Many people use the internet, but not many understand the power of online networking. Networking is responsible for filling around 85% of all new job vacancies, with many secured through online connections.
It is accessible, inclusive, cost-effective (you don’t have to buy a coffee or lunch), time-saving and undoubtedly opens up a more comprehensive network as there are no location barriers. Networking online is a productive way to easily access the expertise of others in your field across a vast space.
Strong network connections have always been enabling, and the move to online has only improved the ability to network more widely without leaving your home. The Importance Of Networking Online shows there are many exciting opportunities, especially when it comes to securing a new job.
How to use online networking effectively.
First, identify what you want your networking to achieve. Are you looking to hear about new work opportunities, improve social interactions, expand a network in an existing or new field, gain peer opinions and support or expand your knowledge?
It’s not a good idea to jump straight in with cold calls. Go through the people you know already, and start there. Remember you are looking to develop a relationship, even with people you haven’t had contact with for some time. Before connecting, do your research, check out their social media, dive into their LinkedIn and remember Rome wasn’t built in a day! Look to offer them value in connecting with you, make slow trustworthy connections you can build on, and don’t jump in directly asking for help.
Use social media
Social media is a great way to grow connections online. Post, comment and like any good content that shows up. If you have something good to offer, then consider private messaging the top players to make a more personal connection. Consider joining active groups that provide opportunities to develop through good discussions and are low on spam.
Build your following
As well as following others, you can gain a lot by bringing them to you. Show your personality and expertise to attract like-minded people. Start a blog and gather email subscribers to raise your profile. Share and post relevant articles and videos from around the world. If you struggle with creating content, use the great work of others to your advantage.
Don’t let it run dry
If you have worked hard to make the connections, work just as hard keeping them up. If connections are close enough, meet in person, organise a group meeting, or do anything that keeps you in touch. Send regular drop-by emails or messages. Don’t waste the hard work spent building.
Harnessing the benefits of online networking can be invaluable whether you are an introvert or extrovert. There can be a balance between online and in-person networking. Still, the chances are if you take it online in whole or part, you will get to meet a wider band of valuable contacts than attending any number of events will open up. If you have tried in-person networking, you will probably recall that for a good percentage of the time, you only meet the same people each time. Online networking can avoid this, so give it a go.
Whilst you may not be marketing a business, our Marketing during a cost-of-living crisis blog might just help you sell yourself better.