In today’s increasingly digital world, a growing number of business owners and affiliate managers have taken to the internet to network with like-minded individuals and business leaders within their chosen industry or sector. If you are familiar with networking the old-fashioned way or have only ever done so face-to-face, however, it can be difficult to know how to seamlessly switch to online networking. If you are interested in becoming an online networking pro overnight, continue reading to familiarise yourself with a number of helpful tips.
Make the most of available technology
It is no secret that technology has transformed the ways in which we carry out a number of daily business-related tasks and duties both online and in-person in the past decade. It is its ability to streamline the process of online networking, however, that has had the greatest impact with a wide range of tools now available for business owners looking to connect, converse, and communicate with fellow professionals over the internet in more ways than ever before. If your company joined the ranks and switched to hybrid working practices in 2020, for example, you may already be aware of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and GoToMeeting and their capacity to host online networking events for employees across different departments, businesses, and industries. In addition, hosting follow-up or one-to-one videoconferences can also allow you to form and solidify key business relationships that will stand the test of time.
Attend virtual networking events
If you have previously strayed from attending in-person networking events due to a lack of industry knowledge or experience, virtual networking events have been proven to attract greater numbers of attendees with less time, money, and resources needed to achieve the same results. If a virtual networking event is being held on the other side of the world, for example, employees can attend by logging in from the comfort of their own homes as opposed to in-person networking events where splashing out on the cost of travel, accommodation, and a physical ticket is the only way to attend. In addition, data retrieval and archival also tends to be much simpler when it comes to virtual networking events with greater accessibility and flexibility contributing factors throughout the entire process.
Browse online forums, chatrooms, and discussion boards
If you are an experienced internet user, you may have participated in online forums, chatrooms, and discussion boards either personally or professionally in the past. It can be a great way to find the answer to a question or query you may have, expand your existing knowledge and experience of a particular subject and, perhaps most importantly, become an online networking pro in a matter of minutes by imparting industry advice and guidance and attracting like-minded individuals in the process. It may sound cliche but interacting with others can also allow you to gain valuable insights into your own approach to business and make any changes as necessary going forward. In addition, it can also expose you to a wide range of people from all corners of the globe that you are unlikely to have met through physical means or by attending in-person networking events in your local area.
Explore different social media platforms
If you are an avid social media user outside of normal working hours, it may also benefit you to explore different social media platforms to network with business leaders within your chosen industry, sector, or niche. It can be tempting to stick to social media platforms you are familiar with, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but by branching out and stepping out of your comfort zone, you can explore a wide range of informal social media platforms with endless opportunities to network with like-minded individuals interested in what you have to say and vice versa. It may also be possible to stumble upon specialised groups or pages designed for those interested in particular industries, sectors, niches, subcategories, hobbies, and interests so you can communicate both formally and informally in a way that suits you and your short-term and long-term business goals with the opportunity to eventually meet in-person at a physical networking event always an option at a later date.
Take it slow
It can be tempting to enter the world of online networking at breakneck speed, but this is only likely to end in disaster as you become dissatisfied with the lack of progress you are making. It can take a considerable amount of time, and patience, to network with the right people at the right time and by taking it slow, you can increase your chances of forming long-lasting business relationships that will stand the test of time by showing that you respect them taking the time to reach out to you or respond to your message.
If you are interested in becoming an online networking pro, you must make the most of available technology, attend virtual networking events, browse online forums, chatrooms, and discussion boards, browse different social media platforms, and take it slow.