Successful online networking is about building relationships with people from every walk of life. In order to be successful at it, you need to treat these relationships with the same care and respect as those in the offline world.
Networking is a two-way street and both parties have a responsibility for making things work.
In this post we’ll look at both the benefits of networking as well as some tried and tested approaches that can help you be more successful in your efforts to make connections online–both now and in the future. Free Opinion IST has some more keys to a successful online networking.
If you’ve been experiencing difficulty when it comes to developing those important connections online, read on for some practical tips that will give your opportunities a boost!
On reaching out to new contacts, networking should always be done via email to start with. Here are five tips for successful online networking.
1) To get the best results, don’t overdo it.
Don’t write to every person you find in your network so that they won’t have any time to respond or follow up with others. This is a common mistake that will bring you no long term benefits other than potential stress and frustration. Instead, focus on only connecting with people who share similar interests or mentors that can help grow your career or business through referrals and introductions.
2) Connecting shouldn’t be a one-off event.
Online networking shouldn’t be about one-time contact with the sole purpose of exchanging business cards and then moving on.
Instead you should try to build a relationship online as well as offline. That way you’ll be able to develop long term opportunities and gain access to valuable information and contacts within your network.
3) The right message content should always match
Make sure that any information you share online is valuable, entertaining and interesting enough to keep the audience hanging onto your next blog post or email update from you. They won’t sign up to the email list if all you have is a barrage of promotions and annoying messages.
4) Make your network a valuable resource.
Make it easy for your network to connect with each other while promoting your business, message or product.
Try to include relevant information in any online updates such as article titles, links, images and videos that will draw people in and inspire them to share the post with others. If you’re giving away samples or products then include a call-to-action that prompts them to visit your website or click on the link that takes them to your contact page with an order form.
5) Relax and connect.
Create and maintain a comfortable and persuasive tone of voice, and use eye-catching and enticing images. Make sure to personalize your message’s content by including a unique quote from yourself or relevant information that speak to your network’s interests.
6) Don’t try to be a generalist.
To gain traction, don’t be a “generalist” in the sense that you’re trying to connect with everyone at the same time. Focus on building strong connections with a few people first before expanding your network further. Too many contacts can overwhelm you and dilute your focus.
7) The best place to start is by researching your contacts’ trusted network
Look for shared interests and commonalities in advance so that you can make a connection when a real-life meeting isn’t possible. If you want to impress someone who’s an expert in gardening, don’t ask for his or her help with marketing or accounting issues. Instead, subscribe to the gardening newsletter or email the person after you’ve connected with someone in common.
8) Use social media to connect with your network.
Use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a way of keeping up to date on what’s happening in your network so that you can share updates and invitations. You can also use Internet tools such as Skype and Google hangouts for group chat, video conferences and Internet interviews.
These tools allow you to hold group meetings from wherever you are by sharing a web address or a link that takes them to your website or blog post where they can read through it before joining the session.
9) Remember – networking isn’t just about connecting
It’s about recognizing and building on the relationships you’ve already formed with others. The more connections you have, the more people you can connect with, the richer your network will be, allowing you to work together towards common goals.
10) Just do it!
Don’t forget that the word “networking” comes from “meeting” which means to gather or gather together. If you have a serious interest in growing your network then start right now! There is no time like the present. Your network is always changing and adapting so it is important that you are able to adjust as well.