With the advancements in IT and the internet, your smartphone is practically your window to the world.
The web is virtually limitless that it offers infinite possibilities for you and the life you actually lead. It can help you with research. It can be your source of current events news because you arrive home too late to watch the night edition news. And most popularly, the web is where the numerous social media platforms are and thrive.
They have been initially created for the purpose of easy connection with family and friends. But now, professional and commercial industries are tapping on the power of social media to their advantage. They market and advertise their products or services online. They derive sales online. They announce press releases online. They do meetings, trainings and even interviews online. They build their networks online too.
And you, as an individual professional, has the same abilities to be able to create a huge professional network online.
How to Start Networking
Let us start with yourself.
Read. Books, fiction and nonfiction alike, and the papers. Be informed. Do hobbies and allot time for each regularly. Keep healthy habits.
It pays to tap into your intelligence and smarts, which brings us to the actual, feasible steps on how to build your professional network online, and everywhere else at that.
Bring out the great communicator in you.
Being in the know of the more important things in the world can make for a great conversationalist. After all, brilliant people talk ideas.
With everything that occupies you, you have built a good lifestyle for yourself and continues to do so. This is one key to being confident in striking up a healthy conversation with practically anyone. You have ideas to talk about, experiences and book titles to share, social issues to debate over, and witty jokes to laugh about.
Hit it off by being sincere, interested, trustful and respectful. Remember that it is a conversation. Be attentive. Listen.
If you are reading this, it is safe to assume that you do not live under a rock so you probably are on one social media platform, or two. If you already are, double your presence. If not, it is time for you to exist in the cyber world and sign up on social media networks.
As you establish your presence online, keep an open mind and never judge.
Take initiative. Reach out. Do not hesitate to approach first. Yet stay mindful and sensitive.
Keep in touch and do not just say it to close an IM conversation. Actually do stay in touch. Keeping in touch these days proves to be unlikely that it is almost a talent for some who actual do. You may shoot a polite greeting from time to time. Or if you have questions about a potential new job that you are eyeing and you want another person’s opinion about it, then take the chance to start a conversation with a new friend who may have ideas about the profession.
Remember people’s names and call them by their names. It is a way of saying that you do care.
Carve Yourself a Niche
Find your niche in the online professional world by looking beyond the confines of your space.
Do not ignore a potential contact just because you differ in interests and he is in another business industry. Everything is connected. It is nature. So, you never know when an engineer may need a literature major. Oh, that is because the engineer also happens to be a hobbyist writer considering to release a book on poetry. So do not be overly selective in whom you connect with online. That is the whole point of calling it networking. You may not have met the right and willing investor for your new business venture but there has to be a way to “know people who know people.”
Live an actual life, and build connections and relationships in the physical world just as much.
Do not turn down invitations to social events as much as your schedule permits. Go to charity events too. Visit museums and public libraries. If you are into business, join bazaars.
There, you meet people, and a whole bunch of them – different cultures and backgrounds, different interests, different fields of expertise. Get to know them. Exchange calling cards. That is when the skill of keeping in touch comes in handy. Then you may invite them on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter – but ask them straight-out for their online accounts, no searching behind their backs. You want to network, not stalk.
Finally, if you belong to a company which is looking to expand its network, you can check out Roosterly. It houses the experts at professional online network building.