online networking is a little different. It predominantly focuses on the use of social media, especially LinkedIn, and content creation. Professionals will interact with other professional profiles online and use articles and other publications to initiate discussions with those in their industry. Some more innovative methods are popping up as well, including online conferences and seminars which allow people to network in a more traditional sense, otherwise known as virtual networking.
Who Should Start Online Networking?
Business owners, academics chasing the publication game and entrepreneurs are often some of the most prominent online networkers. If you offer B2B services, you should be using LinkedIn. But there really are no criteria to start online networking. Even if you are not currently working in your desired industry yet, there are still good reasons to begin networking in it. After all, it may just help you score the job you always wanted.
Top Tips for Online Networking
If you are new to online networking or are not getting the results you want, here are some techniques to get it right:
Take Time on Your Profile
Creating a profile on social media and online communities can be done in a few minutes, but that doesn’t mean they should be. You should create an interesting profile that does not resemble a list of qualifications. Market yourself to your industry in a way that works. Maybe you need to show creative flair or even include video links. Whatever you do, don’t cut corners at the first hurdle.
Publish, Publish and then Publish Again
Nobody is going to just drop by your profile and then shoot you a message. Unless you are a superstar business owner that just doesn’t usually happen. People start engaging with you when you start a conversation. And the best way to do that is to start creating great content. Even if you don’t want to write it yourself, you can employ writers to create it for you with your guidance.
Comment, Comment and then Comment Again
Don’t just be a conversation starter but jump into discussions and offer your professional input. The key here is to provide valuable responses without being confrontational. Online networking is about making friends, not enemies.