The rise of Digital Networking, since the pandemic, traditional networking opportunities have slowed down drastically. Even as events and conferences begin to gradually reappear, it’s becoming increasingly common for professionals to build the majority of their business relationships online.
Digital networking can be an excellent tool for the budding entrepreneur or professional. It’s a chance to reach out to people all over the world, without having to travel. Plus, you can avoid a lot of the stress and awkwardness that goes with in-person meetings.
Here are some quick tips to help you make the most of digital networking.
Build Your Social Profiles
If you’re going to be digitally networking, you also need to build your social networking efforts. The majority of conversations you have with potential contacts are likely to happen over social media.
Make sure you have professional profiles on channels like LinkedIn. This profile should include everything someone might need to know to determine your professional value. Don’t be afraid to include extracurricular activities when relevant too. They can help to enhance your image.
Plus, getting endorsements from other people who you’ve interacted with in the past is an excellent way to develop your credibility.
Develop Your Online Presence
While your social media profiles are an excellent starting point for building an online presence, you need to be active on more than just LinkedIn if you want to make the most of your digital networking opportunities. Think about how you can really showcase your best qualities online.
For instance, many professionals design their own portfolios where they can show off examples of their work. Consider building a website for yourself, where people can go if they want to learn more about you and what you do.
Alternatively, share content on your social channels where you discuss your experiences and showcase your thought leadership.
Consider creating profiles for yourself in online forums relevant to your industry.
Give People A Reason To Connect
As digital networking becomes increasingly important, people are being more discerning about who they add to their personal contact list. With that in mind, don’t just reach out to dozens of people from your industry at random, hoping to add as many people as possible.
Instead, find people who can genuinely bring value to you and your career. When you find someone you want to connect with, don’t just ask them to join your network.
Reach out with value and give that other person a reason to want to talk to you. Explain why you’re getting in touch and why you think a connection will be mutually beneficial.
You can also encourage people to reach out to you first by sharing content online as often as you can. Creating valuable content on a regular basis shows people you’re worth following.
Don’t Ask For Something (Straight Away)
When you’re forming connections in a digital world, you may come across people who can do something beneficial for you. For instance, you might want to ask someone on LinkedIn for an introduction to their boss or request a partnership on a marketing campaign.
While it’s common for professionals to want something from the people they connect with, it’s good manners to avoid a request straight away. Instead, your focus should be on building genuine rapport with the people you encounter.
Lay the groundwork for future opportunities that may come up by actually having a discussion with the other person. You may even want to have a digital face-to-face with the person via Zoom.
Stay In Touch
Building a valuable network doesn’t just mean having dozens of connections on your LinkedIn page. The best connections are the ones where you can build lucrative relationships over time.
Since you’re not meeting people in person, you need to work extra hard to form a strong relationship.
While you shouldn’t be messaging or emailing someone every day, it is important to stay in touch. Keep up with the people who you really want to form connections with – even if it’s only once or twice a month. Checking in, by liking their posts on LinkedIn, sharing a comment on social media, or just sending a quick message will help strengthen your relationships
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Until next time: God bless, stay positive, and be true to you.