Quarantine and fewer physical interactions don’t necessarily have to mean less networking and social interaction. Thanks to the power of digital and the ability to build profiles within different platforms we can stay connected even if we are apart. With online networking, you have a wider reach than you would at an in-person event. People from all over the world can meet up in a professional, like-minded group, giving you the opportunity to meet and network with people in your field that you might never meet otherwise. Here are our tips on how to network online like a pro!
Choose the right connections
Wouldn’t it be great to get in touch with influential directors from large brands you admire? For you, yes. For them, maybe… but presumably not. Would you be able to give these people the amount of value they would give you? Before you reach out to any professional, consider if you’re reaching out to the appropriate person. There is often a pecking order of who talks to whom. If you are a mid-level professional trying to reach out to CEO and executive-level professionals exclusively, you may be hurting your chances of forming any valuable connection.
Don’t ignore groups and chats
Eventually, though, you’ll want to expand your network from existing contacts to new contacts. While that can be intimidating, online networking makes it easier and less stressful for people to connect with new networking contacts. Join social media groups and chats dedicated to your area of interest. Groups can be found on LinkedIn and Facebook, while chats exist on Twitter. If you’re savvy with social media, you can also find discussions with like-minded individuals through Reddit. You’ll want to find the subreddit that pertains to your profession.
Show yourself before reaching out directly
Before reaching out to the people you are interested in getting acquainted with, explore this person’s profile a little. This will allow you to, on one hand, really understand if it makes sense to approach this person and to confirm your expectations about them. On the other hand, it also provides an opportunity to become less of a stranger to these people. You can comment and pertinently share your thoughts on some of their content, or even share it. This will help you create some common ground that will be useful once you are introducing yourself.
Keep your first interaction short and sweet
There are probably a lot of things you want to share and ask and keeping your message short can be challenging. However, think about the person on the other side of the line and your main goal: getting a reply back. Your odds of being read increase if you are short and sweet and go straight to the point. Find a balanced way of quickly mixing who you are, what you expect from this person and, if it is the case, how they might benefit from interacting back with you.
Just like any skill, online networking takes a bit of practice in order to conquer it like a pro. When approached effectively, online networking is a great platform for building a professional profile, growing your digital network and even landing your dream job.
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