Guest Blogger: Erik Bergman
Networking is essential for growing your business and your list of professional contacts. While most are familiar with the traditional form of networking, are you aware that you can also network online?
Online networking gives professionals access to the same benefits as traditional networking. The catch is that you get to meet professionals through online means.
Considering the widespread use of the internet, one begs the question of how to improve online networking. If that’s something you’re interested in, stick around. This guide will explain the expert tips to kickstart your online networking game. So with all that said, let’s start.
4 Tips to Improve Your Online Networking
What does online networking mean? Online networking means using online channels to meet experts and professionals and add them to your digital Rolodex. That means using social media platforms, online events, and various other means.
Online networking is especially important if you consider the widespread use of the internet. As more people use these channels for communications and meetups, they will ultimately use them for the purpose of networking.
Therefore, becoming a networking whizz means discovering ways to improve your online networking. We will tell you how to do that. So, let’s begin.
First Things First, Create A Social Presence
You can’t network online if you have no social presence. Social media platforms are the “places” ordinary people and professionals gather for discussion.
Many people see the potential of social media platforms and decide to connect with like-minded individuals to conduct business. That’s the whole point of using the internet as a networking tool. But you can’t do it if you have no social presence.
So the first thing every eager professional must do is create their social profiles. While most of you are familiar with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, everyone should pay attention to LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is quoted as “the Facebook for professionals. It is THE social platform to have a presence on if you want to meet like-minded professionals.
LinkedIn offers many features to help you connect with these professionals. Moreover, LinkedIn’s method of connecting with these professionals is through “connects.” So it makes zero sense to neglect your presence on LinkedIn when looking to improve your online networking game.
LinkedIn also offers numerous features to help you attract professionals. You can comment, like, share, and even write entire blog posts. These appear on the timeline, and some might want to know more in what you have to say.
Joint Professional Communities
In addition to LinkedIn and other social media platforms, eager professionals can join communities with like-minded professionals. The key is to join the communities within your industry, as it makes little sense to network with professionals outside your area of expertise.
Luckily, there is a community for every industry online, and there is more than one. Chances are, there is a community for professionals based in your area!
While you will have to do some digging, you won’t have a difficult time finding these communities. Think of them like Facebook or LinkedIn groups or Telegram channels. So, as one might expect, it’s even more important to work on your social media presence to harness the full potential of online networking.
Don’t Stop Building
If you’re looking for business growth, you have to surround yourself with experts who want you to succeed. But the real question isn’t how to find these people; it’s how to convince them you’re worth their time.
That’s why you should never stop building your online presence. If you’re wondering why all these expert tips have to do with being active on LinkedIn or Instagram, it’s because it works.
Social media platforms are the lifeblood of the internet. It’s where people come to read the news, stay up to date with friends and family, and see what’s happening in their industries.
But this tip revolves around using social media for the benefit of attracting professionals. So, how do the experts do it?
Well, there are a few things you can do. Here are some of them:
- Create quality content that other professionals find value in.
- Post regularly to cement yourself as an expert.
- Offer expert advice by commenting on other people’s posts.
- Join groups to interact with professionals.
- Get into their DMs but don’t be spammy.
You never stop doing this. Consider it your bread and butter. Every day when you have your morning coffee, log on to LinkedIn and other social media platforms to see what the experts in your area are posting. Then, post something yourself to keep the wheels in motion.
This last tip isn’t necessarily about online networking. However, you mustn’t fall into the trap of acting like someone you’re not. Networking is about meeting people and professionals. With online networking, you meet these contacts online. But sooner or later, you will meet with them in person.
The last thing you want is to act differently online and in person. People will see through it, and that leaves a bad impression. When networking online, always be your authentic self.
Online networking doesn’t have to be difficult. On the contrary, it can be quite easy if you do it correctly. These tips will help you kickstart your online networking efforts and help you connect with like-minded professionals.
All that’s left is for you to find them and meet them. Do you have any other tips for online networking? Let us know in the comments below.
Erik Bergman co-founded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation before stepping away to start Great.com, an iGaming organization that donates 100% of its profits to environmental charities. In addition to running a successful online business, Erik also hosts the Becoming Great podcast, shares entrepreneurship tips with his more than 1 million social media followers, and contributes to sites like Entrepreneuer.com, Business Insider, Foundr, and Forbes.