Whether you are networking to progress in your job or obtain a new one, you could easily assume that networking online would make the whole process a lot easier.
However, one big problem is that many other people have probably assumed the same thing – meaning that you could find yourself faced with fierce competition in your online networking drive. Here is how you can escape some of the pitfalls of online networking…
7 Quick Tips For Successfully Networking Online:
Think Carefully About Your Reason For Networking:
Many principles of in-person networking also apply strongly to online networking – and this is one particularly good case in point. Maybe you want to find someone who could help you to perfect your CV or knows organisations looking to recruit people like you?
Once you have established your motive for networking, you can go about the task more confidently.
Nail Your ‘Elevator Pitch’:
That’s the term used by CABA (the Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association), which points out: “When you’re networking, you’ll probably only have a short amount of time with each person.”
This can be especially true online, where emails and messages are easy to ignore. Hence, you should endeavour to summarise your offer in just a few, easy-to-understand words.
(More tips pages 64-67 of my book “Networking A Successful Small Business” has everything you need for perfecting your pitch.)
Don’t Always Head Straight For The Obvious Person:
Yes, that ‘obvious person’ might have contact details and social media handles that are easy to find – but, as a Business Insider article explains: “For high-level leaders and influencers, gatekeepers should be your first stop.”
In approaching, say, administrative assistants and junior associates rather than senior figures they answer to, you could more effectively ease your way to capturing their attention.
Strike Up A Genuine And Natural Relationship:
As a general rule, when conversing with a contact, you should avoid referencing their personal life unless you are citing details they have previously shared publicly.
Among those details, you could find some – like those of hobbies and causes – you have in common with that person, making it easier for you to bond with them.
Offer Help When It’s Likely To Be Needed:
One good way of doing this would be reaching out to someone when they are preparing to release a new book or product. As they are bound to be thinking about how to market it, they could be especially open to making new connections at that specific time.
Show That You Are Interested In Them As A Person:
If someone you would like to add to your list of business contacts isn’t about to bring out any new book or product, you can still contact them – without risking their irritation – if you use the second-person pronoun ‘you’ early on so that the ensuing conversation is very much about them.
Build A Good Reputation For Yourself:
You could do this through attending professional meetings, lectures and conferences – and even holding events yourself. Delivering online events via a live webcast platform could get you noticed by people you might never have bumped into through other avenues – and help you to raise your profile for the right reasons.
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